Make the most of your gifts and sign up for speedy broadband

Homes and businesses in Essex are being encouraged to register their demand for superfast broadband and get up to speed to make the most of their gifts this Christmas.

Have you bought or received a tablet, games console or laptop this Christmas? Thinking of picking one up in the New Year sales? Want to do everything online even faster? Then use the Superfast Essex website Postcode Checker to see if you can buy a fibre broadband service now. If it is not yet available in your area, complete the Make the Connection survey on the same website to tell us you want superfast broadband and the opportunity to use your gadgets to their full potential.

The reminder comes as part of a national campaign to raise awareness of the benefits faster internet speeds can bring at a time when many people will give or receive internet-enabled devices as Christmas presents.

In Essex, the Superfast Essex programme coordinated by Essex County Council is rolling out fibre broadband to enable 87% of Essex homes and businesses access to superfast broadband by summer 2016, and further work is already being planned to increase this to 95%.

The Superfast Essex programme forms part of the national £1.7billion initiative to improve the UK’s digital infrastructure and create a Superfast Britain with 95% of businesses and homes across the UK accessing superfast broadband by 2017.

So far in Essex, the Government’s rollout of fibre broadband has brought faster internet speeds to more than 13,000 homes and businesses since April this year and work remains on track. In the UK, 78% can already access superfast broadband. However, recent figures show that many people are not aware whether or not they can get superfast broadband where they live, or what they need to do to take up the service.

Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Infrastructure, Waste and Recycling, said: “The rollout of superfast broadband across Essex creates exciting opportunities for us all.

“Many of the services we use are now online and with the growth of streaming services and online shopping, now’s the time for residents and businesses to find out whether they can benefit from superfast broadband. I encourage everyone to go to www.gov.uk/gosuperfast or contact their internet service provider to see if they can access superfast broadband already or to register their demand for future plans.”

Research shows that UK homes are getting more connected, with the average number of digital devices in the home increasing rapidly. Superfast broadband can help meet the need to operate computers, tablets, set top boxes and smartphones at the same time, and help users to enjoy the options of working at home, running a small business or catching up on favourite TV programmes and films.

Find out more about the superfast broadband rollout in Essex by visiting www.gov.uk/gosuperfast or www.superfastessex.org. Residents and businesses can register their demand for superfast broadband by completing the Make the Connection survey on the Superfast Essex website.