Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 65 | Page 72

INTELLIGENT BRANDS // Mobile Technology

Government unveils £ 150 million investment plan to boost Internet connectivity for all

The UK Government ’ s Technology Secretary , Michelle Donelan , has unveiled a new Wireless Infrastructure Strategy which aims to boost digital connectivity and connect all communities across the nation with high-speed broadband by introducing the next stage of 5G connection .

The investment will consist of almost £ 150 million with £ 100 million set to put the UK at the forefront of future research , £ 40 million allocated to boosting the 5G take up while the remaining £ 8 million will create a satellite connectivity programme to connect remote homes and businesses .
The plan is set to arm the UK with the fastest and most reliable 5G wireless coverage with the hope of unlocking the potential of new technologies that will positively impact the lives of many individuals while improving business operations up and down the country .
The aim is to supercharge innovation in the UK , keeping them at the forefront of future telecoms technologies , from driverless vehicles , to making our cities smarter and cleaner , unlocking growth , innovation and potential across the country .
“ It is fantastic to see the government recognising the importance of connectivity for all , which in the long run will benefit the whole nation ,” said Elizabeth Anderson , COO of the Digital Poverty Alliance . “ Basic connectivity should not be a luxury , but a necessity that is available to everyone , despite their circumstances or geographical location . Lack of connection in rural areas , alongside increasing costs for data and the upcoming 3G switch-offs , continue to have a huge impact on someone ’ s ability to succeed in education , their chances of securing a well-paid job as well as reducing access to certain services offered by providers such as the NHS and DWP .
“ While it is great to see the government investing in the telecoms industry and wireless connectivity , a continuous and universal push to achieve the goals this government plan , and our organisation , set out to achieve , is necessary . With millions of people in the UK cut off from the online world , it should no longer be the case that individuals miss out on opportunities because they cannot get access to connection . Providing connectivity for all will not only benefit people on an individual level , reducing unfair barriers , but means the nation will be more equipped with individuals who can help to grow the economy now and in the future .”
Donelan added : “ Our Wireless Infrastructure Strategy sets out our plan to ensure everyone , no matter where they live , can reap the benefits of improved connectivity . We are also supporting long-term economic growth in the UK with a £ 40 million fund to encourage innovative 5G investment across the private and public sector .
“ This package of measures turbocharges our progress towards becoming a science and tech superpower with a substantial initial investment in the future of telecoms . We want to ensure that 6G is developed to meet the needs of people and businesses right across the UK and bolster our international competitiveness throughout the economy .” p
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