The UK government’s stated aim to roll out gigabit broadband across 85% of the UK by 2025 has been declared unrealistic in a withering report by Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee.
The committee also looked at what role 5G technology might play in national infrastructure and called the government’s target for majority 5G coverage by 2027 equally ambitious, especially following recent rulings on the use of equipment from high-risk suppliers, specifically removing Huawei technology from national infrastructures.
The DCMS Committee report on broadband and the road to 5G is the result of an inquiry examining the government’s pledge to ensure that every home and business in the UK has gigabit-capable broadband by 2025.
Just after the Conservatives’ General Election victory in December 2019, the government outlined plans to make good on prime minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to work towards “delivering full-fibre [broadband] to every home in the land” by 2025, and at the Conservative Party conference in October 2019, then chancellor Sajid Javid committed £5bn of public funding to “support the roll-out of full-fibre, 5G and other gigabit-capable networks to the hardest-to-reach 20% of the country”.
In his first Budget statement in March 2020, chancellor Rishi