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Full Fibre Broadband Boost for Local Authorities

Ross Kelly

,

UK Broadband Providers

Local authorities across the UK are able to bid for a share of £95 million to help rollout full fibre connectivity.

 

More than £1 billion of funding was set aside in 2017 to stimulate the faster rollout of full fibre networks across the UK.

As part of this fund, the government’s £190 million Local Full Fibre Networks (LFNN) Challenge Fund was established to boost commercial investment in the UK’s network infrastructure.

The programme is a key component of the government’s expanded £31 billion National Productivity Investment Fund, which aims to improve productivity and living standards. More than £740 million has already been earmarked specifically for improving Britain’s digital infrastructure – ensuring the UK is capable of adapting to an ever-changing digital global landscape.

Full Fibre Britain

Following two successful grant funding rounds, the government said a new process has been established in order to allocate the remaining £95 million from the LFFN

Successful projects in the final phase will enable gigabit capable connections to public buildings, as well as businesses. Additionally, it is hoped this will encourage broadband providers to create additional connections for homes and local businesses throughout the country.

Minister for Digital, Margot James, said: “We recently set out our ambition for a nationwide full-fibre broadband network by 2033, and initiatives like this will be instrumental in achieving that. We want to hear from any local authority interested in taking part, so we can work closely with them on their plans to help them secure funding.”

Key Challenges

The final decision on funding will be made by the Local Full Fibre Networks Investment Panel, which will assess various proposals and place a particular importance on a number of key challenge areas, including:
  • Rural Focus: Projects demonstrating the effectiveness of LFFN deliver in rural and hard-to-reach locations.
  • 5G projects, which a focus on “overcoming obstacles to the commercial rollout of fibre and 5G”.
  • Public Sector Productivity: Projects targeting improvements to public sector services, such as granting schools access to cloud-based educational tools or allowing medical professionals to remotely monitor patient health.
  • Market Development: Projects that deliberately target the development of the full fibre market in a particular area.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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