EEF comment on £1bn Digital Infrastructure Fund boost

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Commenting on today’s announcement of a £1bn connectivity boost through the new Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, Chris Richards, Head of Business Environment Policy at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation said:

“Today's announcement renews the Government's commitment to create a full-fibre digital spine across the UK. Manufacturers investing in new digital technologies associated with the 4th industrial revolution will be reassured that their future focussed investments will be backed by future proofed digital infrastructure.”

“To date manufacturers have had to invest significantly in leased lines as a stop gap measure while the UK's digital infrastructure is slowly and, somewhat begrudgingly, brought up to be best in class. This must be avoided with future digital infrastructure development, government should put in place a business specific Universal Service Obligation to complement today’s announcement and provide certainty to industry that the UK will be the best place to anchor the 4th industrial revolution.”

  • 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 £5000 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 visit www.eef.org.uk/fourthindustrial

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