Essex: Outline plans for roll-out of superfast broadband published


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Details of when communities in Essex are expected to get superfast broadband have been published.

Essex County Council (ECC) says a broadband service of up to 24 MBpS (MegaBits per Second) will be delivered to 30 business parks and around 65,000 homes in the county by summer 2016, with all of the rest of the county receiving minimum 2MBpS speed connections by that time.

The £24million roll-out, funded by ECC, central government and telecoms provider BT, is expected to start in the Colchester area in the second quarter of 2014 while work in other areas of north Essex is scheduled for the second half of 2014 through to mid-2015.

The schedule has been devised using information such as ECC’s demand registration survey, which saw more than 10,000 individuals and businesses report on their connection speeds.

BT will now carry out further survey work to develop an implementation plan for the next two-and-a-half years and it is hoped some areas may see the arrival of superfast broadband earlier than scheduled.

ECC’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economic growth and infrastructure, Kevin Bentley, 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.

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“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.”

ECC has produced a map which highlights its priority areas for upgrade. This can be found at the website.