Apply now for the DCMS 5G Programme Rural Connected Communities funding competition

Posted on: 27/08/2019

The Rural Connected Communities (RCC) competition will fund up to 10 x 5G research and development projects to run over the course of two years.


Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan has launched a £30 million UK-wide competition to spark a tech revolution in countryside communities and help rural Britain seize the opportunities of 5G technology.

The Rural Connected Communities project (RCC) is supporting the overall strategy for improving mobile coverage and driving successful 5G implementation in the UK. It is:

  • Improving the case for investment in rural network deployment by testing new commercial and technical solutions for more efficient deployment of advanced network infrastructure including 5G.
  • Supporting the business case for 5G by building and proving demand from new use cases that incentivise investment in rural areas.



The Rural Connected Communities (RCC) competition will fund up to 10 5G research and development projects to run over the course of two years.

These projects will trial innovative use cases and technical solutions to build the business case for investment in rural connectivity and explore the capabilities of 5G to benefit rural communities. They will also help demonstrate demand from a variety of economic sectors and rural communities for 5G technologies.

Applications are expected to show a combination of societal and economic benefits that will together create a stronger case for investing in the deployment of 5G infrastructure for rural areas.


This competition is open to applications from consortia from across the UK. Consortia are likely to consist of a mixture of organisations including the public, private and third sectors, and academia. Applicants will need to be led by a private sector organisation.

Click here for the Rural Connected Communities Overview and Application Guidance.

For more information background and quotes from Govt ministers, visit the UK5G Innovation Network.



  • Competition opens: 27 August 2019
  • Competition briefing event: 12 September 2019 – The Carriageworks, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD. Click here to register.
  • Clarification questions receipt deadline: 27 September 2019
  • Competition closes: Midday 25 October 2019
  • Shortlist applicants notified:14 November 2019
  • Shortlisted applicants interviewed:25 November – 6 December 2019
  • Successful applicants notified: December 2019
  • Grant claim period: From 1 January 2020 until 31 March 2022


If you are interested in applying for the DCM 5G Programme Rural Connected Communities grant funding competition, and want to find out more, register here for the competition briefing event.

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