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£350K Project Brings FTTP to Rural Devon and Somerset Villages

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 (11:10 am) - Score 1,224
technological_rural_fttp_village_trench_work

Several rural communities in mid Devon and west Somerset are gaining access to a new gigabit speed Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network after UK ISP Technological teamed-up with the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme and the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project on a £350,000 build.

The new fibre optic network currently spans 70km and is working to connect the villages of Loyton, Claypits and Timewell Hill in Devon, as well as Skilgate, Upton, Huish Moor and Huish Champflower in Somerset. At present it’s expected to cover over 180 premises, with a further 400 in construction and 120 scheduled to be connected in early 2021.

The take-up across this scheme has also proven to be incredibly strong and is running at 96%, including 45 rural SME businesses that are now able to work effectively despite the pandemic. Community facilities, such as Skilgate village hall, have also benefited after being provided with a free connection as part of the local build.

To date, over 3,300 premises across the two counties have now benefited from the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme (various separate projects combined), representing an additional investment of nearly £4m in full fibre. Work is also continuing with other communities and another 2,700 vouchers have already been approved for build over the next 12 months.

Jim Weir, Technological Services Limited, said:

“This is a community focused scheme, working with local landowners, residents and their Parish Councils to leverage the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme, and we’re grateful for the support from Connecting Devon and Somerset in helping us to deliver the broadband upgrade these communities desperately need.

These are extremely challenging rural build locations and our team has worked incredibly hard to connect these communities despite the physical and environmental difficulties we have faced in the last 12 months. Some connections are over 1km of build from the main network, so these really are the most remote of properties but we’ve proven we can deliver access to them.

Most of our team live around the area allowing us to harness that local knowledge which in turn is crucial to our success. The feedback from live customers is amazing and keeps us all motivated to reach more of the hard-to-reach communities who have struggled for years on sub 2Mbps connections.”

The ISP involved in this project – Technological – is somewhat of a new name on these pages and, initially, the only FTTP products that we could find on their website appeared to come from Openreach (BT) and seemed to use the older (much more expensive) pricing model. But the above network does not appear to have had any involvement from Openreach.

After a bit more digging, we were finally able to uncover some additional details. Prices for the new network seem to vary from £40 inc. VAT per month for an unlimited 40Mbps (symmetric) speed package on a 12-month contract (inc. wireless router) and this goes up to £75 for their top 300Mbps package. A cheaper £15 per month option also exists if you only want a fibre voice (VoIP) solution, which runs at 2Mbps on a monthly contract.

technological rural fttp rollout map

The map above is an older one and the network has already gone a little further than this. Construction is being carried out by both an in-house build team, with their own selection of Vermeer Vibratory Plows and Trenchers, plus a number of local specialist contractors. The network uses Hexatronic’s Microduct & Air Blown Fibre system with Nokia ISAM PON for the access network.

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar Alec Broughton says:

    I’m impressed that Technological are doing something. I’ve been trying to contact them about a rural scheme for our area for a couple of months. several promised “I’ll get somebody to call you back” and never had a call back. and nobody ever replies to the requests sent via their contact form/emails. I gave up trying and assumed they were not interested, so am back to trying to make an openreach community fibre scheme work instead.

    1. Avatar Technnological says:

      Dear Mr Broughton

      Thank you for your comment, I have checked our records and can see you registered interest with us on 9th October, we replied on the 10th October with a short reply stating unfortunately we had no plans to build in you area.

      As a small operator, we are not able to work with every community and choose to focus on areas where we have infrastructure to build out from.

      Sorry we were not able to help your community and wish you success with your CFP

      Regards
      Technological Support

    1. Avatar Andrew Johnson says:

      Looks like the rules don’t apply over there.

  2. Avatar Andrew Johnson says:

    Well I hope Jim’s customers get better service than they do health and safety.

    Not a barrier in sight perhaps he needs to spend money on a cone or two.

    I’d recommend some NRSWA training

    1. Avatar Jim Weir says:

      @Andrew @FibreBubble

      Thanks for your comments, the works were undertaken by our Streetworks Contractor not our in-house team and the image was selected by Devon CC press team as it is there release.

      That said, the road closure & barriers are out of shot of this image and the trench is not coned as the trencher had just been lifted from the very restricted site. If you stop to consider the width of this road and the dimensions of a Vermeer T555 trencher, and that there are no personnel in shot you would understand the specifics of the image, rather than your un-informed comments.

      Thanks for your input, enjoy the rest of your day.

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