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Manchester wins full fibre broadband boost


Funds from DCMS to provide FTTP connectivity for more 1,500 public sector buildings in the city

Public sector buildings around Manchester are to get ‘full fibre to the premises’ (FTTP) broadband connections with a £25 million grant from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The installation – which comes from a successful bid by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GCMA) for DCMS support – will cover more than 1,500 premises used in healthcare, education, fire services, social care and local government, and has been described as the largest digital upgrade of its kind in the UK.

The GCMA said it will effectively future proof the broadband provision for the buildings, with no limit on the available bandwidth, and is expected to trigger private sector investment of up to £200 million.

It will also place an estimated 17,000 local businesses within reach of the fibre networks and lay the ground for the installation of 5G networks into the next decade.

Attractive proposition

Greater Manchester lead for digital, work and skills, Councillr Sean Anstee, said: “This upgrade by the public sector makes Greater Manchester an attractive proposition for private sector investors who will be looking to expand on this infrastructure to deliver similar cutting edge connectivity to their business and residential customers.

“It will also open up new career pathways for local people: we have a fantastic digital, tech and creative sector in Greater Manchester and improving our digital capabilities means we can create the optimum conditions for those sectors to grow, providing employment, skills and training opportunities.

“Our ambition is for Greater Manchester to be a place where data bandwidth is never a barrier to commercial, social activities or the delivery of public services.”

The GCMA also said the move could see the city increase its full fibre coverage from 2% to 25% by 2020.

Image from Ordnance Survey

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