1,000th fibre cabinet installed in Connecting Devon and Somerset broadband rollout


Posted on: 19 January 2016

Axminster is the latest community to benefit from fibre broadband, thanks to the multimillion pound roll-out from Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS).

The 1,000th CDS fibre broadband roadside cabinet has gone ‘live’ in the town.

More than 1,700 households and businesses in Axminster already have access to faster fibre broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps.

The CDS roll-out is expected to reach a further 4,300 premises in the area during 2016.

Andy Cable, proprietor of online music store Axe Music, based in Axminster, welcomed the latest milestone.  He said:

“This is fantastic news for not only our business but Axminster as a whole.

“We are fortunate to be accessing superfast speeds of up to 80Mbps, which is pretty impressive.

“It has made our online processes, such as customers paying by debit card, much more quick and efficient.

“There are quite a few branches of our company around the country, so it’s great that we now have the technology to keep up with the others.

“With faster connectivity as a result of Connecting Devon and Somerset, we’ll be able to be more competitive in what is a very tough market.

““I’m glad that I placed my order to get superfast broadband installed – I’d encourage everybody to take advantage.”

‘Final third’

The programme is providing faster broadband to the ‘final third’ of premises unlikely to benefit from private sector commercial broadband investment, of which the majority are in rural locations.

Since 2013, CDS has made superfast fibre optic broadband available to more than 221,000 households and businesses.

It’s on track to make superfast broadband available to around 90 per cent of Devon and Somerset premises by the end of 2016.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for economy and growth, said:

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter

“Reaching this latest milestone is a great achievement, and an especially welcome one as we start the New Year.

“Our plan to bring superfast broadband to around 90 per cent of homes and businesses by the end of 2016 is continuing at pace and is on schedule.

“We have a committed team working hard to overcome challenges and to close the digital divide.

“The roll-out will benefit local businesses, boost the economy and improve the internet access we all rely on as part of our everyday lives.

“There is still a lot of work to do, but we hope the next phase of the programme will increase coverage further.”

Councillor David Hall, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member for business inward investment and policy, said:

Cllr David Hall“This is a positive start to 2016, connecting rural premises to improved digital technologies.

“It is more than two years since the first cabinet went live and now over 221,000 households and businesses can access superfast broadband.

“Throughout phase one of the programme, CDS has demonstrated its commitment to over-coming challenges and in doing so, it is on schedule.

“Now the New Year is under way, we look forward to continuing to set a high benchmark for the continuation for the rollout scheme.”

The Connecting Devon and Somerset programme covers Devon, Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Plymouth City, Torbay and North Somerset councils.

Paul Coles, BT South West regional manager, said:

“The fact that Connecting Devon and Somerset has successfully installed its 1,000th fibre broadband cabinet, and many thousands of miles of optical fibre, demonstrates the great success of this partnership.

“Every week our engineers are rolling out high-speed fibre broadband to more communities in challenging locations.

“This exciting technology is providing a major boost for local households and businesses.”

6 comments on “1,000th fibre cabinet installed in Connecting Devon and Somerset broadband rollout

  1. Jacob says:

    Hello, I’m on the Topsham exchange but on the Exeter side near the Countess Weir roundabout and the Internet is virtually unusable. Outside of the rural broadband rollout and BT release a few slots which are taken before the rest of us hear they are available on the where and when link!

  2. Darren says:

    Commentators, well said! I too live in central Exeter and seem to be in the minority group of 5% of the UK population who are currently ‘out of programme’. My children who are struggling to get a reliable download speed to help with their studies and entertainment quite rightly fail to understand why their classmates – living literally across the road and others living in the small village communities around Devon, can access HSB. Time to step it up for ‘the few’, Devon!

  3. Jo says:

    Never mind how the rural communities are missing out . I live in Exeter City Centre and cannot have fibre broadband. That is a ridiculous situation. No fibre and no 4g only EE. My Mother who lives in a village in Yorkshire has better connections.

  4. eddy bassom says:

    Looks like BT are cherry picking the easiest areas to install fibre optics. Rural communities are left out when you can argue we need them most .The government should have written in their contract that BT had to provide fibre optics to all areas spreading them evenly. We in rural areas pay the same for our 1 to 2 mb speed as others getting 20+mb so we must be subsidising those getting a far better service! BT have a strangle hold as they have the infrastructure. As usual in this country we are paying more and getting less.

  5. Paul says:

    Great news, just a shame we can’t get hi speed broadband in my area of Torquay, Cockington and BT have no current plans to install HSB in the area. It would be helpful to understand the BT HSB strategy for the area if only to help businesses understand the communication/connectivity limitations and any associated timescales.

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