Superfast Essex Programme Update - November 2016

faster

Phase 3 will target remaining white spots

State Aid map of broadband availability in November 2016

We're now planning more work to help some of the remaining areas of Essex with the poorest connectivity gain access to superfast broadband.

Our new Phase 3 will extend superfast coverage beyond the 95% target set to be achieved with Phase 2 by 2019 (120,000 homes and businesses).

Up to £10million is available to invest. This is made up of savings from the existing programme, contributions from Tendring District Council and Uttlesford District Council, and a new Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) grant.

Over the summer we carried out a review of broadband provision with network operators and held a public consultation to identify the areas still requiring investment. Based on the consultation outcome we have created an interactive map of superfast broadband availability which will be used to shape the Phase 3 rollout plan. We launched a tender for this new programme on the 10th November.

The new investment will be focused in four areas, known as 'Lots'. These are:

  • Uttlesford - up to 5,500 premises
  • Central North - up to 4,500 premises
  • Tendring - up to 5,500 premises
  • South East - up to 8,500 premises

Exactly which areas will be included in the Phase 3 deployment will become clear in early summer 2017, when the procurement process is complete.

For more information about Phase 3 visit www.superfastessex.org/whatshappeningnext.

BT fibre rollout progressing on track

Work to rollout fibre broadband across the county under the current BT contract is continuing on track.

Following the head start in the summer after the early completion of Phase 1, Openreach has already reached a further 8,000 homes and businesses with the start of the Phase 2 network build, bringing the overall total number of homes and businesses enabled by BT to access superfast broadband in Essex to 73,000. The subsidised BT rollout, which is due to continue through to 2019, is expected to extend superfast coverage to 116,000 addresses.

The interactive map provides the most up to date information regarding the Phase 2 rollout. We expect to be able to reduce the current annual timescales to a shorter timeframe before the end of the 2016.

More rural communities being connected

Gigaclear cabinet with sticker in street

Gigaclear is progressing well with its network build for the Superfast Essex Rural Challenge Project.

The project in Epping Forest District has reached more than 1,600 homes and businesses in seven of 11 community areas being covered by the pilot project. Broadband operator Gigaclear is building a new fibre network providing services capable of speeds from 50Mbps up to 1000Mbps. Work in Bobbingworth, Fyfield, Norton Heath, Abbess Roding, and Toot Hill is now complete, and work is continuing in Stapleford Tawney, The Lavers and remaining communities.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the rollout, signing up to the ultrafast broadband network in Epping Forest District, or registering their interest in the service can do so at www.gigaclear.com/superfastessex.

Community Wi-Fi Scheme is now live

Wi-Fi symbol

Superfast Essex has launched a scheme to enable local communities to access a public Wi-Fi service in community buildings or ‘hubs’.

With broadband infrastructure being upgraded across the county over the next few years we would like to support local communities to experience superfast speeds at their local community hubs, encouraging them to see how it might benefit them at home. 

Under the scheme, community hubs (such as village halls or community centres) can buy a broadband service from two approved suppliers, APC Solutions or County Broadband.

Initial set up costs will be supported by the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) and community hubs will subsequently need to pay a monthly service charge. Up to £400 can be claimed per community hub by completing a short online form similar to the general CIF application process.

More information on the Community Wi-Fi Scheme including costs and how to apply can be found at www.superfastessex.org/communitywifischeme and application forms for funding for the Community Wi-Fi Scheme can be found on the CIF website at www.essex.gov.uk/CIF.

Meet Super Sam this Saturday in Braintree

Super Sam poster about Braintree appearance

This weekend will be Super Sam's last appearance of 2016, but he will back next year to continue his superfast journey across Essex. If you haven't heard about our superhero broadband mascot yet, find out more and watch the video on our website. If there's an event you would like Super Sam to come along to, please get in touch.


Parish update

Next month we'll be holding another Countywide Parish Engagement Event for Broadband Champions, and Parish and Town Council representatives. Make sure your community will be represented. We'll be giving an update on the current rollout work, Phase 3 and finishing with a Q&A session.


Become a Broadband Champion

You can now see if you have a local Broadband Champion on our interactive map and if there isn't one in your area, you can use the link provided to sign up.


Superfast Essex shortlisted for THREE awards!

We are very proud to share the news that Superfast Essex was this year shortlisted for three different awards alongside some big name national and international competitors. While we unfortunately didn't win, we are proud the programme received the recognition in being shortlisted. The awards were:


We're improving our website

We're working to update and refresh our website, so if you notice things start to look different this is because we're trying to make it better. As always, your feedback is always welcome.


If you've got a question about Superfast Essex, you can contact the team using the online form.