Hammond to unveil £1bn digital boost in Autumn Statement

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Chancellor Philip Hammond is set to announce an injection of more than £1 billion to upgrade Britain's digital infrastructure when he delivers his Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

Mr Hammond is expected to tell MPs the Government is to invest £400 million to boost development of new ultra-fast "full-fibre" broadband.

A further £700 million will be provided to fund a new programme of 5G trials aimed at transforming mobile communications.

Currently only around 1 million premises in the UK have access to full-fibre - described as the "gold standard" of broadband - which is considered to be both more reliable and more secure than traditional copper internet cables as well as being faster.

Ministers hope that by providing support for emerging providers looking to scale up through a new digital infrastructure investment fund at least 2 million more homes and businesses will gain access to full-fibre.

With the capacity to reach speeds of 1 gigabit per second, users could potentially download an entire series of Game of Thrones in less than a minute.

It is expected that the new Government funding will be matched by private finance, encouraging the market to ramp-up the roll-out of full-fibre broadband.

Roads are set to get a £1.1 billion boost in the Autumn Statement. And a further £220 million is set to deal with "pinch points" on Highways England roads, with Mr Hammond expected to give the green light for the National Infrastructure Commission's call for an expressway between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge.