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Devon and Somerset UK Confirm First BDUK Areas for BT Fibre Broadband

Friday, June 28th, 2013 (3:20 pm) - Score 1,689

The £94 million state aid supported joint Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project to make BT’s superfast broadband (FTTC/P) services available to “around” 90% of local premises by the end of 2016 (original news) has today confirmed the first towns and villages to be upgraded.

The project initially aims to upgrade 15,000 homes and businesses by “early” 2014. But the first towns and villages to go live by the end of 2013 will include Sticklepath (near Okehampton), Bradford-on-Tone (work on the first two has apparently started “three months early”), Moretonhampstead, Holsworthy, Bishops Lydeard, Creech St Michael and Monkton Heathfield (near Taunton).

Bill Murphy, MD of NGA for BT Group, said:

High-speed fibre broadband is a very exciting step forward for these communities. It will provide a major boost for local businesses and households. Whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband.”

As well as the seven towns and villages, the “first phase of the programme” will also include extending fibre broadband in Taunton and Bridgwater, most of which have already been upgraded. Once complete it’s estimated that about 400,000 kilometres of new fibre optic cable will have been laid.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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4 Responses
  1. Avatar MikeW

    Here’s hoping @SlowSomerset is happy to hear something.

    I must say that 400,000 km of fibre sounds a lot. A previous report said about 1200 cabinets – which would be over 300 km of fibre for each cabinet!

  2. Avatar Slow Somerset

    Oh well looks like my village is not on the list, but at least its a start.
    And just as I expected the areas In Somerset are all near Taunton now there’s a surprise. Also why is BDUK money being used to Infill the areas In Taunton and Bridgwater thought that was announced on the Commercial Rollout.

  3. Avatar Slow Somerset

    Since when was Taunton or Bridgwater ever a Rural Village or town, Taunton has a population of 61,400 and Bridgwater 33,698 and both were announced In the Commercial Rollout. So BDUK Money is now being used to subsidise BT on their Commercial Rollout, I would love some one to explain this one.

  4. Avatar MikeW

    BDUK 1 isn’t strictly rural. It is merely taking the coverage from 66% to 90% – and using some definitions of urban, the UK can be defined as about 90% urban.

    I guess you just need to view the infill of the non-viable parts of Taunton & Bridgewater as fitting within the 66%-90% portion, and thus qualifies as part of BDUK 1.


    The ONS defines England as having 62% of the population in urban areas, Wales with 67%, and Scotland 82%. Perhaps more in keeping with how we view things.

    The ONS document on rural/urban statistics suggests that Taunton classes as “significant-rural” (in the 62%-75% portion), while Bridgewater classes as “rural-50” (in the 76%-88% portion), putting both firmly into the bottom third.

    See page 12-13 of this document:

    Perhaps we should be more surprised that the towns were done in the first place!

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