Public bodies can now bid for funding from a new £190m programme designed to accelerate the rate at which full fibre networks are made available across the UK.

Last year, the Chancellor announced more than £1bn of funding to stimulate further and faster roll-out of full fibre networks, alongside investment to take forward the next generation of mobile connectivity in all areas of the UK.

As part of this, the UK Government has now launched a £190m ‘Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) Challenge Fund’ to stimulate commercial investment in full fibre networks across the whole of the UK, including rural and urban locations, by demonstrating approaches that encourage additional private investment and by making sustainable commercial deployments viable.

UK Minister for Digital, Matt Hancock said: “World class connectivity is increasingly essential to people at work and at home. It’s vital to ensure the UK’s future competitiveness in the global market and our ability to attract investment. Full fibre is fundamental for fashioning a Britain fit for the future.”

The projects will enable gigabit capable connections to key public buildings and businesses, with the expectation that this leads to broadband providers creating additional connections to local homes and businesses. The Government is now encouraging a broad range of local bodies to apply.

This programme comes as part of the UK Government’s £31bn National Productivity Investment Fund aimed at improving productivity. The fund has already earmarked £740m for improving Britain’s digital infrastructure.

Further information, and details on how to apply for funding is available online