To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what funds she plans to make available for the 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy; and whether those funds will come from resource or capital DEL.
1 November 2021
Last year, the government kickstarted an infrastructure revolution, publishing the National Infrastructure Strategy and laying out plans to upgrade road, rail and digital infrastructure. The multiyear settlement of £100 billion included approximately £1.4 billion of digital spend by DCMS including on gigabit broadband, 4G, Local Full Fibre Networks, 5G Diversification and Testbeds and Trials Programmes.
As part of the Spending Review, the government announced the UK will benefit from improved digital connectivity and mobile coverage through investment to deliver one of the largest ever upgrades to our digital infrastructure. The settlement includes £250 million over the Spending Review period to ensure the security and resilience of digital infrastructure networks. This builds on funding this year that has supported the delivery of the first stages of the 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy, including early steps to accelerate the development of Open RAN technologies, including investing £30 million in a Future RAN Competition (FRANC) and opening the doors of the SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre (SONIC Labs).
The government will set out further details in due course.