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Treasury plans to bring gigabit broadband to schools, hospitals and businesses

The Treasury has unveiled a new scheme to bring full fibre broadband to businesses, schools and hospitals in six regions across the country.

The pilot projects will be built in Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry and Warwickshire, Bristol, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

Participants will get a share of “around £10m” to test ways to connect offices and public sector buildings to full fibre connections with 1,000Mbps speeds.

Digital minister Matt Hancock MP said the government wants to see more commercial investment in full fibre: “These innovative pilots will help create the right environment for this to happen.”

Full fibre is distinct from “fibre broadband” because the network is made exclusively of fibre-optics, rather than a combination of fibre and copper cables.

The Treasury invested £400m in a Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund in July in a bid to kickstart industry investment in “gold standard” broadband connections.

Thanks to further funding from industry partners, the fund could unlock more than £1bn for full fibre broadband.