South Essex got funding of £4.5m from LFFN fund

The association of Basildon, Brentwood, Essex County, Castle Point, Thurrock, Rochford and Southend-on-Sea local authorities known as The Association of South Essex Local Authorities has recently got a funding of investment worth £4.5 million from the Local Full Fibre Network fund of the UK Government. The funding will help in building of a new gigabit capable broadband network in the South Essex areas.

With this funding, there is a plan to deploy new fibre optic network to connect around 214 public sector site such as GP surgeries, village halls, Schools etc in the areas of Brentwood, Basildon, Rochford, Castle Point and Thurrock. Though initially the focus is on public sector sites, the homes and businesses in the areas are also soon expected to get benefited with the programme.

Upon deployment of the new network, the infrastructure will be managed by the local authority as an anchor tenant and in future, the network would then be taken over by the other ISPs. Say for example, Cityfibre has adopted many such networks in various cities in the country and at present they are working with Vodafone by building FTTH network for residents.

Chair of ASELA – Cllr Louise McKinlay said that it is wonderful news that they have got funding which will bring and improve the network infrastructure across the South Essex areas. The connectivity will bring benefits in all aspects and so it is important that they continue to innovate in the future. In a short period of ASELA’s formation, their works show the positive impact that collaborative working and talking in all the districts and boroughs can have across their region.

UK Minister for Digital – Margot James MP said that they are building future fit Britain and their nationwide full fibre broadband network plans is based on their modern Industrial Strategy. The new funding to bring gigabit speeds in South Essex will build on the work which has already executed by Superfast Essex and he congratulated ASELA on their successful bid.

In recent, even Colchester Borough Council which is also a part of Essex, has also got similar investment of £3.45m from the LFFN fund. We should note that that the new investment boost is different from the Superfast Essex scheme in which Openreach & Gigaclear are working on extending superfast broadband network to cover around 97% of the county by the end of this year and to reach 100% as soon as possible by the year 2021.

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