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The government's £400 million Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund has now gone live.

Ministers hope the fund will unlock more than £1 billion of capital in the sector, which can be used to boost full-fibre broadband coverage across the UK.

This money will be managed and invested on a commercial basis by private sector partners, which means it will generate a commercial return for the government.

Andrew Jones, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said this investment will ensure 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," he commented.

"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."

The move has been welcomed by CityFibre, which said there is a "yawning" gap between fibre coverage in the UK and other countries.

Indeed, Director of Strategy and Policy Mark Collins said the UK currently has a full-fibre penetration rate of just two per cent, compared with 80 per cent in Spain.

"This fund will help to underpin investor confidence and catalyse competitive full fibre roll-out," he added.

The creation of the fund was initially announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond in his Autumn Statement last year.

This is being supported by a five-year 100 per cent business rates holiday for broadband providers that invest in a full-fibre network.

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