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 highlighting the value of reliable connections.
The Commission therefore advises government on how it can best work alongside industry and Ofcom to support the widespread rollout of new networks – including 5G and gigabit-capable fibre broadband – in order to maximise the value of digital technologies to the economic growth, resilience and people’s lives.
Positive progress has been made: for example, the UK now has superfast broadband availability to 97 per cent of premises; and the Commission’s recent social research found that digital is the sector with the highest public confidence that it will meet their needs over the next thirty years.
Digital solutions can also help infrastructure operators and regulators manage our critical national systems more effectively, while sharing data, with the appropriate security and privacy arrangements, can catalyse innovation and improve the outcomes for users. 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.
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.
So as part of the work leading up to the second National Infrastructure Assessment – set out in the Baseline Report – the Commission will undertake a project looking at how the digital transformation of infrastructure could deliver higher quality, lower cost, infrastructure services.
Data sets for digital & data
A range of data sets relating to the digital and data theme is available to review on our Data pages. This includes data sets used in Commission reports, as well as historic data sets. Each can be reviewed online or downloaded.Review data
We’re recruiting: Senior Policy Adviser – Digital
As part of its work leading up to the second National Infrastructure Assessment in H2 2023, the Commission’s work on the UK’s digital infrastructure will take a particular focus on its role in transforming other infrastructure sectors, to lower costs and increase performance and improve resilience. We’re looking to appoint a senior policy adviser who...
National Infrastructure Assessment
An analysis of the UK’s long term economic infrastructure needs, outlining a strategic vision over the next thirty years.
Commission pinpoints strategic gaps in infrastructure planning ahead of next landmark national assessment
The National Infrastructure Commission has announced the topics that will sit at the heart of its next major assessment of the UK’s long term infrastructure priorities, to be published in 2023, following analysis of the current performance of key sectors. The priorities will include identifying the infrastructure needed for hydrogen and carbon capture and storage...
Second National Infrastructure Assessment: Baseline Report
Our analysis of the performance of key infrastructure sectors which will inform the work leading to the UK's second National Infrastructure Assessment
James Heath speech to WEETF on delivering Gigabit-capable broadband
The following remarks were shared by the Commission’s Chief Executive James Heath at a WEETF eForum event on 2 November on the theme of ‘Delivering Gigabit-capable full-fibre broadband’. “I should start off by declaring an interest. Before I joined the National Infrastructure Commission, I worked at DCMS and was involved in designing the government’s broadband...
Fundamental shift in funding to local level needed to help level up English towns
Levelling up towns will require a shift in government’s approach from announcing multiple ringfenced pots of money – many of which councils must compete over – to instead handing power to local areas to deliver their own infrastructure strategies with five-year devolved budgets, according to the UK’s official infrastructure advisers. In a report launched today...
Looking back at transport development
If you’re reading this, you’ll probably know we recently launched our data pages, an area of our website which provides you with easy access to the data we have used, and data we think you’ll find interesting. As promised in our launch blog, we have now added our historic transport datasets which you can find...
Plans of action needed next to deliver strategic goals, says Commission
Detailed plans for decarbonising energy supply, accelerating the roll out of electric vehicle charge points and connecting hard to reach areas with high capacity broadband are among the next steps needed to ensure government can deliver its aims for levelling up and meeting the net zero target, according to the National Infrastructure Commission. The Commission’s...
Opening up our data
Here at the Commission, data underpins our work. It helps us understand the state of infrastructure in the UK, how well it is performing for us, and what infrastructure we might need in the future. Because it’s so important, we’ve been working to make it easier for you to access and use. Welcome to our...
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...