More than half of villagers in West Monkton already signed up for high-speed broadband

More than half of the villagers in West Monkton have now signed up to high-speed fibre broadband following the roll out of the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) programme in the area.

Some 110 West Monkton households and businesses are already enjoying speeds of up to 80 Mbps.

Barry Gage, West Monkton councillor, said: “I’ve taken the opportunity to get fibre broadband and I’m delighted with it. Now that my download speed has improved dramatically, it’s given me an extra hour every day, simply because of the speed with which I can get everything done online now. It really does make a huge difference.”

Over the last six months take-up of fibre broadband has increased by 3.5 per cent across the CDS programme area and about 56,000 households and businesses have already chosen to connect to the new fibre network, representing a take-up rate of 21.7 per cent.

The CDS programme, which commenced in 2013, is now 80 per cent complete, with around 1,200 cabinets live and more than 221,000 plus premises capable of connecting to superfast speeds – a number which is growing rapidly.

Councillor David Hall, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member for business inward investment and policy, said: “Take up in the village of West Monkton and across Devon and Somerset, is exceeding the forecast of 20 per cent sign up by BT at this early stage, which is testimony to all the hard work of the CDS partnership.

“A major focus, and challenge, for the CDS team has been to deliver superfast broadband in remote and technically difficult to reach rural areas. It’s great to see more and more people living and working in these areas now benefitting from high-speed fibre optic broadband and the vastly enhanced internet speeds and connectivity that it brings.”

Paul Coles, South West regional manager for BT, which is investing £41 million in the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme, said: “West Monkton is a great example of a local community, which has really embraced the great benefits of high-speed fibre broadband. This exciting technology is transforming the lives of local people, providing a vital boost for communities across the South West. The Connecting Devon and Somerset rollout is continuing at a rapid pace reaching thousands more homes and businesses every month.”

Local people have also been benefitting from CDS’s Get up to Speed programme which provides a range of drop in sessions to enable communities to get the most out of superfast connectivity.

Kate Doodson, Executive Director at Cosmic Peninsula Consortium, which delivers the Get up to Speed programme, said: “We’ve been providing sessions such as ‘Get Connected with Tablets’ to improve local people’s knowledge of superfast broadband and give them the confidence to make the switch. These have been extremely well attended and the feedback has been very positive.”

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