UK Government Plans For Nationwide Gigabit Broadband By 2025
Originally, the UK government announced plans for the whole of the UK to be able to benefit from gigabit-capable broadband by 2025. Although the target was deemed as achievable, according to industry stakeholders, it will require immediate reforms and improvements to current infrastructure and policies. Since, Boris Johnson has reduced the target to 85% of the UK being able to access gigabit broadband by 2025.
What Is Gigabit-Capable Broadband?
For those who aren’t familiar with the term “gigabit-capable broadband”, it is essentially, currently the fastest possible most reliable broadband available. Gigabit-capable broadband utilises the Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) infrastructure to deliver broadband speeds of up to 1gb/s. Fibre to the premises describes the infrastructure and method used to deliver broadband to a location: the broadband is delivered along fibre optical cables only directly from an internet exchange to the building/home. Currently, some areas across the UK can already benefit from broadband speeds of up to 1gb/s using the FTTP infrastructure, however this is only usually buildings that are located near to an internet exchange.
How Is It Different To What I Can Get At The Moment?
As mentioned, gigabit-capable broadband is already available in some locations across the UK, however, it is uncommon with only 14% of households being able to access the full-fibre connectivity. Therefore, most premises in the UK have their broadband delivered using the Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) infrastructure which allows you to benefit from speeds of up to 80mb/s (350mb/s with GFast). The FTTC infrastructure consists of an internet exchange delivering fibre broadband, over fibre optical cables, to a broadband street cabinet. The broadband is then delivered from a broadband street cabinet to a home/building using a copper cable (usually a phone line).
What Is The Difference Between FTTC and FTTP?
FTTC uses both fibre optical cables and copper cables, whereas FTTP uses only fibre-optical cables and runs directly from the internet exchange to a premises with no interceptions. Those currently using FTTC are limited to 80mb/s (350mb/s with GFast). Those with FTTP can already enjoy speeds of up to 1gb/s in their homes.
However, by 2025, with the government’s plans of gigabit broadband being available nationwide, everyone would be able to enjoy speeds of up to 1gb/s.
How Is It Being Done?
The new policy, set by the government, states that the infrastructure will be mostly built and funded by private investment. Also, the government and Ofcom have come together to reform current policies in order to enable a competitive market for the gigabit-capable infrastructure. A total of £5billion has been allocated by the government to deliver the ultrafast broadband to 20% of UK premises that won’t be reached through commercial investment.
Companies such as, Faster Britain (powered by ITS) are playing a crucial role in helping the government achieve their goal by working at an extreme pace to allow more locations across the UK to benefit from full fibre gigabit broadband. Faster Britain are re-using current infrastructure to deploy full-fibre connectivity at an efficient rate, whilst causing minimal disruption. We are proud to say that we, Cloud & Fibre, have partnered with Faster Britain enabling us to provide our customers with speeds of up to 1gb/s in applicable areas. You can read more about our partnership here.