Four million pounds in Government funding for full fibre broadband across Cambridgeshire announced in Chancellor’s Spring Statement

Councillor Steve Count has praised fibre broadband funding

Councillor Steve Count has praised fibre broadband funding - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire is set to get superfast internet speeds as the Chancellor announced today up to £4m Government funding to bring full fibre broadband connectivity to the county.

The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, led by Cambridgeshire County Council, is one of 13 areas selected alongside Peterborough for Wave 2 funding from the Local Full Fibre Networks Challenge Fund.

It is hoped to bring connectivity capable of gigabit speeds of more than 1000Mbps to the county.

Today’s spring statement (Mar 13) confirmed the allocation of the first wave of funding from £190million LFFN fund, providing more than £95million for the selected areas across the UK.

The innovative Cambridgeshire project aims to expand the gigabit capable fibre footprint to ensure the county has the digital connectivity needed to support future growth and prosperity.

It builds upon Connecting Cambridgeshire’s strength in delivering leading digital programmes, particularly the successful rollout of superfast broadband, which has already reached 96 per cent coverage and is on track to achieve 99 per cent by 2020.

The package of measures - to be delivered by March 2021 - includes creating a 40Km stretch of fibre ducting from St Ives to Linton and providing fibre upgrades to around 30 public buildings, including schools, libraries, fire stations and GP surgeries, across nine locations in Cambridgeshire, to benefit surrounding homes and businesses.

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Welcoming the announcement, Councillor Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, which leads the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, said: “I am delighted to hear today’s announcement by the Chancellor confirming Connecting Cambridgeshire successful bid for up to £4 million Government funding to help to bring full fibre connectivity - capable of gigabit speeds of over 1000Mbps – to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“Connecting Cambridgeshire has been very successful in expanding the coverage of superfast broadband to homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ahead of target.

“This project means we can increase the availability of gigabit services for homes and businesses across the county by using public sector assets innovatively and creating conditions that make it commercially viable for full fibre rollout.”

The Connecting Cambridgeshire partnership bid was widely supported by local MPs, the Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority, academic and business organisations.

The Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer, said: “I am delighted that our area has secured additional Government investment to support the growth and enhancement of our digital infrastructure.”