UK government launches £400m Digital Investment Fund amid name change for DCMS

UK government launches £400m Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund

The UK government has opened the taps for a £400m Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, holding out the prospect of a long-awaited overhaul of Britain’s fibre network.

The news comes as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced it will now be known as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to highlight the digital evolution of the governmental arm.

The digital infrastructure investment is being touted as a fast track ‘full-fibre’ diet for the nation to catch-up with international competitors by substantially increasing fibre broadband connections to the home. UK connections currently stand at just two per cent of all households, while in countries such as Spain the comparative figure is 80%.

When he launches the scheme later exchequer secretary to the treasury Andrew Jones MP is expected to say: "Gone will be the days where parents working from home see their emails grind to a halt while a family member is gaming or streaming Game of Thrones in the next room.

"Full fibre will provide us with the better broadband we need to ensure we can work flexibly and productively, without connections failing."

Change won’t come overnight, however, with the Independent Networks Co-operative Association calling for 80% fibre coverage in the UK by 2026.

Providers interested in tapping the fund are being asked to contact Amber Fund Management and M&G Investments, the two infrastructure investment firms which have been asked to act as fund managers.

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