FullFibre Ltd secures over £30 million in Project Gigabit contracts to bring lightning-fast broadband to rural West Herefordshire and Northern Derbyshire

Joe Brewer

April 10, 2024

9:27 am

FullFibre Ltd secures over £30 million in Project Gigabit contracts to bring lightning-fast broadband to rural West Herefordshire and Northern Derbyshire

Lightning-fast broadband will be delivered to thousands of homes and businesses in West Herefordshire, Forest of Dean and parts of the Peak District in rural Northern Derbyshire after two new contracts were awarded to wholesale network provider FullFibre Ltd, as part of the government’s Project Gigabit rollout.

Project Gigabit is the government’s £5 billion mission to upgrade digital connectivity in hard-to-reach areas. Under the two contracts, lightning-fast broadband infrastructure will be rolled out to over 12,000 rural homes and businesses across parts of the Peak District in Northern Derbyshire, West Herefordshire and the Forest of Dean.

These contracts enable the business to also reach a further 18,000 deep rural properties, which would under normal circumstances be considered too expensive, as part of the overall plans for the regions. The contracts will see FullFibre Ltd partner with the UK government in both areas, with initial surveying beginning on 1st April 2024.

The expansion of gigabit-capable infrastructure to 247 towns and villages across these localities will specifically target remote, rural, and other hard-to-reach premises which, were it not for government intervention, would be otherwise overlooked by the industry’s gigabit rollout.

Under the terms of the contracts, FullFibre Ltd will provide access to the latest broadband technology and fibre to the premises (FTTP), boosting the economy in previously underserved communities. This will empower them to effectively operate their businesses online or encourage remote work, as well as bring fast and reliable connections for day-to-day activities such as streaming and gaming.

Furthermore, by operating a wholesale business model across an open network, with partnerships with varying internet service providers (ISPs), customers will have increased freedom of choice when it comes to their provider, allowing for more competitive pricing and reducing the need for high-cost, long-term contracts.

James Warner, interim CEO at FullFibre, commented: “Building network in a rural setting has always been a part of FullFibre’s DNA. We now have the opportunity to push this even further by working in partnership with the government, to bring FullFibre’s connectivity to thousands of families and businesses across West Herefordshire and the Peak District in the most difficult to reach parts of these regions.

“Having a commercially built network closing in on 400,000 premises ready for service in and around these areas, these contracts represent a great opportunity to ensure no premises are left behind in our collective aim as an industry to fibre every home and business in the country.”

Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said: “This latest cash injection from Project Gigabit will bring lightning-fast gigabit connections to hard-to-reach areas in parts of the Peak District, the Forest of Dean and Herefordshire.
“Our £5 billion investment isn’t just about streaming and gaming—it’s about empowering businesses of all sizes. By supercharging rural communities, we’re creating an attractive environment for investment and job creation.”