Network Rail, which is mostly responsible for running railway in Great Britain, has reportedly announced that it would auction off over 10,000 miles of ageing trackside cable network. The £1 billion auction might also aid to support the UK official launch of 5G mobile and gigabit broadband.
Presently, the trackside data infrastructure of the operator which is usually the mix of copper as well as some fiber optic cables carries all kinds of signaling, video, transport and other communications.
A while ago, it was advised that Network Rail might instead sell off a few of their infrastructure and after a long wait, this now seems to be just what they were planning to do. Under the given plan Network Rail will undoubtedly keep some access.
Meanwhile, the new owner will now be expected to aid in upgrading the cables for, instance substituting the remaining copper lines with fiber optics as well as building around 250 novel mobile phone poles near to the train lines. The aim is for both the parties to benefit.
CEO, Network Rail, Andrew Haines, stated that the telecoms infrastructure needs an upgrade if the firm meets the rising connectivity requirements of passengers, as well as the railway, mainly to ensure that the fiber capacity could handle more data, more reliably, at a rapid speed.
Back in December 2017, the government of UK vowed to make uninterrupted Wi-Fi as well as Mobile (5G) broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps available on all the UK main line train routes by the year 2025.
On top of this, the new £5 billion Project Gigabit programme of the government would also benefit. This is mainly focused on rural places and seeks to make sure that around 85% of the UK locations could access 1 Gigabits per second class broadband ISP speeds by 2025 end. It is also further targeting to get at least close to 100 per cent.
The main question in all of this has always been as to how much trackside cables of NR will be worth to telecom organizations.