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Essex and Yorkshire join superfast broadband club

Essex County Council (opens in new tab) has recently awarded a contract for the provision of ultrafast broadband with speeds of up to 1Gbps to over 4500 homes and businesses across Epping Forest.

Pure fibre broadband provider Gigaclear (opens in new tab) will be responsible for the Internet rollout across the area, which is part of Superfast Essex’s ‘Rural Challenge Project (opens in new tab).’

Construction work for the £7.5 million project is due to begin in October this year, with the aim of making the first customers live before Christmas.

It is hoped the contract will provide what has traditionally been one of the most difficult to reach communities with some of the best connectivity in the world.

“Today marks another milestone in the journey to make Essex one of the best connected counties in the UK,” claimed Councillor Kevin Bentley, deputy leader and cabinet member for Economic Growth, Infrastructure and Waste and Recycling at Essex County Council.

“I am very pleased that Epping Forest has been selected to pilot the rural challenge project in Essex,” added Cllr Alan Lion, portfolio holder responsible for technology at Epping Forest District Council (opens in new tab).

“Faster broadband speeds means that our residents and businesses based in rural areas of the district will benefit from much better connectivity than currently available and will provide a much more reliable Internet service,” Lion claimed.

Superfast West Yorkshire

Meanwhile, in West Yorkshire, a new multi million pound deal has been signed with BT to extend the rollout of superfast fibre broadband in the area.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA (opens in new tab)) has handed the telecoms giant the responsibility of provided tens of thousands more households and businesses in West Yorkshire and York access to much faster Internet.

The second phase of Superfast West Yorkshire (opens in new tab), alongside BT’s own commercial rollout of new high-speed technology, will extend coverage of fibre broadband throughout the current programme area, as well as into York and Kirklees.

A further 28,000 homes and businesses are expected to get access within the next three years as part of the £13m deal.

“Digital connectivity across our region is of utmost importance to businesses looking to accelerate their growth into new and existing markets but is also essential to businesses running their day to day activities,” claimed chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership Roger Marsh (opens in new tab).

“I am delighted that through this new contract we have secured the rollout of fibre to business parks and industrial centres across our city region that urgently need faster broadband speeds to improve their competitiveness and productivity,” he added.

© and Recylet member for Economic Growth, Infrastructure and Waste and Recylcling Councillor Kevin Bentley.