16:00 - 18:00
Lecture Three: (Re)Evaluating approaches to the full fibre rollout – Thursday 19th November, 4pm
Digital connectivity is critical for UK consumers and is a major source of strength for the economy, so full fibre is the UK’s digital future, providing people with more reliable, faster, and future-proof broadband. The shift to working from home following the coronavirus has heightened the benefits that full fibre will bring. Some estimates suggest that connecting the whole of the UK to a Fibre-to-the-Premises broadband ISP network by the end of 2025 could result in a £59bn economic boost, and could bring half a million people back into the workforce by 2038. Promoting a competitive market for full-fibre infrastructure build means encouraging other companies to build infrastructure in competition to Openreach. However, some commentators warn that red tape, supply chain restrictions and punitive business rates on fibre infrastructure currently undermine the investment case and are slowing down the roll-out, meaning that the industry could struggle to reach the ambitious targets set by Government.
Alex Blowers, Head of Regulatory Affairs, CityFibre
Luisa Affuso, Chief Economist, Ofcom
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