Andy Murray, head of infrastructure at RSM said: ‘Although it’s good to see today’s statement kick starting the allocation process for the £95m fibre fund and the remaining £840m of Transforming Cities Fund, which will help to improve broadband connectivity and transport in local areas.
It is, however, somewhat disappointing that the Chancellor has swerved the opportunity presented by lower than expected borrowing to unlock new additional funding to stimulate key infrastructure development now. If we take the fibre rollout as an example it has been estimated that the cost of deploying fibre-based next generation broadband infrastructure could be around £25bn*, which highlights a significant funding gap. With no new investment, the sector will have to wait until the Autumn for further support – potentially stalling progress in the meantime.’
*Nesta’s ‘Exploring the costs and benefits of FTHH in the UK’ report