During the pandemic internet usage significantly increased and connectivity became a lifeline that allowed us to stay in touch, order shopping and use services, such as seeing the doctor, without having to leave home.
It also allowed the majority of businesses to operate as usual despite employees working remotely. However, the benefits of connectivity are longer lasting than in supporting us through the pandemic. It has become the foundation for future economic growth, job creation, supporting levelling up, and in achieving net zero targets.
The Government has set the target of achieving 85% gigabit-capable coverage by 2025, with the remaining 15% to follow as soon as possible after, and to have 5G coverage across the majority of the UK by 2027. Industry has responded and is working hard to rollout gigabit and 5G technology with 66% of premises now able to access gigabit broadband and 5G available from at least one mobile network operator outside 42-57% of premises. It is clear that there is still a long way to go in not only achieving Government rollout targets but in ensuring demand is there to realise the benefits of faster, more reliable mobile and broadband connections.
We partnered with YouGov to survey MPs and councillors about the Government’s gigabit rollout plans and the challenges involved in meeting the national targets. In addition, we surveyed businesses and consumers to gain insight into the level of understanding around gigabit capable technology and awareness of the benefits that gigabit connections can bring.