Phase 3 operator bids being evaluated
Superfast Essex is pressing ahead with the early planning
stages of its Phase 3 rollout. This next phase of the county’s broadband
programme aims to extend superfast broadband coverage beyond the existing target
of 120,000 homes and businesses which is expected to be reached by the end of the current
Phase 2a and 2b rollouts.
The programme team is currently working with independent
consultants to evaluate responses from network operators who bid to carry out
the Phase 3 work as part of a procurement exercise.
The tender, worth up to £10million, was open to all broadband
technologies and split into four areas (known as ‘Lots’). Responses have
been received for all four of them, so we hope to appoint delivery partner(s) for all Lots.
The scope of properties eligible
for inclusion in Phase 3 is as follows:
- up to 5,500 premises
North - up to 4,500 premises
- up to 5,500 premises
East - up to 8,500 premises
The exact number of properties to be reached will be
determined through the procurement process.
We expect to select the network operator(s) we will work
with and have more detailed plans to share in Spring/Summer 2017.
To find out if your property is one of those eligible for
inclusion in Phase 3, check for a white circle on our interactive State Aid map
fibre delivery boosts businesses
The programme’s planned fibre broadband rollout delivered by BT is progressing well.
The current delivery of Phase 2a of the programme has seen an additional 15,000 premises enabled to access fibre at superfast speeds since it began last summer, bringing the total number of homes and businesses with access to superfast broadband to 80,000. Phase 2a is due to complete in 2019, with an expected 116,000 addresses to receive a boost in superfast broadband connectivity.
Of the 80,000 premises connected, BT has brought high-speed fibre broadband more than 9,000 businesses across the county, giving a much needed boost to the local economy in some of the most rural areas of the county.
The technology can enhance the competitiveness of local businesses, helping them to find new opportunities and customers, while opening up a host of new learning, entertainment and development opportunities for households.
Visit the interactive map to see the most up to date information regarding the Superfast Essex programme.
Ultrafast animals lead the way in Epping
Gigaclear is continuing to advance with its network build for the Superfast Essex Rural Challenge Project (also known as Phase 2b) and has recently reached a significant milestone with more than 2,000 homes and businesses in the area now having access to its network.
The Animal County Club, and co-located Resting Pets, in the rural village of Moreton in Epping Forest District has become the 2,000th premises in the county to have access to an ultrafast fibre broadband service with internet speeds of up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps).
Margaret Gemmill, Director of the site, said: "There are four pet-related businesses located on Wood Farm so being connected is extremely important to us. The Gigaclear service has improved the interconnection for the whole site; we have a brand-new phone system and we can respond to our customer’s email enquiries much more quickly. It also frees up some time for us to spend with the animals as we are no longer waiting around for a connection."
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.
So far 14 communities in Essex have expressed their
interest in the Superfast Essex Community Wi-Fi Scheme and have submitted applications
for funding from Essex County Council’s Community Initiatives Fund (CIF).
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.
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.
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.
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.