Government To Map Public Internet Infrastructure
The government will make over 13,000 miles of publicly-owned digital infrastructure available to improve access to high-speed broadband.
It will reveal for the first time the scale and coverage of the main networks owned and leased by government, including a map of public sector telecommunications and digital infrastructure.
Each year the government spends at least £1.5billion of taxpayers’ money on public sector networks, including signal masts, fibre optics, and cables, to help areas of the country that are underserved.
However, in the past, government did not even hold comprehensive information on this infrastructure – let alone publish it. Spare capacity was not used effectively and public sector organisations developed their own duplicate and expensive bespoke networks and technology.
The public networks include fibre running alongside railways and motorways, a defence network providing highly secure communications, the N3 network connecting health and social care sites, and the UK-wide research and education network known as JANET.
“In the past government didn’t even know what telecoms and digital infrastructure the public sector itself owned. Our new maps reveal taxpayer-funded networks stretching right across the country,” said Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.
“We will work with providers to exploit spare capacity while joining-up our own approach, so more people can access high-speed broadband and better mobile phone coverage.”