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UPDATE Colchester Business Deployment Wins 2017 EU Broadband Awards

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 (12:31 pm) - Score 342
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The European Commission (EC) has this week named the five winners of their annual 2017 European Broadband Awards, which saw Colchester’s 1Gbps open access passive fibre network in the UK (Essex) pick-up one of the awards for their deployment to 850 SMEs and 1,100 homes.

The event aims to highlight innovative projects that are helping to provide citizens with access to high-speed broadband internet. All types of projects – irrespective of their size, location, technologies or funding sources (led by public or private organisations) – were encouraged to apply.

Last year the United Kingdom secured its first win when RemIX, which describes itself as the world’s first distributed and wireless Internet Exchange Points (IXP) for community networks, won the “Future-proof and quality of service” category (here).

The good news is that this year the UK has scooped another win with Colchester’s business broadband network, which came under the second category of “Cost reduction and co-investment in a future proof infrastructure.”

The Colchester Project

Colchester’s open access passive fibre network delivers up-to-gigabit connectivity to more than 850 SMEs and 1,100 households in a previously underserved area of Colchester in the newly constructed buildings. The project represents a highly cost-effective deployment method as it used upgraded existing infrastructure.

It is estimated that this deployment model reduces the costs to 10-15%. The project was financed by three sources: [£200,000] from the South Eastern Local Enterprise Partnership; [£143,000] from the Essex County Council and [£40,000] from the construction companies.

Apparently the project adopted an Integrated Territorial Investment approach in that it represents the first of nine proposed workstreams to deliver ultrafast broadband / FTTP connectivity not just to the Town Centre, but to the entire Borough. CBC’s ambition is to make Colchester Borough the best-connected in the East of England by 2022.

The workstreams are encapsulated in a Digital Strategy covering the period 2017-22, and a funding bid for £20m has been submitted to Central Government’s LFFN (Local Full-Fibre Networks Fund), which has been established to help accelerate the deployment of core fibre infrastructure.

A full list of the other four winners can be found here and more details on the Colchester project can be found here.

UPDATE 1:34pm

It looks like the figures from the EU’s website are incorrect and the project team has sent us the correct funding / distribution sources.

£200,000 South East Local Enterprise Partnership via ECC

£167,000 S106 contributions

£25,000 New Homes Bonus

£50,000 Council Capital

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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