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Ellen Forster

Member Article

£20 million West Sussex Better Connected project reaches 15,000 homes and businesses

The £20 million West Sussex Better Connected initiative is gathering pace, with more than 15,000 homes and businesses now able to benefit from the investment in this network infrastructure.

The next communities to benefit include Birdham, Bracklesham Bay, Burgess Hill, Crawley, Eastergate and Haywards Heath.

The joint project between West Sussex County Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, aims to extend broadband coverage to those areas which fall outside the private sector’s commercial fibre broadband plans.

So far, over 80 new green fibre broadband cabinets have been installed in nearly 30 communities across West Sussex, giving thousands of people access to better faster fibre broadband services.

The Better Connected fibre network will extend the reach of faster broadband to more than 44,000 homes and businesses in West Sussex.

The multi-million pound partnership is jointly funded by West Sussex County Council, which is investing £6.26 million and BT which is contributing £7.6 million, with £6.26 million coming from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds.

Nik Tobutt, a smallholder and local food producer near Kirdford, is delighted with his faster broadband service: “I’ve noticed a significant improvement in both the speed and reliability of our broadband service allowing me to stream media and data files from the house to my workshop, so I can listen to music while I’m working.

“My wife is also pleased because she often works from home and now has a service she can rely on. This new, faster broadband really supports our lifestyle.”

Lionel Barnard, cabinet member for Residents’ Services at West Sussex County Council said: “It’s good to know that our investment in this new broadband infrastructure is already benefiting many homes and businesses in West Sussex and making a real difference to people’s lives in rural areas. We want to ensure that our rural communities thrive and that everyone has access to better broadband across the county.

“That’s why I’m very pleased that we have passed this 15,000 milestone and that the project is on schedule to meet its aim of delivering faster broadband (24 megabits per second and above) to 90% of the county, and a minimum service of 2 Mbps to all homes and businesses by spring 2016.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ellen Forster .

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