UK government launches Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund

4 Jul 2017

Having initially announced plans to support the rollout of pure fibre-based services as part of its Autumn Statement in November last year, the UK government has officially launched the ‘Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund’ (‘DIIF’). Claiming that this fund will ‘unlock over GBP1 billion for full fibre broadband across the country’, the state will commit GBP400 million with the expectation that this will encourage private investment to reach the headline total. In confirming the launch of the DIIF, the government revealed that two infrastructure firms have been appointed to manage the fund, those being Amber Fund Management Limited, part of the Amber Infrastructure Group, and M&G Investments, part of Prudential PLC.

In a press release regarding the development, the government argued that pure fibre rollouts have been traditionally difficult to finance ‘because the industry is relatively young and a lack of certainty around future demand makes investment hard to secure’. Suggesting that such a situation has held back alternative providers from entering the market, it said: ‘The government has worked closely with industry to create this fund, which by catalysing private sector investment will become self-sufficient … [The fund] will ignite interest from private finance to invest in the sector, resulting in more alternative providers entering and expanding in the market.’

United Kingdom