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Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced the 13 areas to benefit from the first wave of funding from the government’s £190 million Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN).
First launched in last year’s Autumn Budget, Hammond’s Spring Statement revealed that Armagh City, (including Banbridge & Craigavon), Belfast, Blackpool, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Coventry (including Solihull & Warwickshire), The Highlands, London, Manchester, Mid Sussex, North Yorkshire, Portsmouth and Wolverhampton as the successful bidders for the £95 million allocated to successful projects.
The LFFN challenge fund aims to help deliver the fastest and most reliable digital communications network available, and, although 95 per cent of UK premises can now get superfast broadband, only three per cent have access to gigabit-capable full fibre infrastructure. Therefore, the LFFN programme will seek to stimulate the market by making the deployment of gigabit-capable full fibre infrastructure more commercially viable.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport anticipates that the next wave of the Challenge Fund will open in Summer 2018.