Saturday, 02 September 2017 13:45

Pilot areas to trial full fibre broadband

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Pilot areas to trial full fibre broadband

Six areas have been named to pilot a scheme to bring full fibre broadband to businesses, schools and hospitals.

Described as the next generation of broadband, full fibre networks run fibre connections straight to the doors of customers’ homes or businesses.

Currently, providers usually run fibre connections to street cabinets, relying on slower copper wires to connect the cabinets to premises.

The first stage of the £200m full fibre scheme will include six pilot areas which wil ltest innovative ways of connecting buildings to the next generation of broadband.

    See also: £2.2m for rural broadband scheme

The areas are Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry and Warwickshire, Bristol and Bath & North East Somerset, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

West Sussex and Nort-East Somerset are largely rural counties – but there is no detail regarding which areas within these counties will form the pilots.

Each test project will get around £10 million to test innovative ways of connecting offices and public sector buildings to a reliable speed of up to 1 Gigabit (1,000 Mbps.)

Four-year plan

The government said it was part of a four-year plan to stimulate the market and encourage the growth of full fibre up and down the country.

Treasury secretary Andrew Jones 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."

Fast file transfer

Full fibre broadband could potentially allow hospitals to share HD quality graphics of medical scans in seconds to improve diagnosis speeds.

It could also enable businesses to reach ever more customers online, increasing transactions by uploading even the largest files quickly and easily.

The government says fibre could allow a vast increase in the number of school pupils who can stream educational videos at the same time.

The decision to proceed with the six pilots follows the government’s call for evidence on extending local fibre networks.

The government received 125 submissions from communications providers, local bodies and other interested parties.

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