The Telecommunications Infrastructure Act 2018 paves the way for full-fibre broadband and future 5G communications by enabling 100% business rates relief for operators who install new fibre on their networks. In other words, the Act incentivises operators to invest in the broadband network.
Apparently, the secondary legislation has been laid, firing the starting gun on the scheme which will see communications providers exempt from business rates on new fibre for 5 years, backdated to 1 April 2017.
Local Government Minister, Rishi Sunak, said:
From the country’s most rural locations, to our big cities, we want everyone to benefit from fast, affordable and reliable broadband.
With this new legislation now in place, people can expect the rapid installation of new fibre, paving the way for better connectivity across the country.
From making it easier to work from home to allowing digital businesses to flourish, our measures are creating the right conditions for more high-skilled, high-paid jobs of the future.
Hopefully this cash incentive will help to close the loop and provide the many “fibre vacant zones” with much needed high-speed broadband. According to government sources, by driving improvements in the speed, service quality, security and reliability of broadband services, the Act will help transform the way modern businesses work together, reach their consumers and target their export markets.
As well benefiting businesses, full fibre broadband will also increase internet speeds for households and enable users to access more services online with multiple devices. For example, simultaneously streaming high definition TV and films, playing online games, and working from home quicker and more reliably.
Of course, increased funding is one thing, it will be interesting to see if remote businesses still obliged to access the internet at pre-broadband speeds, will finally get a high-speed connection on which all our businesses benefit.