Industry regulator, Ofcom, has today published a progress report on its ten-year vision for ensuring the quality and availability of communications services in the UK.
Commenting on the update, Chris Richards, Senior Business Environment Policy Adviser at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, says: “Anything which brings the UK closer to a full fibre to the premise rollout is a step in the right direction. Industry will be supportive of Ofcom’s focus on outcomes, particularly the focus on increasing fibre connections ‘to the doorstep’. Separating BT Openreach functionally within BT Group, should allow BT Openreach to invest in the infrastructure required to ensure the UK has digital infrastructure which is fit for the future.
“What is needed now is a rigorous focus on how fibre rollout in the UK can be speeded up. The Government has a clear roll to play in setting out a robust Digital Economy Strategy to give confidence to industry that the UK will not be left behind in this crucial area.”
EEF research shows the importance of digital to UK manufacturers:
- 91% of manufacturers say a high speed internet connection is as essential to business as electricity and water
- Over a third of manufacturers are spending more than £5,000 pa on internet connections (23% of small manufacturers, 50% of mid-sized and 89% of large)
- A third of manufacturers have invested in a dedicated leased line connection
- 62% of firms plan to invest more in internet connected capital equipment in the next five years
- Just over 50% of manufacturers say their current internet connection isn’t adequate enough for their expected needs over the next five years (only 35% said it was).
For more information on the transformation of industry to the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) visit www.eef.org.uk/fourthindustrial