» ISP News » 

West Sussex UK Approve £20m Gigabit Broadband Expansion

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 (1:07 pm) - Score 1,098

The West Sussex County Council (WSCC) has approved a new public investment of £20 million (mostly funded by last year’s business rates deal) to support their new “Full Fibre Programme,” which aims to increase “full fibre” and maximise coverage of gigabit-capable broadband services across the county.

At present only a small proportion of West Sussex can access a gigabit-capable broadband network via fixed lines (Virgin Media’s hybrid fibre coax network covers roughly a third of the county), while Thinkbroadband’s data notes that full fibre (FTTP) coverage is even less at around 6.85% (below the latest overall UK average of 12%).

Some of this could be supported by the existing West Sussex Gigabit project with Cityfibre, which has been working to deploy a new Dark Fibre style network to serve public sector sites across in Bognor Regis, Burgess Hill, Chichester, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Littlehampton, Shoreham and Worthing. This formed part of the Government’s wider Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme.

However at the end of last year we reported that a number of local authorities in the county were now looking to extend beyond the West Sussex Gigabit project in order to reach more public sector sites (here). In theory this also has the potential for creating a base from which future broadband ISPs could use to help them build out to local homes and businesses, but that would be private investment (a separate consideration from today’s plan).

Bob Lanzer, Cabinet Member for the Economy, said:

“I’m delighted to see this further, significant investment in the county’s digital infrastructure. Councils in West Sussex are innovating in a space created by slow commercial investment and trying new approaches to see which are most effective in expanding gigabit-capable connectivity to all areas of the county.

This new, evolving programme aims to increase county-wide coverage of ‘full fibre’ digital infrastructure so that we benefit from the fastest, most reliable broadband and are ready for any commercial investments in future technologies.

We are developing our approaches with commercial suppliers and the government department responsible for digital, The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Our proposals work with the market to stimulate investment and we are mindful that further government intervention may also be required to benefit our hard-to-reach areas.”

The meeting document includes a rough split of funding for extending full fibre to public sector sites between Crawley, Horsham, Chichester, Arun and Adur & Worthing. On top of that it mentions £8m for a “Rural Connectivity project,” which isn’t well detailed but looks to be doing much the same thing in harder to reach parts of Horsham and Mid Sussex.


Broadly the programme is focused on three priorities: developing the network within and between key towns; enabling the extension of the network into rural areas; and accelerating readiness to Wi-Fi and 5G investments. An exact roll-out time-scale isn’t mentioned, although we know from the Chichester proposal that they expect completion of the full fibre extension by late 2022.

The proposal for Chichester also said that their side of the project would be managed by Cityfibre and the 7 year payment period will not commence until 90% of the sites have been connected and handed over.

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
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.
Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar Mike

    So FTTP for the parasite sector and crumbs for everyone else…

  2. Avatar FibreBubble

    In 2019 WSCC damned by Childrens Services by DfE report. Recommends immediate removal of services from failing council.

    Damned by HM Inspection of Fire Services.

    Paid £47K to CEO for ‘relocation’ despite him not relocating. Paid CEO £30K in gardening leave. Paid off CEO £300K including legal fees for undisclosed reasons

    Highways Dept paid Amey £4Million in compensation despite Amey not having any contracts.

    In 2020 WSCC announces vanity broadband project despite every player already in the county and some announced areas have residential choice of FTTP from 2 operators as well as Virgin.

  3. Avatar IT Person

    The Gigabit project in Crawley in conjunction with CityFibre and Exa Networks (and JSPC) sounded great when it was announced a few years ago, as many of the primary schools are still using an FTTC connection.

    With seemingly no works taking place, at least two schools became fed up waiting and had a Virgin Media Business line installed instead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £19.95 (*22.00)
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Gift Card
  • Post Office £20.90 (*37.00)
    Avg. Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • SSE £22.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited (FUP)
    Gift: None
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Avg. Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited (FUP)
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.95
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2649)
  2. FTTP (2456)
  3. FTTC (1722)
  4. Building Digital UK (1662)
  5. Politics (1539)
  6. Openreach (1510)
  7. Business (1322)
  8. FTTH (1230)
  9. Statistics (1151)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1127)
  11. Fibre Optic (1019)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (972)
  13. 4G (972)
  14. Wireless Internet (970)
  15. Virgin Media (932)
  16. EE (647)
  17. Sky Broadband (638)
  18. TalkTalk (617)
  19. Vodafone (598)
  20. 3G (437)
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact