A couple of weeks ago the government announced that it wanted everyone in the UK to have access to a proper fibre internet connection (one without any copper wiring involved) by the year 2033. Now it's announced that it wants fibre to be installed as standard on new home built in the UK.
This comes as part of a new proposal by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), with the intention of reaching the 2033 goal set out earlier this month. The government also wants to ensure an extra 15 million homes are wired up to a full fibre connection by 2025, in both instances noting its overall importance to the growth of incoming 5G networks.
DCMS Secretary of State, Jeremy Wright said:
We want everyone in the UK to benefit from world-class connectivity no matter where they live, work or travel. This radical new blueprint for the future of telecommunications in this country will increase competition and investment in full fibre broadband, create more commercial opportunities and make it easier and cheaper to roll out infrastructure for 5G.
According to the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review without intervention from the government this rollout would only ever reach three quarters of the country (at most) - which would itself take another 20 years. The government notes that many parts of the UK, especially rural areas, wouldn't gain access to high speed fibre without additional investment. It notes that these parts of the country shouldn't be made to wait until the rest of the UK was wired up, and estimates the cost will likely be between £3 billion and £5 billion.
So the government is going for an 'outside-in' strategy that'll involve letting the market serve commercially viable areas while it simultaneously supports investment in the areas that are harder to wire up. Apparently it's already "identified around £200 million within the existing Superfast broadband programme that can further the delivery of full fibre networks immediately," which is nice. [Gov via BBC News]