The West Sussex County Council has said that it wants suppliers to help it upgrade the county’s broadband network to 1Gbps FTTP (fibre to the premises) broadband. The county hopes to make the new infrastructure commercially available to businesses through 2018-2019 in the Adur & Worthing area of the county.
A statement put out by the West Sussex County Council Joint Strategic Committee, said:
“Ultrafast (or gigabit) broadband is rapidly becoming critical strategic infrastructure. It is the next generation of connectivity, capable of delivering speeds of 1Gb (1000Mb) using pure optical fibre, 100 [times] faster than the UK average. West Sussex and Adur & Worthing Councils are working to bring ultrafast to as many parts of the County as possible, and this report outlines progress to date, and seeks support for the next steps in the project.”
The statement points out that 30Mbps “superfast” broadband with a “copper pair” to the cabinet sees customers only getting 5Mbps, a massive difference to the 1000Mbps speed that ultrafast FTTP broadband can deliver.
Under the current proposals, the council would become an ‘anchor tenant’ for the new fibre network to connect its own sites, and further down the road, they could allow businesses and homes to connect to the network too.
Adur & Worthing Councils put a bid to the Coastal Communities Fund asking for £1.2m which would help support project costs and support businesses trying to connect to the ultrafast fibre network. Once they secure the funding, procurement will commence at the end of this year and run until March 2017. Construction would begin in Adur & Worthing during Spring 2017 and take roughly 12 months to finish, allowing local authority sites to connect to the network. In the following years, businesses and homes should be able to get onto the network as well.