MP welcomes arrival of superfast broadband to Dunkeswell business park

More than 700 businesses and households in Dunkeswell Business Park and the surrounding area now have access to faster, more reliable broadband services for the first time; news welcomed by The MP Neil Parish 

Connecting Devon and Somerset has brought Superfast Broadband to Dunkeswell Business Park. New green roadside cabinets have recently been installed to make the new technology available to more than 700 households and businesses in the area.

This has been made possible by the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme, which is on target to make superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above available to around 90 per cent of homes and businesses by the end of 2016.

An event to mark this important milestone in the roll-out was held at Supacat, a highly innovative engineering design house at Dunkeswell Business Park. Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, and Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth for Devon County Council, joined Connecting Devon and Somerset Board Member and Managing Director of Supacat, Nick Ames, to celebrate the arrival of the new roadside cabinets in Dunkeswell.

Neil Parish MP has been heavily involved in Devon and Somerset’s successful bid for broadband funding from the Government and worked closely with Devon and Somerset County Councils.

Mr Parish said: “Having campaigned to improve access to broadband in rural areas and bridge the digital divide, I am absolutely delighted to celebrate the arrival of superfast broadband in Dunkeswell Business Park, providing many more businesses with access to superfast speeds. Dunkeswell is one of the most outlying villages in my constituency and it’s vital that it benefits from the same digital services that so many communities take for granted.

“Superfast broadband is now available to more than 700 businesses and premises in Dunkeswell. I’m pleased that Andrew Leadbetter and I have the opportunity today to mark this important milestone for Dunkeswell and the community.

“For households, it’s ideal for quick and efficient on-line shopping, entertainment, education, research and social networking. It’s therefore extremely pleasing that more homes and businesses in the Dunkeswell district are now well placed to take advantage of their first Christmas with superfast speeds.”

Connecting Devon and Somerset, a partnership between local authorities in Devon and Somerset and BT, has been working to bring the improved broadband service to Dunkeswell since the summer. Paul Coles, BT South West regional manager, explained: “The arrival of fibre broadband is one of the most important investments in Devon and Somerset. High-speed fibre broadband is transforming the way we live and work. For businesses in Dunkeswell Business Park, it can help deliver a competitive edge, which will help them attract new customers and find efficient ways of working. I would urge businesses on the park to get connected and use high-speed broadband to innovate, approach new markets and grow.”

The new superfast broadband network will bring significant benefits to the businesses based in Dunkeswell Business Park, which can now look forward to faster download and upload speeds; the ability to access the internet via multiple devices without experiencing a slow connection, improved file sharing, solutions based on Cloud computing and being able to work more flexibly.

Blackdown Hills Business Association is one of the first establishments in Dunkeswell to be connected to superfast broadband. Val Baker, Administrator at Blackdown Hills Business Association, said: “It is great that some of our Blackdown Hill businesses are getting benefit from the new roll-out and that it is a real opportunity for businesses to become more competitive, extend their geographic reach and save costs.”

Commenting, Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, said: “This means that businesses in the area can compete in an increasingly globalised marketplace. It is vital for every business to be able to access information quickly and stay in touch with their customers.

Superfast Broadband should also be a welcome boost to fledging companies and those trying to start new businesses while the economy is still improving.

“Work on the Connecting Devon and Somerset project is well under way across the region – with more than 75,000homes and businesses now able to connect to fibre broadband.

“Having secured an additional £38 million in funding earlier in the year, this will allow us to take coverage to 95 per cent by 2017, and we are already putting plans in place to help us achieve this.

“Anyone who wants to find the current latest information about the programme should also visit the Connecting Devon and Somerset web site, which clearly shows what areas we are surveying and what areas we are working to connect.”
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Notes to Editors
For further information please contact: Sofia Costa, JBP email: sofia.costa@jbp.co.uk or 0117 907 6510
For BT enquiries contact the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660. All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.bt.com/newscentre
• 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 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