Superfast Essex Community Wi-Fi Scheme extended to all suppliers

More Essex communities are being given an opportunity to set up a public wi-fi service as the Superfast Essex Community Wi-Fi Scheme is opened up to all suppliers.

Community hubs, such as village halls or community centres, can apply for up to £400 towards the cost of installing a superfast broadband service and setting up wi-fi on their premises.

The scheme was set up by Essex County Council’s Superfast Essex broadband programme in September 2016 to encourage communities to make use of the upgraded infrastructure being installed by the superfast broadband rollout.

The funding is provided via Essex County Council’s Community Initiatives Fund (CIF), a small grants scheme designed to support community projects.

In its first year the Community Wi-Fi scheme received 19 successful applications from community hubs, and five of those now have a live wi-fi service available. In response to feedback indicating that the list of only two potential suppliers was too restrictive, Superfast Essex has opened up the scheme and communities can now select a broadband service provider of their choice to install their superfast broadband and wi-fi service.

The scheme will be officially re-launched at the Rural Community Council for Essex (RCCE) Village Halls Conference on Saturday 14th October.

Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Skills, Infrastructure, and the Digital Economy, said: “This scheme provides a great opportunity for communities to get online and access faster connectivity so it is great news the Community Initiatives Fund has agreed to support it for a second year. I encourage all communities without Wi-Fi currently to consider submitting an application and with an open choice of supplier there is even more choice.”

For more information and to apply for the Superfast Essex Community Wi-Fi Scheme visit www.superfastessex.org/communitywifischeme.

Community hubs in Alphamstone, Bradwell, Mayland, Peldon and White Colne are now live.

Notes to Editors:

- A ‘community hub’ is a community facility such as a village hall, community centre, or parish hall, run as a charity or on a ‘not for profit’ basis, that is available to the public to use and hire in a particular area for community-related recreational activities. This excludes halls only available primarily for one exclusive use such as pre-schools, members clubs etc.
- For more information about the Community Initiatives Fund visit: www.essex.gov.uk/CIF.