What the LFFN programme means for the UK

Introducing the Local Full Fibre Network Challenge

Real fIbre connectivity makes a real difference for schools and businesses, cutting down costs, speeding up service, and opening up a vast range of possibilities in both the present day and the future. However, despite a lot of misunderstandings caused by products wrongly being advertised as fibre (as reported by our partners at CityFibre), fibre is only available for a relatively tiny number of organisations and individuals.

Following extensive planning, the UK government recently enacted plans to help hugely broaden the availability of fibre Internet connectivity, launching the Local Full Fibre Network challenge fund, a vast-scale, £200 Million investment designed to vastly speed up the rollout of fibre networks across the country.

We’re proud to be one of the first companies to benefit from the LFFN fund, in cooperation with CityFibre and another of our partners, JSPC Computing. Following a major investment through LFFN, CityFibre are set to begin work on expanding their fantastic network across West Sussex next month, bringing our future-proof DarkLight connectivity to thousands of schools and businesses across the area.

What’s Next for the LFFN Fund?

Right now, we’re getting ready for the big day when construction of the network is set to begin - with the project set to cover a significant amount of the county, the final live date is quite a way off, but we’re very much looking forward to making the area into what’s possibly the world’s first Gigabit County, with our network planned to cover everywhere from Bognor Regis to Worthing (full network details to follow - stay tuned!).

For the near future, we’ll likely be focusing on our West Sussex rollout, along with our current (and a couple of upcoming) DarkLight Cities - and our upcoming launch of an exciting new set of ultrafast projects. However, the LFFN programme is designed to support quite a range of schemes designed to increase usage of ultrafast connectivity for businesses, including a project we’ve helped spearhead.

The Gigabit Connectivity Voucher Scheme is a fantastic project designed to give SMEs simple, effective access to ultrafast connectivity, cutting thousands off the cost of initial installation. We were one of the first ISPs to receive approval for issuing the vouchers, using them to completely remove the cost of installing DarkLight for the majority of SMEs, making it completely free to introduce future-proof connectivity.

With these vouchers designed for simple application, they’ve seen a vast takeup from SMEs across the relevant areas - and they’re fully supported by the LFFN fund, creating a huge funding pool for emerging businesses to benefit from.

The LFFN programme has already made a big difference for local companies, opening up access to the genuinely useful benefits provided by ultrafast connectivity. We’re glad to be part of the next stage of the programme, and we’re very much looking forwards to seeing the results created by the fund over the next few years!