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West Sussex UK and BT Sign Extended Superfast Broadband Rollout Deal

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 (11:51 am) - Score 760
openreach engineer pulling fibre optic cable duct

The West Sussex Better Connected scheme in England, which is working with BT to expand the coverage of “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) to around 98% of local homes and businesses by Spring 2016 (90% will get “superfast” speeds of 24Mbps+), has signed a new deal that will extend this to another 3,000+ premises by the end of 2017.

The new Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) contract is being supported by £1,250,000 from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme (up from the original allocation of £860,000), while an additional £2.5m will come from the council and finally BT will contribute around £500,000 to the pot.

The current Phase 1 BDUK contract aims to benefit a total of 44,000 premises and so far some 35,000 of that have already been completed. By comparison the new contract looks rather meagre, although the council predicts that it will still “extend the rollout of ‘superfast’ fibre broadband to reach 95% of the county“.

David Barling, WSC’s Cabinet Member for Broadband, said:

The additional funding will ensure we meet the government’s new target of 95% coverage of the UK by ‘superfast’ broadband by the end of 2017. However we recognise that more work needs to be done to provide comprehensive coverage of broadband services in our county due to the local geographical and network challenges we face. The government has articulated an ambition to increase coverage across ‘nearly all’ of the UK and we wait to hear further details about this may be achieved, and funded.”

Last year it was anticipated that this second phase of the West Sussex Better Connected project would most likely begin deployment before spring 2016.

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar PeterM

    These figures don’t add up. 90% superfast coverage by the end of phase 1 plus an extra 3,000 homes in phase 2 only adds up to 91%.
    Basically this means that just a lucky few are going to benefit from FTTP and the rest of us will have to carry on waiting.
    On the West Chiltington exchange we would need 20+ miles of ducting down tree lined country lanes that flood in the winter just to upgrade about 250 premises. These premises are served by 4 different cabinets and have other slow lines from neighboring exchanges close to them. FTTP will never be the answer for areas like this, we need Fixed Wireless. All the area is overlooked by the South Downs with various transmitters already in place.

    • Yes it seems a bit odd and we have asked BT for more info. Some of the BDUK projects will deliver more coverage than planned in phase 1 and this could perhaps play a part for West Sussex.

    • Avatar PeterM

      @Mark
      Maybe they are hoping to run phase 3 with some fixed wireless alongside phase 2 to get to the 95%.

    • No mention of that in their update and you would have thought they’d say.

    • Avatar PeterM

      If we are to get satellite vouchers it would help if they could also be used for Fixed Wireless.
      Blaze Wireless could easily cover most of West Sussex with their service and help them get to the 95% and beyond with the minimum amount of public money within the time frame.
      Anyone who is interested in Fixed Wireless in West Sussex can register their interest on the Blaze Wireless website.

  2. Avatar Michael Kenward

    Another one here stranded on “narrowband”.

    Rumour has it that our exchange, Handcross, has FTTC “in some areas”. Clearly not a mile down the road.

    But anyone in the same boat should look at the services from different suppliers.

    TalkTalk denies the existence of a faster service while BT says that there is a (slightly) faster service than my current ADSL.

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