The Future is Here: Ultrafast Broadband project starts in Adur and Worthing

Internet speeds 100 times faster than anything previously seen are on their way to Adur and Worthing in a move which could eventually create hundreds of jobs and bring a major boost to businesses.

Work is to commence soon laying the network of fibre optic cables in the district and borough that will increase average broadband speeds from 10 megabytes (mb) to 1,000mb or a gigabit.

This will allow vastly quicker upload speeds when transferring data and video something that could give businesses a key advantage. The ultrafast broadband project, called Gigabit West Sussex, will initially connect local authority buildings including libraries, and will then expand to be available to businesses through a government gigabit voucher scheme and in further projects could be used to power public WiFi and support the new generation of 5G mobiles.

In other parts of the world, particularly America, ultrafast has created 1,000s of jobs, attracted new businesses and allowed existing ones to expand. New Smart Technologies will need faster and more reliable connectivity on which to operate.

According to a recent government report faster broadband has led to a £9 billion surge in turnover for businesses and has delivered £12.28 benefit for firms for every £1 invested by central and local authorities. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport says superfast broadband has now reached almost five million homes and businesses.

In the future the widespread use of gigabit fibre will increase efficiency and speed enabling quick downloads of complex data.

For example

  • In the NHS doctors could care for patients in their own homes for diagnosis and aftercare.
  • Students could study remotely using highly complex interactive learning
  • Remote control of parking, traffic congestion, lighting all cutting down energy use and improving air quality.

For now Gigabit West Sussex, a co-operative project involving the county council and all district and borough councils in the area, will  provide super connectivity to 152 public sector sites in Worthing/Lancing, Shoreham, Bognor, Burgess Hill, Chichester, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Horsham and Littlehampton. It is the first public sector project to be backed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) which contributed £4.6m of funding

Adur and Worthing Councils have been in the forefront of the drive to bring ultrafast to West Sussex and steal a march on other areas in the South East.

Network construction in Adur and Worthing, to power sites such as the Shoreham Centre and Worthing Library , will begin in October. A county-wide launch is expected in Spring next year.

Executive Member for Resources at Adur District Council, Cllr Angus Dunn, said, ‘To be able to maintain progress and bring fresh wealth and job opportunities to Adur we need to give businesses, organisations and individuals the tools to compete in an rapidly-changing environment.

‘I’m excited by the advances this ultrafast broadband will bring. The possibilities for radical change to improve services and change the way we live for the better are almost endless.’

Executive Member for Digital and Environmental Services at Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Edward Crouch, said, ‘We are really getting things moving now by working in partnership with a proven company to deliver the fastest, most efficient broadband available. We want to make our own services more efficient but as importantly roll the technology, and the possibilities, out to businesses and individuals as soon as we can.’

The Councils’ Director of Digital and Resources Paul Brewer said, ‘People often talk of game-changing developments but this really is one. Our world is connected today and the faster and more reliable this is the more we will all benefit.

‘The Councils will eventually be able to deliver services appropriate to individual needs more speedily and efficiently.’

The Councils are also to embark on a marketing strategy to promote the government’s gigabit voucher scheme which provides businesses, including sole traders,with £3,000 to connect to ultrafast through registered suppliers such as Adur & Worthing Councils.

The future of high speed 5G mobile connections will also be heavily reliant on the sort of optical fibre being prepared for Adur and Worthing which link up to ‘small cells’ rather than big masts and will give individuals subscribers wireless speeds of between 1Gb and 10Gb. Development work is already underway for a small cell project and public WiFi in both Worthing and Shoreham town centres and is seen as an important strategic step for both Councils.

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