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Essex County Council is commissioning the next phase of work on its Superfast Essex programme, aiming to provide 100 per cent superfast broadband connectivity by 2021.
Expected to be the last phase of work under the council’s broadband improvement programme, the fourth phase will be funded by project savings, subsidy refunds from BT, contributions by local Essex councils and a new grant from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme (BDUK).
The council is also planning to apply for further government grants worth up to £18 million, which, if secured, would bring the overall value of the Phase 4 public investment will be up to £29 million.
The work of network delivery partners BT and Gigaclear will take the total superfast footprint delivered by Superfast Essex to 144,000 homes and businesses, with some 90,000 addresses already enabled.
Kevin Bentley, cabinet member for Economic Growth, Skills, Infrastructure and the Digital Economy, said: “We have an ambition to become one of the best connected counties in the UK as we recognise the importance superfast broadband has for residents and businesses alike. Essex is a fast-growing county which makes achieving close to 100 per cent coverage no mean feat but the County Council remains committed to improving the availability of broadband and considers it one of our priorities to invest in.”