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Gigabit Broadband Boost for 83 GPs in Essex and Hertfordshire

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 (3:26 pm) - Score 718
network cables closeup with fiber optical background

A new project commissioned by the Digital Innovation Zone (DIZ) looks set to result in 83 GP surgeries across West Essex and East Hertfordshire in England being upgraded to support broadband or fibre optic Ethernet connections with speeds of up to 1Gbps (Gigabit per second).

The network will be delivered via Openreach (BT), which is itself working in partnership with Capita, Updata and Redcentric. The project is being supported by a public investment of £1.7m under the UK Government’s (DCMS) Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme.

According to UKAuthority, the new network to all 83 sites should be completed by March 2021 and that’s an impressively short time-scale, particularly given that they’ve only just begun the detailed planning. Most of the GP surgeries are in Broxbourne, East Herts, Epping Forest, Harlow and the Uttlesford districts.

Councillor Lesley Wagland, Essex County Council, said:

“This project is a great step in improving the digital experience and opportunities for those that use and deliver our health services and to realising the significant benefits from full fibre broadband connectivity for our residents.

Health and care services with digital services based around the patient and our local communities will be a key component of this. Full fibre broadband will help those providing the services to do so closer to where people want them but also to work better, more efficiently and in a joined up way.”

The move follows last year’s announcement by the Government’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, who pledged to upgrade the National Health Service (NHS) with better digital connectivity, not least by ensuring that all GPs and Hospitals are connected to Gigabit capable “full fibre” connections (here). The Minister has also previously encouraged Openreach to help, so it’s no surprise to see them involved.

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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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