07
April
2016
|
17:35
Europe/Amsterdam

Superfast broadband speeds now available to thousands of Exmoor households and businesses

Summary
Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) today announced it had made superfast fibre broadband available to about 3,700 homes and businesses on Exmoor National Park. The latest communities to benefit include Dulverton, Porlock, Wheddon Cross, Timberscombe, Exford, Winsford, Wootton Courtenay and Withypool.

Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) today announced it had made superfast fibre broadband available to about 3,700 homes and businesses on Exmoor National Park.

The latest communities to benefit include Dulverton, Porlock, Wheddon Cross, Timberscombe, Exford, Winsford, Wootton Courtenay and Withypool.

They follow Bampton and Dunster, which were upgraded during the early part of last year. Lynton and Brayford are also due to be included in the rollout later this year.

CDS is working hard to make high-speed fibre broadband as widely available as possible and is on course to meet its target of achieving around 90 per cent superfast broadband coverage by the end of 2016.

To date, the CDS programme has provided more than 280,000 households and businesses in Devon and Somerset with access to fibre broadband, of which about 228,000 are able to access superfast broadband speeds in excess of 24mbps. This has been made possible through the construction of about 1,250 fibre broadband cabinets and the laying of many thousands of kilometres of fibre optic cables by engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach.

Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Councillor for Dulverton and Exmoor, said: “I’m delighted that more communities on Exmoor now have the opportunity to access superfast broadband as a result of the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme. The ability to access high quality communications infrastructure is critical to businesses, critical for young people's education, and an important part of improving quality of life for everyone. Phase One of the CDS roll-out has successfully brought connectivity to much of Exmoor, and we look forward to more connections in Phase Two.”

Paul Coles, BT South West regional manager, said: “The rollout of high-speed fibre broadband represents a major investment on Exmoor and the surrounding areas. It will provide a vital boost for local households and businesses because whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband.”

Residents and businesses can keep up to date with the latest cabinets going live via Twitter @DCCSCCBroadband or via www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk. If your area is covered by fibre broadband you will need to contact your Internet Service Provider to order a fibre broadband service.

END

Notes to Editors

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 Programme covers Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Plymouth City Council, Torbay Council, and North Somerset Council areas.

In 2011 the programme secured £32 million of funding from the government agency Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and both Somerset and Devon County Councils put in £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 the Programme is investing £94 million to improve broadband connectivity.

In 2014 BDUK announced a further £22.75m allocated to the CDS programme to support the extension of superfast broadband coverage to 95 per cent of premises nationally. This has been matched locally, which means the programme has over £45 million further to invest in bringing superfast broadband to the area.