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UK set for £1bn broadband boost

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is to pledge £1 billion (€1.17bn) to improve Britain’s broadband infrastructure, under an investment initiative to boost productivity.

The plan, which is targeting giving two million further households access to full-fibre broadband, will be confirmed in Hammond’s Autumn Statement on November 23rd, giving the Government’s spending plans and economic forecasts.

The Government is also investing £400 million in a new Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund to boost finance for emerging fibre-broadband providers which will be matched by investment from private industry.

In addition, the Government will fund further research into the development 5G ultrafast mobile network connections.

Treasury sources said the moves would “provide for the world-class digital infrastructure the UK needs to deliver the future of broadband and mobile communications across the country”.

Andrew Griffith, Sky’s Group Chief Operating Officer, said: “We welcome the Government’s announcement on broadband investment, which chimes with our view that the future is full fibre. Government has played its part through this package of measures, which should help kick start the investment needed to push the UK up the league table. But we won’t achieve the necessary step change in driving full fibre investment across the country unless Ofcom also takes bold and decisive action on the future of BT Openreach.”

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