It may be a few days since the East Sussex project signed its contract with BT, but initially we were waiting on the official release and then got side tracked with everything else going on. So now time to update and show where we think coverage in East Sussex currently is.
The phase 2 contract has been signed with BT, and is made up of £2m from Westminster, £2m from East Sussex County Council and just £0.2m from BT. Given the national phase 2 target is 95% superfast and the East Sussex phase 1 project is aiming for 96% they are lucky to have got extra funding in some ways. The low investment from BT will draw criticism but it may be a reflection that BT felt other areas needed its money more than East Sussex which will not perfect should be a lot better than many other parts of the UK.
The phase 2 contract is supposed to bring superfast broadband to more 5,000 premises and we presume this means 24 Mbps or faster, we had hoped that all the phase 2 projects would adopt the EU led 30 Mbps figure, but alas not. The 5,000 represents just under 2% in terms of coverage, so if phase 1 delivers we are looking at 98% superfast coverage.
East Sussex (excluding Brighton and Hove) has an overall fibre coverage of 92.5%, at 24 Mbps or faster 83.4% and using the 30 Mbps superfast target coverage is 81.1% (a sprinkling of cable and FTTP at 0.1% each). Brighton and Hove looks very different, fibre based 99.3% coverage, 99% at 24 Mbps or 30 Mbps and 90.6% with access to Virgin Media cable. Brighton and Hove is not part of the East Sussex project falling instead in the SuperConnected Cities voucher scheme.
|thinkbroadband calculation of Superfast Broadband Coverage in the constituencies in East Sussex - coverage as of 5th July 2015|
|Area||% fibre based||% superfast
24 Mbps or faster
30 Mbps or faster
|% cable||% Openreach FTTP||% Under 2 Mbps USC||% Under 15 Mbps|
|Bexhill and Battle||88.3%||75.2%||72.4%||0.1%||0%||2.6%||19.6%|
|Hastings and Rye||96.2%||87.5%||85.9%||0%||0%||3.1%||9.6%|
The phase 2 timeline is not set in stone yet, but build work is expected to start in the summer of 2016 and the East Sussex press release hits that it will include premises that may already be on a fibre enabled cabinet but not able to receive superfast speeds, as well as more Exchange Only conversions and given the size of the project fund we hope a high ratio of FTTP.
Update 7th July We've dropped the proposed USO column from the coverage table and added a superfast at 24 Mbps or faster column. This is to help people align our figures with coverage announcements by DCMS and the projects and help judge whether or not contracts have been delivered as originally announced.