Budget 2013 – staying the course on broadband

Budget 2013 – staying the course on broadband

There was next to no mention of broadband in the Chancellor’s budget speech today, and not much more in the full 2013 Budget document itself.

“We’re giving Britain the fastest broadband and mobile telephony in Europe??? declared George Osborne and perhaps we should view the lack of additional initiatives flagged in this year’s budget as an indication that Government is staying the course on its previous intentions, albeit ones that do not look beyond 2015 at this stage.

The budget highlighted the 4G auction sale (1.95) and the potential revenue that will come from future spectrum sales, including the commitment to release the 500 MHz of spectrum, stating that the Government looks ‘introduce further financial incentives to ensure more efficient use and management of public sector spectrum holding’.

Additionally, the budget stated that the will be ‘a reprofiling of funding for broadband programmes to support local delivery’ (1.50 and 2.7) stating that ‘these savings will be used to help support housing in the short term and contribute to the overall savings required from current spending in 2015-16’. We’ll be looking into what this could potentially mean for the broadband and telecoms community.

The Budget was also accompanied by the release of the updated Infrastructure Delivery update 2013, but this again gave no new information and highlighted pre-existing plans around rural mobile coverage, fixed broadband investment and the Urban Broadband Fund (p.15). 

Our partners Intellect UK have issued their response on ramifications for the broader technology sector.