Connecting Devon and Somerset Announces Superfast Broadband For 25 Communities25th February, 2014
Following last month’s announcement on exchange areas, CDS confirms the communities to benefit from high-speed fibre broadband
Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) today confirmed the next 25 communities to benefit from the £94 million programme to bring superfast broadband to rural areas.
Last month, the programme announced that it would make high-speed fibre broadband available to 70,000 homes and businesses by the end of July and revealed the names of the latest exchange areas to be included in the CDS roll-out plans.
Now it has been able to go one step further and pinpoint the actual communities within those exchange areas, which will benefit.
In Devon, they include Ashford, Landkey, Heanton Punchardon, Braunton, Morthoe, Swimbridge, Burlescombe, Feniton, Ottery St Mary, Dunkeswell, Membury, Honiton, Newton Abbot, Ashburton, Ilsington, Kingskerswell, Bovey Tracey and Belstone.
In Somerset, the programme will roll-out to Horton, Barrington, Ilminster, Broadway, Dowlish Wake , Kingstone, and Wellington*.
Today’s announcement comes as a result of the detailed survey work that is critical in determining how the roll-out plan takes shape through the life of the programme.
The new locations follow 19 exchange areas where the partnership has already made fibre available and a further seven areas which are due to ‘go live’ by the end of March.
The programme has updated the interactive map on the CDS website, www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk, to reflect this latest announcement. The map is regularly updated when individual cabinets ‘go live’.
Alongside the private sector’s commercial roll-out, the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme aims to make superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above available to around 90 per cent of homes and businesses by the end of 2016. It also plans to ensure a minimum of 2Mbps for all premises within the programme area.
Superfast broadband is vital to create a more resilient economy across both counties and the peninsula as a whole. This is particularly important in the wake of the recent adverse weather and the impact on infrastructure. The local authorities in the partnership will be continuing to press the case for further funding as part of the overall drive to improve resilience.
Councillor David Hall, Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “It is great to see the next communities to benefit from superfast broadband announced. Connecting Devon and Somerset is working at pace despite the current challenging conditions to bring this technology to our rural communities.
“We also welcome today’s announcement from the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) of the additional funding available to the Connecting Devon and Somerset Programme to help extend superfast broadband coverage to 95 per cent of premises. At a time when we are working hard to secure the future of our infrastructure and the resilience of both our counties, the provision of superfast broadband to our residents and businesses is a critical part of the mix.”
The multi million pound partnership includes Devon and Somerset County Councils, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay Councils, BT and the UK Government’s Superfast Britain programme.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth for Devon County Council, said: “With the recent weather highlighting the weaknesses in our critical infrastructure, superfast broadband has become even more essential to ensure that our businesses remain competitive and our economy continues to grow. Superfast broadband can dramatically alter how we work – opening up homeworking and other measures to improve efficiency and enable rural communities and businesses to continue to function in all but the most extreme circumstances.”
Laurent Boon, BT’s programme manager for Connecting Devon and Somerset, said: “The announcement today is another example of the programme’s commitment to keeping communities fully informed of the roll-out as soon as the plans have been checked and confirmed. Despite the continuing bad weather, the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme continues to achieve great progress.”