BT has been charged with the task of connecting 98 per cent of West Sussex to superfast broadband by Spring 2016.
Superfast broadband connections providing speeds of at least 24Mbps will be available across the majority of the county, with those in the remaining 2 per cent guaranteed to get speeds of at least 2Mbps.
According to Ofcom, the county’s average downstream speed is currently 11.7Mbps and just 9.7 per cent of properties in the area can access speeds slower than 2Mbps.
Louise Goldsmith, deputy leader for West Sussex County Council, said: “West Sussex County Council is very aware of the problems that slow speeds or in some cases, no broadband at all can cause local businesses and people working and running businesses from home. This was a key rationale behind the Council’s decision to invest more than £6 million to provide more access to better, faster broadband across the county.”
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to BT Broadband Rollout UpdatesAs part of the plan, BT is contributing £7.6 million to the project while £6.26 million comes from the government’s BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) fund. This figure has been matched by the local authorty, bringing the total amount for the project up to £20.1 million.
Under the Better Connected West Sussex project, 44,000 premises will be connected to superfast speeds. As part of BT’s own commercial rollout programme, much of the South East has already been connected, or has been earmarked for superfast rollout.
As has been the case with every BDUK contract BT’s snapped up to date, the majority of homes and firms throughout the region will benefit from faster FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) connections.
BT’s FTTC technology currently provides download speeds of up to 80Mbps, but only when you’re within spitting distance of a connected street cabinet. Much like how your download speed on ADSL depends on your distance from the exchange, the top speed you get with FTTC will depend greatly on your proximity to a fibre broadband-enabled cabinet.
Some premises will benefit from FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) which provides much faster download speeds of up to 330Mbps. Unlike FTTC, which uses a copper connection for its ‘last mile’, FTTP is pure fibre and doesn’t suffer from the same distance dilemma.
BT will eventually be launching an ‘FTTP On Demand’ service, where customers will be able to pay to upgrade the last mile, converting an FTTC line into an FTTP one.
For the 2 per cent who aren’t in line to get superfast, basic speeds of at least 2Mbps, provided either by bonded DSL lines, wireless or satellite broadband, will be rolled out.