What's happening next?

Superfast Essex is striving to close the remaining gaps in superfast broadband coverage across Essex. Read here about our plans for the future.

In addition to continuing with our existing superfast broadband rollout plans under Phase 2a and Phase 3, we have also signed contracts for a Phase 4a and now also a Phase 4b to do even more.  

We recognise that all this work will still leave some areas without access to superfast broadband speeds and Essex County Council wants to ensure that these properties are also eligible to be included in future plans where possible. We have updated our State Aid map of broadband coverage to ensure we focus any future work where we know there is no superfast broadband coverage available or planned. Our ambition is to make superfast broadband available to as many homes and businesses as possible by 2021, and we are continuing to explore several options to secure options to secure sufficient funding to help with this. However we are aware we do not currently have enough funding available to reach everyone.

Thanks to substantial local investment contributions from Epping Forest District Council, Basildon Borough Council and Braintree District Council we have already been able to sign contracts with Openreach and Gigaclear for a Phase 4a, which will significantly boost coverage in these areas and the additional coverage is now shown on our interactive map.

Three further contracts have now been signed with Openreach for a Phase 4b which will include work in multiple districts in Essex thanks to a £5million DEFRA grant specifically to improve superfast broadband access for rural businesses across Essex. The new Phase 4b plans are also now shown on our interactive map. Phase 4b may also be expanded upon if future funding sources become available.

Anyone not currently able to access superfast broadband and not in plans to receive it is recommended to explore what other options may be available to help gain access to faster broadband. These three government schemes in particular may be of interest: www.superfastessex.org/fundingschemes.

Superfast Essex is working with commercial operators to encourage more private investment in broadband and in several areas within the county this is now happening. We are aware that sometimes the information we receive from commercial operators is subject to change as commercial deployment plans are altered and operators improve the quality of their own data.

In order to identify exactly which properties have no superfast connection available, or planned to be installed, and should be eligible for investment, the Superfast Essex programme has created a State Aid map, which shows the status of superfast broadband availability for each property in Essex and was last updated in November 2018.

The information displayed on this map was obtained from broadband network operators during an Open Market Review (OMR) held in 2016 and has been refined multiple times since then using further feedback from the public and network operators resulting from three public consultations and Superfast Essex monitoring of commercial coverage.

The map uses a classification as defined within the EU State Aid legislation in relation to superfast broadband, which in EU terms is described as Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband. The categories are:

  • NGA Black (More than one superfast provider),
  • NGA Grey (One superfast provider),
  • NGA White (No superfast providers) and
  • NGA Under Review (Yellow - Superfast provision under review).

Under the EU rules, Superfast Essex is only permitted to intervene with subsidised deployment in NGA White areas, where there is ‘market failure’, i.e. there is no superfast coverage available and no plans exist to deploy this within the next three years.

Please note that all properties planned for work under the Superfast Essex programme are shown as NGA Under Review (Yellow). It is possible that due to engineering reasons some properties planned under the current deployment may not actually achieve superfast speeds when the plans are fully implemented.

Members of the public are still welcome to tell Superfast Essex if they believe the connectivity status for their property is incorrect by using the online contact us form. Any feedback received will be updated onto the interactive rollout map and included if another State Aid map update is conducted at a later date as appropriate.

To read the Superfast Essex Phase 4 State Aid Public Consultation Final Update Report and associated documentation, click on the links below:

Please note the interactive State Aid map is not to be confused with the interactive rollout map. The rollout map is the most current source of superfast broadband availability and is regularly updated. It also identifies the Superfast Essex Phase 2, 3, 4a and 4b deployment plans.