UK govt releases initial Local Full Fibre Network funding

Tuesday 13 March 2018 | 21:31 CET | News

The UK Chancellor's Spring Statement has allocated the first wave of funding from a GBP 190 million Challenge Fund announced in the Autumn Budget 2017 to help roll out full-fibre to local areas. These projects will now enter a due diligence phase, with the aim of delivering full-fibre networks before the end of the 2020/2021 financial year. 

This initial Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) funding provides over GBP 95 million for 13 areas across the UK. These are Armagh City (including Banbridge & Craigavon), Belfast, Blackpool, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Coventry (including Solihull & Warwickshire), The Highlands, London, Manchester, Mid Sussex, North Yorkshire, Portsmouth and Wolverhampton. 

These projects will involve upgrading libraries, schools and emergency response buildings to full-fibre gigabit capable connections; establishing hospitals, GP surgeries and health centres as 'anchor tenants' with a full-fibre hub to which local homes and businesses can be connected to; and re-purposing existing infrastructure to reduce the costs of deploying full fibre. The plans also include deploying 'fibre spines' along major transport routes and public building networks to extend suppliers' fibre footprint and make full fibre connections more available to local homes and businesses. 

The LFFN Challenge Fund is part of the UK Government's GBP 31 billion National Productivity Investment Fund. The next wave of the Challenge Fund is expected to open to bidders in summer 2018. 


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