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.
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.