Poor superfast Internet infrastructure could prevent tech revolution
Prime Minister Theresa May has reiterated her intentions to promote technology and science, and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has stated that he wants to see more tech-related jobs and tech developments across the country. While the UK technology sector is booming in Manchester and other North West regions, many areas in the North and South are battling with poor high-speed Internet infrastructure. As a result, these regions cannot enjoy the benefits of technological developments.
One of the most common complaints is unreliable Internet connectivity: in some parts of the country, the Internet is simply not fast enough. This is particularly challenging for Manchester, which enjoys a turnover of £3 billion annually from the technology sector.
The recent TechNation 2017 report highlighted the fact that Manchester is home to 28 per cent of the top 50 fastest-growing technology companies in the country. Hence, experts are worried that if access to superfast Internet remains an issue, then it will adversely affect these digital technology businesses.
Katie Gallagher, Managing Director of Manchester Digital, opined that since basic Internet connectivity is problematic in Manchester and other parts of the UK, access to high-speed Internet connectivity is an even more serious issue. This could have an adverse effect on SMEs that are trying to grow and expand their business, she stated.
Ms Gallagher believes that improving Internet infrastructure would help tech and digital businesses across the UK become more innovative and add value to the country’s economy. She added that while the Government’s industrial strategy will bring investment into the STEM sectors, investors should also think about buying into digital infrastructure, which can be expanded as and when businesses grow.
In the last five years, the UK has managed to attract £28 billion in investment for the tech sector, and this has ensured that the country is ahead of other European nations when it comes to technology and digital expertise. However, if the UK wants to maintain its leadership position, then it will have to improve its Internet infrastructure quickly.