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Satellite broadband pilot scheme to take place in Devon and Somerset

Tuesday, July 1st 2014 by Hannah Langston
Devon and Somerset to stage satellite broadband trial (Thinkstock/iStock)

A pilot scheme of high-speed satellite broadband is to take place in Devon and Somerset.

Satellite broadband operator SES Broadband Services is to carry out a pilot scheme in Devon and Somerset as part of a government-funded push to bring faster internet speeds to the UK's most rural communities.

The company's distribution partner Satellite Internet has been awarded £175,125 from the coalition's £10 million Broadband Innovation Fund and will now carry out a trial in the West Country to demonstrate the potential of the technology.

A total of 38 projects submitted bids for the government cash pot, with only seven others ultimately chosen to receive a share of the funding.

Before the pilot scheme can begin, a feasibility study will be carried out in conjunction with the Connecting Devon and Somerset broadband project, which aims to bring superfast speeds within reach of around 90 per cent of local properties by the end of 2016.

Responding to the news, Chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council Tim Jones was quoted by the Western Morning News as saying: "Superfast broadband gives smaller businesses – especially the self-employed people in rural locations – a chance to grow and be competitive in term of connectivity with the rest of the UK."

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