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Posted on March 5, 2020 by staff

Plan for UK-wide 5G by 2025 to get ‘reality check’

A government pledge to make the UK completely 5G and full-fibre connected by 2025 is to be questioned.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee will examine the feasibility of the pledge and what will be required in order to achieve the goal.

It will also look at what role 5G technology might play, and what initiatives mean for improving mobile connectivity across the UK.

Among the current initiatives is The Shared Rural Network, which will see EE, O2, Three and Vodafone investing in a £1bn shared network of new and existing phone masts in less well-connected areas of the UK.

This initiative currently plans to bring 4G, the predecessor 5G, to 95% UK coverage by 2025.

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said the delivery of full-fibre broadband was critical to the success of the UK, particularly in the interest of future-proofing its businesses.

“The Government has said it wants to achieve this nationwide roll-out by 2025. We’ll be carrying out a reality check to find out what steps must be taken now if this target is to be reached,” he said.

A month before becoming Prime Minister, Boris Johnson first called for ‘full fibre for all’ by 2025.

“In Spain there are now 85 per cent of households that have full fibre-optic broadband, with its almost limitless capacity to pump data to and from your home,” he wrote in a column for the Telegraph.

“If the Spanish can do it, why can’t we? Let’s say goodbye to the UK’s manana approach to broadband and unleash full fibre for all by 2025.”

The inquiry plans to ask how realistic it is to achieve nationwide gigabit-capable broadband by 2025, and what measures – including regulatory, financial, and technical – will be needed to achieve it.

It also hopes to identify any challenges to the roll-out of the new technology, and what if any existing legislative, regulatory and spending plans address those challenges.