£400m government fund boosts digital infrastructure
A new £400m government fund launched today is hoping to do away with internet buffering and painfully slow download times.
The Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund (DIIF) will unlock over £1 billion for full fibre broadband, and kick-start better broadband connections across the country.
The investment, which was announced by the government last year in its Autumn Statement, will support the rollout of cutting-edge connections across the country.
The funds will be in addition to its £23 billion National Productivity Investment Fund aimed at improving productivity, which is key to raising living standards.
Launching the fund during a visit to Peterborough today, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Jones MP will say: “We are investing £400 million to make sure the UK’s digital infrastructure is match-fit for the future.
“As technologies change and people’s habits move with them, it is crucial we play our part to ensure Britain stays at the front of the pack.
“Gone will be the days where parents working from home see their emails grind to a halt while a family member is gaming or streaming Game of Thrones in the next room.
“Full fibre will provide us with the better broadband we need to ensure we can work flexibly and productively, without connections failing.”
A focus on more reliable internet access and remote working are key drivers for the fund, which will be managed and invested on a commercial basis by private sector partners, generating a commercial return for the government.
The government has worked closely with industry to create this fund, which by catalysing private sector investment will become self-sufficient.
Two leading infrastructure investment firms have been appointed to manage the fund.
Amber Fund Management Limited, part of the Amber Infrastructure Group, and M&G Investments, part of Prudential PLC. M&G Investments includes Infracapital, who have partnered with Cameron Barney; and M&G’s infrastructure debt team.
Speaking on their roles as fund managers, John Mayhew of M&G Investments, says: “We are pleased to be working with HM Treasury in order to play our part in delivering world class, high-speed broadband infrastructure in the UK.
“This approach ensures that Britain is ready for the future and brings benefits to families and businesses across the country who rely on fast and greater connectivity, as well as ordinary savers through the returns generated for their pension funds.”
Giles Frost of Amber Infrastructure said: “We are delighted to be partnering with HM Treasury and look forward to helping the community of businesses building the next generation of digital networks to scale up and accelerate the rollout of ultrafast connectivity across the UK.
“Amber will apply its experience in implementing core economic and social infrastructure projects alongside public sector partners to deliver this landmark initiative.”
Those who are interested in accessing the fund are encouraged to contact the Fund Managers directly, who will be able to advise on how the investment process will work.