What are we doing?

What is East Sussex County Council doing to help bring improved broadband speeds and connectivity to East Sussex?

The eSussex project, led by East Sussex County Council in partnership with Brighton and Hove City Council, is helping to improve internet connectivity in areas where it is not viable for the market to do so. The project uses funding from East Sussex County Council, Government (Broadband Delivery UK) and BT to get faster broadband to as many homes and businesses as possible.

East Sussex County Council has appointed BT to help install faster broadband across the county. Does this mean I will have to buy my improved broadband service from BT?

No, this project is buying infrastructure which will be made available to broadband retailers (e.g. Talktalk, Sky, Plusnet) to offer their services to customers. You can buy your broadband service from a large number of providers. See www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/buy-it-now/.

When can I expect to be able to get improved broadband in my area?

If you enter your postcode in the 'Check your Postcode' section on this website, we can give you more information about the estimated delivery time of broadband upgrades in your area. This information is indicative only and subject to change as the project progresses. 

How are you prioritising areas for rollout?

This is a complex project that takes into consideration existing infrastructure, requirements for new infrastructure, and value for money from the public purse - and all from an engineering point of view. The project also takes into account other works, e.g. highways improvements, so that we minimise disruption and keep the rollout going so everyone can be reached as soon as possible.

Can we influence the rollout schedule?

It is not possible for individuals or groups to influence the rollout schedule by putting forward their cases for faster broadband. We realise the very severe problems that areas across the county are suffering but this is a complex project that needs to reach as many places as quickly as possible without becoming too expensive.

Is my community one of the areas that will only get 2mbps?

Unlike other local authority projects, the eSussex project is upgrading every broadband exchange area. This means that it is very unlikely that whole areas or communities will miss out on significant speed uplifts. It is much more likely that individual premises or very small groups of premises will be in the 'universal service commitment' category (at least 2mbps).

How much will faster broadband cost?

When we put in the infrastructure, this means that there will be a choice of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who will compete for your business with competitive broadband packages. You can look at current tv adverts or price comparison websites to get an indication of costs, including packages. 

How will I know when a better broadband service is available for my home or business?

You may receive information from Internet Service Providers and other channels. You can also register on this site or look at the rollout table which is regularly updated to be kept informed of progress of the project.

Once better broadband is available in my area, do I need to do anything?

Yes, you will not automatically be upgraded. You will need to contact your Internet Service Provider to discuss upgrading to a fibre-based package.

Why are we using public money to rollout superfast broadband? Shouldn't it be funded privately by the telecom providers?

The Digital Britain Report (2009) identified that approximately 1/3 of the UK would not have access to superfast broadband from existing carriers, because it would not be commercially viable for them to provide it. 

Will you be using fibre optic technology for the implementation of superfast broadband?

The project is committed to pushing fibre as far as possible. However, where fibre cannot be installed we are looking at using alternative technologies (e.g. wireless, satellite) and also new technologies that may become available during the project's lifetime if we are able to do so.

Will you be using FTTP?

We will be deploying a Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) solution in some areas of the project. Fibre optic cables are connected to a central distribution point in the community from where customers can choose whether to have fibre installed directly to their home or business. This means that premises are then connected directly to the exchange with no cabinet or copper in between. Sometimes Internet Service Providers make a charge for connection to the central FTTP point, this 'Excess Connection Charge' may differ from service provider to service provider, so it is worth shopping around.

My broadband cabinet is a long way from my property; will this affect if I can order fibre?

The speed of connection will vary depending on the distance of your property to your serving fibre cabinet. This is because fibre is connected to the new fibre cabinet (DSLAM) and then the signal is carried over the existing copper lines back to the premises. Speeds slow down over long copper lengths and, so, some premises will unfortunately not be able to benefit immediately from the fibre upgrade.  However, through the new contract signed in June, BT will be working to overcome some of these issues in order to improve speeds. It is worth remembering that broadband enhancing technologies and products such as Fibre on Demand are only possible if your serving cabinet is fibre-enabled so it is still worth the project doing the upgrade to ensure building blocks for the future.