Slow or no broadband

Find out what options are available for your home or business if you don't have access to broadband.

1 Overview

We are very mindful of all of the benefits that broadband can bring to support continued economic growth in the county in both urban and rural areas. Faster and more reliable broadband also brings social benefits into people’s homes and communities.

We are also very aware of the problems that slow broadband speeds cause local residents and businesses as well as to people working from home.

We invested nearly £10m of a £30m programme to push fibre broadband coverage as far as possible, to more than 95 per cent of premises in West Sussex. As 100 per cent fibre broadband coverage was not possible with the available funding and technology, we did not set this as a goal.

We are working with central government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to plan investment in gigabit-capable broadband in rural communities. ‘Project Gigabit’ is a £5bn national initiative to build in areas where the commercial market will not invest. We anticipate DCMS will award a contract to a supplier to begin building gigabit-capable broadband in West Sussex in 2023..

We are keeping a log of all postcodes where we know access to broadband continues to be an issue.

2 Self-help guide - 4G mobile broadband

If you are a West Sussex resident suffering from slow or non-existent broadband and want a strong and reliable internet connection to support your online activities, a 4G mobile broadband solution may be a suitable alternative.

4G mobile broadband uses 4G mobile data to connect your home to the internet in the same way that your smart phone sends and receives information, allowing you to download content, stream videos and music, shop and pay for services online.

We have produced a comprehensive self-help guide which details everything you need to know about 4G mobile broadband, including how to conduct your own testing to determine the suitability of this solution for you, how to find a supplier and potential costs.

4G mobile broadband self-help guide (PDF, 898KB)

Request a printed version by emailing

3 Self-funded broadband

If you are one of a small number of properties in a location without fibre broadband, it may be worthwhile pursuing a self-funded option.

Below are some schemes we are aware of that you may like to explore.

  • BT Openreach have a self-funded option where they will cover part of the cost of building infrastructure if a community agrees to fund the remainder.
  • GOV.UK has published a useful guide outlining a range of self-funding options to consider, from demonstrating organised demand to suppliers to building and running a bespoke broadband network.

If you are a supplier who can offer solutions to communities, please email us at

4 Universal Service Obligation

Universal Service Obligation (USO)

The Government has legislated for a USO to be placed upon suppliers to provide people with a service of a minimum of 10 Mbps download speed upon ‘reasonable request’. It  aims for the USO to be in place by 2020. You can find more information in Ofcom’s report.

Eligible consumers and businesses will be able to request a connection under the USO and a Universal Service Provider will be required to fulfill all requests up to a cost threshold of £3,400 per premises. Where the cost to connect them is too high for the supplier, some properties will not be able to benefit from the USO.

BT is the only provider of the USO in West Sussex. Find further information and check if your postcode is eligible.

Last updated:
14 June 2024
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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.