Fylde coast gets £3m for ultra fast full fibre broadband along tramway

Blackpool and Wyre are set to get £3m towards a scheme to unlock some of the fastest broadband in the country.

Friday, 16th March 2018, 9:36 am
Updated Friday, 16th March 2018, 10:40 am
The tram way is to be the conduit of ultrafast broadband thanks to optic fibre cables laid beneath the route

They are one of 13 UK areas to have won a share of a £95m Government pot to help roll out full-fibre internet to homes and businesses.

The scheme will take advantage of fibre cables already in place beneath the tramway from Starr Gate to Fleetwood and could help support 16K TVs in the future.

Coun Simon Blackburn, Blackpool Council leader, said: “We are delighted that our bid to the Government was successful and although we still have some work to do before we are awarded the £3m, this is a positive step forward in enabling Blackpool to take advantage of future digital technologies.

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“This funding would allow us to activate the fibre optic infrastructure which is already in place along the whole length of the tramway from Starr Gate to Fleetwood, and develop ultrafast full fibre connectivity to a number of sites and buildings including the two Enterprise Zones and the new Conference Centre.

“Currently only three per cent of buildings in the UK have access to ultrafast broadband connectivity (300Mbit+) so it will be a huge boost to Blackpool businesses and residents if we were to activate it here, there are estimated 14,000 properties within range of the fibre optic infrastructure along the promenade and tram route.

“The funding will be an opportunity for internet service providers to gain access to the infrastructure to build it out further to properties within easy reach.” The cash comes from the Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) in the Spring Statement.

Leader of Wyre Council, Councillor David Henderson said: "We are pleased to have supported Blackpool Council in their bid to Government and as the fibre broadband extends to Fleetwood there will be significant benefits for our Enterprise Zone at Hillhouse.

"This puts a foundation in place and may go on to benefit businesses and residents in the future.

"This announcement takes us a step closer to a modernised internet infrastructure in Wyre."