Ultrafast GPs Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN)

Funded by Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) the Ultrafast GPs Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) project has delivered ‘full fibre’ broadband infrastructure to provide ultrafast digital connectivity, capable of speeds up to 1Gbps – up to 30 times faster than superfast broadband – to 74 GP surgery sites across Broxbourne, East Herts, Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford districts, helping to put them at the forefront of digital health care.

The £1.7m investment from the DCMS’s LFFN programme will enable GP services to potentially deliver more health care remotely, online and through digital applications. These are all tasks that became vitally important during the COVID-19 pandemic that made online, remote and digital access a necessity. The project has helped to make the local health providers more resilient in the future as well as providing increased capacity for online activity.

In addition, the new broadband network built to the surgeries will also support future demand for fibre broadband from the thousands of residential and business properties located in the local areas around the surgeries. This will support local people to make greater use of digital technology to access the health and care services they need as well as the wider benefits of enhanced high-speed connectivity.

In addition to the enhanced broadband capacity, the project aims to realise a number of other health benefits such as higher levels of residents able to book and undertake GP appointments online and manage

their own care plans; greater capacity to move acute health care into the community and away from the hospital through the increased use of wearable technology, the ability of health partners to undertake online case reviews including the sharing of high resolution scans and data files; and, the relief of pressure on A&E services enabling better, more focused care to be delivered to those emergency patients most in need of acute care.

The project has been developed in conjunction with Essex County Council’s Superfast Essex programme, Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (WECCG) and Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Luton ICT Shared Services (HBLICT) with support from Hertfordshire County Council and all five district authorities. It was delivered on behalf of the local health partners by Openreach in partnership with Capita Updata and Redcentric and completed in September 2021.

For more information and to express an interest in getting involved with the realisation of the benefits of the project please contact Mike Warr at or on 01992 564472