MP "delighted" by West Sussex broadband announcement
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has expressed his delight at the announcement by West Sussex County Council that superfast broadband will be rolled out to around 98 per cent of homes and businesses in the County within the next three years.
The County Council announced a multi-million partnership deal to deliver the project with BT last week (Wednesday 15 May). The Better Connected West Sussex Broadband project builds on BT’s on-going commercial fibre deployment across the county, and will provide broadband infrastructure to over 44,000 premises with superfast speeds of at least 24Mbps by the start of Spring 2016.
On completion of the rollout, the aim is for all premises within West Sussex to receive a minimum of 2Mbps but with a vast majority achieving speeds well in excess of this.
Despite being less than 50 miles from the centre of London, parts of rural West Sussex have poor broadband coverage and some areas such Sutton, Plaistow and East Marden have no coverage at all via a landline. Of the four non-broadband enabled exchanges in England, three are in West Sussex.
Mr Herbert joined forces with West Sussex County Council in April 2011 to draw attention to the problems of poor broadband coverage in the county and agree a plan to secure superfast coverage.
Subsequently the Government announced funding of £6.2 million for a broadband delivery programme, a sum that was matched by the County Council. BT was chosen as the supplier and is contributing £7.6m towards the overall cost of deployment in “non-commercial” areas.
Nick Herbert said: "I'm delighted by this news. When we still have 'not spots' in parts of rural West Sussex, getting broadband to every home in the county and superfast to 98 per cent of premises within three years would be a huge step forward.
"Two years ago I worked with West Sussex County Council to hold a broadband summit, attended by the Culture Secretary, where we decided to go for a superfast broadband plan. The Government and the County Council deserve credit for providing the funding for this policy and turning the ambition into a reality."
1. West Sussex County Council's announcement can be found here: http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/your_council/news_and_events/news/2013_archive/may_2013/superfast_broadband_to_44000.aspx
2. A report on the broadband summit held in April 2011 can be found here: http://www.nickherbert.com/news.php/350/broadband-summit-paves-way-to-superfast-future
3. Other information from WSCC can be found here: