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6,400 Homes in Mid Sussex UK Set for Gigabit Full Fibre Boost

Monday, October 12th, 2020 (12:24 pm) - Score 1,728
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The Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) has announced that thousands of businesses, residents and communities across Mid Sussex will soon get access to a new “gigabit-capable” full fibre broadband network, which is being supported by an investment of £2.2m from the Government’s Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) scheme.

The regeneration project itself, which is focused upon the Burgess Hill area, was first announced a couple of years ago and construction has now begun on the new network. Civil engineering firm Balfour Beatty has been selected to build the new network, although there’s no mention of which UK ISP will be expected to deliver the service(s) to end-users.

Funding from the LFFN scheme isn’t normally used to directly connect residential premises, at least not without the addition of private investment, but this announcement does slightly confuse matters by stating that it will “deliver gigabit speed broadband to more than 6,400 homes in Mid Sussex.” Suffice to say that we think the announcement may only be giving us part of the picture.

Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader of MSDC said:

“The start of these works is fantastic news, not only for Mid Sussex District Council, but for our communities right across the District. The Full Fibre network has always been a long-term objective for this Council and I am delighted to see that it is starting to be delivered on the ground.”

Matt Warman, UK Digital Infrastructure Minister, said:

“I’m delighted shovels are now in the ground in Burgess Hill following the Government’s £2.2 million investment to deliver gigabit speed broadband to more than 6,400 homes in Mid Sussex.

These ultrafast connections will be a huge boost to the local economy and community, and we’ll soon be spending a further £5 billion to bring these benefits to every corner of the UK.”

The “full fibre” network is being delivered in conjunction with partners across local Government and, “alongside other projects“, will run from Brighton through to Crawley on completion. This suggests to us that they’re linked with West Sussex’s wider £20m full fibre project (here).

UPDATE 4:16pm

This appears to be a Public Sector Asset Re-use (PSAR) project, which is harnessing existing and new council duct infrastructure by putting it into a public co-operative and making both the duct and fibre (as well as any other relevant digital assets, such as street furniture) available to network operators. We understand that this covers 37km of duct in Burgess Hill with 218 break out points.

Meanwhile the 6,426 premises reflects “addressable” (theoretical) network reach, rather than actual “premises passed” coverage. A total of 17 public buildings will also be upgraded with fibre. We believe this is all being done within the Cooperative Network Infrastructure (CNI) framework, which can be utilised by other local authorities across the UK to save them having to form their own Co-Operative Association.

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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
7 Responses
  1. FibreBubble says:

    Burgess Hill already has full fibre network recently installed by Virgin to 12000 houses according to ispreview news.

    Sounds like a complete waste of money with potentially horrific costs to the taxpayer per premises taken up.

    1. Peach says:

      I agree, they would be better off looking at some of the smaller villages in Mid Sussex like Sayers Common, Ditchling, Staplefield, Pease Pottage, Slaugham or Handcross

  2. Jon says:

    Why not Haywards Heath? Virgin have just done Burgess Hill, but nothing available anythingime that fast in HH (or surrounding villages). Waste of taxpayers money!!

    1. Ben says:

      I completely agree. For a major commuter town (the last stop for express trains before London – I’m not counting Gatwick Airport as a proper stop because you can’t live there!) the broadband infrastructure is extremely poor.

    2. Peach says:

      Haywards Heath is part of Openreach Fibre Towns & Villages build, expect that to start within the next 12 months

  3. Mike says:

    Just public again, nothing for the peasants as usual.

  4. Carl says:

    What about Copthorne. I get 57 so not too bad would prefer better.

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