Yeoford and Cheriton Bishop on fibre broadband list

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Tuesday 14th July 2020 5:34 am

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CONNECTING Devon and Somerset (CDS) has launched its Fibre Extension Programme which will provide more than 8,000 homes and businesses with fibre broadband connections direct to the premises by the end of 2021.

CDS is funding fibre broadband connections to more than 6,000 homes and businesses which will be delivered by Airband.

Thanks to the high level of take-up of broadband services in the region from previous connectivity delivered by Openreach, CDS is re-investing a £6 million dividend to extend full fibre coverage to more than 2,000 premises, again working with Openreach, thanks to the Government’s “Gainshare” agreement with the company.

Overall, CDS has already delivered superfast broadband access to more homes and businesses than any other broadband programme in England – providing access to over 300,000 homes and businesses.

Take-up of CDS funded broadband services is nearly 65 per cent compared with a national average of 61.4 per cent.

Airband will begin engineering work this month (July) in North Devon and rolling-out to communities across northern, west and central Devon including: Ilfracombe, Croyde and Georgeham, Gunn, Molland and East Anstey, Bideford, Abbotsham, Hartland, Putford, Holsworthy, Clawton, Gulworthy and Morwellham Quay, Lewtrenchard and Chillaton, Yeoford and Cheriton Bishop.

CDS’ new collaboration with Openreach will expand fibre broadband coverage in particularly hard to reach hamlets and villages and deprived rural areas in Devon and Somerset.

This is made possible through the Gainshare agreement with Openreach, under which increasing take-up of broadband delivered through the first phase of the CDS programme generates additional funds for reinvestment in new broadband networks.

Survey teams working for Openreach have now started to identify the best routes for these new fibre connections and this work will help shape the design of the local networks and ensure roll-out can happen as rapidly as possible.

Initial survey work has begun in Oakford, near Bampton, and survey teams will continue their work across a broader cluster to the north of Tiverton and south of Dulverton, spanning the Devon and Somerset border and a second cluster to the east of Plymouth centred on Bickleigh, Wotter and Shaugh Prior. Once this survey work is completed, more precise details on which premises will be connected can be announced and a programme of engineering works will begin.

Additional communities set to benefit from new fibre connections delivered by Openreach for CDS will follow during the next two years. The areas included for survey are around: Blue Anchor, Brayford and North Molton, Brompton Ralph, Exe Valley, Haccombe, Rocombe and the Teign Estuary, Lane End, Satterleigh and Warkleigh, South Kentisbury Ford, South Zeal and Throwleigh, Teign Valley, Twitchen, Watermouth, Widecombe Parish and Yettington.

These two schemes will complement a much bigger roll-out programme planned by CDS and supported by £18.7 million of Government funding. These contracts are due to be awarded by the end of 2020.

In parallel with these initiatives, CDS is working closely with the Government’s Rural Gigabit Voucher programme to support communities who wish to contract with telecoms providers to design and shape bespoke broadband solutions for their communities. Where appropriate, CDS provides additional finance from its Community Challenge Fund to help communities with funding shortfalls.

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