Superfast broadband reaches 100,000 home milestone in Essex

Superfast Essex programme celebrates 100,000 milestone with Openreach and Gigaclear. Picture: CONTRI

Superfast Essex programme celebrates 100,000 milestone with Openreach and Gigaclear. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Superfast broadband has been delivered to 100,000 homes as part of a drive to get the entire county connected by 2021.

The milestone was reached in the Superfast Essex rollout led by the county council in partnership with network operators Openreach and Gigaclear.

It gives 100,000 more Essex homes and businesses access to internet speeds of at least 30Mbps, with work planned to reach more than 144,000 by early 2020. Further work is commissioned to address remaining gaps by the end of 2021.

The council’s deputy leader and digital economy chief, Kevin Bentley, said: “Superfast Essex has made tremendous progress in helping our county become better connected, and reaching 100,000 homes and businesses is a phenomenal milestone.

“We are not complacent, and know there is still more to do, but this is a fantastic achievement and one we should be proud of.”

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The news comes as the government announces the nationwide superfast broadband rollout, led by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), achieved its target of providing at least 95% of the UK with access by the end of 2017.

Digital minister Margot James said thousands more properties were being reached every week.

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With Superfast Essex contributing to the national target, the Openreach rollout in the county continues three months ahead of schedule, with more than 385km of fibre cabling installed under the subsidised deployment programme.

Clive Selley, Openreach chief executive, said: “It’s important for me to recognise the huge contribution of our engineers and planners in what has been a titanic and complex engineering project in getting superfast broadband to 100,000 Essex homes and businesses at the same time as we celebrate getting it to 95% across the nation. This is on top of the Openreach commercial roll out which has given 600,000 Essex homes and businesses access to the technology.”

Brett Shepherd, Gigaclear’s chief operating officer, said: “Our focus is ensuring that often forgotten about rural communities have access to the latest and very best broadband technology.

“Through our full fibre to the premises offering, we have not only delivered on superfast speeds, but have connected some areas in the county to future proofed ultrafast speeds of over 300mbps.”

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