The economy could get a multi-billion-pound boost if the government takes immediate action to ensure the UK is match-fit? for the digital revolution by improving connectivity.
The CBI’s latest report Ready, Set, Connect warned that ensuring the UK has a stronger digital infrastructure is just one area of domestic policy which risks being overshadowed by Brexit.
The CBI said that businesses have largelywelcomed thegovernment’sambitious target of rolling out 5G nationwide by 2027 and full-fibre by 2033. Butwithoutgovernmentaction on funding and policy in 2019, it saidfirmsof all sizeswill beat riskof losing their competitive edgeinternationally.
The CBI’s report highlighted key actions for policymakerstodeliver ontheirvision to achieve a buffer-free digital futureandmake the UK thetopplace to start and grow a digital business.
These include fast-tracklaws that ensure every new property has access to gigabit broadband and give companies permission to access land or property to install connections for private tenants by 2019.
All newgovernment infrastructure projectsmust also includefull fibrebroadband capacitythrough the settingup of a cross-government Fibre and 5G Taskforce. In addition, 5G adoption should be turbo-charged by raising awareness of its uses to businesses and by helping firms to learn more about how to better exploit the technology through government trials.
The CBI said world-class 5G technology couldpotentiallyaddup to 173bn to theuKeconomy by 2030.
intoday’s world, digital connectivity matters more than ever if data is the new oil, thendigital connectivity is the pipe that transports it. Seamlessconnections, fromfull fibre networksto£5G, offerunprecedented opportunities for businesses and consumers across the UK, said Matthew Fell, CBI UK chief policy director.
our country isalreadyhome tohundreds of thousandsof innovative technological firms, both start-upsand large enterprises. Business models and workplacesare changing, andmore peopleare either workingfrom a coffee shop, their home or office. They are the backbone of our economyand they all rely onfastand reliable digital connectivity torun their businesses successfully.
“Action needs to be takennowto unleash ourdigital economywhich is alreadyworth nearly 184bn. This meansthe governmentmustunlockinvestment, update the law to help everyone get access to gigabit broadband and’spur businesses to adoptnew technologies.