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Essex UK Extends BT’s Fibre Broadband to 51,000 Extra Premises

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 (7:53 am) - Score 547
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The £24.62m Superfast Essex project in England, which aims to make BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network available to 87% of local homes and businesses by the end of summer 2016, has agreed to continue their partnership with BT and extend the coverage to a further 51,000 premises.

Officially Phase 2 of the Superfast Essex scheme, which forms part of the Government’s wider Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) under the Broadband Delivery UK framework, has yet to sign a contract with BT because it must first receive final approval from BDUK. As such we do not yet have a firm timeline, although we wouldn’t be surprised if the end date slipped a year or so past the Government’s 95% coverage target for “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) by 2017.

The current Phase 1 rollout will bring “superfast” speeds to 65,000 additional premises and 25,000 of that total has already been completed (note: BT has already upgraded well over 500,000 via their separate commercial deployment), with uptake among the BDUK enabled areas standing at around 8.8% (Dec 2014). Overall 100 street cabinets have been upgraded / installed alongside 217km of spine fibre optic cabling

Kevin Bentley, Deputy Council Leader, said:

Essex aspires to become one of the best connected counties in the UK and this is the next step in helping us to achieve this aim. I am very pleased to note that some of our districts have recognised the need to invest in broadband infrastructure in their rural areas.

Braintree, Tendring, Maldon and Epping Forest have all contributed to the funding for this next stage of our Superfast Essex programme, which means that across those districts we will be investing over a million pounds more than we could have without their support.”

The press release states that the next 51,000 will also be reflective of “superfast” speeds, although unfortunately we’ll have to wait until the draft rollout plan is published in May 2015 before knowing the specifics. It is however known that BDUK has allocated some £10.72m to help with the phase 2 costs, which the council must match and BT may also contribute.

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar hallelujah

    Essex, commonly known on other forums now as the Big BT overbuild project 😀

  2. Avatar New_Londoner

    One of the regular contributors here will be pleased to see this announcement! 😉

  3. Avatar Carl

    So is 87% coverage the total they are going to do?

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