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East Sussex County Council has become the final local authority in England to sign a Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) contract.

Working in partnership with Brighton and Hove City, the move will help to expand the reach of superfast broadband to thousands more homes across the region.

The existing e-Sussex scheme, worth more than £35.5 million, is currently working with BT in order to ensure FTTC/P fibre broadband is made available to at least 99% of homes and businesses in the country by late March 2016.

Under that proposal, which has attracted £25.64 million of funding from public sources, 96% of premises will be able to access superfast speeds of over 24Mbps.

The first contract will benefit around 66,500 premises, with access to superfast speeds expected to be further enhanced by the signing of the SEP contract, which comes as part of the government's Broadband Delivery UK programme.

The scheme is expected to receive another £2 million of public investment although the council has not yet released details relating to funding or coverage.  

The latest council meeting stated: “We have been working with BT to deliver ahead of schedule and under budget; £5.3 million of funding will be carried forward into 2015/16 for delivery of the next phase; delivering broadband into hard to reach parts of the county.”

It added that the amount spent in the 2014/15 period was less than anticipated.

“The additional variation of £20.3 million reported at quarter four is largely due to slippage on the broadband scheme of £5.2 million due to implementation costs being lower than anticipated allowing for a phase two in 2015-16.”



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