Broadband News

Progress in East Sussex as phase 2 contract signed

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
% superfast
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%
Brighton Kempton 98.7% 98% 97.6% 68.2% 0% 0.3% 7.3%
Brighton Pavillion 99.4% 99.4% 99.3% 94.1% 0% 0.2% 0.4%
Eastbourne 98.9% 94.7% 93.1% 0% 0.3% 0.1% 3.4%
Hastings and Rye 96.2% 87.5% 85.9% 0% 0% 3.1% 9.6%
Hove 99.4% 99.1% 99.1% 88.3% 0% 0% 0.5%
Lewes 88.2% 80.9% 79.1% 0% 0% 0.9% 15.5%
Wealden 87.8% 73.6% 69.6% 0.1% 0% 1.2% 20.6%

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.


"but it may be a reflection that BT felt other areas needed its money more than East Sussex" such as over building existing super fast areas in West Sussex with FTTP perhaps? oh wait that was mainly BDUK cash too..

  • kijoma
  • about 1 year ago

So what is so magic about 24mbps vs 30mbps? It probably won't make much functional difference, and in any event you can set any threshold you like and it won't make what can be achieved using VDSL2 and existing cabinets any faster.
The name of the game is maximising the coverage for the money available and within a time frame. Just how much difference would it make setting 30mpbs? The answer is (without more money) absolutely nothing.

  • TheEulerID
  • about 1 year ago

Using a 30 Mbps target seems to be optional for all projects that were already running at the time of the EU approval. And, I guess only applies to ones following the framework.

  • WWWombat
  • about 1 year ago

@TheEulerID Nothing magic between the two, we are now displaying both sets of figures so that our coverage figures should align better with what projects and politicians talk about.

Nationally the difference is 84.7% versus 84%

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 year ago

The thing is that they were always going to upgrade the cabinets - even if it didn't make sense! Now with just 1% planed for phase 2 it will be fairly easy to guess which areas will benefit from FTTP. You have a clear run at picking up the rest and you can pass on some of your infrastructure costs to your new customers because if they want superfast, fixed wireless is their only option.

  • chilting
  • about 1 year ago

kijoma....the difference between 24mbps and 30mpbs is 25%. ;)

  • Shempz
  • about 1 year ago

...meant TheEulerID, not kijoma!

  • Shempz
  • about 1 year ago

BT started to install FTTP in Buxted East Sussex

  • tonygriff1009
  • about 1 year ago

All very nice but some of us in East Sussex would be grateful to get more than 0.3mbps!! YES I did write 0.3!

  • gobb
  • about 1 year ago

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