News story

DCMS launches £190m Gigabit broadband challenge fund

UK public bodies can now bid for funding from a new £190m programme designed to accelerate the rate at which Full Fibre networks are made available across the UK

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Last year, the Chancellor announced more than £1bn of funding to stimulate further and faster roll-out of full fibre networks, alongside investment to take forward the next generation of mobile connectivity in all areas of the UK. As part of this, Government has now launched a £190m Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) Challenge Fund to stimulate commercial investment in full fibre networks across the whole of the UK, including rural and urban locations, by demonstrating approaches that encourage additional private investment and by making sustainable commercial deployments viable.

Minister for Digital, Matt Hancock said:

World class connectivity is increasingly essential to people at work and at home. It’s vital to ensure the UK’s future competitiveness in the global market and our ability to attract investment. Full fibre is fundamental for fashioning a Britain fit for the future.

The projects will enable gigabit capable connections to key public buildings and businesses, with the expectation that this leads to broadband providers creating additional connections to local homes and businesses.

Government is now encouraging a broad range of local bodies - Local Authorities, Combined Authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships as well other local public / government bodies such as health, education or transport bodies, to apply to the fund.

This programme comes as part of the government’s expanded £31 billion National Productivity Investment Fund aimed at improving productivity, which is key to raising living standards. This fund has already earmarked £740 million specifically for improving Britain’s digital infrastructure, ensuring the UK is match-fit for the future.

Further information, and details on how to apply for funding is available online

Published 23 November 2017