The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) has hailed the government's announcement of a new voucher scheme to help homes and businesses connect to full-fibre broadband.
This week, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond confirmed that £67 million has been set aside through the Nationwide Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to help commercial and residential properties join full-fibre networks, which are able to offer far higher speeds than traditional copper lines.
Vouchers worth up to £3,000 will be available to small and medium-sized businesses, while residents can claim up to £500.
ISPA, the UK's trade body for providers of internet services, has hailed the move, saying it is "greatly encouraged" by the government's commitment to encouraging ultrafast infrastructure deployment.
The group said its members have played a key role in boosting the proliferation of fibre connections in the UK, with many having had success with existing voucher schemes in local areas.
As a result, ISPA believes widening the scope of the scheme is a "welcome step towards future-proofing the UK’s digital infrastructure and reaching the government’s target of ten million premises with access to full-fibre broadband by 2022".
Mr Hammond made his announcement in this week's Spring Statement, in which he said moving to full-fibre means "faster, more reliable broadband access as we build the digital infrastructure we need to make our economy fit for the future".
The government has also committed to spending £200 million to speed up delivery through the Local Full Fibre Networks programme and wants to have at least ten million residential and commercial properties connected to full-fibre by 2022.
At present, only around three per cent of the population is able to access the technology.