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Devon and Somerset UK to Offer Community Broadband Funding

Saturday, June 1st, 2019 (7:57 am) - Score 2,850

The troubled Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project has announced that it is looking for ISPs to help support the launch of a new funding scheme, which is due to launch later in 2019 and will help rural communities to get a faster broadband network built. Meanwhile Gigaclear has been given a deadline to get their FTTP plan sorted.

The Community Challenge Fund has already been piloted in Harford and Lower Combe in Devon with Openreach and Airband, while a third pilot with Openreach is currently being built in Yatton (North Somerset) and should complete sometime this summer.

Overall CDS provided £70,000 of public funding to help these areas rollout a Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network and some 138 premises now have access. We assume other funding was also harnessed as £70k alone seems rather cheap for that number of premises.

The CDS team intend to officially launch the new scheme later this year and this should help them to tackle those remaining communities in the final 5% of premises that may not benefit from their existing contracts with Openreach, Airband and Gigaclear.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council, said:

“The pilots have proved really effective at enabling local people in communities with different needs to co-produce a great broadband solution that works best for them with CDS support.

Each community has had different characteristics and challenges, ranging from deeply rural areas and protected landscapes to urban fringes. We want to apply the good practice learned from these pilots to help other communities co-produce their own solutions. This will add a new dimension to complement our existing broadband programme and support the Government’s full fibre policy.”

Shaun Dale, Senior Project Manager for BT, said:

“It’s been a journey but we’ve extended fibre into a place where the main programme wasn’t going to go and Harford is probably one of the more remote areas on the edge of Dartmoor. Bringing fibre here has helped the immediate community go from zero broadband to Gigabit speeds if that’s what they wish. It’s a process that works really well and it delivers broadband to places that otherwise would be waiting a long time to get very, very good speeds.”

The public take up of broadband services as a result of CDS related deployments is nearly 55%, in line with the UK average, and the £6m of gainshare from this (i.e. public investment returned by BT for reinvestment to further boost coverage) is already set to help Openreach (BT) boost “superfast broadband” to a further 2,000 premises in the hardest to reach areas (further reinvestment sums are expected up until 2024).

Meanwhile we also got an update on Airband’s wireless and fibre network rollout in the region, which has now expanded its coverage to reach 7,000 rural premises. By June 2020 it’s expected that around 16,000 properties across mid, north and west Devon will be able to get superfast broadband as part of the CDS programme. Airband is also providing a network to serve around a further 5,000 hard to reach properties in the Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks.

Finally, CDS issued a much needed update on the controversial Gigaclear contracts (see here and here for details if you need a recap), which in some CDS areas is now running 2 years behind schedule. The ISP is currently still conducting the deployment at their own risk (no public funding) and in the meantime CDS have continued to keep Gigaclear “on notice of default” until they receive a satisfactory plan.

Interestingly the latest update starts by copy and pasting some now all too familiar statements but this time it ends by setting a clear deadline. “Residents and businesses have been let down as a result of these delays and CDS has made it clear to Gigaclear that this uncertainty cannot continue indefinitely. CDS has allowed the company additional time to evaluate and cost alternative methods of network construction. The company is on notice of default pending receipt of a revised plan by the end of July that is acceptable both to CDS and the Government. CDS will not shrink from taking further tough action if that is deemed necessary.”

The Government has already given provisional approval for CDS to extend £18.7m of related public funding for Gigaclear until March 2023, although this will only become official once HM Treasury has finalised an agreement with DCMS as part of the Spending Review process. However it’s conceivable that the review could still be delayed by Brexit and the current leadership contest for PM. CDS may also choose to scrap Gigaclear’s contract but we still view that as being unlikely.

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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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34 Responses
  1. WaitingforSuperfast says:

    Not sure you could describe Harford as a huge challenge it’s just outside Ivybridge, didn’t they have a campaign to get Council to pay for their Community Funded Partnership bill if £40k (fibre4harford on Twitter) looks like their FTTP has been live for a year or more now.

    Likewise with Lower Combe – again on edge of Dartmoor, you’d think that would have been included in the properties covered by the original Airband contract?

    1. TheFacts says:

      Up a narrow lane with trees on both sides.

  2. Graham Long says:

    Mark, You need to be clear about why the Gigaclear contracts have been on hold for 8 months and they may stay like that for the rest of this year or until CDS cancel them: CDS took 5 years to find Phase 2 suppliers Airband and Gigaclear but by the time they cane to run a second open market tender round, EU state aid approval had expired in 2015 and BDUK had to negotiate a new EU state aid approval for them. In addition to requiring the Phase 2 work to be delivered as 6 contracts (at 24Mbps, not 30Mbps), the EU stuck to the 2020 completion date leaving Gigaclear only 3 years to deliver a complete new full fibre network across the two counties and with no contingency for overrun. Laying fbre is primarily a civil engineering contract. 66% of all UK civils contracts overrun so when landowners did not agree wayleaves and rural roads turned out to have poor foundations it’s no wonder delivery time would need extending but now CDS have managed to get extension approval caught up in this chaotic governments spending review process, God knows when, if ever, the contracts may resume. Meanwhile CDS continue to blame Gigaclear rather than themselves for the delay and threaten to cancel the contracts. What the hell, it’s only Devon & Somerset rural taxpayers who now have to wait until the next decade for useable broadband!

    1. TheFacts says:

      Gigaclear signed the contract and committed to the dates. They knew exactly what they were taking on. They failed.

    2. Graham Long says:

      The Facts: Yes they did and notified CDS accordingly, but what do CDS do? – they put the contracts on hold for 8 months that will probably end up over 12 months because CDS have such a poor understanding of how to run such contracts.

    3. Fastman says:

      interesting comments

      they agreed a much more aggressive deployment so they should have done their due diligence better

      you only get paid for what you deliver. that determined by monthly and quarterly milestone you have to achieve . They would have known that that when they started . it the same as other BDUK suppliers have being dealing with for Years –

      issue is they are not plucky little gigacrear finghting against nasty big BT monopoly anymore

      they are company funded by a massive external capital – so have to play by same rules

  3. chris conder says:

    Building a network is relatively easy compared with dealing with government. Funding is extremely difficult. Digging a little trench whether in a field or a pavement or road is just an engineering thing. Trying to comply with the tick boxes is very very very difficult, time consuming and such a damn waste of time and resources.

    1. TheFacts says:

      And managing it and the customers for the next 30 years.

    2. Fastman says:


      a pavement or road is just an engineering thing. Trying to comply with the tick boxes is very very very difficult, time consuming and such a damn waste of time and resources.

      completely and utterly devoid of reality !!!!!

    3. Joe says:

      @Fastman tbh that the job is fine its the paperwork that causes all the issues is common enough in plenty of jobs.

    4. Gadget says:

      If it was funding that was the difficulty I would have expected to see network built and complaints of cash-flow.
      I can see that navigating the billing could be difficult the first or second time, but AFAIK precious little has been built in this instance.

  4. Peter Doyle says:

    Mr Long is quite wrong in all the key points of his comments posted here.

    Connecting Devon and Somerset has not imposed a delay of eight months on Gigaclear. It is in fact CDS that is waiting for Gigaclear to produce a revised plan of delivery for our contracts with the company.

    Gigaclear explains this in its public apology for the delays on its website: “We are developing a new delivery schedule using new delivery technology and methods to overcome the problems we and our contractors have had to date delivering this network.”

    Far from trying to delay delivery, CDS has repeatedly encouraged, supported and pressed the various iterations of Gigaclear’s management and ownership to accelerate the company’s roll-out. The set-backs the company has incurred since it was awarded the contracts are set out fairly in the joint briefing issued by CDS and Gigaclear in November last year. The current company has always accepted its responsibility for the delays and for that it deserves some credit.

    No one wishes to be in this situation. We all want to get on and deliver great broadband to our rural communities and businesses in those Gigaclear contract areas. Digital connectivity is vital to the well-being and economic future of the areas we serve. That is why CDS has given Gigaclear some more time to try to finally produce a revised plan that we can all get behind. There are good people at Gigaclear and it would be wonderful if they can produce a successful plan, but if not CDS will seek alternative solutions.

    Mr Long is also incorrect in stating that CDS took five years to find Phase 2 contractors. In June 2015 CDS rejected BT’s phase 2 offer because it was poor value for money. In July that year CDS signed the first phase 2 contract with Airband for Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks. In June 2016 the EU granted the UK State Aid approval for a new national broadband scheme. It was not simply for the CDS phase 2 as Mr Long asserts. In December, 2016, CDS signed phase 2 contracts with Gigaclear for four lots, in the following June, 2017 CDS contracted with Airband for a further lot area, and in July that year CDS awarded the contract for the final lot to Gigaclear. In all, a two-year process including market testing.

    This information is freely available on the CDS website.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Peter Doyle,
    Head of External Affairs,
    Connecting Devon and Somerset
    and Devon County Council.

    1. Joe says:

      Good to hear the other side. Thankfully My Phase completed some while back but frankly the delays are not a great great advert for the tender process. Was GC’s capacity to deliver well assessed.

    2. Graham Long says:

      It is good to hear CDS (Mr Doyle) talking to Devon & Somerset taxpayers and not just their “stakeholders” (District & County Councils).

      I am absolutely sure CDS would wish their Phase 2 programme were not in the position it is, but make no mistake it is the decisions taken by CDS that have put the programme where it is:

      It cannot be denied that £22.75M of state aid was allocated to CDS in 2012 for the Phase 2 programme. (It’s on the BDUK website) And that state aid approval required contracts to be in place by 2015 with roll out to be completed by 2020.

      It cannot be denied that on Nov 13, 2014 CDS held a “bidder day” which CDS tried to wind up early. I think you were there Mr Doyle. Do you remember the uproar from prospective suppliers when CDS suggested they would not take questions?

      It cannot be denied that a few weeks later it became known that CDS had abandoned this open tender round believed to be because BT refused to bid unless they got the contract on an exclusive basis as an extension of Phase 1 under the Framework Agreement.

      It cannot be denied that CDS then attempted to do what BT wanted and negotiate an exclusive contract with them and that negotiations with BT collapsed in 2015. Yes, CDS were saying that BT were not prepared to put enough of their own money into the contract, but at the same time BT were saying that CDS were not offering them enough money to deliver the programme.

      It cannot be denied that by the time CDS’s negotiations with BT collapsed in 2015, the EU state aid deadline for having contracts in place had passed and it then became illegal for CDS to provide state aid to anyone until a new EU state aid approval could be obtained by BDUK. And yes there were some other recalcitrant local bodies in the same position.

      It cannot be denied that it took until July 2016 for BDUK to negotiate a new EU state aid approval for CDS (and other local bodies who had not got Phase 2 contracts in place by 2015) and then hold a second “bidder day” on July 19, 2016 when it became known that the EU had raised the minimum deliverable from 24Mbps to 30Mbps and that Devon & Somerset had to be put out to tender as 6 separate contracts.

      In December 2016 CDS awarded five of the six Phase 2 contracts to Gigaclear and one to Airband but what was not known by everyone at the time is that although the contracts were being put in place two years after the original EU state aid deadline of 2015 had passed, the original contractual delivery date of 2020 was still a requirement of the new EU state aid approval.

      On Sept 30, 2018 Gigaclear failed to deliver the contractually required number of full fibre connections in the quarter and as a result CDS suspended the five contracts, requiring Gigaclear to produce a remediation plan for CDS approval.

      In November 2018, I and representatives from a number of parish councils in Devon & Somerset met with Gigaclear’s project mannager and were told that a new roll out methodology based on a “trunk and branch” approach connecting branches to properties after the trunk fibre was run through an area beforehand, had been approved by CDS and a new roll out schedule was expected to be published in January 2019. That never happened.

      Devon & Somerset County Councils split the CDS worksload between them such that Devon manage operational aspects of CDS and Somerset manage the legal and contractual aspects of the programme. Adherence to the original 2020 contractual delivery date meant there is no “endfloat” or overrun allowed in the five CDS contracts with Gigaclear so that when Gigaclear failed to deliver the Sept 30 2018 target number of connections that necessitated a contract extension beyond 2020 which BDUK, DCMS and HM Treasury all support. The problem is that Somerset CC cannot restart the five contracts with Gigaclear until funding beyond 2020 is assured since they would fail audit if they did. HM Treasury however have made it a condition of approving the contract extension that it now has to become part of this years Government Spending Review which will not conclude until the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November.

      It cannot be denied that it took from 2012 to 2017 for CDS to get all Phase 2 contracts in place (That’s 5 years) and that because the original EU state aid deadline of 2020 for delivering those contracts remained unchanged, a new EU state aid approval obtained in 2016 only gave Phase 2 suppliers 3 years to delivering the programme.

      Building a new full fibre network from scratch is a major civil engineering project. 66% of all civil engineering projects overrun and it should be no surprise to anyone that Gigaclear would overrun. (Even the BT Phase 1 contract overran before it finished in 2017)

      CDS have got themselves into this catch 22 situation which has now caused an additional 8 months delay to the five contracts and by the time the Spending Review is complete will probably have caused a 13 month delay. I don’t know how many months behind schedule Gigaclear were on Sept 30, 2018 when CDS suspended the five contracts, but in what universe does it make sense to create yet more delay when a contract is already running behind schedule.

      Gigaclear are contracted to deliver 47,810 full fibre connections under the five Phase 2 contracts and will invest £60.5M of their own in the programme alongside £31M of public subsidy. In addition Gigaclear have committed to extend their full fibre network in the two counties at a cost to them of £67.3M to connect another 43,000 properties on a commercial basis.

      Whilst no extension contract can be agreed until the Spending Review is complete it is easy for CDS to tub thump about finding alternative suppliers, but I don’t see another company sitting in the wings suggesting they would invest £127.8M in fibre in the two counties.

      What gets ever more likely as this fiasco continues is that Gigaclear could cut their losses and walk away. In the same way as CDS state “this cannot go on indefinatately”, I am sure Gigaclear and their backers are thinking exactly the same thing.

      It is now the case that more than 80,000 rural Council Tax payers in Devon & Somerset who are caught up in the middle of this mess will have to wait until the next decade to get the kind of broadband service their cousins in the towns have taken for granted for years using state aid money allocated to CDS in 2012.

    3. Jim Weir says:

      You said “not known by everyone at the time is that although the contracts were being put in place two years after the original EU state aid deadline of 2015 had passed, the original contractual delivery date of 2020 was still a requirement of the new EU state aid approval.”

      That is incorrect, the tender Gigaclear bid on & were awarded had a full service date of 31/12/19, so the 2020 deadline isn’t a surprise to anyone.

      That’s what they bid for claiming to be able to deliver – most of the industry seemed surprised that anyone could build 40000 rural fibre premises in 3 years starting from zero infrastructure….

      Not sure you can argue that just because other engineering projects over-run that that is then acceptable – the risk is for the supplier not the council. If they had gone JV model rather than gap funding then the council would have needed to consider their risk of non delivery. This is firmly in the hands of Gigaclear & Gigaclear have to come up with their own solution.

    4. Joe says:


      I’m not sure there is a possible solution within the existing framework. They can’t meet the deadlines, there seems no easy way to change those deadlines and frankly given the silence on alternative plans we can wonder what alternative is realistically possible.

      Both sides seem unwilling to bite the bullet here. CDS won’t cancel and GC haven’t walked away. CDS/GC don’t seem to be able to agree an new roadmap. The can gets kicked down the road…

    5. Somerset says:

      Clearly Gigaclear have failed. I suspect their planning was flawed and amongst other things they could not manage their contractors (they set up a local office sometime after the start) and did not understand the quantity of dig in roads compared with soft verges. Factor of x20 in cost? I have seen where duct is laid in a wide verge and it weaves about instead of being in a straight line and a road covered in white marks that needs the top surface replacing.

      Graham says it’s OK, projects overrun, it would be interesting to know why he is so supportive of Gigaclear…

      Graham is ‘the tender Gigaclear bid on & were awarded had a full service date of 31/12/19’ correct?

      Also TBB shows areas live in North Somerset whereas roadworks.org shows Gigaclear work starting in October.

    6. Graham Long says:

      @Joe: You are missing the point I make about the CDS/Gigaclear contracts – Even if CDS wanted to resume the contracts now they cannot! – Because SCC (who are responsible of contractual issues) cannot enter into a contract that goes beyond 2020 until funding for 2020 and beyond is included in this years Government Spending Review and that is unlikely to happen until November at the earliest. That’s the Catch 22 that CDS have got this programme into. In the meantime there is no point in CDS approving any revised schedule that Gigaclear come up with because it cannot be formalised in a contract until the Spending Review is complete.

    7. Graham Long says:

      @Somerset: Yes, Gigaclear would have had to accept the 2020 completion date when they bid on the contract. It would have been take it or leave it. It is normal to expect an endfloat in any project where you cannot anticipate all the variables that affect delivery. I’m supportive of Gigaclear because I am already one of their customers, one of the 2,000 odd properties they invested £2.4M of their own in to connect commercially starting in 2016. The Gigaclear website shows that since contracts were suspended they are continuing to roll out fibre to 29 of the 224 roll out areas in Devon & Somerset at their own risk/cost.

    8. Roger C says:

      Mr Doyle,
      Where have you been all your life? Like most County Hall bureaucrats I imagine you are used to normally only going into print when you feel the need to spin good news? I, and other ratepayers, are banned from reading what is really going on because you do not publish the agendas or minutes of your CDS board meetings. Why is that? Are you really trying to deny that the CDS program is anything other than an absolute shambles? The House of Lords and many SW MPs certainly do not agree with your jaundiced view of life.
      If you are so confident that CDS is really doing such a wonderful job on behalf the rural ratepayers of Devon and Somerset, then why not come along (with Keri Denton?) to attend an open, public forum and debate on how well you think CDS have performed over the last few years? The fact that you felt the need to respond at this time and on this particular web platform speaks volumes. Finally, any local government officer who ends a communication with the words “I hope this is helpful” simply confirms how out of touch they really are with their correspondents.

    9. Somerset says:

      Will be interesting to see how many of the Build Complete Q2 2019 (calendar quarter) areas are live in 4 weeks time.

      When did they start, why are no areas live?

    10. Jim Weir says:


      The contract remains active, just Gigaclear are on notice of default – until they are either cancelled or amended the contract stands.

      SCC don’t need a new contract – even if they ultimately get funding extended & a revised plan from Gigaclear, they’d only need a contract amendment.

      Ultimately, Gigaclear should have been continuing at their own risk but in reality they have scaled back to just minimal builds in those 30 odd areas – and they are progressing slowly.

      Really the issue isn’t the funding or the pace of delivery – it’s the massive cost overruns, packages of civils are coming in at 2x-4x the budget cost, the complete build of 80,000 is unaffordable regardless of the timescales.

      Infracapital are very aware that they can invest in semi urban FTTP at £500 per prem, can take a punt on Rural at £1800 per prem but when that starts reaching £4K per prem with only £3-400 if gap funding the model doesn’t work, especially with takeup below 40%

    11. Graham Long says:

      @JimWeir: You seem to have unique access to Giagclear’s project accounts: “it’s the massive cost overruns, packages of civils are coming in at 2x-4x the budget cost, the complete build of 80,000 is unaffordable regardless of the timescales.” Are you going to share your source of these numbers?

    12. Mike Pellatt says:

      @Jim Weir – so if the CDS Phase 2 contract is that unaffordable for Gigaclear – why haven’t they walked ?

      Or is their strategy to string CDS along until they cancel ?? Seems like it !

    13. Jim Weir says:

      @Mike P

      I don’t know- other than to walk basically will finish them reputationally. I would guess the internal debate over adopting PIA and overhead plus switching to PON rages…

      @Graham the Civils world is pretty small, people talk, specifically talk of routes budgeted at £600k that are still incomplete having costed £1.3M and not unique but widespread. Out of interest why do you think they aren’t building what they can?

      All references point to around 12k mix of CDS build & commercial with no-one looking beyond that – time will tell, but frankly CDS are on safer ground with community led funding schemes – you get better takeup, better community innovation and solutions, plus on the numbers in the trial very good value. Couple CDS community funding with Gigabit Rural vouchers and a bit of imagination may be the answer for a lot of areas.

    14. Somerset says:

      Untypical example:

      Supply and installation of Multiduct; 44m in Verge and 79m in Carriageway. Installation of 5 x Pots

    15. Somerset says:

      From the ITT:

      2.9.1 CDS requires Bidders to deliver high levels of certainty about the network build outcome at the end of the design & planning stage. This will require good visibility of In Life costs, with firm design and planning outputs. This is required to support communications with residents, manage expectations and demonstrate Value for Money.

  5. Guy Cashmore says:

    The Gigaclear failure is obviously huge for the area, what hasn’t hit the headlines yet are problems in areas being delivered by Airband.

    In the complete Airband areas (Dartmoor & Exmoor) take-up is stuck at only 11%, nobody from CDS seems interested in understanding why this is so low. Official take-up figures are not yet available for the incomplete areas (Lot 4), but dozens of premises near me, after being told for 2 years they would be covered, are now finding out they are unable to get signal.

    I suspect only the B-USO will begin to flush out the truth about Airband coverage, CDS appear to have no interest in doing so.

  6. Fred says:

    I am finding it hard to decipher all of this mess. What is clear is that this is a complete shambles and the communication has been very poor. I would think that CDS would have the primary responsibility for ensuring clear communication to taxpayers. As it is I have no idea what is actually going on. What I do know is that delays and uncertainty are causing major harm to local businesses – and of course domestic taxpaying users might like some reasonable Internet as well. Ultimately I believe responsibility for that falls to CDS – they were charged with the responsibility of delivering a workable solution. If Gigaclear or indeed Airband have failed to deliver (and in Gigaclear’s case they clearly have), that is still the ultimate responsibility of CDS who should have done appropriate due diligence. CDS should not seek to blame other parties without holding their hands up to their own failings – that is very weak leadership indeed. It is good that there is finally a date in the calendar for Gigaclear to layout its revised plan – just worried I might be dead before the revised scheduled date. I have little confidence in the people who are heading up this project and their ability to deliver. Thankfully I am one of the lucky ones who has a workable Internet connection.

  7. Jim Weir says:

    From Gigaclear’s latest accounts:

    93,000 prem passed (but only 66000 ready for service)
    34,000 built in last 12 months, only 12k complete and ready for service

    19,000 live customers, increase of ~4500 on year

    Confirmed they will use Openreach PIA

    £3.8M charge for highways defects

    Infracapital injecting additional £85M this year.

  8. NC says:

    I see that Gigaclear have updated their rollout pages with many of the completion dates moving back. For example in Lot 6 – South Moor the dates are all now Q4 2019 whereas all, but one a couple of weeks ago were June 2019. When you consider that places like Noss Mayo/Newton Ferrers were originally planned to be complete by end of June 2018 they are going to be 18 months late on what was originally expected to be a 6 month build phase.
    This further 6 month slippage less than a month before planned completion shows that Gigaclear still haven’t got to grips with this rollout. I can’t see how CDS can gain any confidence that Gigaclear will ever be able to deliver this Programme given that they have been unable to deliver a relatively small build to their own revised plan.
    I cannot see that CDS have any way to deliver this Programme in any sensible timeframe and they need to own up to the real state of play

    1. David Powell says:

      It’s worse than that for some of us because also in Lot 6 – South Moor both Ashford and Bigbury-on-Sea have been changed from Q2 2018 originally to Oct 2018, Q2 2019, Q4 2019 and now ‘TBC’ for both ‘build start’ and ‘build complete’ dates, despite the fact that both have been shown as ‘under construction’ for several months and both areas have seen plenty of work on the ground by their contractors. Indeed, I was given a ‘go live’ date of 23 May 2019 by GC only in February yet they have now told me in an email that they “have no estimations at this time when the project will be restarted” and that “due to the size of the project in the region this is the current status of your community build” though of course if they had been paying attention they would have known precisely what the size of the project was long before they signed the contract with CDS on 21 December 2016.
      It’s almost as though they were begging to have that contract cancelled.

    2. NC says:

      The first thing that ran through my mind when I saw the dates move was whether Gigaclear are trying to provoke CDS into cancelling the contract or trying to force a major contract change to their benefit. Our village was originally due to be live by end of June 2019 but based on current performance it is looking more like 6 or 8 years!! The frustrating thing there is FTTP in the next village only 1/2 mile away.

      Not sure where CDS go next – maybe a wireless provider.

    3. David Powell says:

      GC have been burying fibre along the road next to our property this week but won’t offer us service so I can share your frustration. Not sure a wireless provider would work well around here, with all these hills there would be too many without line of sight access to it.

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