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Devon and Somerset broadband project reaches 100,000 premises milestone

Thursday, February 12th 2015 by Dean Reilly

The Connecting Devon and Somerset superfast fibre broadband rollout has reached a major milestone, it was announced today.

Over 100,000 homes and businesses in the two counties now have access to fibre broadband, with 90% able to connect with speeds of 24Mbps or above.

The announcement came after it was revealed that the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has reached more than two million homes and businesses.

Representatives of both Devon and Somerset councils have welcomed the news. Councillor David Hall, deputy leader of Somerset County Council, said: “Reaching this many people with fibre is wonderful news for Devon and Somerset.

“It puts us on track to reach our 90% superfast goal by the end of 2016 and with the further funding announced recently, Connecting Devon and Somerset are well on track to reach our goal of 100 per cent superfast broadband by 2020.”

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, cabinet member for Economy and Growth for Devon County Council, agreed, saying: "Everyone in Devon and Somerset recognises the importance of superfast broadband, and with confirmation we have now connected over 100,000 homes to broadband we will really start to see the difference.

“As well as people at home being much better connected, businesses who are now benefiting because of our programme are seeing increased revenues and higher productivity, which all contributes hugely to the local economy.”

680 street cabinets

The broadband partnership also announced that approximately 12,500 orders have already been placed for fibre broadband since the start of 2015.

More than 78,000km of underground optical fibre cables have been installed, linking 456 new live broadband street cabinets. An additional 224 fibre cabinets are also awaiting activation.

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT, said: “Today sees another important milestone in the rollout of fibre broadband in Devon and Somerset and across the UK.

"The Connecting Devon and Somerset partnership has made major progress since it was launched in 2013. It means that more than 610,000 households and businesses across the two counties now have access to high-speed fibre broadband as a result of this successful partnership and BT’s own commercial fibre broadband programme.

“Together, we and our public sector partners are creating a lasting legacy, which will play a vital role in the future success and prosperity of our local communities and our nation. Already nearly 22 million UK households and businesses can benefit from the huge opportunities offered by fibre broadband with many more joining them every month.”

Cable.co.uk previously reported how campaigners claimed that parts of Devon and Somerset were “stitched up” by the rural broadand programme, with some people in hard-to-reach areas unlikely to get superfast broadband until 2020.

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