Greater Manchester’s local authorities have issued a major £32m tender request to enable high-speed, “full-fibre” data connectivity at public sector sites across the city-region.
Described as futureproof, “full fibre to the premises” (FFTP) broadband has no speed or bandwidth limit. Through the tender, over 1300 public sector sites across Greater Manchester will be connected up with up to 450km of new full-fibre cables, ready to send and receive high-speed digital data.
Such wholesale implementation by the public sector is expected to trigger significant additional private finance investment of over £200m from a private sector that will be keen to capitalise on the upgrade and deliver similar connections to business and residential customers.
When combined with the predicted private sector investment, the project is expected to lead to an increase of full-fibre coverage from 3% now to around 25% within three years, giving Greater Manchester the best high-speed digital infrastructure coverage of any city-region in the UK.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Connecting Greater Manchester’s public sector sites in this way will supercharge our digital capacity and trigger major private investment. As well as revolutionising our online public services, it will provide a huge boost to Greater Manchester’s economy and productivity, cementing our position as one of the leading digital city-regions in Europe.”