INCA welcomes the Government’s call for local authorities to apply for a share of the remaining £95 million from the LFFN Challenge Fund.
Launched last year, the £190 million fund is part of more than £1 billion of funding to stimulate further and faster roll-out of full fibre networks and drive the next-generation of mobile connectivity. The programme has already allocated grants in two prior waves of funding.
INCA CEO Malcolm Corbett said this support would provide a significant boost to the UK’s digital infrastructure.
“As well as encouraging local authorities to apply, this third round of funding also places an emphasis on rural and hard-to-reach area, public sector productivity, market development and 5G and fibre roll-out,” he said. “These are exactly the sorts of areas that should be focused on to ensure the UK has a digital infrastructure fit for the future. And with their position at the heart of communities, local authorities are ideally placed to ensure these next-generation networks fit the needs of the people using them.”
Successful projects in the third round of the LFFN Challenge Fund will enable gigabit-capable connections to key public buildings and businesses and encourage broadband providers to create additional connections to local homes and businesses.
Following the first two rounds of grant funding, a new process has been designed to allocate the remaining £95 million from the Local Full Fibre Networks Challenge Fund. There will be no fixed date for formal submissions and local bodies with an interest in bidding for a share of the fund are invited to submit an informal expression of interest to the programme. Government officials will then discuss and assess their project and, where appropriate, help them shape their approach.
The final decision on funding will be made by the Local Full Fibre Networks Investment Panel, who will assess the proposals.