South Essex councils get £2.5m broadband boost

Government funding will enable councils to complete 200km full fibre broadband infrastructure

Credit: Matthias Balk/DPA/Press Association Images

Local authorities in south Essex have been awarded £2.5m of government funding to continue their project to rollout of high-speed full fibre broadband.

The Association of South Essex Local Authorities secured the money from the government’s £900m Getting Building Fund.

It means the councils will be able to add another 100 connections and 75km of fibre infrastructure to a project which has already laid 130km of full fibre across south Essex. Nearly 130 public sector sites, including schools, GP surgeries and care homes, have been digitally connected by the initiative.

It was initially made possible by a successful bid for £4.4m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which was secured in February 2019.

The association intends that, by March 2022, south Essex will have more than 200km of full fibre, stretching from Purfleet-on-Thames in the west to Canewdon in the east.

Digital infrastructure minister Matt Warman, said: “We’ve already invested millions in south Essex to bring the fastest internet speeds on the market to dozens of schools, doctors’ surgeries and care homes.

“This extra funding boost will go even further to improve our valued public services and encourage broadband firms to build their own lightning-fast gigabit networks to surrounding homes and businesses.”

Chris Hossack, chair of the Association of South Essex Local Authorities, said: “There can be no doubt that digital connectivity is a key enabler to deliver on our growth plans for south Essex.”

The Getting Building Fund, announced in July 2020, aims to support the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic with money for local, ready-to start infrastructure projects. It is focusing on areas facing the biggest economic challenges.

PublicTechnology staff

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