UK government to invest in rural coverage and driverless cars

The UK government will open a £10m fund in early 2014 to test innovative solutions to deliver superfast broadband services to remote areas of the UK. It has also pledged to make the UK a centre for the testing and development of driverless cars.

The fund is part of the UK’s national infrastructure plan, which details how the government intends to invest over £375bn into public and private sector infrastructure investment.

The £10m figure may be used to enhance mobile services, although “new fixed technologies” and “alternative approaches to structuring” have also been mentioned as investment opportunities.

Commenting on the announcement, a spokesperson for UK operator Vodafone said: “The government’s decision is a real step in the right direction and signals a willingness to be pragmatic when it comes to rural broadband. Wireless 4G is better value for money and is the best technology to help close the digital divide between urban and rural Britain.”

The government is also looking to help the UK develop driverless car technology and will conduct a review to ensure that the legislative and regulatory framework to support this aim by late 2014. It will also create a £10m prize fund for a town or city to become a testing ground for driverless cars.

The investment builds on the 2013 announcement in which the government outlined plans for £100bn of capital investment in infrastructure projects.

The Broadband World Forum is taking place on the 21st – 23rd October 2014 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam. Click here to download a brochure for the event.


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