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Essex residents to get ultrafast broadband speeds from Gigaclear

Wednesday, July 1st 2015 by Ellen Branagh

More than 4,500 Essex homes and businesses will be able to access ‘ultrafast’ broadband speeds thanks to a new a contract between the county council and gigabit provider Gigaclear.

The project, part of Superfast Essex’s ‘Rural Challenge Project’, will see Gigaclear deliver its pure fibre network across the north east of Epping Forest District.

The move will bring upload and download speeds of up to 1Gbps – up to 1000x faster than are currently available, and up to 40x faster than the UK average.

Work on the £7.5m project will start in October, aiming to get the first customers live before Christmas.

The project is the first in Essex to be awarded to an alternative provider rather than BT as part of the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project, which aims to bring superfast speeds (24Mbps and above) to 95% of the UK by the end of 2017.

Gigaclear said it will invest more than £2 for every £1 of state aid, contributing a £5.5m investment towards a new fibre network that will run in parallel to the existing copper network.

Using its ultrafast broadband, a three-hour film can be downloaded in 53 seconds, and 200 photos would take less than nine seconds to upload, it said.

'Fast and reliable broadband'

The move is another milestone towards making Essex one of the best-connected counties in the UK, said county councillor Kevin Bentley, deputy leader and cabinet member for economic growth, infrastructure and waste and recycling.

Councillor Alan Lion, portfolio holder responsible for technology at Epping Forest District Council, said: "I am very pleased that Epping Forest has been selected to pilot the rural challenge project in Essex.

“Faster broadband speeds means that our residents and businesses based in rural areas of the district will benefit from much better connectivity than currently available and will provide a much more reliable internet service."

Gigaclear CEO Matthew Hare added: “Fast and reliable broadband is so important today.

“It enables families to connect and businesses to compete.

“That’s why we are determined to help communities like those in Epping Forest District – who have not yet been reached by the Superfast Essex programme – have the best possible connections.

“We’re not simply bringing the broadband here up to date; we’re going to give people living and working in this area the kind of speeds that others in major cities can only dream of.”

In May Cable.co.uk reported that the Superfast Essex programme had reached its halfway point of 32,500 homes and businesses that could access superfast broadband, a milestone that was praised by culture secretary and local MP John Whittingdale.

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