In our Neighbourhood Plan business questionnaire, our village businesses were asked for their views on infrastructure challenges.
Over 71 per cent of businesses felt that mobile coverage was their main concern and 39 per cent raised broadband speeds as an issue.
Current parish broadband
The Superfast Essex Broadband rollout map (www.superfastessex/maps) shows that Ingatestone and Fryerning are not being covered by the Superfast Essex programme. Records confirm that there already are, or should be, fibre broadband services available as a result of commercial plans by fibre broadband providers such as BT or Virgin Media. Therefore, Superfast Essex is not planning any infrastructure upgrades.
However, as we are not in the Superfast Essex plans, you may still be eligible for a basic satellite or wireless broadband solution under the Better Broadband Scheme
For more information on different broadband technologies available, tips to improve existing speed and other options to improve broadband at your address go to www.broadbandwhereever.net
What our mobile service providers say
Ofcom has a mobile and boradband checker on their website (www.ofcom.org.uk). If you add your postcode you can see the coverage of each of the four providers given for the parish. These are EE, 02, Vodafone and Three.
What are we going to do about it?
The provision of good telecommunications is an important aspect of sustainable economic growth.
We do need to consider offering a site for a mast to the mobile phone providers close to the A12 with a direction towards the villages.
We also need to work with Brentwood Borough Council to ensure that new development will contribute to and be compatible with local fibre or internet connectivity. This should be demonstrated in ‘connectivity statements’ for all planning applications to ensure new developments connect to the internet with a minimum symmetrical speed of 25 Mbps and with realistic future-proof upgrades available.
Section 10 of the National Planning Policy Framework states that sutiable ducting that can accept fibre should be provided to roads or footpaths within the development site, the public highway, a community-led access network or another location that can be justified through the connectivity statement.