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Superfast Essex UK Project Begins Vague BT Fibre Broadband Rollout

Thursday, Jun 12th, 2014 (8:09 am) - Score 1,410

The Superfast Essex scheme, which is worth £24.62 million and aims to make BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network available to 87% of local homes and businesses by the end of summer 2016 (with plans to reach 95% through additional funding), has finally started Phase One of its deployment, albeit without telling locals which communities will benefit next or offering a clear timescale.

According to EADT24, which is frustratingly one of the few sources of information here because there’s very little about the latest progress update mentioned on either the council or the projects own website, BTOpenreach has switched-on the first ‘up to’ 80Mbps capable FTTC street cabinets at Colchester Business Park, Rivenhall and Harlow (covering approx. 300+ local premises).

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BT is currently contributing £11.7m towards the cost of deployment in “non-commercial” areas (their commercial deployment has already reached 500,000+ local premises), while the council has committed £6.46m and another £6.46m will be coming from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office. Overall about 900km of new fibre optic cable will be installed in the area alongside 400 new street cabinets.

Kevin Bentley, Essex Council’s Deputy Leader, said:

Not everyone will have the same speed, but wherever you are you should see an improvement. It is important for businesses, but also residents who contribute by shopping online, working from home, and so on. The way we operate is very different now.”

However, aside from another crayon style deployment map on the projects official website (here), the scheme in Essex hasn’t done a good job of keeping locals informed about its roll-out plan. Most BDUK projects have been publishing frequent lists of planned telephone exchange and community upgrades, often alongside an expected timetable for each phase of delivery, but Essex has so far struggled to achieve the same. We get little bits here and there but it’s frustrating to not see a more cohesive approach.

ISPreview.co.uk has been able to gleam that the initial areas (phase one), excluding the above few that have now started to go live, will probably also include some parts of Boxted, Myland and St Andrews but we can’t be sure due to the lack of firm updates. Come on Essex.. you can do better.

Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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