Government invest £30m to bring 5G to UK rural areas

13 February 2020

Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan launched a £30 million UK-wide competition in order to bring 5G to countryside rural areas. It has been announced that up to ten rural areas will be picked to have 5G trials. The innovative 5G applications being demonstrated in rural areas aims to attract commercial investment in 5G technology, even in the countryside.

Boost business growth and improve the lives of the public

5G technology has already been deployed in remote areas such as the Orkney Islands to remotely monitor salmon fisheries and improve efficiency of wind farms. Other trials have been carried out in Shropshire to demonstrate how farming can be transformed through targeted crop-spraying and soil analysis with drones and tractors.

This funding hopes to increase trials such as these and boost business growth whilst improving the lives of the general public.

Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan said, “The British countryside has always been a hotbed of pioneering industries and we’re making sure our rural communities aren’t left behind in the digital age.

We’re investing millions so the whole country can grasp the opportunities and economic benefits of next generation 5G technology.”

Boris Johnson also shared the announcement on Twitter:

Hoping to change the future of 5G

The general mobile infrastructure project necessarily gone as planned for the government as many still lack a steady connection.

Ed Vaizey, the minister responsible, even admitted this by saying, "I am fully prepared to stand up in the Chamber and admit that the mobile infrastructure project has not been as successful as we had envisaged. We set aside £150 million. We talked about 600 sites."

In reality, only 50 sites were built. However, with 5G requiring more sites than ever, huge amounts of money will need to go into the project.

Nicky Morgan hopes to change this with a huge investment in rural areas. However, with the 5G roll-out taking much longer than expected, it could be awhile until we find reliable 5G in big cities, let alone the countryside.

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