Government Gigabit Initiatives
You’ve probably already heard that cloud-based solutions are trusted not just by SMEs, but by household names, with the likes of Spotify, Snapchat, Coca Cola (and Yay.com!) turning to Google Cloud and Samsung, Netflix and even NASA using Amazon’s AWS cloud platform. Coincidentally, both of these cloud platforms are listed on the UK government’s Digital Marketplace, which lists trusted technology for digital projects in the public sector, meaning that cloud-based solutions are trusted by SMEs, multinationals and government bodies as well.
What’s more, the UK government is now funding programmes to supply gigabit-capable broadband across the UK, listing increased adoption of cloud-based services like cloud phone systems as one of the key drivers of these initiatives. A more capable internet connection may be necessary when adopting such services due to the increased load on existing broadband infrastructure when multiple services, that were once provided by separate hardware, are now hosted in the cloud with data being transmitted across a single connection.
Building Digital UK
The UK government recognises the importance of high-speed internet for all and its capabilities to enrich the learning of its children and improve the productivity and output of its businesses. As a result, and in response to Ofcom’s Broadband USO which aims to give “…people in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable broadband connection…”, Building Digital UK, part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), has launched a number of programmes in order to bring gigabit broadband to the nation.
The Gigabit Voucher Scheme
The Local Full Fibre Networks Programme (LFFNP) is the umbrella initiative launched by the UK Government to implement gigabit-capable broadband infrastructure to the UK. Thirty one schools in rural areas were among the first to benefit from a £200 million fund, called the Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) programme, one of a number of initiatives sitting beneath the LFFNP. Part of an ‘outside-in’ approach, where the remotest areas are serviced first to ensure they are not disadvantaged or left behind, the RGC is an indicator of the government’s feelings about gigabit broadband connectivity being a nationwide necessity for the future, rather than a luxury reserved for the few.
Alongside the RGC is the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS). Currently funded through March 2021, the Gigabit Voucher Scheme is helping to pay the installation costs of bringing gigabit-capable broadband to SMEs and communities via full fibre optic cable installation, which has traditionally been too cost-prohibitive for ISPs to install.
What is Full Fibre Broadband?
Full fibre constitutes an overhaul of the fibre connection to your home. FTTC stands for Fibre to the Cabinet (meaning your local roadside cabinet) and constitutes a combination of fibre optic cable and traditional copper cable, with the copper being fed from the cabinet to the premises and the fibre optic being fed to the cabinet from the telephone exchange or distribution point. The copper cable is cheaper than fibre optic cable, but, due to the physics, is far slower. In short, photons travel at the speed of light through fibre-optic cable, whereas copper cable transmits the data via electrons, which move at less than one percent of this speed.
FTTC, in some locations, has been superseded by FTTP, or fibre-to-the-premises which, as the name implies, involves running fibre optic cable all the way to the premises, doing away with the copper cable entirely. This ‘full-fibre’ configuration removes the copper bottleneck in the supply of high speeds to the premises and is capable of transmitting one gigabit of data (equivalent to 1000Megabits) per second and supercharging upload speeds, which typically lag far behind download speeds, to equal that gigabit reading.
Why Increase Speeds?
As residences and businesses adopt more smart devices and begin to use more cloud-based services that, traditionally, would have been provided by hardware, the load on any given broadband connection will continue to increase. This necessitates a fast, reliable broadband connection with the bandwidth available to service many devices simultaneously. As your business steps into the future, investing in cloud-based systems for everything from your business phone system, with a company like Yay.com, to collaboration platforms with a service like Google Drive, you will want to make sure your broadband connection is as fast and reliable as possible so that all of these services can coexist harmoniously.
All of this means better performance for (and from) you and your business, with more powerful platforms and integrations available as the seamless nature of the internet begins to permeate and re-revolutionise systems we previously may not have considered it touching. Staying at the cutting edge technologically ensures that your business has the edge over the competition as your efficiency and productivity increase.
Put together, the above initiatives and programmes paint the picture of a government heavily invested in universal access to high-speed internet. When the UK government, along with companies like Coca Cola, are trusting The Cloud with their data and investment, it is surely wise to do the same. Get started with your move to cloud-based services with a move to a cloud phone system like Yay.com. If your business does not have full FTTP broadband, check your eligibility for support from the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to make sure your business’ infrastructure can keep up with your ambition.