MP welcomes arrival of superfast broadband to Bawdrip

More than 130 businesses and households in Bawdrip and the surrounding area now have access to faster, more reliable broadband for the first time; news welcomed by Ian Liddell-Grainger MP.

Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) has brought superfast fibre broadband to the parish village of Bawdrip. Over 130 Bawdrip households and businesses are now able to sign up to superfast broadband following the switching on of a new fibre broadband cabinet in the village. The CDS programme aims to make superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above available to around 90 per cent of Devon and Somerset homes and businesses by the end of 2016.

More than 100,000 homes and businesses in the two counties now have accesses to fibre broadband as a result of the partnership, with nearly 90 per cent of those premises being able to connect to superfast speeds of 24Mbps or above.

Bridgwater and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger met councillors and BT representatives to mark the progress of superfast broadband in Bawdrip. Other people attending the event included local Councillor, David Hall, and BT South West regional manager, Paul Coles.

Mr. Liddell-Grainger, who has been campaigning for superfast broadband to be made more widely available in the area, commented:

“This is very good news for the area, which is particularly rural, and will greatly benefit from gaining access to faster broadband services. Bawdrip is one of many outlying villages in my constituency and it’s vital that it benefits from the same digital services that so many communities take for granted.

“For too long there has been a ‘digital divide’ between urban and some rural areas with regard to high speed broadband. We have long since moved beyond broadband as a ‘nice to have’ – it is now an essential part of modern life. That’s why the Government is investing hundreds of million of pounds in making superfast broadband available in more challenging areas, such as Bawdrip. I would urge businesses and households in Bawdrip to get connected and experience first-hand the benefits of superfast broadband.

“I am delighted to hear that this project has now reached more than 100,000 homes and businesses, providing a huge boost to the local economy of Somerset, and is firmly on track to reach 90 per cent coverage in Devon and Somerset by 2016.”

The increase in upload and download speeds brought about by superfast internet will help local businesses attract new customers, work more efficiently and grow. In Bawdrip, one company quick to sign up to the new technology is Barton Design, a web design company based in the village.

Richard Culverhouse, managing director of Barton Design and member of the Bawrip Parish Council, said: “The upgrade is a major boost to me personally and my business. The increase in speed has been amazing from 2.5Mbps to almost 70Mbps and the upload increase has been by a similar multiple. This enables tasks to be completed much more efficiently and allows more effective data transmission. We have waited a while for this but it has proven to be worth it and great value for money.”

Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many people getting connected as a result of this programme. It is predicted that Connecting Devon and Somerset will provide an economic boost to the region of around three quarters of a billion pounds and every new connection made will contribute to that. There’s still a lot of work to do, and the next phase of the programme will increase coverage further.

“With the £45 million of additional funding announced recently, we will be able to reach at least 95 per cent of people across Devon and Somerset by the end of 2017, and our ultimate aim remains to provide 100 per cent coverage.”

Paul Coles, BT South West regional manager, explained: “The arrival of superfast broadband is one of the most important investments in Devon and Somerset. Superfast broadband is transforming the way we live and work. For businesses in Bawdrip, it can help deliver a competitive edge, which will help them attract new customers and find more efficient ways of working, whilst households can use it for a wide range of purposes, such as online learning, entertainment and shopping.”

More information on Connecting Devon and Somerset can be found at the website:www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk

The Government’s nationwide rollout of superfast broadband – internet speeds greater than 24Mbps – has now reached more than two million homes and businesses.

BT’s high speed fibre broadband network now reaches almost 22 million premises. The network is open to all communications providers on an equal basis – with more than 140 communications providers now offering fibre broadband in the UK.

Notes to Editors

  • Most of the programme will be Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology, where the fibre runs from the telephone exchange to a fibre optic street cabinet.
  • It can deliver download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps. These are the top wholesale speeds available to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
  • The new network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all broadband service providers. Households and businesses wishing to place an order or find out more about fibre broadband should contact their service provider.

About Connecting Devon and Somerset

Councils across Devon and Somerset are working together to bring faster broadband to the area and deliver improved broadband for rural Devon and Somerset – the “final third” – rural areas that are unlikely to benefit from commercial investment in broadband.

The Connecting Devon and Somerset project covers Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Plymouth City Council, Torbay Council, and North Somerset Council areas.

The project has secured £32 million of funding from the government agency Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and both Somerset and Devon County Councils will be putting in up to £10 million each. Further funding from Bath and North East Somerset Council brought the public sector total close to £53 million. With the £41 million additional investment from BT, Connecting Devon and Somerset is a £94 million project.

For more information, visit www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk

About “Get up to Speed”

The ‘Get up to Speed’ service is delivered by the Cosmic Peninsula Consortium on behalf of Connecting Devon and Somerset. The newly established consortium, formed by Peninsula Enterprise and Cosmic IT, will undertake a series of workshops and events that will follow the infrastructure roll out as it moves across Devon and Somerset, helping businesses and individuals’ access information and develop the skills they need to get the most from the faster broadband speeds.

For more information please visit www.get-up-to-speed.co.uk

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:

  • £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
  • £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
  • £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services

Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.

For further information, visit https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk