Essex County Council (ECC) has moved a step closer to securing better broadband for the county and enabling parts of Essex to access Superfast Broadband that currently do not receive this service.
On Monday 4 February 2013, ECC moved in the 2nd phase of the procurement process. This means that the county council is working towards awarding the contract to a chosen supplier this summer. Work will be able to begin shortly after, meaning residents will be able to access Superfast broadband services in 2013.
Originally, BDUK, the national government body responsible for the project, estimated that Essex would not be able to begin the procurement process until May 2013. Through the hard work of the council and partners, ECC were able to demonstrate that the process could begin earlier.
Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth said, “Faster broadband speeds across the county will make a huge difference to our residents for a range of services - education, entertainment, staying in touch, online shopping, etc. It is also extremely important to businesses in the county. It could enable them to promote themselves to a new audience, allow their products to be purchased online and to keep up to date with relevant industry developments.
“I would encourage businesses, as well as residents, to register their interest in Superfast broadband in their area. The survey results will be passed over to the chosen supplier to show them where in Essex the greatest need for an upgrade is.”
There are a number of other benefits that businesses can expect when working in areas that can receive Superfast broadband:
Home working - a chance to cut out the commute
No more waiting for large budget documents or files to download
E-Commerce: Ensuring your business can cope with customer demand rather than leaving purchasers frustrated at the speed of your website.
Video conferencing - save on your business travel
Collaborative working - cut out the couriers and the cost by testing business ideas online.
HMRC and VAT Returns
For more information on the Superfast Essex project, and to register your interest in getting better broadband where you live or work, visit www.superfastessex.org