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16 August 2017, 06:39
Residents and businesses are being encouraged to tell Essex County Council whether they can access superfast broadband at their address to help inform future broadband investment plans.
The Superfast Essex Public Consultation 2017 is being run by the Superfast Essex broadband programme until midnight on Thursday 31st August 2017 to reassess which areas will not have access to superfast broadband speeds after all existing plans are completed. The aim is to identify which areas should be eligible for future investment.
Members of the public are encouraged to view the Superfast Essex interactive State Aid map on the programme's website at www.superfastessex.org/whatshappeningnext to check the broadband status for their address and respond to the consultation via a link on the same page to tell us if the status shown is incorrect. Members of the public will be required to contact the network operators listed in the form to obtain evidence if they believe a superfast broadband service is not available where our map indicates that it is.
Essex County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Skills, Infrastructure and the Digital Economy, said: "I strongly recommend everyone in Essex takes the time to ensure they respond to this consultation to make sure we correctly identify where investment is still required in superfast broadband. Superfast Essex has increased superfast broadband access significantly across our county but we do not want to become complacent and need your help to get any future plans right."
The Superfast Essex programme is working with network operators Openreach and Gigaclear to extend superfast coverage to 144,000 properties under its Phase 2 and 3 rollouts by December 2019, aiming to provide 97% coverage across the county once all work is complete.
However, Essex County Council recognises the need to help the remaining unserved areas and is already hoping to do more with the aim of becoming a completely connected county by 2021.
The interactive State Aid map was created based on information from network operators received under an Open Market Review (OMR) and a public consultation held in 2016 and other public feedback. This consultation is an opportunity to ensure the data behind our map is correct.
Visit www.superfastessex.org/whatshappeningnext to view the interactive State Aid map and respond to the Superfast Essex Public Consultation by midnight Thursday 31st August 2017.