AUTUMN STATEMENT: Shop owners to benefit from £1bn investment in digital infrastructure

Lingerie retailers stand to benefit from a £1bn cash injection in the UK’s digital infrastructure, according to retail industry associations.

The Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his Autumn Statement yesterday that the government will invest the funds to help deliver faster broadband and mobile internet.

The move is expected to help boost broadband speeds for up to 2 million homes and businesses and support trials for 5G mobile connections.

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Hammond said: “Our future transport, business and lifestyle needs will require world class digital infrastructure to underpin them. So my ambition is for the UK to be a world leader in 5G. That means a full-fibre network; a step-change in speed, security and reliability.

“So we will invest over £1 billion in our digital infrastructure to catalyse private investment in fibre networks and to support 5G trials,” he added.

Reacting to the news, retail experts said the cash injection will help boost business growth.

Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium said: “Addressing the success of the high street requires consideration of the revolutionary impact of digital technologies – on the behaviour of consumers who might frequent high streets, and the competitiveness of high street retailers. Therefore, today’s announcement of £1bn in new digital infrastructure including 5G will be welcome by shop owners and consumers across the UK.”

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry commented: “The UK already has good digital infrastructure, but we can’t rest on our laurels. Requirements for better internet access will only grow with the adoption of new technologies. The Government’s commitment to faster and more reliable broadband should support business growth and productivity improvements across the UK.”

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