Government investment in infrastructureMay 25, 2012
There has recently been discussion in Government and financial institutions as to whether the UK should make a greater investment in infrastructure in order to boost growth within the country. When infrastructure projects are mentioned most think of roads, bridges and train tracks, but communications infrastructures are just as important a component of the country as are transport infrastructures – indeed perhaps more so. This has not gone unnoticed by all, and some have suggested that the UK should invest more in high speed broadband connectivity, both fixed and increasingly mobile. However, these infrastructures already exist, at least in part, and are actively being rolled out by fixed and mobile operators. The case for Governments intervening to speed this rollout is unclear, although subsidies for extending deployment to rural areas may be sensible.
An alternative would be to invest in an Internet of Things (IoT) network covering the UK. This might start out as localised smart city deployments and then potentially extend to the rest of the country. The case for doing this is strong. Firstly there is no such infrastructure or any immediate plans for deployment hence government investment would not be competing with private investment. Secondly, a smart city is inherently a Government project in just the same way as a new sewer system for the city would be, so without government investment it may never happen. Thirdly, an IoT would do more to stimulate growth and innovation than many other forms of investment, especially as much of the technology such as Weightless is being developed by UK companies. Finally, the investment required might be quite modest. Providing a network covering a city might only cost a few millions of pounds, much less than the billions typically required to build a new train line.
If the funding was not directly available then the Government might consider using some of the likely proceeds from the forthcoming spectrum auctions. Predictions suggest that over £1bn might be raised from the 800MHz auction. Recycling some of these proceeds back into telecoms to deliver a better infrastructure for all would seem a fitting way to make use of part of the revenue.
Infrastructure projects need not all involve heavy lifting – some could be Weightless.This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Progress to version 0.7 Why M2M devices don’t roam →