High speed broadband programme moves forward to implementation

BDUK & ECC join in partnership

Essex County Council has published initial details outlining where superfast broadband will boost connections across the county.

A partnership between Essex County Council, government funding through the BDUK programme and BT will deliver superfast broadband to thirty business parks and around sixty-five thousand premises in the county by summer 2016, with all of the county being covered by the plan (ie those areas not already provided with fibre broadband on a commercial basis) receiving minimum 2MBps speed connections by that time.

The details published today are based on early modelling using information such as ECC’s demand registration survey where over 10,000 individuals and businesses reported on their connection speeds.

BT will now carry out surveys, network design and planning to develop an implementation plan for the next two and a half years, meaning some areas may see the benefits of a superfast Essex earlier than scheduled in the maps.

Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Infrastructure said, “Electronic connections are just as important for families and the Essex economy as our road and rail infrastructure. It’s crucial that BT has as much information as possible to help them formulate the plan of action for Essex over the next couple of years. We’ve published our early plans to show where we think work will conclude and when, but that will be built on by the survey work BT will start this month. We’ll push hard so that by 2016 around 90% of Essex premises will have superfast coverage and virtually everywhere will be able to access good quality broadband thanks to this partnership between ECC government and BT.”

Essex County Council has produced map which highlights its priority areas for upgrade. This has been sent to all Essex MPs and is also available on www.superfastessex.org

Notes to editors:

High speed broadband programme moves forward to implementation

Appendix 1 – Map showing the initial assessment of where high speed broadband will be implemented and when. The County Council is mindful of the technical and complex nature of this project and have been informed that plans are subject to change depending on technical factors.

Appendix 2 – Bar graph showing current high speed coverage and showing how the Superfast Essex programme will increase coverage across the county. Note that the chart only shows “high speed” coverage and that every district will have full coverage of good quality “basic broadband” by 2016 in addition.

Appendix 3 – List of anticipated completion dates per parish.

The Superfast Essex contract is worth £24.6m, with £6.4m of investment coming from Essex County Council and the rest from Government and BT.