Gov announces £200m fibre rollout to remote areas
A new programme has been launched by the government to speed-up rollout of full fibre broadband to the most rural locations in the UK.
The Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme is a £200m, two-year effort which will prioritise Cornwall, Cumbria, Northumberland and Pembrokeshire. The funding for the scheme comes from the Government’s National Infrastructure Productivity Fund (NPIF).
It will start with the primary schools in these areas. Other public buildings will then be added throughout the course of the programme, for example health sites and community halls.
Additional sites in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the rest of England will be announced in the coming months.
Education secretary Damian Hinds said a fast reliable broadband connection is often taken for granted.
“This programme will mean that schools in these areas won’t be held back from accessing all of the opportunities the internet has to offer,” he said.
“These first 31 schools will see the tangible benefits that fast broadband has to offer, from reducing teacher and staff workload, to improving access to high-quality learning resources.”
DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Wright added: “Our decision to tackle some of the hardest to reach places first is a significant shift in Government policy and will be instrumental in delivering our plans for a nationwide full fibre broadband network by 2033.
“Our rollout of superfast broadband transformed the UK’s digital landscape, and our modern Industrial Strategy is focused on investing in the infrastructure that will make Britain fit for the future.”
There are now three programmes delivering full fibre in the UK – Rural Gigabit Connectivity (RGC) programme, Local Full Fibre Networks and Superfast Broadband. These will now all be aligned under one overarching programme called ‘The UK Fibre Programme’. Broadband Delivery UK has now been renamed Building Digital UK, although the BDUK moniker remains the same.