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The government has invited councils to bid for a share of a £95 million fund to help pay for full-fibre broadband deployments.

This forms part of the £1 billion investment in stimulating further and faster full-fibre rollouts announced by the Chancellor last year.

Margot James, the Digital Minister, commented: "We recently set out our ambition for a nationwide full-fibre broadband network by 2033, and initiatives like this will be instrumental in achieving that."

Each bid will be assessed by the Local Full Fibre Networks Investment Panel, which has identified boosting rural connectivity as a key priority.

The body is also keen to focus on projects that can boost public sector productivity, such as schemes that enable doctors to remotely monitor patient health or allow schools to access new cloud-based educational tools.

"We want to hear from any local authority interested in taking part, so we can work closely with them on their plans to help them secure funding," Ms James added.

This announcement comes after the government published its Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review, which said full-fibre broadband networks will only reach three-quarters of the country at most unless there is a significant policy change. 

Furthermore, it noted that unless a new approach is adopted, it could take more than two decades to achieve this level of coverage.

With this in mind, ministers have called for new legislation that guarantees full-fibre connections to new-build developments, which they say will be vital for underpinning 5G coverage.

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