In the wake of COVID-19, can the UK pick up the pace of fibre deployment?

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The UK has moved from FTTP penetration levels of 7% end 2018 to 12% end 2019 (Connected Nations Updates – Spring 2019 and Spring 2020) – is fibre deployment happening quickly enough or do we need to pick up the pace?   The industry is working as hard as it can to achieve the UK government’s ubiquitous full fibre coverage target of 2025. But unless the challenges it faces - from financial and resourcing, to the unprecedented circumstances of a global pandemic - are addressed and resolved, it’s just not possible for the industry to ‘pick up the pace’.     A study by Assembly Research (pre-COVID 19) predicted that ‘Gigabit Britain’ could provide over £50bn gross value added to the economy in five years, growing to £68.8bn in 2030. During lockdown, businesses, the public and the government have relied on internet connectivity more than ever, but the stark reality is that the UK simply needs more fibre in the ground.    For the UK to achieve its full fibre coverage target, there simply needs to be more collaboration and investment from both the public and private sector. The government must continue to play its vital role as a catalyst to achieving this deployment objective …

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