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CDS Updates on UK ISP Airband’s Devon FTTP Broadband Rollout

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 (5:20 pm) - Score 1,224
airband fttp build van

The Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) programme has today issued a progress update on Airband’s deployment of a new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based ultrafast broadband (100Mbps+) network in North Devon, which has just gone live in Kentisbury Ford as part of the Fibre Extension Programme (FEP).

The new FEP contract, which was signed last July 2020 (here), will see a further 8,200 premises – including 6,200 via Airband and 2,000 via Openreach (BT) – gaining access to faster “fibre broadband” (mostly FTTP) connections by the end of 2021. The work is being supported by around £6m in gainshare (clawback) from earlier contracts and £2.16m from a local growth deal.

The FEP roll-out in Devon by Airband includes Ilfracombe, Barnstaple, Abbotsham, Bideford, Great Torrington, South Molton, Okehampton, Tavistock, and many more locations across the region. We should point out that this work is on top of the 18,700 premises across Devon and Somerset that the ISP has already served, although that was mostly a mix of fixed wireless and FTTP deployments.

Simon Palmer, Project Manager at Airband, said:

“Bringing ultrafast to Kentisbury Ford represents everything that Airband is about – we are transforming connectivity for people and communities who deserve better. It’s so rewarding to be able to provide such a vast improvement in broadband speeds and the reaction and appreciation from the villagers here has been incredible.

Deployment of the remaining clusters in this part of the contract with CDS is progressing very well, thousands more rural homes and businesses in Devon will very soon be able to access ultrafast broadband. And when we build our ultrafast networks, we use existing infrastructure wherever possible (e.g., existing poles and underground ducts), which means we can set up an ultrafast fibre network very rapidly. Once we start building a network in an area, the process from ordering to installation should take just a few weeks.”

Separately, the provider recently secured an additional £25.5m Phase 2 CDS contract (here), which will see their full fibre network reach a further 37,500 premises in rural parts of Somerset West and Taunton, parts of Sedgemoor, East Devon, as well as areas of Mid Devon, South Hams and Teignbridge. All of that will involve their FTTP technology.

However, work on the new Phase 2 CDS contract isn’t expected to start until a bit later into 2021 and they then aim to complete that deployment before the end of 2024. Meanwhile customers of Airband’s service typically pay from £38 per month for an unlimited 40Mbps (10Mbps upload) package (plus £99 installation) on a 12-month term and that rises to £47 per month for their top 250Mbps (75Mbps upload) tier.

A faster 1Gbps package is expected to follow in the near future.

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar New_Londoner says:

    Given the lamentable performance of the CDS programme over many years, I suspect that most people will treat any update from the team with a huge pinch of salt!

  2. Avatar Roger Cashmore says:

    I will believe it when I can see a detailed map, if not down to premise level, then at least to postcode. In the past I have tried to engage with airband as we have a potentially shovel ready parish waiting to sign up with them, one phone call, a lot promises, but no follow up.

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