August 12, 2015
Broadband Speeds Will Rocket At 20 More Business Parks in Devon and Somerset
Another 1,000 businesses will get access to high-speed fibre broadband
Digital Economy Minister praises “incredible progress” of Devon and Somerset partnership
Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) today announced major plans to make superfast fibre broadband available to 20 more business parks across the two counties. It means that a further 1,000 businesses will have access to speeds of up to 80Mbps* by the end of 2016.
The 20 new locations are in addition to more than 200 business parks across the two counties where CDS has already delivered fibre broadband or has plans to do so.
The news comes on the same day as the Government’s announcement that the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now passed more than three million UK homes and businesses, of which CDS has contributed more than 182,000. The Government rollout is on track to reach 95 per cent of the UK by 2017 and is now reaching around 5,000 additional premises every day.The 20 business parks are located right across the two counties in locations such as Taunton, Exeter, Bridgwater, South Molton, Glastonbury, Ivybridge, Newton Abbot, Yeovil, Torquay, Paignton, Glastonbury and Clevedon. A full list of locations is available at the end of this news release.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “We are transforming the digital landscape of the UK and our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now reached an additional three million UK homes and businesses. I congratulate Connecting Devon and Somerset on having reached more than 182,000 properties in the two counties so far – they’re making incredible progress.”
The announcement has been welcomed by the local business community. Ben Rhodes, chief executive at Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said: “We are greatly encouraged by the latest announcement from the CDS partnership. Having access to superfast broadband represents a first and very important step towards enabling our region's businesses to improve their productivity and, ultimately, their competitiveness in the UK and global marketplaces. The immediate challenge now for all those businesses who have, or are about to have this additional capability, is to consider how digital connectivity could help to redefine their businesses. This is not just about doing things quicker, it's about doing things better and differently. That is why we view programmes such as 'Get Up To Speed' and the work they are doing to help businesses to update or develop their digital strategies, as such critical components of the CDS delivery."
Meanwhile, Neil Murphy, chief executive officer at Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said: “Superfast broadband is an essential tool for businesses, as well as being an increasingly important tool within our homes. This investment will allow firms in the area to expand and develop, and open up this exciting technology to thousands more people across Somerset.
“Whilst we applaud and congratulate the good work that BT and the Connecting Devon and Somerset Team have successfully delivered to date, we encourage them to review and accelerate the pace at which the rest of the roll out is completed. Somerset has a vibrant and growing economy, which is forecasted to perform at least in line with, if not ahead of the national average of 2.5 per cent over the next six years, and we must have an infrastructure that matches this ambition.”
Councillor David Hall, Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, said, “The excellent progress that Connecting Devon and Somerset is making means we can get more business parks connected earlier than expected. CDS remains one of the largest single superfast broadband programmes in England and makes an important contribution to the Government’s national targets for the broadband rollout.
“Fast and stable broadband connection is one of the top priorities for modern businesses. By connecting these twenty additional business parks, we will provide enterprise with one of the tools needed to create economic prosperity and sustain local jobs.”
Eight hundred and twenty one street cabinets have now been connected to the fibre broadband network by the CDS partnership, which means more than 182,000 premises now have the potential to connect to fibre broadband.
Councillor Hall added, “We are also well past the halfway point for the first stage rollout overall and have made a significant contribution to the national number of homes and businesses now connected to superfast broadband.”
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth for Devon County Council, commented: “The faster broadband speeds these businesses will now be able to access will provide a tremendous boost to their day to day operations. Businesses are using fibre broadband to work more efficiently and find new customers, and bringing this service to businesses in our rural areas is a real achievement for Connecting Devon and Somerset.”
Paul Coles, BT South West regional manager, said: “Today marks important milestones, both locally and nationally, for the superfast broadband revolution. This exciting technology is transforming the opportunities for communities across the South West and the UK as a whole.
“BT’s multi billion pound investment in superfast broadband through its involvement in partnerships, such as Connecting Devon and Somerset, and its own commercial programme has already made fibre broadband available to more than 1.9 million households and businesses in the South West – and the number is continuing to grow rapidly. Our engineers are rolling out the technology at a world class pace, reaching thousands more premises in the region every week.
“Successful broadband partnerships are creating a lasting legacy, which will play a key role in the future prosperity of communities for many years to come.”
For more information about the Connecting Devon and Somerset rollout, people can go to www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk to read the latest details.
For further information please contact: Sofia Costa, JBP email: 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
* These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.
- 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.
The 20 business parks which will get superfast broadband by the end of 2016 as part of the CDS programme are as follows: Woodlands and Express Park (Bridgwater); Lakeside (near Mells, Somerset); Dunkeswell Business Park; Pitts Cleave (Tavistock); Crown Industrial Estate (Taunton); Weston Business Quarter (Weston-Super-Mare); Milber Trading Estate (Newton Abbot); Colley Lane (Bridgwater); Lynx Trading Estate (Yeovil); Pathfields (South Molton); Deane Gate (Taunton); Cockington (Torquay); Marsh Barton (Exeter); Yalberton (Paignton); Winkleigh Business Park (Winkleigh, Devon); Morlands (Glastonbury); Greendale ( Exeter); Bowdens (Hambridge); Hither Green (Clevedon); and Lee Mill (Ivybridge).
Latest exchange areas to ‘go live’ with superfast broadband are:
Devon - South Brent, Colyton, Lifton, Buckfastleigh, Cheriton Bishop, East Allington and Exborne.
Somerset - Somerton, North Petherton, Ilchester, Ashcott, Cheddar, Castle Cary, Evercreech, Axbridge, Bruton, Corton Denham, Brean Down, Long Sutton, Temple Cloud and Timsbury.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world.It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of five customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979mwith reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.btplc.com