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Autumn Statement: Extra funding for Fibre Broadband and 5g

It’s that time of year again when we find out how our lives will be affected by government changes, how much will minimum wage increase, will fuel duty rise and is a pint down the local going to take up all of my pocket money? This year Chancellor Phillip Hammond has announced that the government will be investing over £1bn in super fast fibre optic broadband and 5g mobile networks. The government feels that to get Britain back on track we need the correct infrastructure to support that and high-speed broadband is key to keeping Britain connected and allows businesses to thrive.

As well as the obvious benefits to business broadband services, the government understands that a lot of homes use digital services for services such a Netflix and Amazon Prime which require higher bandwidth and speeds to download many large files. After the launch of 4k TV, the increase screen resolutions has seen an increase in the number of providers now allowing customers to view and stream 4k resolution films and TV shows. These large files are obviously in need of a great deal of broadband juice.

The government is also hoping that the smaller broadband companies will borrow from the fund to compete with larger broadband suppliers such as Sky and Plusnet. This, in turn, should improve speeds and connectivity as well as allow customers to get great broadband deals. Currently, the larger broadband suppliers can offer faster speeds and bandwidth as they can afford to offer this to a larger user base. Smaller firms currently struggle to offer great prices for broadband deals and so the new fund should allow them to do so. Small broadband companies such as Relish Broadband and Fuel Broadband should see a benefit.

As well as funding for fibre optic broadband, Phillip Hammond is looking for local authorities to apply for a slice of the 5g trial fund. The fund designed to increase mobile speeds by connecting them to fibre optic systems, which will increase the overall speeds of the mobile networks. The increase in speed should allow customers to download an episode of their favourite program in less than one minute. Speaking on the issue he said “Full-fibre is the future of broadband, helping people to share digital content faster with friends and family, stream Ultra-HD TV without buffering, and use virtual reality to change how we engage with the world.” Everyone hates to see that buffering icon on their screen. It’s something I have gotten used to in the past with slow connections. However, it is an important aspect in choosing the right broadband provider and at the right price too. An increase in funding will surely see increased speed and bandwidth from all providers. Especially if 5g trials go well and allow mobile broadband to be a viable option for home connectivity.

With the increase in funding comes greater opportunities for broadband providers to supply customers with better broadband through an increase in competition. It is expected that the competition will further increase a number of broadband deals. Finding the right deal for you in future should become easier with the amount of service providers looking to get you on board. We should see a lot more smaller local broadband providers that may be able to offer a much better deal than the national providers due to their smaller more targeted network. In order to find these deals, I would suggest you always take a look into broadband postcode searches to find those deals you might usually miss.

Currently, Britain already has one of the most comprehensive digital networks in Europe. Although the speeds don’t match up to the Scandinavian countries such as Norway, whose speeds are on average 18.8 MBps. The UK’s speeds are closer to 13Mbps on average however connectivity is often greater. Which is good when you compare these broadband speeds with countries such as France and Spain whose average speeds are 8.9mbps and 7.4mbps respectively. Europe as a whole generally has good broadband when comparing with other areas of the world such as Africa and South America. This is is to be expected in more advanced economies. One thing however that the UK is behind on is pricing. Britain has some of the highest broadband costs in the world, and that’s partly due to less competition and higher running costs of larger networks. Businesses in countries such as Spain, France, and Germany are however much more connected to each other, and this could be down to the fact that costs are putting off companies paying over the odds for business broadband when they already have a lot of overheads to think about. Perhaps these new measures by the government will increase competition amongst broadband providers and see prices plummet as a result.

With the investment outlined above, this is a clear sign from the government that they are serious about investing in the future of Britain’s high-speed internet. They clearly want to see businesses and homes enjoy the benefits of being able to connect with each other effectively and enjoy their favourite TV shows without having to watch a spinning buffering circle for 5 minutes beforehand. Now is as good a times as any to make sure that you are on the best broadband deal you can be. Make sure that you check what deals are available to you in your area by using a postcode checker which will test your broadband speed and find which broadband providers can offer deals for you.


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