Broadband News

Essex to push for close to 100% superfast broadband coverage by 2021

Essex has the distinction of on its western edge merging seamlessly into the urban sprawl of London with its residential suburbs that have very good superfast broadband coverage but the county where many of those who work in the financial heart of London live still has 1 in 10 premises without access to a superfast broadband option (89.9% coverage at 30 Mbps and faster, 90.37% at over 24 Mbps as of 20th September).

A lot more delivery of superfast broadband in underway, and the county council has just approved a phase 4 roll-out that if applications for Government grants is successful could have some £29 million. £11 million is already earmarked which is a mixture of savings and gain share from phase 1 and 2 (phase 3 is getting underway and along with phase 2 should complete by December 2019) plus money from the district councils and a new grant from BDUK.

The aim of phase 4 is to push superfast broadband coverage to near 100% across the county, though as ever there is a small qualification, in the press release on the Essex County Council website someone has not learnt the difference between fibre broadband and superfast broadband, but we are hopeful they mean near 100% superfast. With no contract signed its difficult and the wide variation in what level of funding will be available to reach the nearly 100% by 2021 goal means lots of questions, but at least the ambition is underway. The tender process for this phase 4 is set to start in October 2017 and fingers crossed who ever bids will put a full fibre heavy bid onto the table.

As usual for county level announcements we have pulled together our coverage analysis for the county and the BT phase 1 and phase 2 projects, the contribution from Gigaclear is included in the county/district results but is not in the phase 2 figures. The phase 1 totals may look low, but as phase 2 is delivering VDSL2 to existing and infill cabients where many of the infill cabinets were delivered as part of phase 1 the totals tend to shift around, for those wondering this is not double funding as those premises that did not get uplifted to superfast speeds are not counted in the funding calculations (some projects may have funding allocations set for bringing premises to above a lower figure of 2 Mbps or maybe 15 Mbps).

thinkbroadband analysis of Superfast, USC, USO and Fibre Broadband Coverage across the Essex and its District Councils and delivery via the BDUK BT contracts.
data 20th September 2017
Area% fibre based
VDSL2 or
FTTP or
Cable
% Openreach VDSL2/FTTP% superfast
30 Mbps or faster
% Ultrafast
100 Mbps or faster

% Full Fibre
(Openreach FTTP)

% Under 2 Mbps download% Under 10 Mbps download
Essex 93% 86% 89.9% 36.9%

0.81%

(0.08%)

0.5% 3.5%

Total Premises

624,754

580,884 558,374 561,774 230,381

5,064

(502)

3,152 21,631
BDUK Essex Phase 1 (*)75,581 premises 99.8% 99.8% 91.5% 9.6%

0.76%

(0%)

1% 2.9%
BDUK Essex Phase 2 (*)50,908 premises 66.4% 52.9% 58.8% 15.9%

0.81%

(0%)

1.4% 13%
Basildon 97.3% 92.1% 96.3% 62.2%

0.46%

(0.06%)

0.1% 1.3%
Braintree 83.7% 83.7% 79% 0%

0%

(0%)

0.8% 6.3%
Castlepoint 99.4% 97.8% 98.3% 44.8%

0%

(0%)

0.3% 0.7%
Chelmsford 93% 91.4% 90% 46%

0.33%

(0.18%)

0.4% 2.3%
Colchester 93.6% 87.3% 90.9% 57.5%

0%

(0%)

0.3% 4.3%
Epping Forest 96.1% 78% 94.1% 78.3%

6.78%

(0%)

0.6% 2%
Harlow 98.9% 94% 98.7% 90.8%

0.63%

(0.63%)

0% 0.3%
Maldon 89.8% 89.8% 81% 0%

0%

(0%)

0.9% 7.7%
Rochford 95.8% 95.8% 93.2% 0%

0%

(0%)

0.4% 2.4%
Tendring 93.1% 93.1% 88.9% 0%

0%

(0%)

1% 3.6%
Uttlesford 80.7% 75.4% 73.8% 19.5%

0.26%

(0.25%)

1.4% 11.5%

(*) FTTP from Openreach or Gigaclear is not included in the BDUK figures, so for example in the case of Gigaclear in the Epping Forest area allowances have to be made, plus the presence of Hyperoptic.

The question is how near to 100% will be delivered but given that the funding levels are still to be set in stone some vagueness is to be expected, plus a lot will depend on what financial contribution the firm or firms that win the eventual contract for this phase 4.

Comments

Andrew, Your Exxex Full fibre figures are the wrong way up! The 0.08 should be in the brackets. Harlow looks like one of the best councils in the country with only 0.
3% under 10Mb and 0 under 2Mb. I would be interested if any area has hit the 0% under 10Mb yet. Also it would be interesting to know how many ( and where) are now 0% under 2Mb.

Thanks

  • jumpmum
  • 2 months ago

Fixed the mistake, note 0% is only to 0.1% resolution so may be a few still to do...

As for 10 Mbps http://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/E07000135 Oadby and Winston is pretty close

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 2 months ago

Good to see, suggests the B-USO implementation or enforcement is rolled out after these works are completed.

  • ValueforMoney
  • 2 months ago

Enforcement of the USO is down to central Gov/Ofcom and as yet has not been devolved to local authorities. So delaying USO to post 2021 in Essex is not possible at present.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 2 months ago

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