North Wales is set to benefit from a £7m digital boost from the UK government for introducing ultrafast broadband connectivity across its hospitals, GP surgeries, libraries and other public sector organisations.
The funding to the region has been approved by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) under the government’s new digital programme.
North Wales will use the funding to transition from copper-based services to full-fibre optic provision under its Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) Programme. The region is one of the winners of the funding in Wave 3 of the LFFN Programme.
The objective of the LFFN fund is to help provide ultrafast broadband connectivity to important public buildings and businesses, with the hope that this results in broadband providers creating more connections to local businesses and homes.
UK Minster for Digital and the Creative Industries Margot James said: “We’re building a Britain that’s fit for the future, and our plans for a national full fibre broadband network underpin our modern Industrial Strategy.
“This £7m boost for gigabit speeds in Northern Wales will benefit homes and businesses in rural areas and I congratulate the North Wales Economic Ambition Board in its successful Bid.”
The LFFN scheme in the region will be taken forward by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board, a collaborative group of six local authorities, leaders in the private sector, colleges and universities. Overall, the scheme to bring in ultrafast broadband connectivity in the region is expected to benefit internet users across the Denbighshire, Wrexham, Flintshire, Anglesey, Conwy, and Gwynedd counties.
North Wales Economic Ambition Board chair and Gwynedd council leader Dyfrig Siencyn said: “Our residents and businesses depend on us to deliver high quality public services and having connectivity is essential to that, whether it is in schools, libraries or in health centres.
“We have to keep pace with what technology can offer our communities and not be left behind other regions who recognise the value of full fibre broadband.”