Why improving connectivity is crucial for the UK’s National Infrastructure Strategy
Reading time - 3 minutes

Why improving connectivity is crucial for the UK’s National Infrastructure Strategy

2nd November 2020
By Tom Ladle

So, you may be wondering what exactly the National Infrastructure Strategy is (we don’t blame you). In the simplest of terms to avoid keeping you till the next millennium, it’s a 30-year plan laid out by the UK Government, including funding projections for transport, local growth and digital infrastructure. We’re keen to look at the last one.

The strategy doc for 2020 is yet to be published, so we can’t offer a definitive take on plans concerning broadband infrastructure. What we do know though, is that the drastic shift to remote working due to the pandemic has highlighted glaring issues with connectivity in the UK. To support UK businesses, employees and the struggling economy improving network reliability and connectivity should be a top priority.

The current broadband infrastructure

Compared to developed countries around the world, the UK is falling behind. Most of our broadband infrastructure still relies on copper wires, with Ofcom reporting that only 14 per cent of UK homes can access full-fibre broadband[1]. According to an article published by the Guardian in 2019, despite the UK ‘being the world’s fifth-largest economy, it ranks 35th out of 37 countries assessed by the OECD for the proportion of fibre in its total fixed broadband infrastructure’[2]

The Government has pledged to roll out full-fibre broadband across the UK in its National Infrastructure Strategy, but the concern is that it will be too late. The economy is struggling now and to have the best chance of recovering, the UK needs to be able to rely on its broadband infrastructure to work productively, whilst working remotely. Might we add that remote working is here to stay, so the issue will only become more pressing as time goes on, not less.

How businesses and employees will benefit

With 100% of the UK having access to full-fibre broadband, this will ensure no matter the location, all businesses and employees can work effectively and efficiently. People living in rural areas can be just as productive as anyone else and won’t have to constantly worry about connectivity issues getting in the way.

Here are just some of the benefits of full-fibre broadband. Increased speed, more reliable connection, improved cloud access, greater signal strength, better bandwidth, increased security, cost savings and excellent support for HD video calls. From these benefits alone, it’s clear to see how this can benefit businesses and employees across the UK.

What we’re doing

You may be thinking, why are we harping on about this? Well, us and other SMEs have decided to take action by writing to the Government, calling on them to accelerate the rollout of full-fibre broadband across the UK in its National Infrastructure Strategy. Good news is you can get involved as well. Don’t worry, you won’t have to write a letter, it’s much simpler than that. To find out how you can show your support, visit here: https://www.powwownow.co.uk/connecting-the-uk.

Let’s make this happen and ensure everyone has fair opportunity to be productive when working remotely!

[1] https://advanced-television.com/2020/09/10/uk-full-fibre-broadband-now-available-to-4m-homes/

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/15/labour-full-fibre-broadband-is-the-uk-lagging-behind-other-countries