Six local pilots have gotten underway in the first stage of a GBP200 million (USD259 million) scheme which the UK government has said is designed to ‘help bring the … fastest and most reliable broadband to businesses, schools and hospitals’. The pilot projects will reportedly receive a combined total of GBP10 million to test innovative ways of connecting offices and public sector buildings via full fibre infrastructure, with the locations for the initial trials named as: Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry and Warwickshire, Bristol and Bath & North East Somerset, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
The development is the first step in a GBP200 million programme which was unveiled by the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, in the Spring Budget, and forms part of the government’s four-year plan to stimulate the market and encourage the growth of full fibre across the country. The remaining GBP190 million is expected to be spent by 2020-21, it was noted in a press release outlining the development.
Commenting on the matter, 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.’