The UK government has said a “step change” is needed in the country’s approach to fibre internet and has set a target for fibre connections to be available to the majority of homes and businesses by 2025.
Chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, set out the plan during a speech at the Confederation of British Industry Annual Dinner this week and said the ambition is for full-fibre to the premises (FTTP) connections to reach 15 million properties by 2025.
The goal will require industry to connect more than two million additional premises a year for the next seven years, he said, adding: “We won’t do that by government diktat, we will do it by creating the conditions for the market to deliver.”
Overall Hammond targeted a “nationwide full-fibre to the premises network by 2033”, claiming that fibre networks will be the enabling infrastructure that drives economic growth – similar to canals in the 18th century, railways in the 19th and roads and motorways in the 20th century.
“Running both copper and fibre networks indefinitely will not benefit either the consumer or the industry, so we must start thinking now about that switchover and how to sharpen the incentives for industry to move customers away from copper and on to fibre,” said Hammond.
“Matt Hancock, the DCMS Secretary, will set out our strategy to deliver these ambitious targets in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review later this summer.”