We will ensure that Greater Manchester has the digital infrastructure it needs to be a world class digital city region.
- Remove bandwidth as a barrier to our social, economic and public sector reform objectives.
- Deliver high speed digital connectivity over full fibre and 4G & 5G mobile across the whole city region by 2025.
- Accelerate market investment by:
- Extending network reach by connecting over 1500 public sector sites and assets with Full Fibre across Greater Manchester
- Making public sector buildings and other assets available for infrastructure to support 5G roll out
- Driving market investment in fibre and mobile by minimizing roll out costs through a prospectus agreed by Greater Manchester local authorities
Digital Infrastructure Strategy
Greater Manchester 5G and town-centre Wi-Fi programme
Project Gigabit - Public Review Launch in Greater Manchester and Merseyside
The Government is aiming to deliver lightning-fast, reliable broadband to everyone in the UK. As part of this, it plans to invest £5 billion in Project Gigabit to ensure that hard-to-reach communities are not left out. Building Digital UK (BDUK) is carrying out a Public Review to help identify areas in Greater Manchester and Merseyside that may be suitable for future public funding for gigabit-capable broadband.
BDUK is seeking information and supporting evidence from suppliers - in relation to the presence of gigabit-capable broadband infrastructure within the project area. They wish to hear from all relevant stakeholders - including the public, businesses, internet service providers and broadband infrastructure operators - particularly in relation to the proposed mapped eligible areas.
This Public Review (external website) opened on 4th October 2022 and closes on 4th November 2022.
Greater Manchester Combined Authority will be making a submitting a response to this review in consultation with the ten local authorities in Greater Manchester.
Frequently asked questions - speed and connectivity
The below FAQ's are for Greater Manchester residents who require advice on connectivity and internet speeds in their area.
If your speed is below 10Mb/s (you can measure it via this broadband speed checker) you may be eligible for grant support under BT’s Universal Service Obligation, which states "every home and business in the UK has the legal right to request a decent, affordable broadband connection".
If your speed is above 10Mb/s but does not meet your needs then:
- Contact your current provider to discuss whether an upgrade is possible and your available options
- Check available speeds in your area by entering your postcode into Ofcom’s Mobile and broadband checker, this may show better speeds available with other providers
- If all options currently available are no better than your current speed then further investment to upgrade the network in your local area is likely needed. In this instance, we suggest registering your interest with providers in your area. (it may also help if you encourage your neighbours to do so as well). Greater Manchester have four main telecomms providers, and you can register your interest with them here:
- We are working closely with providers to make it as easy and cost effective as possible for them to invest in their networks
- Around 1% of premises in Greater Manchester are not able to access reasonable quality internet speeds (known as superfast broadband) and there is currently no support available in GM through existing Government programmes to address that 1% of premises. This is because the Government’s primary focus (through its gigabit programme which includes voucher support) is on improving connectivity in rural areas
- In 2020, Greater Manchester senior leaders wrote directly to the Government and telecoms industry chiefs to call for further action to support vulnerable customers and help tackle social isolation and feelings of loneliness during the coronavirus outbreak, caps on bills for older and vulnerable landline telephone customers and calling for consistency across the industry.
Investment in digital infrastructure Greater Manchester is accelerating as the region welcomes more providers seeking to take advantage of the growth of the digital sector and our increasingly connected communities.
- Coverage of gigabit (1000Mbps) connectivity in Greater Manchester now averages over 78% - well ahead of the average in England which is only 66%
- Leading the way in the region, in terms of gigabit coverage is Bolton with 90%, Stockport with 88% and Wigan with 87%
- Investment in full fibre (which provides virtually unlimited speeds) in Greater Manchester has also been continuing at pace
- Bury, Salford and Tameside now all have over 60% full fibre coverage. With Bury increasing from just 4% coverage in 2019 to 66% now and Tameside moving from 6% in 2019 to 62% over the same period.
We are continuing to work with infrastructure providers to make it as easy as possible for the investment to take place at speed.
Data taken from Local Broadband Information from Think Broadband.
As a resident, you may also be interested in our work to tackle the digital divide across Greater Manchester. Greater Manchester Combined Authority have funded Digital Inclusion Leads in all the ten local authorities to drive a co-ordinated focus on digital inclusion, helping ensure digital inclusion is prioritised. Residents can now access support from their council to help them get online and develop the skills to needed to complete everyday tasks online.
Local Full Fibre Network
The new programme will deliver 2,700km of fibre optic broadband infrastructure across the region.
CASE STUDY: Using infrastructure to tackle digital exclusion
Deeplish Community Centre has been set up with free connectivity as part of the LFFN programme
Greater Manchester partners with UK’s largest internet service providers to tackle digital poverty