£10m broadband pilot set to hand small firms full-fibre connections in six areas
The first stage of the government’s 200m broadband project has been announced, promising to deliver full-fibre connectivityto business owners in six UK regions.
Each project will take a share of an initial 10m set aside to test different ways of connecting business premises and public sector buildings with full-fibre broadband networks. The government has guaranteed the broadband pilot will deliverconnection’speeds of 1, 000 Mbps, or one gigabit.
The multi-million pound scheme will see test projects undertaken in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry and Warwickshire, Bristol and Bath & North East Somerset, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
An official government statement specifically championed the potential benefits to small ecommerce businesses of a super-fast broadband connection, helping founders reach more customers online and to increasetransactions by allowing faster uploads for large files.
The broadband pilotrepresents the first stage of a 200m investment programme initially announced by chancellor Philip Hammond in the Spring Budget a four-year plan to ensure full fibre internet connections in each corner of Britain.
Commenting on the announcement, the government’s digital minister, Matt Hancock, said the broadband investment project would help UK businesses remain part of a digital world leader.
we want to see more commercial investment in the gold standard connectivity that full fibre provides, and these innovative pilots will help create the right environment for this to happen, Hancock said.
to keep Britain as the digital world leader that it is, we need to have the right infrastructure in place to allow us to keep up with the rapid advances in technology now and in the future.
Meanwhile, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Jones, said the investment in infrastructure would enable new industries to flourish, help create jobs and give people flexibility in how and where they work.
Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.