Another County is progressing down its projects timeline, which means today sees the first nine areas of East Sussex that will benefit from the contract that was signed with BT back in May 2013. The nine areas are: Burwash, Etchingham, Hadlow Down, Heathfield, Horam, Mayfield, Robertsbridge, Rotherfield and Rushlake Green.
It is expected that the surveying will start in November with new fibre based services available in another six to nine months.
A PDF file has also been added to the Go East Sussex website. At this time apparently the council does not have accurate data at the postcode or premises level but is expecting to make this available as the project progresses.
"Is there a chance that despite the rollout of superfast broadband I may not get access to it?
The problems of some areas are so difficult for cost or technical reasons that they may not get superfast speeds. However, we believe that 96% of East Sussex premises will have access to superfast speeds (99% will get access to fibre broadband which means that even if speeds are not superfast, you will still notice a considerable improvement). Only a very small proportion of premises will get the universal service commitment (at least 2mbps).
Is my community one of the areas that will only get 2mbps?
Unlike other local authority projects we will be covering every exchange area. This means that it is very unlikely that whole areas or communities will miss out on significant speed uplifts. It is much more likely that individual premises or very small groups of premises will be in the “universal service commitment” category (at least 2 mbps).
Where are these premises?
We don’t yet know. This will only become definitely known as surveying and implementation completes and we just don’t have accurate data at the current time. Even in these cases the project is committed to delivering as much as it can – including using new technologies that may become available during the project’s lifetime if we are able to do so. We will keep the situation under close review."FAQ for East Sussex Broadband Project
To hit the figure of 99% connected to a fibre based service this means that if you are currently on an Exchange Only line e.g. the streets closest to the exchange then it looks almost certain you will still get a FTTC based service. Those solitary properties on Exchange Only lines and a long way from the exchange by our own estimates are likely to be those in the final 1% for East Sussex. The difficult area is those clusters in between these two examples, and that is where a degree of faith and trust that the Council and BT will work towards hitting the 99% on a fibre based solution come into play.
With the complaints about lack of information on where the final 10% are located over the last few months the targets for East Sussex make it pretty clear, that these properties will be widely dispersed, but they should still see some improvements to meet the baseline 2 Mbps Universal Service Commitment. Expansion by the fixed wireless provider Kijoma may give some areas of East Sussex another option outside of the council led project.