Pioneering communications technology is being used for the first time in Essex to bring faster broadband to the picturesque village of Dedham. At the same time Superfast Essex celebrates reaching its 40,000 milestone – and is now one third of the way towards reaching its current goal of enabling 120,000 homes and businesses in Essex to access fibre broadband.
Around 180 homes and businesses in Dedham village are now able to enjoy some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK following the switching on of the county’s first ‘all-in-one’ fibre broadband cabinet, installed by BT’s local network business, Openreach, under the Superfast Essex programme. Normally two cabinets are needed to bring fibre broadband to an area - the existing road-side cabinet and a new one for the fibre technology. By combining all the technology into one cabinet the amount of street furniture is reduced.
Dedham village is the first community in Essex to benefit from this new ‘all-in-one’ technology, which is in addition to 200 standard fibre cabinets so far enabled by the Superfast Essex programme across the county.
The premises in Dedham village served by the all-in-one cabinet will be able to get download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps*. Other premises in the village have already been connected to fibre, since the first standard fibre cabinet went live there in November 2014. An additional cabinet will be installed in the coming months, which means 487 homes and businesses in Dedham will be able to connect to superfast broadband. Other parts of the community not yet enabled are expected to receive investment in our second rollout.
Cllr Kevin Taylor, Parish Councillor for Dedham Village welcomed the development: “I am delighted at the arrival of new fast broadband in Dedham. I understand that this single cabinet is the first of its kind in Essex. The rollout of superfast broadband is a huge benefit to the people and businesses of Dedham and the surrounding areas.”
Making sure rural areas get the same services as towns is vital. That's why I'm pleased that Dedham is moving into the faster broadband age. Our area has had real problems with internet speeds and phone signals. This is just the start of a big effort to change that. I very much look forward to the future phases of the programme and, I hope, increased coverage for those areas of Dedham which have not yet been upgraded”.
Superfast Essex, the programme run by Essex County Council with additional funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme and the private sector, aims to take fibre broadband to around 95 per cent of premises in Essex by early 2020.
Councillor Penny Channer, Deputy Cabinet Member for Economic Growth & Infrastructure and Waste and Recycling, said: “This is fantastic news for Essex. Our investment in bringing faster broadband to rural areas is fast becoming a reality for many in the county. Being able to use new and innovative technology will play a key part in supporting the county’s future growth and prosperity by supporting rural businesses. This is another promising step in Essex’s journey to become one of the best connected counties in the world.”
Dave Hughes, BT’s Regional Director for the East of England, said: “The Superfast Essex rollout is a huge engineering undertaking but is progressing extremely well. Everyone is committed to delivering the best value for the partnership, whilst of course connecting communities as quickly as possible. The partnership builds on BT’s commercial fibre broadband programme, which has already made fibre broadband available to more than 581,000 households and businesses in the county.”
The Openreach network being installed under the Superfast Essex programme is open to communications providers on an equal basis. This means that once an area has gone live for fibre, people can order fibre broadband from a range of broadband providers, ensuring competitive prices.
Find out the latest information for your area at www.superfastessex.org/maps. Anyone not covered by the Superfast Essex programme can register their demand for superfast broadband by completing the Make the Connection Survey at www.superfastessex.org/getinvolved.