This Bill aims to progress full-fibre broadband in the UK by offering business rates relief for operators who install new fibre on their networks. The Government hopes that this Bill will incentivise operators to invest in the broadband network.
This Bill was not announced in the Queen’s Speech but is a law that the Chancellor made a commitment to in his Autumn Statement in 2016, saying that the Government was to invest in boosting the UK’s digital infrastructure.
The Bill will give 100% business rates relief for businesses investing in super-fast fibre on their networks in an attempt to accelerate ultrafast broadband coverage. By seeking to improve the speed, service quality, security and reliability of broadband services, the Bill aims to transform the way in which modern businesses work together, reach their consumers and target their export markets.
The business rates relief is estimated to be worth a saving of £60 million to internet providers who are encouraged to invest in new all-fibre networks rather than upgrades to the old copper wires which will still be taxed.
This Bill was introduced by Sajid Javid MP, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
This Bill should be relatively uncontroversial in its aim to roll-out faster broadband for homes and businesses. However all public spending and taxation is under a lot of scrutiny under this Government, and tax relief for companies such as BT and Virgin may not be received that warmly in some quarters.
How to get involved
You can contact your MP.
If I don’t act, will it go through?
This is a Government Bill and they tend to go through, however in a hung Parliament nothing can be that certain.