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COVID-19 – Biz Investment in UK Telecoms Remains Steady

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020 (10:38 am) - Score 369

A recent analysis of the latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which was conducted by tax relief consultancy Catax, has revealed that business investment in the UK telecoms sector has held mostly steady, falling by only 0.6% in a year, as the Coronavirus crisis hit.

Total business investment in the sector fell to £5.92bn in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, which is down only slightly from £5.96bn in the same period last year. Meanwhile the wider British economy shrank by 10.4% in the first three months to April 2020, which compares with a rise of 0.8% in the first quarter of 2019.

The outcome isn’t a huge surprise since mobile and broadband connectivity has proven itself to be a vital tool during the crisis (working from home etc.). On top of that the problems hit while fixed line ISPs were already busy investing heavily in gigabit-capable broadband upgrades and mobile operators have been deploying ultrafast 5G technology, both sectors of which were also granted key worker status during the lockdown.

Mark Tighe, CEO of Catax, said:

“The telecoms industry has fared much better than most when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. Broadband has become an essential utility as millions of employees have kept the economy running while working from home.

Research and development of new mobile technology is continuing despite lockdown, meaning that investment has continued to flow in this area.

This is a thriving sector that is less reliant than many on import, export and transportation of material goods. It may also be benefiting from the ability to be more flexible about staff locations and scalable set-up costs.”

On the other hand it’s worth remembering that March 2020 was only the start of the lockdown period, which continued on through April, May and only began to soften in June. Suffice to say that we don’t yet have the full picture of COVID-19’s impact, which of course remains an on-going pandemic.

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