Digital & Data

The widespread availability of high quality digital infrastructure is essential to support economic growth and harness the potential of data to improve services, reduce disruptions and limit emissions.

Updated:

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Digital connectivity has become a necessity, linking homes and businesses across the UK with faster and reliable mobile and broadband connections.

Its increasing importance to the functioning of the economy has been shown during the Covid-19 pandemic, with widescale home working requiring reliable connections.

Digital solutions can also help infrastructure operators and regulators manage our critical national systems more effectively: Network Rail, for instance, could save £770 million by 2025 by digitising asset information on the UK’s rail network.

The Commission advises government on how it can best work alongside industry and Ofcom to support the widespread rollout of new networks in order to maximise the value of digital technologies to the economic growth, resilience and people’s lives.

For instance, artificial intelligence techniques can deliver realtime insights into infrastructure assets and systems, enabling greater efficiency: analysis suggests that artificial intelligence could add over 10 per cent to the UK economy by 2030. Sharing data, with the appropriate security and privacy arrangements, can catalyse innovation and improve the outcomes for users.

In addition to work on standardising approaches to data collection and sharing, the Commission  works with partner bodies to encourage the development of systems which monitor infrastructure in real time and have predictive capability to help manage, predict and understand the UK’s increasingly integrated infrastructure systems.

Latest Updates

Can data help make our crucial infrastructure even more resilient?

Can data help make our crucial infrastructure even more resilient?

Now more than ever we can see the importance of data to help us anticipate, react, and recover from infrequent but potentially devastating events. But this is not just true of pandemics: data can help us to manage direct shocks to infrastructure as well. During the current crisis, our infrastructure systems have generally stood up...

17 Jul 2020 By
Annual Monitoring Report 2020 annex
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Annual Monitoring Report 2020 annex

26 Feb 2020
Annual Monitoring Report 2020
thumbnail of NIC 2020 AMR Final

Annual Monitoring Report 2020

26 Feb 2020
Passengers facing second-class mobile connectivity on UK rail network

Passengers facing second-class mobile connectivity on UK rail network

Passengers will continue to experience inadequate mobile services on the UK’s railways due to slow government progress in fixing gaps in connectivity. The National Infrastructure Commission today warns that progress on mobile connectivity on rail has stalled since the government accepted the findings of the Commission’s 2016 Connected Future report. It is calling for clear...

6 Feb 2020 By
Connected Future: Getting back on track
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Connected Future: Getting back on track

6 Feb 2020
Commitment to open data crucial to optimising UK’s energy system for more complex, low-carbon future

Commitment to open data crucial to optimising UK’s energy system for more complex, low-carbon future

A new report calls for higher standards in data sharing across the UK’s energy networks to improve its resilience and deliver better results for consumers and the environment – in line with recommendations made in the National Infrastructure Commission’s Data for the Public Good report. The Energy System Data Taskforce has recommended five priorities action...

13 Jun 2019 By
‘Data now as important to UK Infrastructure as concrete or steel’ – Sir John Armitt speech to DAFNI
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‘Data now as important to UK Infrastructure as concrete or steel’ – Sir John Armitt speech to DAFNI

Sir John Armitt today gave the keynote speech to the DAFNI conference. DAFNI is the Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure. It is the first data and analytics facility of its kind to support infrastructure planning and research, facilitating collaboration across and between universities, government and the private sector. The data and modelling accessible...

10 Jun 2019 By
Annual Monitoring Report 2019
thumbnail of NIC Annual Monitoring Report 2019

Annual Monitoring Report 2019

22 Feb 2019
Annual Monitoring Report 2019 annex
Modern city at night with technology concept

Annual Monitoring Report 2019 annex

22 Feb 2019
New Gemini Principles lay the foundations for developing digital twins
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New Gemini Principles lay the foundations for developing digital twins

The Government’s new Digital Framework Task Group today published the Gemini Principles – the values and definitions that would guide the development of a national digital twin of the UK’s infrastructure, as recommended by the National Infrastructure Commission. A national digital twin would offer a digital model of the UK’s infrastructure network, made up of connected...

7 Dec 2018 By
Developing the underlying framework for a national digital twin
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Developing the underlying framework for a national digital twin

From how we travel to how we communicate, the use of big data now underpins efforts to improve great swathes of our daily lives but, excitingly, we have only just begun to scratch the surface of what we can achieve when we unlock the value of data in the built environment. Nearly a year ago,...

5 Oct 2018 By
West Midlands 5G pilot ‘welcome step’ towards successful national rollout
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West Midlands 5G pilot ‘welcome step’ towards successful national rollout

Ministers today confirmed that the West Midlands is to become the UK’s first-ever multi-city testbed for 5G mobile technology – matching a key recommendation from the National Infrastructure Commission to support its nationwide rollout. Digital Minister Margot James announced plans for an initial £25million towards the pilot, to be matched by the West Midlands Combined...

4 Sep 2018 By
Access to real-time rail information offers improvements in infrastructure data sharing

Access to real-time rail information offers improvements in infrastructure data sharing

Real-time information of rail journeys across the country is to be made available to tech firms, to develop travel apps for passengers in the future. Rail Minister Jo Johnson and Rail Delivery Group chief executive Paul Plummer published the Joint Rail Data Action Plan, which sets out obligations and deadlines for delivering closer working between...

8 Aug 2018 By
Which? findings demonstrate need to invest properly in future broadband services
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Which? findings demonstrate need to invest properly in future broadband services

Research published today by consumer group Which? shows that the majority of broadband providers have cut the speeds they offer in their marketing, following changes to advertising rules. The study finds that since the introduction of new rules by the Committee of Advertising Practices in May, 11 suppliers have cut the advertised speeds of some...

4 Aug 2018 By
New Telecoms Review will help deliver full fibre to all communities

New Telecoms Review will help deliver full fibre to all communities

Sir John Armitt today welcomed Ministers’ plans to help ensure homes and businesses across the UK have the latest full-fibre broadband connections by 2033 – mirroring recommendations in the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment. The chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission said the measures in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review would “ensure every community will...

23 Jul 2018 By
Armitt: Government support for our recommendations will transform how we collect and use infrastructure data
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Armitt: Government support for our recommendations will transform how we collect and use infrastructure data

Sir John Armitt today welcomed plans from Ministers to adopt recommendations from the National Infrastructure Commission, to use data to improve the condition and running of the nation’s infrastructure network. The Government will be adopting three of the Commission’s recommendations from last year’s report, Data for the Public Good, to set common standards for data...

19 Jul 2018 By
National Infrastructure Assessment 1
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National Infrastructure Assessment 1

The National Infrastructure Assessment looks at the United Kingdom’s future economic infrastructure needs up to 2050 and makes key recommendations for how to deliver new transport, low carbon energy and digital networks, how to recycle more and waste less, and how future infrastructure should be paid for.

10 Jul 2018
Future benefits of broadband networks
A bundle of glass fibre broadband cables

Future benefits of broadband networks

10 Jul 2018
Ministers must seize the “golden opportunity” to switch to low cost energy

Ministers must seize the “golden opportunity” to switch to low cost energy

Britain has a “golden opportunity” to switch to greener ways of providing energy to homes and businesses without increasing bills – but only if Ministers act now to make the most of it. That’s a key finding from today’s National Infrastructure Assessment – the first ever for the UK – published by the National Infrastructure...

9 Jul 2018 By
Call for evidence responses
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Call for evidence responses

14 Mar 2018
Annual Monitoring Report 2018
thumbnail of Annual Monitoring Report 2018 Final

Annual Monitoring Report 2018

16 Feb 2018
Government must do more and better for road, rail and broadband

Government must do more and better for road, rail and broadband

The National Infrastructure Commission’s first Annual Monitoring Report finds the Government slow in taking decisive action to address several of the UK’s major infrastructure needs. The report finds that further action is urgently needed to improve mobile phone coverage and digital connectivity on the UK’s roads and railways. It also raises concerns about the Government’s...

16 Feb 2018 By

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