The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, published his first, and last, Spring Budget last week. This article looks to highlight the communications spending initiatives that have been announced and the impact and opportunity they may have for your business.
With the triggering of Article 50 and the UK’s subsequent departure from the European Union looming in the near future, the Chancellor claimed that this Budget will “prepare Britain for a brighter future.” Whilst there has been some debate about who will win and who will lose based on the Budget, there is no doubt that significant investment is set to be made into communications spending.
Digital Communications Spending
The National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) will invest £740 million into digital infrastructure by 2020/21 to support the next generation of fast and reliable mobile and broadband communications for consumers and businesses.
As the Government aims to make the UK a world leader in the next wave of mobile technology and services, part of the NPIF’s investment will be used to create a new National 5G Innovation Network so that new 5G applications can be trialled and demonstrated.
The first phase of this will see £16 million invested in a cutting-edge 5G facility with the technology to run the trials, which will be delivered through cooperation between leading 5G research institutions. A new centre of 5G expertise within the Government will oversee this programme, with funding for future trials awarded on a competitive basis.
A further £200 million will be made available for local projects to leverage private sector investment in the Government’s National 5G Innovation Network.
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