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Devon and Somerset UK Extend Deadline for Rural Broadband Vouchers

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 (7:49 am) - Score 403
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The Connecting Devon and Somerset project in England has extended the deadline for approval of vouchers under their rural subsidy scheme, which offers up to £500 per property to help those stuck in sub-2Mbps broadband areas to get a 10Mbps or faster connection.

The scheme was originally launched in April 2016 (here) and planned to run for one year until March 2017, although the deadline for final approvals was later extended to 30th June 2017. The good news is that the deadline has now been extended again to 30th September 2017.

Take note that the scheme itself has been closed to new applications since November 2016, so this is only for processing those applications that are already in the system or those who feel they were wrongfully declined during an earlier attempt.

CDS Statement

Following final coverage plans for phase 2 CDS will keep a second round of the voucher scheme under review, subject to available funding. Many properties will stand to benefit from new solutions being brought in as part of future phases and we want to make sure that the available public funding is being maximised.

For further enquiries on the voucher scheme, and to register interest in any potential future relaunches of the scheme please email us at broadbandvoucher-mailbox@devon.gov.uk .

Any premises that are declined vouchers but are receiving speeds less than 2Mbps and feel they should be approved can email broadbandvoucher-mailbox@devon.gov.uk with a screenshot of their speed to have their voucher approved. All those connected through the voucher scheme are still eligible for later extensions of the broader programme.

We suspect that part of the reason for the extended deadline is because some of those who have applied for vouchers live in areas where alternative network (altnet) providers are still in the process of rolling out new infrastructure, which can sometimes take longer than expected (engineering complications etc.).

ISPreview.co.uk has heard from a few people in the above situation and some were concerned that the delays might cause them to lose their voucher. CDS appear to be giving such areas as much flexibility as possible to get setup.

The CDS councils are currently considering a second follow-on voucher scheme and we understand that this would most likely run from the start of October 2017 and probably last for another year, although as above the team are first waiting to finalise a supplier for the final Phase 2 – Lot 1 area (Upper CDS).

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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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3 Responses
  1. Avatar Scampmeister

    In the Devon County Council Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee meeting on 27-June, one of Keri Denton’s team stated that Lot 1 will be “allocated shortly”. There was no further information on timescale or the reason for the delay.

    There was a live webcast and the recording is now available, but the CDS update (agenda item 8) has been omitted.

    https://devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/288542

    http://democracy.devon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=427&MId=2576

    • Avatar MikeW

      The CDS portion hasn’t been omitted from the webcast, just from the index.

      If you open index item 7, look down the list for “Keri Denton”, then click on the “Watch” button associated with her (or the one for “Cllr Alistair Dewhirst” just above that; that gives you the intro to the CDS agenda item).

      In his intro, Alistair points out that the documents they are looking at were produced for the previous scrutiny committee meeting; post-election, we seem to have a whole new set of councillors involved. There appears to be no new documents.

  2. Avatar Scampmeister

    Well spotted!

    The documents were the ones from the Place Scrutiny meeting in March, where Keri have her major update, definitley nothing new for this meeting. The verbal updates on broadband and mobile phone coverage by her assistants were pretty brief.

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