Thursday, 27 July 2017

UK govt formally launches £400m fibre fund

By Nick Wood, Total Telecom
Monday 03 July 17

Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund aims to stimulate more than £1 billion of spending on ultrafast networks.

The U.K. government on Monday formally launched a £400 million fund to stimulate spending on full fibre networks. Called the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund (DIIF) it was announced in November 2016 as part of Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement…

The U.K. government on Monday formally launched a £400 million fund to stimulate spending on full fibre networks.

Called the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund (DIIF) it was announced in November 2016 as part of Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement, and aims to unlock more than £1 billion of investment.

Full fibre was arguably the biggest discussion point at Total Telecom's Connected Britain event in London in June. The general sentiment at the show was that copper extension technologies like G.Fast, as well as wireless, have a role to play to deliver a good enough broadband experience for now, but that the long-term goal should be fibre-to-the-premises, and full fibre backhaul for 5G, when it eventually arrives.

"As technologies change and people's habits move with them, it is crucial we play our part to ensure Britain stays at the front of the pack," said Andrew Jones, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, in a statement.

"Full fibre will provide use with the better broadband we need to ensure we can work flexibly and productively, without connections failing," he said.

The fund will be managed and invested on a commercial basis by private sector partners, igniting interest from private finance to invest in the sector, resulting in more alternative providers entering and expanding in the market, the government said.

Two infrastructure investment firms, Amber Fund Management and M&G Investments – part of Prudential – have been appointed to manage the DIIF.

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