Superfast Essex wins national award for superfast broadband delivery

Politics / Sat 29th Jun 2019 am30 06:33am

Superfast Essex wins national award for superfast broadband delivery

THE Superfast Essex programme has been crowned the connectivity project of the year in the national Connected Britain Awards 2019.

Essex County Council’s broadband improvement programme won the Superfast Award, beating seven other entrants shortlisted for the same category, and was recognised for the achievement at one of the biggest events in the UK for the telecommunications industry.

Representatives from the Superfast Essex programme team were presented with a glass trophy at the Business Design Centre, in London, on Tuesday 18th June, on the first day of the two-day Connected Britain Conference which organisers Total Telecom describe as ‘where the UK’s biggest players in connectivity meet’.

The prestigious award was open to all operators, altnets, superfast projects and local authorities working on urban and rural connectivity projects to recognise achievements made between December 2017 and February 2019. It was judged by an impressive panel of 11 industry experts.

Lorne Mitchell, Founder of Objective Designers, who presented the award to Superfast Essex, said: “The winner here runs what one judge described as ‘one of the highest performing broadband programmes within the UK’. It has achieved beyond expectations in service take-up and played a key part in helping recognise the importance of connectivity in their area, as well as helping to make it available.”

Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “This is a fantastic and thoroughly deserved achievement that the Superfast Essex programme team and Essex County Council should be very proud to have won. The team is continuing to make tremendous progress with the huge task of extending superfast broadband coverage across Essex and raising awareness of its availability and the benefits of faster speeds to encourage service take up. While we must not be complacent, it is important to recognise the efforts of the seven individuals in the Superfast Essex programme team, together with our delivery partners, that have got us to where we are now. Well done to all!”

This is the seventh external industry award the Superfast Essex programme has entered in the last three years. It has been shortlisted for all of them, but this is the first award the programme has won.

The Superfast Essex programme is working to increase access to superfast broadband across the county with the rollout of fibre, as part of the Building Digital UK (BDUK) – formerly Broadband Delivery UK – programme, to help enable economic growth, improve access to online public services and improve quality of life.

The programme has so far enabled more than 120,000 homes and businesses to access speeds of 30Mbps and above working with two network operators, Openreach and Gigaclear, across four phases of work and eight contracts – the highest number of contracts commissioned by a local authority under the BDUK programme.

The programme has exceeded expectations in delivery and service take-up, remaining three months ahead of schedule on its biggest contract for three years and achieving a 50% service take-up target on another contract six months early.

Work is continuing to extend coverage further still and to raise awareness of superfast broadband availability to encourage service take-up.

To find out if your address is able to access superfast speeds or due to be upgraded as part of the Superfast Essex programme, visit the Superfast Essex interactive map. If fibre broadband is available, remember nobody is automatically connected, you have to contact a service provider and ask to upgrade.

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