Government commits £200m to deliver full-fibre connections across the UK

Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme will start by rolling out super-speed broadband to primary schools

The government has announced it will pump 200 million into implementing full-fibre broadband connections in rural areas across the UK, with the first stage targeting primary schools in hard-to-reach zones.

The Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme will allow the government to test out the process for installing new connections in previously unreachable places, which it hopes will then be able to benefit homes and businesses across the UK, including the Borderlands, Cornwall, and Welsh valleys.

The initiative addresses some of the challenges highlighted in the government's Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) that revealed 10% of the UK would need additional funding of around 3 billion to standardise access to high-quality broadband across the nation. It also explained that an outside-in' approach is required to make sure everyone has the same level of connectivity around the country.

"Through our modern Industrial Strategy it's our ambition to have a full fibre Britain that is fit for the future," DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Wright said. "By changing our approach and investing in the hardest to reach places first, we will ensure that the whole country can reap the benefits of full fibre broadband."

"Too many new-build homes are built with slow, or no, connections," Minister for Digital Margot James added. "This needs to change. Making full fibre mandatory for new builds will help us meet our ambitious broadband goals, connect people and places and strengthen our digital society."

Earlier this week, Openreach announced it would reduce the cost of installing FTTP connections in new developments around the UK, encouraging housebuilders to install superfast broadband into homes.

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