The Superfast Essex programme has successfully completed the first phase of its superfast fibre broadband rollout to 65,000 homes and businesses. Superfast download speeds of 24Mbps and above are available to 87% of Essex premises. The target was achieved three months earlier than scheduled with the programme finishing its £24.6million Phase 1 rollout at the end of June ahead of the original expected finish in September this year, after starting work in April 2014.
In that time 355 new green fibre cabinets have been installed across Essex and more than 600km of fibre cable has been deployed – enough to cover three and a quarter laps of the M25 or the distance from Braintree to Land’s End, in Cornwall.
The early finish of Phase 1 has allowed the programme to continue with the rollout efforts and move into the next phase of the programme (Phase 2) early. Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, are now extending coverage to another 51,000 homes and businesses, thanks to a further £18.9million investment from ECC, BT, Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and other local councils. The aim is to provide 95% superfast broadband coverage across the county by the end of June 2019 when the second phase of the BT rollout and Gigaclear’s Superfast Essex Rural Challenge Project are completed.
Check the status of your area on our interactive map - if it's available contact a broadband provider and ask to switch to fibre.
Gigaclear has installed more than 1,000 fibre broadband pots in the Epping Forest
District, marking an important milestone for the Superfast Essex Rural Challenge Project.
More than 1,000 homes and businesses are now able to achieve broadband speeds of up to 1,000Mbps with Gigaclear's new ultrafast pure fibre network. Each pot provides a direct fibre connection from the boundary of a property to a fibre cabinet in the street. The project, which is due to
conclude in early 2017, aims to reach more than 4,000 homes and businesses across 18 different parishes in the district.
Together with Gigaclear we've also produced a new downloadable brochure to provide more information about the work to install
fibre cables and cabinets and reinstate pavements and verges. View or download the brochure at: www.superfastessex.org/ruralchallenge or www.gigaclear.com/superfastessex.
What's happening next for the final 5%?
Superfast Essex is
now in the early stages of planning further work – a potential ‘Phase 3’. Around
£4.5million from project savings and gainshare funds (received from BT in recognition
of the strong take-up of services to date) is available to invest in extending
superfast broadband coverage to those areas we currently haven’t been able to
Our aim is to increase coverage to 97% of Essex by 2020. In addition,
Tendring district is planning to make available funds of up to £2million to reach
100% coverage in that district.
We are currently conducting a fresh review of
existing and planned broadband coverage across Essex to help us identify where
the remaining 5% of homes and businesses are located. We’ll highlight these
‘white areas’ on a map to be put out to public consultation for your comments
next month. Keep an eye on the ‘Where, when and how’ page of our website, and Twitter,
and LinkedIn channels for more details.
Have you met our friend Super Sam yet?
Super mascot, Super Sam has been making friends across the
county, visiting Colchester, Chelmsford and the Tendring Hundred Show.
Super Sam is championing superfast broadband on behalf of
Superfast Essex to let Essex residents know where superfast broadband is enabled
and tell them what they need to do to access it.
The next location Super Sam plans to visit will be at the Essex
Country Show at Barleylands Farm in Billericay. Superfast Essex will be at the show on Saturday 10th September and Sunday 11th September - although Super Sam may only be able to join us on Saturday. Be sure not to miss him! Listen out for further details soon, and look out for our posters and leaflets.
Watch our video of Super Sam at: www.superfastessex.org/supersam