The Superfast Essex fibre broadband rollout has been officially started with the opening of several cabinets in the county.
The opening of the cabinets in Harlow, Rivenhall and Colchester mark the first of nine phases of work for the £24.6 million project.
The project aims to cover more than 87 per cent of premises in the county by the end of summer 2016, giving residents and businesses speeds of 24Mbps or more.
Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council and councillor for economic development, told the East Anglian Daily Times: “Not everyone will have the same speed, but wherever you are you should see an improvement.”
“It is important for businesses, but also residents who contribute by shopping online, working from home, and so on. The way we operate is very different now.”
Superfast Essex is also aiming to gain additional funding to extend the scheme to 95 per cent of premises. The scheme also aims to ensure speeds of at least 2Mbps to all in the county.
Engineers from BT Openreach will lay around 900km of optical fibre and install more than 400 new green fibre broadband cabinets at roadsides throughout Essex.
BT itself has plans to extend fibre broadband to more than half a million premises in the county.
At the opening of one of the first cabinets at Severall’s Business Park in Colchester, Anne Turrell, leader of Colchester Borough Council, added: “Colchester is fully behind this, and I am really happy our businesses are getting a bit more help.”
Image: Superfast Essex