Southend may embrace FTTH or just roll-out a dark fibre network
There has been talk of digging up many roads in Southend to roll-out a Gigabit capable network across the borough and while no operator for the contract has been announced given the tender wording the most likely bidder seems to be CityFibre.
The tender that went out from the Borough Council in 2015 was seeking a dark fibre operator to connect 120 premises across the area, with the council providing the hardware on the end and network services. This fits in with what has happened in the Gigabit Cities where CityFibre already operates, and given the council leader was talking to a Residents Association and the extent of the digging it suggests that a full FTTH roll-out is expected to follow very soon after the main dark fibre contract is complete.
Southend has not been neglected in the roll-outs of superfast broadband as it has 96.7% of premises covered by superfast broadband (59.7% with access to Virgin Media up to 200 Mbps services) and was at 94.2% superfast coverage way back in June 2012. So while the prospect of Gigabit broadband will make some salivate and it should future proof the area for a few decades the questions over when will the roll-out take place and to what level of coverage will it reach are the key questions people will be asking.