We want to use the latest technology to help public services - that’s councils, health providers and schools to get better connected to our residents.
Our Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) will provide an ultrafast (1Gb connection speeds) fibre optic broadband connection to 131 public sector buildings in Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon. This includes council buildings, schools, GP surgeries, clinics and hospitals.
We have joined up with the NHS Devon Care Commissioning Group, the University Hospitals NHS Trust, West Devon Borough Council and South Hams District Council to bid for funding to help make this happen.
What does LFFN mean?
It means hospitals, clinics, doctors’ surgeries, schools, youth centres and libraries and council buildings will all be better connected.
Full fibre networks enable download speeds of up to a gigabit per second - this allow patients to access healthcare services online, including video consultation to GP surgeries. It will also allow greater use of online and digital teaching skills for schools.
For businesses it would make the area more attractive to creative and digital industries that rely on a fast and stable digital environment to work effectively which in turn provides a boost to the local economy. A high speed widely-available network infrastructure will be a key enabler of smart growth for Plymouth.
The contract to install the network has been awarded to BT.
The cost of laying the fibre and connecting to public sector buildings is covered by a £2.2 million grant from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
We are currently putting together a timetable for the work and plan to begin in October 2020. The work will be carried out in two waves over six months. The timetable is dependent on ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
For further questions email Paul.Marten@plymouth.gov.uk
Frequently asked questions
In Plymouth 33 of our schools will be getting a connection. This means improved IT facilities and access to online learning tools for over 11,000 Plymouth children and young people. The coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown has illustrated the importance of online learning, with access to teaching resources and learning packs.
Many doctors’ surgeries are also part of the scheme. Accessing services online through video consultations could be more convenient for patients, particularly those with mobility issues. Being able to get medical advice remotely is likely to be increasingly important in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19). Many people are still extremely vulnerable.
This project focusses on connecting public sector buildings so the expansion of the network to businesses and homes is not part of this project’s remit.
It will be for BT to take forward where they see a commercial advantage however the opening new fibre points across the city will help. BT has pledged to expand the network to homes and businesses after installation and have committed to provide fibre to a further 15 per cent of the 119,000 premises in Plymouth by Autumn 2021.
In the next three months, BT's network supplier Openreach will carry out detailed planning activities associated with the build.
Yes, there will be some. We are drawing up a programme to ensure any work causes as little disruption as possible. We also aim to give residents and organisations notice of when work will take place if disruption is likely. We are not expecting road closures.
The network partners and BT put the safety of the public and their staff as their top priority.
Any work will be carried out in line with the latest guidelines set by the government.