LCR Connect will see the construction of 212km full-fibre, gigabit-capable network infrastructure in the region, which will be capable of delivering speeds of more than 1,000mbps.
At that kind of connectivity, you could download a movie in less than 34 seconds, according to Allconnect.com.
LCR Connect is a joint venture between the combined authority, project lead ITS Technology Group and construction company NGE.
The infrastructure will help generate £105m for the local economy and, according to the combined authority, an eventual £1bn.
The first part of the LCR Connect project is dedicated to connecting three transatlantic cables to the major economic clusters in each of the region’s local authority areas. The digital infrastructure will be installed over the next two years. The combined authority said that “innovative deployment techniques” would be used to ensure there is a minimum impact on travel during this time.
“When I was first elected, I made it a priority to make our region the most digitally connected anywhere in the country,” said LCR metro mayor Steve Rotheram. “Today we take a major step towards that, with the official launch of LCR Connect.
“Our region was at the heart of the first industrial revolution, and this project can put us at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, creating thousands of jobs and ultimately generating £1bn for the local economy,” he continued.
“It will make us leaders in the industries of tomorrow and will help us attract talent and investment from around the world as others look to take advantage of our skills, infrastructure and expertise.”
Rotheram added that because the combined authority owns 50% of the infrastructure, it would “continue to reap the benefits for years to come”.
He concluded: “As we have done so many times before, this is our region seizing the initiative, leading the way and crafting what I hope will be a lucrative and successful new future that everybody in our region can benefit from.”