Multimillion-pound Project Gigabit contracts in Hampshire, Norfolk and Suffolk

Building Digital UK (BDUK) has awarded CityFibre with contracts to provide premises across three counties with gigabit-capable broadband. 

Hampshire, Norfolk and Suffolk are the latest beneficiaries of Project Gigabit, the government’s flagship £5bn programme to enable hard-to-reach communities to access lightning-fast gigabit-capable broadband .

Close up of lights on a broadband box

Photo by Sean MacEntee

Three multimillion-pound contracts have been awarded by BDUK to broadband provider CityFibre to deliver the work. The funding breaks down as follows: 

  • Hampshire, contract worth £104m, will reach some 75,000 premises 
  • Norfolk, £114m, 62,200 premises 
  • Suffolk, £100m, 79,500 premises  

In each case, BDUK and the local council will collaborate with CityFibre to ensure that work on building the network begins as quickly as possible, once the supplier has completed its detailed plans. Some preparatory work including digging trenches, laying duct and installing fibre is needed before premises can access the new service. Obviously, this work depends on geography and supplier.  

Under the new contracts, the first premises should be able to access gigabit-capable broadband in 2024. 

According to telecoms regulator Ofcom, in January 2023 some 72% of UK premises had a gigabit-broadband connection available. This is expected to grow when the regulator publishes updated figures in September (covering data upto May 2023). 

Project Gigabit aims to provide fast, reliable connections to level-up mostly rural and remote communities across the UK, while also tackling pockets of poor connectivity in urban areas. Access to fast broadband means households no longer battle over bandwidth. People can enjoy the freedom to live and work more flexibly, businesses increase their productivity and vital public services thrive. 

Faster connections also mean that the UK is fit for the future, with broadband infrastructure designed to deliver for people’s needs for decades to come. 

The government also provides vouchers worth up to £4,500 as immediate help for people experiencing slow broadband speeds in rural areas to cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband. See details on how to get a voucher.

In related news: 

50% of UK households can now access full-fibre broadband

Millions miss out on broadband savings says Ofcom


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