In response to ‘County’s superfast broadband sham’ (Gary Mewis, letters, 6 April).
Mr Mewis is perfectly correct that BT is upgrading those areas in the county that are commercially viable for them. Private communication providers generally offer good broadband services in urban or more populated areas. However, these do not reach all of the market towns and rural parishes in the region, which is why the government has invited local authorities to bid for funding towards broadband plans to cover those areas.
Currently, only 3 percent of homes and businesses in East Sussex has access to superfast broadband. We have secured funding from the Government to upgrade 90 percent of the county to superfast broadband by 2015 whilst ensuring that everyone in the county can get a basic broadband speed of at least 2 Mbps.
Areas such as Northiam are included in our countywide Local Broadband Plan, which was submitted to Government at the end of February. Once approved, the £10.64m funding allocated by Government will be released, and will add to the £15m we have committed to delivering superfast broadband.
The next key step for us is to have our Local Broadband Plan approved by Government, which we anticipate in the next few weeks. We are hoping to have contracts in place with our delivery partner this Autumn and we will work with them to roll out superfast broadband as quickly as possible.
Everyone in East Sussex can support the project by completing our questionnaire, as this helps us to prove to Government – and to the telecommunications industry – that there is demand for superfast broadband in East Sussex.
To fill out the broadband survey go to eastsussex.gov.uk/haveyoursay or visit your local library. For a paper copy phone 01273 335991.
I can assure you that once we have secured a delivery partner, we will be rolling out superfast broadband to as many communities and businesses as quickly as we can. By 2017, we will deliver on our long-term plan to provide superfast to the whole county.
Councillor Keith Glazier
Deputy Leader, East Sussex County Council