What is the key to a connected Britain?

Matt Harrison, chief strategy and innovation officer for Network Services Provider Flomatik, discusses a more connected Britain

There has been a lot of discussion concerning the Government’s proposal to transform Britain and ensure it becomes a gigabit-capable nation by 2025. And, as recent times have clearly underlined, connectivity will play a pivotal role in how businesses, communities, homes, and families keep in touch.

With the spotlight firmly shining on the ‘future of work’ and what that looks like for many organisations, leaders have spent 18 months adapting and adopting new ways of operating to provide solutions for their teams to communicate effectively, not feel so isolated and still be productive.

Fast-forward to the present day and questions remain around how employees can not only return safely to headquarters but if those offices will look the same – or be downsized – and what part hybrid working will play going forward. Matt Harrison, chief strategy and innovation officer for Network Services Provider Flomatik, delves into the detail.

Committing to higher broadband speeds – and delivering effective rollouts throughout towns, villages, and cities – is a major step in terms of what it means to be a ‘connected Britain’, but there’s still a long way to go. Looking at the recent ‘FTTH Council Europe, IDATE 2020’ analysis, the reading is stark – the UK is listed as being one of the slowest countries in Europe in terms of global broadband speed rankings and was 47th in the world last year.

However, the Government has set itself ambitious targets to transform this level of connectivity – earmarking around 27.5 million homes for a full-fibre rollout by 2025, which is a staggering increase from the current six million premises that are fully equipped with high-speed broadband. So, although Britain is currently quite a way behind the front-runners – with ambitious targets to achieve in four years’ time – the positive news is that the Government has at least recognised this.

As a result, centralised and regional funding plans are in place, coupled with huge amounts of private equity funding as well as the much-needed regulation reviews. Put it all together and this is designed to encourage alt-nets to expedite the necessary fibre infrastructure required to feed the growing hunger of bandwidth and connectivity demands from homes and businesses, by the end of the decade. And that means both the telecoms and technology industries will have a huge part to play in tackling the digital divide.

Will the UK ever be hyper-connected?

The connectivity challenge is nothing new because social interaction has always been a part of human nature. For centuries, innovators have come to the fore to roll out solutions that help people keep in touch, from the first-ever telephone call in 1876, Morse Code 30 years earlier, and so on.

Each invention has led to the present day and a time in which people now expect to be able to communicate with one another from all over the world, as well as interact via remote devices and have tools that talk to one another in real-time (or thereabouts). That means there is a constant requirement to increase connectivity, coverage, and bandwidth – regardless of location.

It’s an exciting time to be part of the telecoms sector when it has such a pivotal role to play in uniting people. The UK overall is pushing the envelope for what can be achieved – and not just in the home environment but from a business perspective too.

Residents can now view deliveries to their homes as they arrive in the post, turn their lights on when they’re not around, and remotely programme their ovens to prepare evening meals. Meanwhile, call centre workers are utilising real-time data to deploy emergency services vehicles and farmers have been adopting agritech to plough, sow, feed, and monitor the health of crops autonomously, all without human intervention.

And a quick Google search will soon show how, as little as two years ago, a surgeon in China was able to perform the world’s first remote operation using 5G technology.  here is a long way to go to achieving hyper-connectivity in the UK. Firstly, it’s about concentrating on the deployment of deep fibre and 5G if the nation is to make meaningful strides. But the good thing is, the technology is available and it’s constantly diversifying. Additionally, history explains that evolution is expected. The question is, is everyone ready to be ‘always connected’ and ‘always accessible’ to everyone and everything?

The importance of innovation

It’s clear that the possibilities of what it means to be truly connected are endless – and, of course, heavily reliant on advancing technology, alongside providing affordable, accessible, and usable applications, as well as robust infrastructure and the necessary bandwidth to cope with demand.

Whilst currently lagging behind in the underpinning infrastructure stakes, the positive thought is that Britain has always been at the cutting-edge in terms of its own innovation. The next step is to underline exactly how these creations can enrich people’s lives. For example, even now, HR teams are still managing workloads via manually-intensive spreadsheets instead of utilising a wealth of digital tools, marketers are delivering emails without automated processes, and people are operating mobile devices for text and calls only. Why?

Cost is an obvious reason, but perhaps trust plays a part too. This is often key as to why the UK isn’t quite there yet when it comes to adopting electric cars, integrating 5G or allowing a medical operation to take place when the surgeon isn’t even in the room. That’s where the telecoms industry, Government, business leaders and the wider population have a huge role to play in the future of building a gigabit-capable and truly connected Britain.


Once the supporting physical fibre and wireless networks are in place within the next few years, the challenge ahead is what will people do once the infrastructure is here? Innovators and disruptors will continue to push the playing field as to what can be done when developing solutions that make things even better – and this will continue at pace. Overall, it will be a test for the UK, but it certainly provides an exciting opportunity for innovation to come to the fore and drive the nation up the global rankings for high-speed connectivity.

For more news from Top Business Tech, don’t forget to subscribe to our daily bulletin!

Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

An image of connected Britain, Connectivity, What is the key to a connected Britain?

Amber Donovan-Stevens

Amber is a Content Editor at Top Business Tech

The critical role of data integrity in generative AI

Anjan Kundavaram • 23rd November 2023

The quest to harness the full potential of generative AI relies on finding trustworthy data to achieve outstanding results for diverse use cases. With the continued growth and transformative impact of generative AI, business leaders need to ensure that the data being fed into it has integrity.

Navigating a CTO-as-a-Service arrangement

Cyril Samovskiy • 21st November 2023

Attracting a top-tier Chief Technology Officer (CTO) can be challenging at the best of times, but for tech startups – who often have limited resources, a yet-to-be-proven product-market fit, and financial instability – it can be even more so. Add tech’s ongoing talent shortage to the mix, and it’s easy to see why CTO-aaS is...

The Importance of SBOM and CVE in Medical

Diego Buffa • 18th November 2023

This article explores the critical landscape of medical device cybersecurity, focusing on the IMDRF’s “Principles and Practices for Medical Device Cybersecurity.” It advocates for a holistic approach throughout the product life cycle, with particular emphasis on the vital role of the Software Bill of Materials (SBOM). The article addresses the FDA’s stringent postmarket vulnerability reporting...

AI powered fused spurs unveiled by measurable.energy

Diana Kamkina • 15th November 2023

measurable.energy, experts in eliminating wasted energy, are proud to announce the launch of their latest innovation – fused spurs. This highly anticipated addition to their product line is set to transform the landscape of energy management in construction and commercial buildings.

Technology for a Sustainable Tomorrow

Mark Robison • 09th November 2023

We currently face the critical challenge of reducing carbon emissions in an effort to reach net zero targets. This is the challenge of our lifetime and for many more generations to come. Fortunately, this challenge has ushered in a new era of innovation, where technology plays a leading role in creating a sustainable future.

Preparing UK Businesses for the Coming PSTN Switch Off

Chris Wade • 01st November 2023

The PSTN Switch Off will require a robust framework of action as all business sectors will be impacted. In order to stay ahead of this significant change, businesses must start considering new, digital alternatives such as VoIP based communication technology.

Dark Fibre’s Role in Supercharging Edge Data Centers

Sean Lowry • 18th October 2023

In response to Proximity Data Centre’s e-book, Glide’s CTO, Sean Lowry explores the impact of low latency on gaming, the Metaverse, and AI. He explains how dark fibre and Glide’s “Fibre Cities” are primed to support the evolving needs of edge data centres and seamless connectivity.

Smart Labels and the intersection of technology and logistics

Sam Colley • 13th October 2023

The delicate fabric of the ever-evolving technological landscape is being rewoven with the introduction of game-changing elements like smart labels, which are bringing the logistics industry to the forefront of innovation. These technological wonders are not only transforming the landscape of logistics, but they are also unlocking a multitude of options where precision, discretion, and...