Superfast Essex Programme Update - May 2017

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85000

Extra properties to be served by BT

Superfast Essex’s work to rollout fibre broadband across Essex under the current BT contract is progressing well with 83,000 premises enabled so far and will soon be expanded to include approximately 9,000 additional properties. The total number of homes and businesses enabled by the programme to access superfast speeds so far (including the work with Gigaclear) has now reached 85,000.

Superfast Essex is expanding the current delivery programme due to the re-investment of a subsidy refund from BT, following better than expected levels of take-up of fibre services by residents and businesses enabled by the programme so far. The additional 9,000 properties will be added to the current delivery plan and completed by December 2019.

The timescales for the BT rollout are in the process of being reviewed to incorporate the additional cabinets to be delivered so you can expect to see changes on the interactive map within the next week. We will show cabinets to be upgraded in the next six months and provide estimated earlier delivery dates for guidance beyond this. The additional premises to be included will be announced on the interactive rollout map later in the summer. 

Gigaclear's rollout continues in Epping

Over 2,200 properties in the Epping Forest District are now enabled to receive ultrafast broadband from Gigaclear’s Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) rollout as part of Superfast Essex’s Rural Challenge Project.

Having access to ultrafast broadband means residents and businesses can achieve download and upload speeds of up to 1Gbps.

Gigaclear is increasing the level of network updates and will keep communities updated regularly.

For the latest rollout information on the Rural Challenge Project please check our interactive rollout map.

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 via Gigaclear's Superfast Essex page. 

Gigaclear

More broadband plans coming soon...

Superfast Essex is preparing to sign new contracts with BT and Gigaclear to enable even more homes and businesses to access superfast broadband.

The additional work to be carried out with both operators across several different districts in Essex will together form Phase 3 of the programme rollout.

Once the contracts are signed, we will announce the areas to be reached and highlight the individual premises to be upgraded by the rollout on the Superfast Essex interactive map. We expect to publish this new detail by the end of June 2017.

An estimated 15,000 premises are expected to be upgraded across Basildon District, Braintree District, Castle Point District, City of Chelmsford, Colchester Borough, Maldon District, Rochford District, and Uttlesford District.

The work is expected to be completed almost within the same timeframe as the current Phase 2a BT rollout (by December 2019).

In addition, early discussions are underway for potential further work to take place beyond the plans due to be published this summer. We’ll share news about this once details are known. Watch this space!

Business networking

Superfast Essex is attending a number of business events in the next few months, including:

  • Discovering Business in Essex on Wednesday 7 June 2017
  • Connected Britain Conference on Wednesday 14 June and Thursday 15 June 2017
  • Check in @ Stansted on Thursday 22 June 2017

Detailed information about all the events we will be exhibiting at can be found on our website. Business events are a great opportunity to network, meet members of the Superfast Essex team and find out more about the programme’s rollout.

Visit the Digital Toolkit on the website for digital tips and tricks to give your business a competitive advantage.

Community Wi-Fi Scheme gains interest

Since its launch in October last year we have seen a great interest from local communities in the Community Wi-Fi Scheme. 

This scheme has been set up enable local communities to provide a public Wi-Fi service via their community hubs, with Essex County Council’s Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) providing a grant of up to £400 towards the connection and set up charges.

So far, 17 CIF applications have been approved enabling the community hubs to select one of the two suppliers under the scheme, APC Solutions and County Broadband. 

Find out more and how to apply on our website and how to apply for CIF funding for the scheme at www.essex.gov.uk/CIF


Super Sam returns!

Super Sam mascot

Our superhero Super Sam is making a comeback this summer visiting some of the biggest summer events in Essex. He will help us share Superfast Essex programme updates and broadband information with visitors.

Super Sam will be making an appearance at the Tendring Hundred Show on the 8th July, the Essex Food and Drink Festival on the 15th and 16th of July and the Essex Country Show in Weald Country Park on the 9th and 10th of September.

Super Sam is also planning to visit the libraries and cinemas across the county to spread the word on the Superfast Essex rollout. Keep your eyes peeled, Super Sam could be visiting a town near you!


Better Broadband Scheme

The Government has committed to giving every premises in the UK access to a minimum of 2Mbps download speeds, whether they are a resident or business. The Better Broadband Scheme will give support towards the cost of equipment and installation of a satellite or wireless broadband connection. Find out more and check your eligibility status here


Website

The redevelopment of our Superfast Essex website is nearly complete so you will soon see it looking somewhat different. Don’t worry the interactive maps will still be there! We are making changes to make it more mobile and tablet friendly, and we’ve tried to rearrange some of the content to hopefully make it easier to navigate and access the information you want to see the most. Once it's live, you can let us know what you think by getting in touch via our Contact us form.