In the absence of any help from the East Sussex broadband team, I have appealed to our County Councillor for assistance in understanding and elucidating the situation, but I have not yet had a reply, despite the fact that improved broadband was featured in his election leaflet. However, by laboriously checking every postcode in Brightling, I think I have now got an understanding of the scope of the unannounced extension of contract 2 (agreed with BT, it would appear, in March 2017 but not publicly announced).
There is good news for many people in Brightling. As far as I can tell, it looks as if all the properties along Brightling Road, from Oxleys Green to the outskirts of Robertsbridge, are to be fibre-enabled by the end of September 2018. This is the new phase 3 of contract 2. Two other areas are also included in this phase: Hollingrove (the TN32 5HU postcode) and the area around Perrymans (from the mine entrance down to the top end of Brickyard Lane). There are no guarantees but my best guess is that almost everyone in these areas will see some improvement in their broadband availability with some but not all getting superfast (24Mbps download).
The bad news is that if you are not on the above list, and you aren’t getting decent broadband at the moment, then there are no specific plans to upgrade you. The original promise to bring superfast to 100% of East Sussex having been downgraded to an “aspiration” and there is no master plan for achieving it. I have not seen any announcements about the future “contract 3” and the extension of contract 2 by 12 months (from end 2017 to end 2018) must put some doubt on it because (as I understand it) they will not scope contract 3 until the impact of contract 2 is clear.