Autumn Statement 2016: As expected Philip Hammond has pledged more than £1bn for broadband and 5G

 
Billy Bambrough
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The UK's broadband infrastructure was expected to be a major part of today's Autumn Statement
The UK's broadband infrastructure was expected to be a major part of today's Autumn Statement (Source: Getty)

The chancellor Philip Hammond has – as expected – pledged more than £1bn for broadband and 5G in his Autumn Statement.

He said:

My ambition is for the UK to be a world leader in 5G. That means a full-fibre network; a step-change in speed, security and reliability.

He also revealed the government will offer business rates relief on new fibre infrastructure from April.

The government will invest over £1 billion by 2020-21, targeted at supporting the market to roll out full-fibre connections and future 5G communications.

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Its expected this will "bring faster and more reliable broadband for homes and businesses across the UK, boost the next generation of mobile connectivity and keep the UK in the forefront of the development of the Internet of Things".

Earlier in the week it was reported that Hammond would announce more than £1bn of investment for the UK's broadband infrastructure today, pledging cash towards upgrading existing services and trials of new technology.

Of the funding £400m will go towards existing fibre broadband providers looking to improve the quality of their services, which the government hopes will be matched by private finance.

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A further £740m of public money will go towards trials of high 5G speed services, and the roll-out of full-fibre connections that currently only reach two per cent of homes.

A full-fibre connection can reach speeds of more than 1Gbps, which could allow users to download an entire series of Game of Thrones in less than a minute.

It comes after the Treasury revealed that Hammond would also commit over £1bn in funding towards new roads.

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