Full-fibre broadband is coming to the UK, the government revealed back in September, in a move that will create new opportunities for the nation's limited company contractors in more ways than one.
The government announced that six areas have been chosen as trial locations for the delivery of full-fibre broadband: Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry and Warwickshire, Bristol, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
Some £10 million is to be spent on these pilots alone, with experts believing that access to this faster form of broadband will transform the way that people are able to interact and do business online.
What is full-fibre broadband?
Full-fibre uses fibre-to-the-premises connections rather than fibre-to-the-cabinet, which is the type traditionally used in the installation of standard fibre broadband. Full-fibre is therefore slightly faster and offers smoother online connections.
At the time of the announcement, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Jones, commented: "How we live and work today is directly affected by how good our broadband connection is. Reliable connections enable new industries to flourish, help create jobs and give people flexibility in how and where they work.
"For our economy to thrive, it is vital we make smart investments to ensure our digital infrastructure is world-class and fit for the future. Full-fibre connections are the gold standard and we are proud to announce today the next step to get Britain better connected."
So, how exactly will the rollout of full-fibre create new opportunities for the UK's limited company contractors?
Opportunities for telecoms contractors
Additional broadband rollouts will mean more work for contractors specialising in the telecoms sector. If these initial trials prove to be a success - and there are very few doubts that they will - more opportunities will be created for personal service company contractors and freelancers who possess the skillsets sought after by the industry.
Even those who have not previously worked specifically on broadband installation projects but who have experience of working in the engineering sector, for instance, may have the skills required by firms like Openreach that are responsible for delivering broadband directly to people's homes.
But this is not the only way that contractors stand to benefit from the rollout of full-fibre broadband.
Better broadband means better access to opportunities
Business today is increasingly carried out digitally, with skype, email and social media communication now commonplace for limited company contractors when speaking to existing or prospective clients.
What's more, thanks to channels like LinkedIn and various online contractor forums, the majority of networking can be done digitally too. This means that even if a contractor is based outside of a big city, they can still interact with peers and client contacts.
As a result, reliable broadband connections are vital. If contractors cannot get online quickly and efficiently, they are going to be unable to harness the full potential of their limited company.
The proposed rollout of full-fibre broadband is therefore welcome news for home-based contractors, who traditionally might not have had the same level of access to quality broadband as their counterparts working for employers in an office.
Although just six locations are to feature in the full-fibre trial, better broadband is on its way to 95 per cent of the rest of the UK anyway, so for contractors currently struggling with poor internet connections, this shouldn't be the case for much longer.