Superfast broadband for dozens more communities

Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) has today announced a further 25 (1) communities able to access high-speed fibre broadband, bringing the overall number of connected communities to 56 (2) in total. Coverage has also been extended around the fringes of Barnstaple, Bideford, Ilminster, Totnes, Newton Abbot, Honiton, Taunton and Bridgwater.

In addition to the 56 (2) connected communities, CDS will connect a further 17 (3) communities by October 2014 (subject to engineering and survey considerations).

A full list of all the related postcodes, as well as a map of coverage, can be found on our Current Infrastructure Deployment Map page.

 

The programme continues to roll-out at pace, having brought high-speed fibre broadband to thousands of premises to date. This includes the installation and connection of 173 new fibre cabinets, with a further 75 set to go live by early July 2014. The programme has also laid 980 kilometres of fibre cable since the roll-out started last year, and has just connected its first Fibre to the Premises (FTTP (4)) connection, serving a business in Westpark Business Park near Wellington, Somerset.

Somerdale International Ltd, based in Westpark 26 Business Park, supplies one of the leading exporters of cheese and dairy products in the UK, including high quality Cheddars and traditional hand crafted artisan cheeses. The company was founded in 1990 and trades extensively across the US, bringing the best of British cheese to outlets across America.

 

John Beardon (Somerdale’s IT Manager) said:

“We export to over 50 countries worldwide and have permanent staff based in America, Australia and China conducting business across the globe 24/7.”

“All our staff, whether working abroad or remotely in the UK, need to be able to access core business data at any time. The improvement in reliability and speed that FTTP (4) has given us has meant we now have a system we can rely on to work quickly and effectively.”

“In my role I also monitor and provide network support remotely (often from home). With FTTP (4) and the fact that CDS has recently brought fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC (5)) to my village (Hillfarrance), I’m able to provide far more effective support.”

“At present I’m installing the systems I’ve wanted to deploy for ages – remote back up, making more use of the cloud, and of course, improved remote access. However, this is just the beginning and I’ll be looking at how we can make greater use of FTTP (4) right across the company.”

 

The CDS programme has also been hard at work finalising and submitting its application to central government’s Superfast Extension Programme (SEP). The application was submitted on Monday with the SEP standing to deliver a further £22.75 million to the programme for extending superfast broadband to 95% of premises by the end of 2017.

Whilst separate to CDS, the Devon and Somerset area has also been selected by central government as one of the pilot areas for the £10 million innovation fund (set up to explore alternative technologies for the final 5%). In total, £175,000 has been granted to fund a pilot scheme in the area, coordinated directly by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). The information gathered from this pilot will aid decisions over potential technologies used for filling the final 5% of areas not covered by the CDS or SEP initiatives.

 

As well as CDS’s fibre roll-out, the Get up To Speed programme has begun in earnest. Run on behalf of CDS by the Cosmic-Peninsula Consortium, Get up to Speed brings gadget shows, e-commerce workshops, social media sessions and a host of other events to different areas and audiences.

So far, the team has created bespoke sessions for farmers and business organisations, visited parishes and taken briefing sessions to Barclays bank to help them advise rural businesses. Later in the year, the programme will also be found taking the Gadget show to Holsworthy Market, undertaking an event roadshow around Taunton Deane, as well as presenting sessions on the A-Z of selling online and Talking Tablets with communities.

In September, the team will be joining forces with the Met Office who will be talking about their digital strategy for working with small rural businesses.

To find out more about Get up to Speed, please email: info@get-up-to-speed.co.uk

 

Councillor David Hall (Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council) said: 

“Today’s announcement means many more communities across Devon and Somerset can enjoy the countless benefits of the digital world. For our businesses, it means improved efficiency, the development of online markets and the potential for growth. Our rural communities can have the same access to public services, information and entertainment that is already enjoyed by our urban areas.”

“To take the programme even further, we have also worked hard with BDUK on our application to the Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) which was submitted on Monday. We want to access all the £22.75 million funding available to us to make superfast broadband available to 95% of premises by the end of 2017.”

 

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter (Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth for Devon County Council) said: 

“Connecting Devon and Somerset is succeeding in bringing superfast broadband to our rural communities and businesses. Get up to Speed is also hugely important as part of our drive to enable our businesses and communities to make the most out of superfast broadband.”

“We are pleased that the government has made £175,000 available to fund a pilot scheme in our area to look at reaching the final 5% not covered by the existing programme or the SEP. It shows that our work behind the scenes, lobbying Ministers, is paying off.”

 

Laurent Boon, the BT programme manager for CDS, said: 

“The Connecting Devon and Somerset roll-out of fibre broadband has already made substantial progress and is continuing at a rapid pace. This exciting technology is providing a vital boost for local communities across the two counties. Businesses are using fibre broadband to work more efficiently and spread their wings to find new customers in the UK and sometimes much further afield, whilst households are benefiting from the improved online learning and leisure opportunities. It means stronger businesses and better job opportunities for local people.”

 

Notes:

(1) The 25 new connected communities are:

Cannington, Chilton Trinity, Nether Stowey, North Petherton, Otterhampton, Pawlett, Puriton, Spaxton, Tedburn St. Mary, Whitestone, Ashford, Barrington, Braunton, Burlescombe, Chudleigh, Dowlish Wake, Heanton Punchardon, Horton, Ilsington, Kingstone, Landkey, Milverton, Mortehoe, North Tawton and Swimbridge.

(2) The 31 communities that have already been connected are:

Belstone, Bishop’s Hull, Bishop’s Lydeard, Bradford-on-Tone, Combe Florey, Cotford St Luke, Crediton, Creech St Michael, Dunchideock, Exminster, Hatherleigh, Hemyock, Holsworthy, Newton St Cyres, Nynehead, Okehampton, Okehampton Hamlets, Petrockstow, Ruishton, Sandford, Shillingford St George, South Tawton, Sticklepath, Stoke St Gregory, Thurloxton, Wellington, West Buckland, West Monkton, Kennford, Henlade and North Curry. The programme has also been able to provide additional coverage around the fringes of Barnstaple, Bideford, Totnes, Newton Abbot, Honiton, Ilminster, Taunton and Bridgewater.

(3) The additional 17 communities due to be connected by October 2014 are: 

Ashill, Beercrocombe, Catcott, Chilton Polden, Combe Martin, Denbury/Torbryan, Dunkeswell, Edington, Fivehead, Great Torrington, Ilfracombe, Ipplepen, Kingsbridge, Milborne Port, Stokenham, West Down and Woolfardisworthy.

(4) FTTP (Fibre to the Premises): This is where fibre runs all the way to the home or business, having the capability to provide speeds of up to 330Mbps.

(5) FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet): This is where fibre runs all the way to the cabinet with copper then running from the cabinet to the premises. FTTC is capable of providing speeds up to 80Mbps, depending on the copper line distance from the cabinet to the premises.

 

Anyone wishing to access the new service will need to contact their Internet Service Provider, both to get a definitive answer on availability, and to purchase a new package.

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