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Broadband money provides public service boost


Public sector buildings in 13 areas to receive full fibre with shares of £95 million Challenge Fund

Pockets of local public sector infrastructure are to be strengthened through shares of a £95 million pot from the Government to boost the roll out of full fibre broadband around the country.

The money has been divided between 13 areas in the first wave of funding in the Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) Challenge Fund, with indications that it will support projects that increase the broadband capacity of some public services.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said that projects that have won support include the creation of ‘fibre spines’ along major transport routes and public building networks. These extend a supplier’s fibre footprint, providing scope for more connections to surrounding homes and businesses.

Other projects include using hospitals, health centres and GP surgeries as anchor tenants of full fibre hubs, and upgrading schools, libraries and emergency response buildings to full fibre connections capable of providing bandwidths of Gbps.

Details of the successful areas were announced as part of the chancellor’s Spring Statement. They include Armagh City, (including Banbridge and Craigavon), Belfast, Blackpool, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Coventry (including Solihull and Warwickshire), the Highlands, London, Manchester, Mid Sussex, North Yorkshire, Portsmouth, and Wolverhampton.

The LFFN programme, which provides an overall pot of £190 million, is part of the Government’s £31 billion National Productivity Investment Fund.

DCMS said it expects to launch the next wave of the Challenge Fund during the summer.

Image from iStock

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