INFRASTRUCTURE

WHAT WE NEED IN LONDON

With inadequate digital infrastructure, London’s leading role in the global tech sector is under threat.  It is therefore essential that London has world-class digital infrastructure.

With a substantial membership across London’s tech community, Tech London Advocates is uniquely placed to generate data on the challenges faced at a grassroots level, and therefore help shape London’s connectivity policy.  It also includes members who are creating the next generation technologies that will rely on London having world-class infrastructure. And it has members in the property sector who have used digital infrastructure to create new places to work in otherwise underused parts of the city.

 

OBJECTIVES

  • Busting barriers: Identify the obstacles to London offering world-class communications infrastructure.
  • Showcase potential: Highlight emerging technologies that will impact London’s economy if there is the digital infrastructure to support it.
  • Route to work: Demonstrate how digital infrastructure can drive local job creation in the tech sector.

POLITICAL RESPONSE TO THE ISSUE

The publication of the government’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Reviewlast month set out two key ambitions:

(i)   to have nationwide fibre connectivity by 2033, and;

(ii)   to be a world-leader in 5G

The government has committed £700min investment, including: £400m to a Digital Infrastructure Fund to support the construction of full fibre networks; £200m Local Full Fibre Networks Challenge Fund for local bodies to bid into to stimulate commercial investment; £67m for a Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme for small businesses

The cost to install fibre nationwide is estimated as £30 billion (2.3% of the government’s investment and 5.3% promised by the Labour Party).

CURRENT STATE OF CONNECTIVITY

The UK continues to suffer from poor connectivity. Only 4% of properties have fibre connectivity, compared to nearly 90% in Portugal, 70% in Spain and 99% in South Korea (who are broadband the world leaders).

London is no different to the rest of the UK when it comes to connectivity.  For example, the average download speed in the City of London is 13.8Mb, making it the worst broadband in the country.

The lack of universal high-performance digital infrastructure poses a significant risk to London’s leadership in the tech sector, not least with Brexit imminent. Research from the London School of Economics found that parts of the UK that already had slow broadband were also areas whose local economies would suffer the most under a no-deal Brexit.

Advocates
in Group

TBC

Group
Leadership

Anthony Impey, Optimity

Campbell Cowie, OfCom