On Air Now
Early Breakfast with James Stewart 4am - 6:30am
9 December 2013, 08:39 | Updated: 9 December 2013, 08:42
High-speed fibre broadband will be available to 44,000 Devon and Somerset homes and businesses within four months.
Connecting Devon and Somerset today takes a major step forward in the £94 million project to bring superfast broadband to rural areas by announcing the next communities set to benefit from the programme.
By the end of March 2014, fibre broadband will be available to a further 31 communities.. This extends the number of homes and businesses that are able to benefit from the programme to 44,000.
The boost comes as a result of the careful detailed survey work undertaken over the past six months that is critical in determining the roll-out plan.
The 31 latest communities included in the roll-out join seven towns and villages already announced. Parts of Holsworthy, Bradford-on-Tone and Sticklepath have already ‘gone live’, whilst Moretonhampstead, Bishops Lydeard, Monkton Heathfield and Creech St Michael will be upgraded by the end of the month.
Alongside the private sector’s commercial roll-out, the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme aims to make superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above available to around 90 per cent of homes and businesses by the end of 2016. It also plans to ensure a minimum of 2Mbps for all premises within the programme area and is actively lobbying for more funding to further extend the availability of superfast broadband.
The programme has also published a new map on the Connecting Devon and Somerset website. This roll-out map, which will be added to as more locations come on stream, shows the final locations for this phase at a detailed postcode level.
Residents and businesses will be able to see where this part of the roll-out will reach. The multi million pound partnership includes Devon and Somerset County Councils, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay Councils, BT and the UK Government’s Superfast Britain programme.
Councillor David Hall, Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, said: ''The Big Build now feels like it is truly underway. This tremendous step forward is a pay off for all the careful planning that goes on behind the scenes. The team has been working flat out to get to this stage. I look forward to the economic growth and development that access to high speed fibre broadband will bring.''
The 31 parish areas where superfast broadband will ‘go live’ by the end of March 2014 as part of the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme are: Bishop's Hull, Bridford, Chilton Trinity, Christow, Combe Florey, Comeytrowe, Corfe, Cotford St. Luke, Crediton, Dunchideock, Exminster, Hatherleigh, Hemyock, Newton St. Cyres, North Tawton, Nynehead, Okehampton, Okehampton Hamlets, Petrockstow, Ruishton, Sampford Arundel, Sandford, Shillingford St. George, Shobrooke, South Tawton, Stoke St. Gregory, Thurloxton, Trull, Wembdon, West Buckland and West Monkton.