Ultra-fast broadband coming to Plymouth

Improved ultrafast ‘Fibre to the Premises’ (FTTP) broadband will be rolled out to over 220 public buildings across Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon over the next two years, thanks to a successful bid to a UK Government fund.

The buildings include council offices, GP surgeries, hospitals, schools, colleges and many others. This investment will significantly extend access to full fibre networks making it easier and cheaper for businesses and homes to connect.

Full fibre networks, with connections that allow download speeds of up to a gigabit per second (Gbps), will help Plymouth and its neighbouring rural areas to grow and adapt, taking advantage of modern technology that will benefit public services including healthcare and education, as well as private businesses and homes. The successful bid was made to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Local Full Fibre Network Challenge Fund.

Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of the Council, said: “It’s wonderful that organisations at the heart of our community will benefit from this progress, enabling them to take full advantage of advances in digital technologies.

“The project is a real step forward for the city and neighbouring rural districts. One area where we expect this bid to make a difference is in helping us to tackle the serious pressures on our public services, for example by offering more patients online GP consultations or testing some of the amazing new technologies that are being developed for remote health checks and monitoring.

“We also want businesses to benefit from access to full fibre so that they can compete in global markets – and we’re excited about the prospect of better 5G mobile coverage. That will support our ambition to become a cleaner, greener, SMART city by using data to help traffic flow for example, or providing visitors with real-time tourist information.”

Minister for Digital 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 £3 million boost for gigabit speeds in Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon will benefit homes and businesses across the region and I congratulate the council on its successful bid.”

Sophie Hosking, Chief Executive of South Hams and West Devon Councils said: “We are delighted about this announcement. South Hams and West Devon covers a large rural area of Devon which, as those who live here know, has limited broadband connectivity. If more of our residents and businesses can benefit by upgrading to full fibre gigabit speeds, they will also be able to benefit from the growing list of online services that we now offer.”

Key benefits of the project:

– Maximising the number of organisations able to take the benefits of gigabit-capable speeds
– Bringing full fibre closer to other businesses and residents
– Encouraging future private investment to the local area
– The opportunity to transform public services through integration and enhanced technology.