Leicestershire to supercharge rural broadband by pioneering ‘GigaHubs’
Leicestershire is leading the way in the digital revolution by being the first county in the country to roll out GigaHubs, boosting broadband access and speeds in rural areas.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) GigaHubs programme is part of Project Gigabit, the government’s £5 billion programme to deliver lightning-fast, reliable broadband in hard-to-reach areas of the UK. The scheme is set to connect thousands of rural public sector buildings including schools, GP surgeries, libraries and other public buildings.
Leicestershire County Council (LCC) is teaming up with DCMS to create more than 40 hubs in schools, libraries, recycling centres and other buildings within rural areas to push forward delivering high speed coverage for the county.
Following £1.55m of DCMS funding, the hubs will see properties in the surrounding area will be more commercially attractive to broadband suppliers. This will make it easier for residents to switch to gigabit broadband, giving them speeds of up to 1,000mbps – the fastest connectivity currently available.
Councillor Pam Posnett, LCC Cabinet Member for broadband, said:
“The GigaHubs programme will really benefit our rural communities. Residents in rural areas will be able to benefit from greater broadband speeds, helping families, businesses and people working from home.
We’ve already delivered superfast broadband to more than 75,000 premises, taking the total to 97 per cent within the county, but championing GigaHubs means we can push on.”
The new infrastructure will bring gigabit-capable connections (1,000mbps) to the heart of communities, incentivising more investment in hard-to-reach areas and providing ‘hubs’ from which the commercial sector can connect surrounding homes and businesses, and is working to meet this ambition in Leicestershire.
Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said:
“Thanks to Project Gigabit, the biggest broadband roll out in British history, we’re bringing the huge productivity benefits of lightning-fast networks to schools, libraries and other sites across Leicestershire.
“Our funding will help vital public services deliver more for communities and attract further industry investment in better connectivity for the region.”
Darren Butterick – BT Enterprise & Public Sector Director at BT, said: “Gigabit connectivity will transform the way people connect, interact and do business for years to come.
“This future-proofed infrastructure is a once in a generation enhancement and will play a significant role in making sure rural parts of Leicestershire feel the significant benefits that full fibre connectivity brings with it.
“We are proud to be part of this project which will also help bolster the services offered from some of the area’s key community hubs.”
The project is due to start by the end of 2022 and complete by 2024 – once each site has been updated, residents will be able to sign up to fibre community vouchers with local suppliers to bring gigabit-capable broadband to more properties in the area.
DCMS is on schedule to achieve 85% gigabit coverage across the UK by 2025, working in partnership with councils including Leicestershire.
For more information and regular updates visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gigahubs-key-information
The list of 43 confirmed locations is below:
- Ab Kettleby Primary School
- Asfordby Hill Primary School
- Fleckney C Of E Primary School
- Great Dalby School
- Harby C Of E Primary School
- Long Clawson C Of E Primary School
- Meadowdale Primary School
- Old Dalby C Of E Primary School
- Somerby Primary School
- St Andrews C Of E Primary School Academy
- Waltham On the Wolds C Of E Primary School
- Fleckney Library
- Highways Foxton
- Kibworth Recycling and Household Waste Site
- Market Harborough Rhws
- Croft C Of E Primary School
- Desford Community Primary School
- Dunton Bassett Primary School
- Lutterworth High School
- Manorfield C Of E Primary School
- Newbold Verdon Primary School
- Sharnford C Of E Primary School
- Sherrier C Of E Primary School
- Swinford C Of E Primary School
- Ullesthorpe C Of E Primary School
- Desford Library
- Lutterworth Library
- Sapcote Library
- Stoney Stanton Library
- Croft Permanent
- Lutterworth Recycling and Household Waste Site
- Barlestone CE Primary
- Congerstone Primary School
- Higham On the Hill C Of E Primary School
- Seagrave Village Primary School
- Sheepy Magna C Of E Primary School
- St Peters C Of E Primary School Mkt Bosworth
- Stanton Under Bardon Community Primary School
- The Market Bosworth School
- Witherley C Of E Primary School
- Market Bosworth Library
- Sileby Library
- Nailstone Depot