About Connecting Devon and Somerset

slide4Who we are?

Connecting Devon and Somerset has been set up to deliver next generation broadband infrastructure to areas where the market has failed to invest. CDS is a public-private partnership aimed at drawing on the strengths of each sector to implement a cost efficient plan to bring superfast broadband to Devon and Somerset.

The size and scope of the programme, and the timeframes Central Government has allocated to the funding, has required more than one phase; the programme is nearing the completion of Phase 1 with the first four of six Phase 2 contracts being signed and final coverage planning underway.

The programme governance is based on a collaborative approach led by the CDS Programme Board who meet quarterly ensuring that the programme is delivered in accordance with the Local Broadband Plan. The board includes cabinet members and chief executives from the Devon and Somerset Councils, CDS officers, representatives from the other authorities and central government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) team. To see Agendas and Actions relating to the boards decisions click here.

What are we going to do?

Our ambition is to provide superfast broadband speeds of over 24Mbps to all premises in the CDS area by 2020. Under phase one of our tax-payer subsidised programme, over 277,000 residents and businesses in Devon and Somerset will have access to superfast broadband, in line with the government target. The Government’s 90% target is heavily dependent on BT meeting its obligations under its own commercial programme.

By providing subsidies to homes and businesses for alternative solutions through our voucher scheme we also aim to ensure that every premise within the programme area has a broadband speed of at least 2Mbps.  Phase two will be working to deliver superfast broadband services to the remaining hardest to reach premises; CDS has already begun delivering phase 2 in Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks with the deployment of a fixed wireless superfast broadband network. Gigaclear has recently been announced as the phase two supplier for four of six lots with the remaining two to be announced shortly.

CDS recognises that it is not simply about improving broadband speed, which is why we work closely with our support service, Get up to Speed. There are free workshops and talks to help both communities and businesses boost digital skills and make the most of faster internet speeds.slide7

How are we going to do it?

During phase one we have mostly been using Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology along with some Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) to deliver superfast broadband. Our current phase two work with Airband is using fixed wireless networks to bring superfast to some of the most rural areas in Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks. The next part of phase two under the Gigaclear contract will deliver ultrafast fibre to the home, symmetrical up and down speeds of up to 1Gbps, through a completely new network. Other solutions such as satellite form an important part of the voucher scheme and to connect some of the most difficult to reach premises within the CDS area. Earlier in the programme satellite internet was effectively trialled demonstrating its applicability in the Devon and Somerset geography.

When am I going to get it?

Many premises across Devon and Somerset are already able to connect to superfast broadband. To check whether your property can receive superfast broadband under phase one, enter your postcode into the checker to the right of this screen and see the How & Why page to check the next steps. For those who are out of programme (grey on the map) or receiving less than superfast speeds, you will be considered in Phase 2. For baseline phase two coverage (subject to planning) please see the Gigaclear website and enter your postcode in the checker. CDS and Gigaclear are working through planning and timescales for this baseline coverage and will publish more details when they are available. For premises that receive below 2Mbps the voucher scheme is providing funding until March 2017 to grant premises a subsidy towards the cost of alternative broadband technologies.

get-up-to-speed Get Up Speed