Six areas of the UK are set to get FTTH broadband thanks to a new government-backed investment programme.

Backed by around £10 million in funding, the pilots are set to launch in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, West Sussex, Coventry and Warwickshire, Bristol and Bath & North East Somerset, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

The UK government said it had received 125 submissions from communications providers, local bodies and others on the best ways to deliver the technology.

The project is the first stage of a £200 million investment programme, announced by the government in March, to increase pure fibre deployments over the next four years.

In turn, this follows the establishment of a £400 million Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund last November.

The UK lags behind much of Europe in terms of pure fibre deployments and does not feature in the FTTH Council’s rankings of the most fibre-rich countries.

However, there has been a change of strategy in the past year.

Openreach, which is the largest broadband infrastructure provider in the UK, said last June that it planned to connect two million premises via FTTH by 2020.

It currently passes around 300,000 homes and business with the technology.

In July this year, Openreach CEO Clive Selley said 10 million premises could access pure fibre technology by the mid-2020s if “the right conditions” prevail.

Smaller fibre providers such as Hyperoptic and CityFibre are attracting investment as they undertake their own FTTH deployments.

Minister of State for Digital, Matt Hancock MP, said: “We want to see more commercial investment in the gold standard connectivity that full fibre provides, and these innovative pilots will help create the right environment for this to happen.

“To keep Britain as the digital world leader that it is, we need to have the right infrastructure in place to allow us to keep up with the rapid advances in technology now and in the future.

“The cutting-edge technology will make internet access more secure and enable more people to work remotely without disruption, as well as equipping the UK’s homes, businesses and public services for applications of the future.”

Read more: Q&A: Broadband Stakeholder Group CEO

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