The Government’s announcement of providing over £1billion in funding towards a digital infrastructure fund, including the development of 5G, should be welcome news especially to communities in rural areas, which have suffered consistently from poor internet connectivity. A European Commission survey this year revealed that rural communities in Britain get worse superfast broadband coverage than their counterparts in Slovenia, Lithuania and Cyprus and so far little has been done to enable businesses in the countryside access to high-speed networks. It will be interesting to see whether the new digital infrastructure fund will prioritise faster connections for businesses and therefore help build a more productive economy across all of the UK.
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In Wednesday's Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond will announce £400m ($500m) funding for a new Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund. Private investors will be asked to match the amount. The money will be aimed at fibre broadband providers who are looking to expand. Mr Hammond will also commit £740m to the development of 5G and the further rollout of fibre connections.