Greater Lincolnshire councils will bid for a share of £110m government funding to bring superfast gigabit broadband to rural areas.
The three authorities of Lincolnshire County, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire Councils will be asked next Friday to approve an application for the government’s Project Gigahub initiative.
The scheme, run by the Building Digital UK department, sees authorities put forward publicly-owned buildings to act as “hubs” for broadband and the government then pay for the installation of the facilities and a “spine” connection to the location.
“It is hoped that because the cost of the provision of the fibre spine into an area has been met by public funding, then commercial operators would be encouraged to branch off the spine and deploy to adjacent communities along its route,” said the report.
“To date, there is a good degree of interest from these operators.”
It is part of the government’s £5bn national Project Gigabit scheme to deliver “lightning-fast, reliable broadband for everyone”.
Documents before the Greater Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Oversight Committee say 204 premises – including schools, blue light bases and doctor’s surgeries – have been identified and approved across the region.
The government is expected to go to tender in Autumn with successful providers due to be announced in March or April 2023.
Lincolnshire County Council will lead the bidding process on behalf of the three authorities.
Nationally the government hopes to bring gigabit connectivity to up to 7,000 rural locations.
“This will deliver a range of benefits, such as enabling clinicians to provide remote video consultations and allowing whole classes of schoolchildren to be online, at once, with no interruptions,” said the Gigahub website.
“GigaHubs will also bring new fibre right into the heart of communities for the first time, providing ‘hubs’ from which industry can connect surrounding homes and businesses.”