Ultra-fast Digital Infrastructure in the UK: Are we Missing a Trick?
Yesterday, Nesta convened a small roundtable of industry experts, policymakers and analysts to discuss ultra-fast digital infrastructure in the UK. To stimulate the debate we published a new report produced for Nesta by Rob Kenny, Founder of Communications Chambers, Exploring the Costs and Benefits of FTTH in the UK and an accompanying policy briefing Ultra-fast Digital Infrastructure in the UK: Are we Missing a Trick?
The UK government is caught between a rock and a hard place: it needs to show long–term commitment to upgrading the UK’s digital infrastructure to ensure its industries can continue to innovate and compete with the likes of those in Korea, Japan and Singapore; but it cannot justify spending billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money when the full future benefits of ultra–fast1 speeds are impossible to foresee. However, the government need not be paralysed when faced with this quandary. We propose that it invests in the form of a £100 million Ultra–fast Digital Infrastructure Demonstrator Fund for creative and tech clusters to test the efficacy of new technologies and applications and measure customer demand.
This blog will evaluate how this recommendation was received by a panel of industry and policy experts.