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Essex creeps forward with its BDUK project
Tuesday 14 May 2013 13:21:50 by Andrew Ferguson

It appears that the super fast broadband project in Essex is moving forward, with the local press reporting that issuing of the tender documents has been approved, this means a contract signing is probably still some months away.

The project in Essex follows the standard pattern, in terms of 2 Mbps for all by 2015, and superfast broadband to 90% of premises, but where it diverges is a higher 8 Mbps target for all properties by 2018. This higher target has been known about for a while, but originally had a 2020 target date.

The broadband connection survey apparently has two Dell XPS 10 tablets up for grabs, but there is no obvious mention of this on the survey website.

Until the contract is announced we will not know the size of the BT investment or whether some of the money will be used to fund fixed wireless projects too. There is £13m of public money involved so far, the interesting part will be how the 2018 8 Mbps speed commitment is met.


Posted by New_Londoner over 4 years ago
Interesting to see the comments about using wifi too. Have Essex got state aid approval for this? Or would BT supply it within the BDUK contract?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
Lincolnshire is having no problems doing some wireless to speed things up.

State aid provisional approval - the local press covers that.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
According to the so-called SuperFast Essex site:

"The Essex Broadband (BDUK) Project is carrying out an Open Market Review as part of the government plans to deliver faster broadband.

This will help us understand the broadband infrastructure already in place and where improvements are going to be made in the next three years.

It will help us decide where to take action."

Sounds to me they are still far behind. How can they give BT money (and it will be BT for sure) without even knowing from them what areas BT already serves?

Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
The Open Market Review *was* the point that all the operators (incl BT) told Essex CC which areas they intended to serve commercially.

That was done between 4th Feb and 4th March 2013.

There was then a month-long public consultation (20th March to 19th April), with a document that included the white/grey/black coverage maps created from the OMR.

That doc defines basic BB as minimum 2Mbps, and SFBB as minimum 24Mbps.

The original timetable suggested contract award 3 months after the invitation to tender.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@WWWombat: "The original timetable suggested contract award 3 months after the invitation to tender." With all due respect, here is no genuine tender process, it's all geared toward giving BT more money who will then fully own and control the assets. I'd be surprised if there any other contenders at all.

Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff - 'fully own and control the assets' - what's the alternative?
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
I'm glad to see you'd rather spend your time arguing over a point I didn't make, than trying to sort out your own situation. You'll find time spent looking at the maps I found for you more fruitful.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
For the sake of your argument though, it doesn't matter how many bidding companies there will be - ECC still have to send out the invitation to tender, and still have to wait the right amount of time to wait for the bidders and offer a contract.

It isn't my fault that only one company has the technical solution that meets the county's budget and meets the monthly spend requirements of end users - and the non-competitive competitors withdrew.

Anyone would think you'd rather stay in the dark ages.
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