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Boris’ broadband boost: Conservatives pledge £25bn “infrastructure revolution” to improve broadband and 5G speeds across the UK

Chancellor Sajid Javid is expected to pledge £5 billion to extend full-fibre, high-speed broadband across the UK

The Conservatives are set to promise an “infrastructure revolution” at today’s party conference to boost broadband, bus services and major roads.

 Chancellor Sajid Javid is expected to pledge a total of £25 billion, with £5bn being used to extend full-fibre, high-speed broadband, a £220 million fund for improved bus services and the rest being used to upgrade the UK’s major roads.

A more aggressive, wider roll-out of 5G infrastructure will also fall within the £5bn broadband budget, and the Government are said to be considering an overhaul of planning rules, to “simplify” how mobile phone infrastructure and services are delivered, to make sure people in 20% of the UK’s most remote regions are able to get the same level of service as urban dwellers.

This includes increasing the permitted height, and therefore reach and signal capabilites, of phone masts, which are currently limited to 25 metres – around ten metres shorter than in other European countries.

The Conservatives are believed to be using this pledge to appeal to rural voters, particularly in areas where bus services are few and far between and where broadband speeds are well below average, ahead of an almost inevitable general election in the coming weeks.

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Speaking ahead of today’s announcement, Javid said: “Investment in our infrastructure will be key to making the next decade one of renewal — boosting our economy and making life easier for people all across the country. That’s why I am announcing new investment in roads, bus services and broadband, the first step in our plans to deliver an infrastructure revolution.”

He added: “This investment to deliver gigabit-capable broadband for all the UK and investment in roads and buses will help people to get around and businesses to grow, ensuring no community is left behind. This will make the UK a better place to live and work, extending opportunity and raising living standards for all.”

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