Government offers £190m funding for public sector to install full-fibre networks

Written by Sam Trendall on 23 November 2017 in News

Digital minister Hancock continues on quest to lead the UK into a full-fibre future

Public sector bodies can bid for a chunk of a £190m government funding pot to install full-fibre broadband networks.

Organisations across the public sector – including local authorities, schools, the NHS, and the transport sector – can apply for money to install “gigabit-capable connections to key public buildings”. 

The goal is that doing so will prompt broadband providers to install networks that will serve nearby homes and businesses.

Digital minister 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.”

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Funding will be made available to four types of project, the first being “public sector anchor tenancy” initiatives, wherein government organisations can bid to install networks in multiple locations where they are a long-term tenant. The second type of project covered by the programme is a Gigabit voucher scheme, in which business can acquire vouchers to install gigabit connections, with the expectation that broadband providers will likely extend connectivity to nearby premises.

Funding will also be given out to public-sector building-upgrade projects. These will involve full-fibre connectivity being installed at specific government buildings “where the costs of doing so cannot be met using existing business cases, and where the deployment of fibre extends the fibre footprint to surrounding premises”.
The final type of project that will be funded is public sector asset reuse schemes In this case, money will be provided for the development of connected infrastructure assets – such as CCTV cameras – in such a way that will also provide additional availability of full-fibre networks. 

In a recent speech, Hancock stressed his commitment to full fibre as the technology on which the UK’s connectivity infrastructure must be built.


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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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