Government aims for full 5G by 2030

Gigabit broadband will reach at least 85% of UK premises by 2025 and at least 99% by 2030.

The ambitions for wireless infrastructure in the UK have been specified in a new policy paper.

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More and more work is conducted online, so better broadband offers a whole range of advantages. The government’s aim is to ensure that more and more of us benefit from this technology.

Of course, the risk is that those with poorer connectivity get left behind everyone else. That’s why the government paper includes a 10-point plan to maximise rural connectivity. Top of the list is a commitment of £5 billion to the flagship Project Gigabit programme that will deliver future-proof broadband to rural communities. This is in addition to the £1 billion already granted for the project. 

Key to the success of gigabit broadband is the rollout of fifth generation or ‘5G’ wireless  infrastructure. 5G enables the transfer of data at more than 10 times the rate of 4G. It can also offer greater reliability and make it easier to connect to more devices.  

Michelle Donelan MP, Secretary of State for Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, says: ‘5G will be the cornerstone of our digital economy.’ 

‘With higher capacity and lower latency, standalone 5G will drive growth in the industries of today and tomorrow, including in emerging sectors like artificial intelligence where Britain leads the world.’ 

The minister added that 5G has the potential to improve public services from education to social care. ‘In transport, for example, we can use 5G to power forward progress in everything from real-time travel information to augmented reality navigation and self-driving buses and taxis.’ 

Of course, developments of this kind will have wide-ranging impacts on the work of local government. 

Though the focus of the strategy is on 5G, the government also aims to support harder to reach rural communities by achieving 4G coverage of 95% of the UK landmass by 2025. 

What’s more, the paper outlines how the UK hopes to shape the vision and standards of the sixth generation of wireless connectivity – 6G. That includes investing up to £100 million in future telecoms research and development, such as through Future Telecoms Research Hubs run by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). 

Read the full policy paper on UK wireless infrastructure strategy. 

In related news, the New Forest is the latest area in line for Project Gigabit development, with a recent contract granted worth £14m.

Photo by Compare Fibre


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