People working in a public library

Thousands of public buildings to get high speed broadband as part of levelling up plans

Over 5,000 public buildings have been connected to new high-speed broadband thanks to the UK Government’s levelling up scheme aimed at public services. These services include schools, hospitals, and libraries.

Other important local services such as youth centres, leisure centres and tourist destinations are also included, meaning they can access internet that is at least ten times faster than their old connections.

Thanks to a £164 million government investment, these upgrades will increase productivity, create better experiences for the people who use these public services, as well as encouraging the broadband companies to easier extend the network to thousands of surrounding homes and businesses. This will, in turn, assist the government’s plans to grow the economy and create jobs, a key part of the levelling up strategy.

Nadine Dorries, Digital Secretary, said:

“Fast and reliable broadband is vital to households, businesses, and the public services we rely on every day. That’s why, on top of our transformative £5 million Project Gigabit investment to improve rural connectivity, we have upgraded thousands of schools, libraries, and hospital across the UK to first class broadband fit for the future.”

Project Gigabit has involved the government calling on broadband companies to submit bids to connect around 190,000 hard-to-reach premises in Cornwall, Suffolk and Norfolk to their network. The project is also the biggest government-funded broadband rollout ever seen in this country and work is expected to get going in these regions from January 2023.

The initiative to get public buildings connected is a part of the Local Full Fibre Networks programme, launched five years ago, in order to subsidise the cost of full fibre broadband connections in public buildings. So far 2,700 kilometres of full fibre have been delivered and has been spread around the UK.

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