LFFN Projects funding awards announced
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in the Spring Statement the areas that will be receiving funding from the £190 million Local Full Fibre Network allocated by the Government in 2017’s Autumn Budget. The second, substantive, wave of funding was awarded to 13 areas across the UK. Successfully bidding for the £95 million were Armagh City, Belfast, Blackpool, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Coventry, The Highlands, London, Manchester, Mid Sussex, North Yorkshire, Portsmouth, and Wolverhampton.
Projects that will be funded in this first round of funding include providing a full fibre ‘hub’ to hospitals, health centres, and GP surgeries which surrounding homes and businesses can then connect to; rolling out to schools, libraries and emergency response vehicles; and a ‘strategic re-purposing of existing infrastructure’ to enable deploying fibre at less expense.
The LFFN program seeks to make deploying full fibre infrastructure more commercially viable through financing projects to spur on local bodies and commercial investment. The program is part of the £31 billion National Productivity Investment Fund and provides an important contribution towards the Industrial Strategy’s key aim of improving digital connectivity.
It is anticipated that the next wave of the Challenge Fund will open Summer 2018 and that additional announcements on a national Gigabit Voucher Scheme is expected soon.