eSussex is an exciting project led by East Sussex County Council in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council to improve internet connectivity and speeds for homes and businesses all over the county. The £34m project (contract 1) is being funded by East Sussex County Council, Government (Department of Culture Media & Sport) and BT.
The cost of upgrading infrastructure is costly, particularly (but not exclusively) in rural areas where there are not the population numbers to justify investment by the private sector. This project therefore helps meet the costs of installing the new network to the point where it becomes economically viable.
The current project will cover an area of 660 square miles and over 66,500 postcodes.
It will install over 400 new fibre telecoms cabinets and other structures and will lay over 1000km of fibre (the distance between Brighton and Berlin!).
The project will not physically connect users to the improved broadband service but will provide the technology through which residents and businesses can order faster broadband services with suppliers in the usual way.
We will mostly be using Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). This is where broadband is delivered from the telephone exchange through fibre optic cables to new green cabinets, placed alongside existing roadside cabinets. From there, copper cables will connect to each premise that is linked to that cabinet.
Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) may also be used in certain areas. Here, fibre optic cables are used to connect a property, via a central FTTP point in the community, directly to the telephone exchange with no cabinet or copper in between. Sometimes Internet Service Providers make a charge for connection to the central FTTP point.
Alternative solutions are also being explored for properties in the hardest to reach areas. Such solutions may include wifi, satellite or even technologies still under development.