From slow progress to no progress. I look forward to the day when I can stop writing about broadband in this blog, but basically, although we have made a tiny bit of progress in terms of information, there is no progress at all in terms of getting something done.
The scrutiny committee that ESCC set up in March to look into rural broadband is scheduled to report in November. However, it has not yet, as far as I can find out, held any meetings or taken any evidence.
I have officially been told, under Freedom of Information, that the e-Sussex broadband project do not have any analysis of broadband speeds in Brightling, or indeed any other parish (not for the past, not for the present, and no future projections either) or any other sub-division of the county. They simply have data for the whole of the East Sussex intervention area. They have not analyzed this data to determine the relative impact on more rural areas, and do not intend to do so.
The MP’s promised conference on the subject, originally scheduled for March 2016, still has no date. You can quickly see everything that our MP has ever said in parliament about broadband. I promise you it doesn’t take long to read.
There may be some good news to come in the future. As previously mentioned in this column the totality of the currently available information about the benefits of contract 2 is that it ” will upgrade speeds for 5,000 premises [across East Sussex]”. There is no information to quantify the phrase “upgrade speeds” or identify the 5,000 premises, or the criteria by which they will be chosen. However, we are told “The first contractual milestone (which will be formally reported to us [the ESCC broadband team] at the end of July) will confirm the first area(s) for delivery and we will publish more information then.”
So by the time you read this, there may be some more information available. I can’t wait.