Connecting Devon and Somerset hits 200,000 broadband milestone

Posted on: 9 October 2015

More than 200,000 businesses and households are now able to connect to fibre broadband thanks to the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme – around 185,000 of these are achieving superfast speeds.

The latest communities to ‘go live’ with superfast broadband in Devon include Cheriton Fitzpaine, Copplestone, Harbertonford and Sutton Cross.  Fibre broadband has also been further expanded in exchange areas across the county.

Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) today (Friday 09 October) announced that it had achieved a major milestone in its rollout of high-speed fibre broadband.

More than 185,000 households and businesses can now access superfast broadband and in total more than 200,000 premises can access fibre broadband across the two counties thanks to the multi million pound programme.

The partnership is ahead of schedule in its plans to make fibre broadband available to around 90 per cent of households and businesses within the next 16 months.

BT’s Openreach engineers have installed more than 900 fibre broadband cabinets and laid optical fibres many thousands of kilometres long.

Braunton business, Surfed Out, was one of the first in its area to recognise the benefits and potential of superfast broadband.

Surfed Out Manager, Glenn Harris, said:

“Being able to connect to superfast broadband has already had a dramatic impact on our business. We have a really enthusiastic and driven team, and now at last our IT capabilities can keep up with the pace they work at!

“It’s great to have the confidence that we will be able to fulfil in-store and online transactions without any glitches. And of course it means we can play a bigger role in surfing retail nationally, and even internationally, as our website can be more responsive. It’s great news all round.”

The news is welcomed by North Devon MP, Peter Heaton-Jones.

“The arrival of superfast broadband will be a game-changer for the large number of rural communities we have here in North Devon,” he said.

Devon County Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, who has Cabinet responsibility for Economy and Growth, said:

“This project is making a huge difference to people’s lives.  The take-up rate in the areas that have gone live this year underlines just how keen businesses and members of the public are to get connected, and what a difference it can make.”

In the past three months the high-speed technology has been rolled out for the first time to new exchange areas in Devon and Somerset, including some of the most challenging locations in the country.

Councillor David Hall, Cabinet Member Business Inward Investment and Policy for Somerset County Council said:

“Bringing superfast broadband to rural areas is a challenge, but working in partnership with BT we have demonstrated that challenges can be overcome and the benefits of the latest broadband technology can be felt in some of our more remote communities.”

Residents and businesses can keep up to date with the latest cabinets going live via Twitter @DCCSCCBroadband or via the Connecting Devon and Somerset website.

Posted in: Business and Economy