Harlow’s superfast journey takes another major step forward

Politics / Wed 12th Aug 2015 at 12:50pm

SUPERFAST Essex has revealed its latest broadband rollout plans and new delivery timescales as the Government marks a key milestone in the national programme.

The postcode areas to be covered by the next phase of the Essex broadband rollout of superfast connectivity (24Mbps and above) can now be seen on the Superfast Essex online interactive map: www.superfastessex.org/maps. It has also been confirmed that the delivery timescale for the second phase has been brought forward by almost a year. Work is now due to start in 2016, immediately after the current rollout programme finishes, and expected to complete in 2019.

The news comes on the same day as the Government announced the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now passed more than three million UK homes and businesses. The national rollout is on track to reach 95 per cent of the UK and is now reaching around 5,000 additional premises every day.

Essex County Council’s multi-million pound superfast fibre broadband rollout is aiming to reach 95% of the county and is now one third of the way towards its goal of making fibre available to 120,000 homes and businesses with 42,100 having access so far.

The ambition is to make Essex one of the best connected counties in the UK.

Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Infrastructure and Waste and Recycling, said: “I am proud that Essex has played a part in helping to reach such a fantastic national milestone. It is great to hear superfast is going to be reaching more people in Essex earlier than we had first anticipated and I am pleased to see the progress we are making locally. I urge everyone to keep checking the website for updates.”

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, who is also MP for Maldon, visited the county earlier in the year to find out about the progress of the Superfast Essex rollout. He said: “Our rollout of superfast broadband is transforming lives up and down the UK as every day thousands more homes and businesses are gaining access to superfast speeds. It’s fantastic to see that the rollout of superfast broadband in the East of England is now delivering for customers and for the taxpayer. I congratulate Superfast Essex on having reached more than 42,100 properties in the county of Essex so far – they’re making incredible progress.”

Dave Hughes, BT’s East of England regional director, said: “Today marks important milestones, both locally and nationally, for the superfast broadband revolution. This exciting technology is transforming the opportunities for communities across Essex and the UK as a whole.

“BT’s multi billion pound investment in superfast broadband through its involvement in partnerships, such as Superfast Essex and its own commercial programme has already made fibre broadband available to more than 623,000 households and businesses in Essex – and the number is continuing to grow rapidly. Our Openreach engineers are rolling out the technology at a world class pace, reaching thousands more premises across the UK every week.

“Successful broadband partnerships are creating a lasting legacy, which will play a key role in the future prosperity of communities for many years to come.”

Residents and businesses can find out the latest information for their area by checking the interactive map, www.superfastessex.org/maps, which is updated monthly. The map enables you to zoom to street level, search by specific address, and navigate around the local area, and now shows which areas are expected to be covered by all phases of work – the current rollout, the second rollout, and the focused Rural Challenge Project which is being delivered in a selected area in the east of Epping Forest District.

Anyone not covered by the Superfast Essex programme can register their demand for superfast broadband by completing the Make the Connection Survey at www.superfastessex.org/getinvolved.

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