Work is well underway to provide Full Fibre broadband connectivity to around 600 premises in and around the Dulverton area of Exmoor.
The gigabit-capable Full Fibre rollout is part of the latest collaboration between Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) and Openreach to expand ultrafast broadband coverage in hard-to-reach rural areas.
An extra 100 premises than originally planned are being included in the deployment of the network which is currently taking place in Dulverton and surrounding communities of Bampton, Bridgetown, Exton, Winsford, Exebridge, Brushford, Bury, Exton, Morebath, Oakford, Oakfordbridge, Shillingford and Winsford.
Residents in Shillingford and Winsford will be among those who will be able to order an ultrafast broadband service from a provider of their choice over the Openreach network later this month.
Openreach is delivering gigabit capable Full Fibre to more than 2,000 premises in Devon and Somerset as a result of CDS re-investing £6 million of public funding received from the Government’s “Gainshare” agreement with the Company.
This agreement provided the dividend for re-investment based on the high public take-up of broadband services under the first phase of the CDS programme, and Openreach is also contributing funding towards the programme.
Openreach, on behalf of CDS, has also delivered access to gigabit-capable Full Fibre broadband to more than 60 homes in the communities of Combeinteignhead, in South Devon, and Lane End, outside Mary Tavy.
Councillor David Hall, CDS Board Member and Somerset County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure, said: “It’s good news to see that some communities are already benefiting from this Full Fibre rollout and that work is underway in and around Dulverton. The revision of the rollout plans for the Dulverton area is also enabling the delivery of fibre broadband to more homes and businesses in the community, which is welcome.”
Councillor Rufus Gilbert, CDS Board Member and Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, said: “The re-investment of this gainshare funding will make a positive difference to many communities across Devon and Somerset who have been left out of commercial plans. I’m pleased that additional premises in the Dulverton area are being included in this latest build, and many more areas will gain access to Full Fibre broadband as the rollout continues.”
Connie Dixon, Regional Partnership Director at Openreach, said: “We’re really pleased with the progress of these build areas. Across the South West, more than 500,000 homes and businesses can now order an ultrafast, Full Fibre service on the Openreach network though a provider of their choice. It’s great that these communities are now able to make the most of an ultra-reliable broadband connection, especially given the recent weather.”
Openreach has completed a comprehensive surveying programme across 16 separate parts of the CDS region, covering multiple communities. It has completed its design and surveys for Chapel Cleeve on the West Somerset coast, where it is now preparing to build.
Among the communities where Openreach teams are planning to begin building in the coming months are Blue Anchor in West Somerset, Bickleigh, Shaugh Prior and Wotter in the South Hams, Coffinswell in Teignbridge and Kentisbury Ford and Watermouth in North Devon.
Designs have also been submitted by Openreach for the network to rollout to the Brompton Ralph area of West Somerset covering Pitsford Hill, Tarr, Sticklepath and remote areas north of Wiveliscombe, as well as communities south of Tiverton in Mid Devon, taking in Bickleigh, Silverton, Cadeleigh and Butterleigh.