Government launches new £5bn ‘Project Gigabit’
More than one million hard to reach homes and businesses will have next generation gigabit broadband built to them in the first phase of a £5 billion government infrastructure project.
Up to 510,000 homes and businesses in Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Tees Valley will be the first to benefit as part of ‘Project Gigabit’.
Chloe Parkman www.cornwalllive.com
Up to 110,000 homes in Cornwall are set to be connected to the fastest broadband in the world.
Cornwall – along with the Isles of Scilly – will be among the first areas to benefit from Project Gigabit, the Government’s new £5 billion scheme to bring the fastest broadband on Earth to hard-to-reach areas.
The government-funded projects will prioritise buildings that currently have the slowest connections and which would otherwise have been left behind in broadband companies’ rollout plans.
Their available speeds will rocket to more than 1,000 megabits – or one gigabit – per second, meaning families will no longer have to ‘battle’ over bandwidth and will give people in rural areas the freedom to live and work more flexibly.
Gigabit-capable broadband connections offer the fastest and most reliable speeds available.
Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: ”Our £5 billion Project Gigabit will dismantle the digital divide and level up rural communities in every corner of the nation, and I’m thrilled that Cornwall will be one of the first areas to benefit.
“As we build back better from coronavirus these lightning-fast internet speeds will level up Cornish communities making them more attractive places to live, raise families and start businesses.”
Up to 510,000 homes and businesses are set to benefit across the UK, with Cornwall down as one of eight areas announced as the first in line for procurement alongside Cambridgeshire, Cumbria, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Tees Valley.
This will rise to a million in June.
Project Gigabit will invest a record £5 billion to incentivise network providers to build to areas deemed “commercially unviable”.
Areas with the largest proportion of premises identified as hard-to-reach or connected to slow speeds will be first in line for support.
The successful Gigabit Broadband Voucher scheme is also being extended with a £210 million cash injection to give people in rural areas immediate financial help to get gigabit speeds.
Additionally, the government is making £110 million available to connect public sector buildings in the countryside – such as GP surgeries, libraries and schools – with this revolutionary infrastructure.
Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council Cabinet member for culture, economy and planning, said: ”As we have seen during the coronavirus emergency, the importance of good, reliable and fast broadband connections has never been more vital.
“Cornwall being earmarked as one of the first places to benefit from Project Gigabit will have a positive impact for local businesses and enable thousands more to reach out to new customers and revolutionise the way they operate.
“But it’s also the connections between families and communities, as well as enabling many to work efficiently from home in these difficult times, that is welcomed.
”Our great connectivity is one of the reasons global leaders will be coming to Cornwall for the G7 and this will further our reputation as a great place to do business and connect with the world.”
The first areas will see spades in the ground in the first half of 2022.