Six areas to pilot UK’s fastest broadband as part of £200 million project
David McQuade - September 4, 2017

Full fibre networks will offer connection speeds of 1,000 Megabits per second in six areas of the UK.

The first stage of a £200 million scheme to help bring the UK’s fastest and most reliable broadband to businesses, schools and hospitals kicked off on Sunday (3 September) with the launch of six local pilots.

The projects will get around £10 million to test innovative ways of connecting offices and public sector buildings with the next generation of broadband – full fibre networks that run fibre connections straight to the doors of customers’ homes or businesses.

The result is an incredibly reliable connection that can offer speeds of 1 Gigabit (1,000 Mbps.) The multimillion-pound investment means test projects will now go ahead in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry and Warwickshire, Bristol and Bath & North East Somerset, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

Today’s announcement is the first step in a £200 million programme. Unveiled by the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, at Spring Budget, it is part of the government’s four-year plan to stimulate the market and encourage the growth of full fibre up and down the country.

The cutting-edge technology will make internet access more secure and enable more people to work remotely without disruption, as well as equipping the UK’s homes, businesses and public services for applications of the future.

Full fibre broadband could potentially allow:

  • hospitals to share HD quality graphics of medical scans in seconds to improve diagnosis speeds
  • businesses to reach ever more customers online, increasing transactions by uploading even the largest files quickly and easily
  • school classrooms to see a vast increase the number of pupils who can stream educational videos at the same time

This comes hot on the heels of the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund announced in July, as well as new legislation to enable business rates relief for new fibre. Unlocking more than £1 billion for full fibre broadband, the fund has ignited interest from private finance to invest in the sector.

Minister of State for Digital, Matt Hancock MP, said:

“We want to see more commercial investment in the gold standard connectivity that full fibre provides, and these innovative pilots will help create the right environment for this to happen. To keep Britain as the digital world leader that it is, we need to have the right infrastructure in place to allow us to keep up with the rapid advances in technology now and in the future.”