Broadband in Colne Engaine (9th May 2017)

Yesterday I attended a Superfast Essex broadband update meeting (http://www.superfastessex.org).

The project is funded in a number of stages, our main cabinet outside the Old School House was fibre-enabled about a year ago as part of Phase 2. Most of the village now has decent broadband coverage but there are a few houses (5-10%) which are too far from the cabinet (>1km approx) or are fed by other rural cabinets which are not yet enabled.
The project plan is to achieve 97% fast broadband access (>30MPS) in Essex by 2019/20.
Phase 3 of the project is designed to achieve this. The contracts for Phase 3 are currently being negotiated and will be announced in June 2017. The detailed rollout plans should be available by late summer. I cannot get confirmation that our outlying residences and business premises will be covered by phase 3 at this stage.
There is a ‘better broadband’ subsidy available (http://www.superfastessex.org/en-us/betterbroadband.aspx) to locations without decent planned coverage to help install Wireless or Satellite broadband but the general consensus at the meeting was that these services were unreliable and/or expensive.
I would advise residents and businesses in the hard-to-reach areas of the village to wait until the Phase 3 rollout plans are available in late summer before making a decision to take up this offer, which would probably involve a long-term commitment to a supplier.
PS our neighbours in Pebmarsh have a very poor broadband service and are the 10th highest Parish/Area in Essex in terms of registering interest in fibre broadband.
Best Regards
Ian Messenger (webmaster@nullcolne-engaine.org.uk)