Brentwood has joined the Superfast Essex broadband programme as one of the first ‘live’ fibre broadband cabinets was unveiled at the Hutton Industrial Estate this week (Thursday 21 August).
The red ribbon was cut at the green cabinet in Wash Road, at the junction with Tallon Road by Eric Pickles MP for Brentwood and Ongar who was joined by the Leader of Brentwood Borough Council, Councillor Barry Aspinell; Essex County Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Infrastructure and Chairman of the Superfast Essex Board, Councillor Penny Channer; BT’s Regional Partnership Director, Annette Thorpe as well as businesses from the Industrial Estate.
This cabinet in Brentwood is one of three which has been made live as a result of the Superfast Essex programme so far. Together these cabinets have enabled more than 230 connections for fibre broadband services for residents and businesses in their vicinity. A further 22 new fibre cabinets are due to be introduced in the Borough of Brentwood later in the programme providing more than 5,300 additional connections.
Superfast Essex, part of the national Superfast Britain programme being coordinated by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), is a £24.6 million programme to deliver the county’s biggest ever broadband transformation. Essex County Council is spearheading the programme in partnership with BT and the District and Borough Councils to make fibre broadband available to more than 87% of premises in the county by the end of summer 2016, with the potential to achieve superfast speeds of 24Mbps and above. Additionally, the Superfast Essex programme aims to deliver 2Mbps for all premises in the county in the project area, fast enough to use online services such as BBC iPlayer. For more information visit www.superfastessex.org
In Brentwood the Superfast Essex programme is working to increase superfast broadband coverage from 68% of the borough up to 85% by 2016.
The Leader of Brentwood Borough Council, Councillor Barry Aspinell, said: “Anything that helps our businesses has got to be a good thing and I hope that more businesses and residents in the Borough will soon benefit from the Superfast Essex Broadband Programme”.
Brentwood MP, Eric Pickles, said: “Superfast broadband is a great equaliser for Brentwood. Companies like Schwartz Printing and The Style Works, which rely on the ability to send and receive huge files of material by email, will benefit immeasurably, and this will be good for business in Brentwood. Domestic properties will be able to use the service too, so the option of working from home or just downloading a film within minutes using these fast broadband speeds, will be opened up to many more people.”
Annette Thorpe, BT’s Regional Partnership Director, said: “The Superfast Essex programme is making strong progress, bringing high-speed fibre broadband to some of the most challenging areas. The programme shows the power of the public and private sectors working together.
“BT has brought technical expertise to the table as well as millions of pounds of investment. This exciting technology is providing a major boost for local households and businesses in Brentwood as well as Essex, whether they are using it to work more efficiently and find new customers or for online learning and leisure.”
Essex County Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Economic Growth & Infrastructure and Chairman of the Superfast Essex Board, Councillor Penny Channer, added: “It is fantastic that superfast broadband has now arrived in Brentwood – and businesses are already noticing the difference. Thousands more residents and businesses stand to benefit in this borough and I encourage them to make the most of the opportunity to take up this faster broadband service when it becomes available. Having a faster internet connection really can make a difference to business operations as well as everyday simple tasks at home. Look out for the Superfast Essex cabinet stickers to know when it’s there, and ask your provider to switch to fibre. I’m pleased to see the Superfast Essex programme is progressing well and look forward to it reaching even more of the county.”