Essex County Council has announced the areas of Essex which should be included in the first six months of upgrades to the broadband provision in the county and it has been made clear that Harlow Enterprise Zone will be one of these.
Essex County Council and BT have developed initial modelling of the county and will now carryout surveys, network design and planning to develop an implementation plan for the next two and a half years.
Essex County Council has decided upon these areas using least-cost factors, proximity to network and information such as the demand registration survey. The decision to include Harlow Enterprise Zone in the first six months of activity was based on the benefits this would bring to the economy. Increased broadband speeds will allow businesses to base themselves here and begin to trade with customers more efficiently whilst also benefiting from the other features of an Enterprise Zone. . The project will see over thirty business parks enabled with superfast broadband and more than sixty-five thousand premises across Essex enabled with superfast broadband.
Areas of Essex can see works happening early in 2014 pending the surveys and other design and planning work. The County Council is mindful of the technical and complex nature of this project and have been informed that plans can change. As well as the Harlow Enterprise Zone, initial modelling has identified areas such as Boxted, Myland and St Andrews, that may see early works.
Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Infrastructure said, “It is important that we give BT as much information as possible to help them formulate the plan of action for Essex over the next couple of years. I believe the decisions we have made will have a positive impact on the Essex Economy. As a council we want to do all we can to support businesses and continue to support the economy. Broadband is one of the ways we can do this and I look forward to working with BT and ensuring Essex residents and businesses can see the benefitsas soon as possible.”
Essex County Council has produced map which highlights its priority areas for upgrade. This has been sent to all Essex MPs and is also available on www.superfastessex.org