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Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme 

The RGC programme aims to deliver nationwide gigabit connectivity in locations that are unlikely to benefit from commercial investment.

An 'Outside In' approach was initially proposed to ensure that premises in the final 10% can be addressed in parallel with the rest of the UK. This was revised upwards in 2019 to encompass the final 20% of UK premises, and was formally confirmed in March 2020 when The Chancellor announced a £5bn commitment to fund gigabit-capable deployment to the final 20% of the UK.

In line with this, the intervention scope on the RGC programme has been increased to encompass the final 20% so that all areas will be able to benefit. With c.30 million premises in the UK, the final 20% is expected to represent up to 6 million households, although not all of these could end up needing to receive a subsidised gigabit connection.

By employing the Hub model approach, the RGC programme identifies public sector buildings that meet qualifying criteria set out by BDUK, and upgrading them to access gigabit-capable connectivity. This approach not only provides gigabit-capable connection to qualifying public buildings, but also (in delivering gigabit-capable infrastructure into hard to reach rural locations) provides the potential for commercial intervention, thereby stimulating the market to build more networks in these areas.

As part of this programme, East Riding of Yorkshire Council have been awarded funding to connect 11 rurally located primary schools in the hardest-to-reach areas of the region by June 2021.