The United Kingdom wants everyone to get fast lane access to the internet, and in its latest Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, which was published today, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport outlined its goals for the coming years.
According to the report, as of right now, despite having 95% of its premises covered by fast internet, the United Kingdom is lagging in the adoption of Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) networks, which only covers 4% of the country. Countries such as Portugal and Spain have relied on infrastructure competition for deployment of their FTTP networks and currently sit at 89% and 71% coverage, respectively.
With that in mind, the UK also wants to promote competition to help drive the deployment of these networks all over the country. Thanks to regulatory changes to help both companies and consumers, the government hopes that FTTP networks will reach 15 million premises by 2025 and the whole country by 2033. That's still 15 years into the future, but the report states that without these changes, coverage would only be able to reach 75% of the country in the next 20 years, so it would seem this is a significant improvement.
Of course, mobile internet is just as important - if not more - than wired connections in today's world, especially with the arrival of 5G networks. The review published today also highlights the government's goal of getting 5G to the majority of the population by 2027.
Currently, 87% of the UK has 4G signal from at least one carrier, which is a significant step up from 63% just two years ago. It remains to be seen, however, if the next generation of mobile networks sees a similar expansion rate.