The digital and telecoms industry seems to have triumphed where many other sectors have failed in securing business rates’ relief.
The Government is providing the digital sector with a £60 million tax boost to make it easier for firms to lay fibre broadband cables. Telecoms networks currently pay business rates on the fibre infrastructure required to deliver high-quality broadband and mobile connectivity to homes and businesses, but ministers are proposing a tax break for up to five years on the infrastructure needed to provide full fibre broadband.
The Government has stressed that the tax relief will not apply to existing infrastructure and wanted it to act as an “added incentive to move further and faster” to improve connectivity. It would be particularly welcome in rural areas that suffer from sporadic broadband connection.
Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, has already welcomed the news and it follows on from the Chancellor Philip Hammond’s last Autumn Statement that £400 million is to be put towards improving the UK’s fibre broadband infrastructure.
An additional £740 million will be put towards developing 5G services and a scheme that enables local authorities to bid for fibre connectivity.