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Hertfordshire to Start Expanded Fibre Broadband Rollout 6 Months Early

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 (3:06 pm) - Score 613

The Connected Counties project has announced that it will bring forward the start of their Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) contract in Hertfordshire by six months, which means that BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network should reach 98% coverage by June 2018 instead of 2019.

The original contract, which is actually a joint project between two counties (Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire), aimed to extend the reach of BT’s faster FTTC/P infrastructure to 90% of local premises by April 2016 (i.e. benefiting an additional 60,000 premises).

Happily the Hertfordshire side of this scheme was given a boost in May 2015 with the signing of a second contract (here), which would begin at the end of contract one (April 2016) and then expand coverage to 95% of Hertfordshire by December 2017 and finally 98% by 2019; an additional 46,000 premises are set to benefit.

However we’ve recently learnt that the plan for the new contract has been moved forward, reaching 95% of Hertfordshire premises by March 2017 and then “over” 98% by the end of June 2018. Some parts of the scheme are thus now running more than six months ahead of schedule.

David Williams, Cabinet Member for Herts County Council, said:

Access to reliable, fast internet is essential for homes and businesses in Hertfordshire. Businesses rely on being able to connect with customers quickly and through a range of digital technologies, and home users are increasingly making the most of online streaming services, so a good connection is key. It’s great news that the roll-out of the Connected Counties programme is now ahead of its scheduled releases and more people will have the opportunity to make use of it sooner.”

In keeping with this the project’s related Coverage Map and Postcodes List have both been updated. It’s unclear why the timetable has been moved forward, although we have seen some other BDUK schemes (e.g. Worcestershire) reporting similar improvements and these are perhaps based on findings from BTOpenreach’s initial engineering surveys.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. tonyp says:

    Still not on the list! Its horrible to be on the 2% not to have decent Broadband. FoD is listed as a possible.

  2. Karen says:

    Wish they would be a bit more detailed. Having a 27 month window doesn’t help for planning when to switch work from Leased Line to FTTC(or bonded FTTC).

    1. FibreFred says:

      Won’t happen, they’ve had their knuckles rapped before when giving out detailed info that then slips. The result of people moaning about estimates = less info.

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