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Matt Hancock reaffirms commitments to digital infrastructure

At the Connected Britain conference in Grange St. Pauls, digital minister Matt Hancock recommitted to the already-established broadband and mobile networking policy.
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The government has reaffirmed its previous commitments to broadband, Matt Hancock announced during a Connected Britain conference. His news comes at great time – an attempt to thwart the National Infrastructure Commission’s report, ranking the UK’s 4G coverage at 54th globally.

So greater investment and strategic planning is thus key, with the government now needing to ensure that the 5G roll out is less shambolic and provides coverage nationwide – not just for the lucky few.

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It was clear from all three of the main parties’ election manifestos that connectivity has truly become a cross-party issue. While of course taking slightly different approaches, the measures outlined in all the main party manifestos are essential to future proof business in Britain.

It is crucial that all parties – no matter how turbulent the government’s position – are supporting measures to improve its digital infrastructure.

This will be a key component of presenting the country as an attractive place for tech investment and in which to do business, Matt Hancock explained. Our own research found that nearly two in five northern tech professionals think that better internet connectivity would make Manchester a more attractive city to UK-based tech companies.

But beyond infrastructure investments, the government must ensure that it’s enabling digital entrepreneurs to have access to enterprise grade resources. Connectivity and technology lie at the heart of the UK’s startup community, underlying an increasingly amount of business processes driven by cloud adoption.

This was clearly identified by new Zscaler research, which revealed that many organisations are unable to take full advantage of Office 365 due to issues with connectivity and latency.

Further to the outlines listed in the manifesto, we would encourage the government to explore programmes that will ensure smaller organisations can afford the enterprise grade connectivity they need.

The Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme, for instance, should be revisited to ensure young companies have access to the necessary resources.

William Newton is EMEA director at WiredScore

This article is part of our Real Business Broadband campaign, which seeks to provide a mouthpiece for business leaders to vocalise the broadband issues preventing their businesses from reaching full potential. We’d love to hear your take on the debate and where you think the UK needs to make drastic changes – and feel to ask us your broadband queries. Get in touch via email (shane.schutte@realbusiness.co.uk) or join in on the action using #rbBroadband.

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