Superfast Essex

What's happening next?

The Superfast Essex programme has now completed its Phase 1 superfast fibre broadband rollout to 65,000 homes and businesses, and Phase 2 is now underway to extend coverage to a total 120,000, aiming to provide 95% coverage of the county overall. 

Now the programme is planning some further work to extend the superfast footprint across Essex even further – a future ‘Phase 3’ – with reinvestment of programme implementation savings identified from Phase 1. The proposed Phase 3 rollout will aim to help some of the homes and businesses in the remaining areas not currently able to access a superfast connection or due to be served by any existing infrastructure rollout plans. 

In order to ensure we focus our investment in the right areas, we first had to identify the areas still requiring investment in broadband, which would be eligible for inclusion in the next phase of work. 

In July 2016 we held an Open Market Review to gather information from broadband suppliers in Essex about their existing and planned broadband coverage and created a State Aid map of broadband coverage based on this data. 

Superfast Essex held a Phase 3 State Aid Public Consultation in September/October 2016 about the availability of Next Generation Access (NGA – superfast speeds defined by the EU) broadband across the county to help inform our plans for a ‘Phase 3’ rollout. 

The consultation asked for feedback on the State Aid map we created. The aim was to ensure we correctly identified the areas still requiring investment in superfast broadband, which will be eligible for inclusion in the next phase of work. 

Superfast Essex evaluated the responses received to the public consultation, along with further clarifications provided by broadband operators to produce an updated State Aid map. An interactive version of the map can be seen below.

This map will be used together with the demand registered via our Make the Connection Survey, to inform the rollout plan for Phase 3.

To read the consultation document and full evaluation report, click on the links below:

Superfast Essex has now invited broadband network operators across the UK to bid for the Phase 3 work across Essex. 

The tender for the new rollout was launched on Thursday 10 November and the requirement has been split into four separate zones, known as ‘Lots’. 

Across the four Lots, an estimated 24,000 premises are eligible for inclusion in the Phase 3 rollout. The actual number of properties to be included will be determined during the procurement process. The lots are split as follows:

  • Uttlesford District – 5,500 premises. One of the most rural districts in the county with significantly poor connectivity.
  • Central North – 4,500 premises. This includes parts of Braintree, Colchester and Chelmsford districts.
  • Tendring District – 5,500 premises. To help Tendring District reach 100% superfast broadband coverage.
  • South East – 8,500 premises. This includes rural areas along the coastline of Maldon and Rochford districts and parts of Castle Point and Basildon districts.


Interactive NGA State Aid Map (November 2016)

The Interactive NGA State Aid Map (November 2016) below shows the outcome of the OMR and shows where existing broadband coverage currently is and isn’t available across Essex.

Please note that the Superfast Essex programme is focused on the areas where there is ‘market failure’ (white dots).  We are not allowed by law to invest in areas where there is an existing superfast service available (grey or black dots on the map), or where an operator plans to deploy this within the next three years.  In the recent market review  two operators have advised us of substantial planned coverage in the county, and Superfast Essex needs to comply with EU rules to allow  for this potential deployment. Therefore, the impacted addresses are shown as NGA coverage under review (yellow dot) on the map below and are not currently eligible for subsidised investment.

For this planned commercial coverage a monitoring plan is being put in place by the Superfast team to check that the operators under review are implementing their plans as advised to ECC. It is currently envisaged that the monitoring plan will have three checkpoints each year, with an annual review to assess the general pace of progress. Once planned coverage has been implemented, the  classification of the relevant premises will be updated to NGA service available, or if the operator fails to implement the plans the premises will revert to NGA service not available, eligible for public investment). In the latter case ECC will seek to include such premises in the scope of the Superfast Essex programme as soon as possible. Re-classification of premises can take place after each checkpoint or at the annual review stage.

There is also a smaller number of premises where an operator has claimed existing coverage, but ECC is still validating the quality of that coverage. This validation will be completed by July 2017, after that the address will become either NGA service available (grey dot) or NGA service not available, eligible for public investment(white dot). In the latter case ECC will seek to include such premises in the scope of the superfast Essex programme as soon as possible. 

Please note this map does not show which areas are going to be covered in the Phase 3 rollout.
All properties planned for work under the Superfast Essex programme will be shown as grey - one superfast provider available.
Once the Phase 3 rollout plan is finalised (estimated Spring/Summer 2017) this be integrated into our main interactive rollout map. www.superfastessex.org/maps



NGA State Aid Map Legend:

Black - More than one superfast provider

These areas highlight where broadband coverage of 30Mbps and above is available or planned from more than one broadband network operator. This could be because the coverage has been made available as a result of commercial work carried out by multiple network operators directly, or as a result of the work completed/planned by the Superfast Essex programme which has been or is due to be followed by independent commercial network operator investment. The broadband speeds available are defined as Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – the team within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is responsible for the national broadband rollout.

Under State Aid rules, Superfast Essex is legally unable to invest in broadband where NGA broadband coverage is available, so these areas will not be eligible for investment under the Superfast Essex programme – because there is already more than one superfast broadband service available.

Grey - One superfast provider

These areas highlight where broadband coverage of 30Mbps and above is available or planned from one broadband network operator. This could be because the coverage has been or is being made available as a result of commercial work carried out by a network operator directly, or as a result of the work completed/planned by the Superfast Essex programme. The broadband speeds available are defined as Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – the team within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is responsible for the national broadband rollout.

Under State Aid rules, Superfast Essex is legally unable to invest in broadband where NGA broadband coverage is available, so these areas will not be eligible for investment under the Superfast Essex programme – because there is already a superfast broadband service available.

Yellow - Superfast provision under review

These areas highlight where broadband coverage is either planned or claimed to exist by a commercial broadband network operator and the State Aid status of that area is still being monitored and clarified with a broadband network operator. It is therefore unconfirmed at this stage whether the broadband coverage planned or claimed to be available meets the required Next Generation Access (NGA) guidelines. For this reason, these areas are not currently eligible for investment while further analysis, investigation and review is carried out to assess the standard of the broadband coverage planned or claimed to be in the area. If you have a comment to make regarding this status for your property, please do not hesitate to contact us as we would appreciate any feedback you can provide to help us further understand the situation.

White - No superfast providers

The white areas on the map highlight where broadband coverage of 30Mbps and above is not available from any broadband network operator. Properties in some of these areas may be able to access superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps to 29Mbps, others will have access to broadband speeds much lower – between 2Mbps to 23Mbps.

All white areas remain eligible for investment under the Superfast Essex programme. These properties represent the ‘final 5%’ of Essex which still requires investment to improve broadband coverage. However, not all these areas will be reached with our Phase 3 rollout being planned. We are aiming to reach 97%, so we are expecting there will still be 3% of the county we will not yet reach with our programme. We will have more information on the areas expected to be covered in Phase 3 in May 2017, and this will be reflected on our interactive current and planned broadband coverage map once known.