Public services are evolving and in the future will be delivered in new and digital ways, requiring faster broadband speeds with greater bandwidth.
Our ambition for our county is the highest quality of life in a safe, smart, digital environment, enabling public services to be better connected with each other and our residents.
Working together with the central government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), we aim to help grow our fibre broadband network of the future and ensure that West Sussex is at the forefront of this technology.
2 West Sussex Gigabit
The West Sussex Gigabit project is about improving the infrastructure that will allow our public services to be delivered more effectively for all local residents and tax payers.
Together with CityFibre, West Sussex councils are building a full fibre network that will connect key public sector sites, capable of delivering speeds from 1,000 megabits per second (1 gigabit) to meet the future need of public services.
The project will not deliver fibre broadband to homes and businesses, but we are committed to providing full fibre within the county by working with the market to benefit homes and businesses in the future.
Other projects are currently under way within the County Council that will extend the reach of fibre broadband to more premises across the county.
3 Gigabit project roadworks
Construction methods are selected based on multiple criteria, such as highways legislation and standards, public accessibility and the presence of other utilities. We are working closely with the Network Permit Office and contractors to keep any roadwork disruption in West Sussex to a minimum.
We will make every effort to combine our roadworks with other ongoing work. However, the timing and designs of the project mean the potential to work at the same time in a given location with other utilities may be limited.
Some roads may need to be closed, some will have traffic management alternatives, allowing the roads to remain open, and in some cases work will be carried out in the footpath, with pedestrian diversions.
On completion of any work, all reinstatement materials are checked and a comprehensive material testing process is used to verify that reinstatements are completed to the Specification of the Reinstatement of Openings in Highways (SROH) standards.
Further details about the permits granted for the Gigabit West Sussex Project can be found on our streetworks register map, where you can filter by date range and entering a road name in the location field.
4 Gigabit broadband voucher schemes
A national Rural Gigabit Broadband voucher scheme run by the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) provides help for communities to get faster and more reliable broadband.
In urban areas, small to medium enterprises (SMEs) can claim up to £2,500 per business property, and communities up to £500 per residential property towards the installation cost of a gigabit capable connection as part of a group.
SMEs are small to medium enterprises with up to 249 employees and a balance sheet of less than €43 million or a turnover of less than €50 million.
That figure is increased if you are based in a rural area (as per DEFRA guidelines), where SMEs can claim up to £3,500 per business property and communities up to £1,500 per residential property towards the installation cost of a gigabit capable connection.
Gigabit capable connections are future ready and provide a big leap forward in terms of speeds and reliability. A Gigabit is equivalent to a 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps).
For residents to be eligible, you will need to apply for vouchers as part of a ‘project’ (2 or more properties) and subscribe to minimum download speeds of 30Mbps, or double your current max download speed (whichever is greater) from a registered supplier for at least 12 months. You will also need to be in an area where you cannot get download speeds of more than 100mbps.
The properties within a project can either be residential, business or a mix of both. In urban areas businesses can apply for a voucher on their own.
Find out more about how the scheme works by visiting DCMS’s Gigabit Broadband voucher scheme website. You can also check to see if your property is eligible and which suppliers are registered in your area.
If you wish to discuss the scheme with a member of our Digital Infrastructure Team, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team can provide advice and documents on the scheme to support communities in delivering their projects.