Six areas to pilot UK’s fastest broadband

First stage of gigabit broadband initiative gets underway

Austin Clark | 4th Sep 17

The first stage of a £200m scheme to help bring the UK’s fastest and most reliable broadband to businesses, schools and hospitals has kicked off with the launch of six local pilots.

The projects will get around £10m to test innovative ways of connecting offices and public sector buildings with the next generation of broadband – full fibre networks that run fibre connections straight to the doors of customers’ homes or businesses.

The result is an incredibly reliable connection that can offer speeds of 1 Gigabit (1,000 Mbps.) The investment means test projects will now go ahead in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry and Warwickshire, Bristol and Bath & North East Somerset, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

Today’s announcement is the first step in a £200 million programme. Unveiled by the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, at Spring Budget, it is part of the government’s four-year plan to stimulate the market and encourage the growth of full fibre up and down the country.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Jones MP, said: “How we live and work today is directly affected by how good our broadband connection is. Reliable connections enable new industries to flourish, help create jobs and give people flexibility in how and where they work.

“For our economy to thrive, it is vital we make smart investments to ensure our digital infrastructure is world class and fit for the future.

“Full fibre connections are the gold standard and we are proud to announce today the next step to get Britain better connected.”


The cutting-edge technology will make internet access more secure and enable more people to work remotely without disruption, as well as equipping the UK’s homes, businesses and public services for applications of the future.

Full fibre broadband could potentially allow:

  • hospitals to share HD quality graphics of medical scans in seconds to improve diagnosis speeds
  • businesses to reach ever more customers online, increasing transactions by uploading even the largest files quickly and easily
  • school classrooms to see a vast increase the number of pupils who can stream educational videos at the same time

This comes hot on the heels of the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund announced in July, as well as new legislation to enable business rates relief for new fibre.