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Connecting Devon and Somerset Update on Openreach FTTP Rollout

Thursday, February 24th, 2022 (3:22 pm) - Score 1,608
Engineers Over Fibre Chamber Openreach 2022

The state aid supported Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) broadband rollout programme has today issued an update on their £6m Fibre Extension Programme (FEP) contract with Openreach, which was originally due to complete by the end of 2021 but is still ongoing and has been extended to cover a further 100 homes.

The FEP, which mostly harnesses public investment that was returned by operators as a result of high take-up under earlier contracts (gainshare / clawback), was first announced back in July 2020 (here). One part of that contract committed Openreach to extend their gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network to cover a further 2,000 premises in the hardest to reach areas (rural) by the end of 2021.

According to today’s update, work is currently underway to provide this connectivity to c.600 premises in and around the Dulverton area of Exmoor. An extra 100 premises than originally planned are also being included, which is taking place in Dulverton, and the surrounding communities of Bampton, Bridgetown, Exton, Winsford, Exebridge, Brushford, Bury, Exton, Morebath, Oakford, Oakfordbridge, Shillingford and Winsford (Shillingford and Winsford will go live later this month).

Openreach, on behalf of CDS, has also delivered their full fibre network to more than 60 homes in the communities of Combeinteignhead, in South Devon, and Lane End, outside Mary Tavy.

Connie Dixon, Regional Partnership Director at Openreach, said:

“We’re really pleased with the progress of these build areas. Across the South West, more than 500,000 homes and businesses can now order an ultrafast, Full Fibre service on the Openreach network though a provider of their choice. It’s great that these communities are now able to make the most of an ultra-reliable broadband connection, especially given the recent weather.”

Openreach is also said to have completed its design and surveys for Chapel Cleeve on the West Somerset coast, where it is now preparing to build. Some other communities where the operator is planning to begin building in the coming months include Blue Anchor in West Somerset, Bickleigh, Shaugh Prior and Wotter in the South Hams, Coffinswell in Teignbridge and Kentisbury Ford and Watermouth in North Devon.

Designs have also been submitted by Openreach for the network to rollout to the Brompton Ralph area of West Somerset covering Pitsford Hill, Tarr, Sticklepath and remote areas north of Wiveliscombe, as well as communities south of Tiverton in Mid Devon, taking in Bickleigh, Silverton, Cadeleigh and Butterleigh. However, it’s unclear when Openreach’s build under the FEP contract can now expect to reach completion.

Remember that none of these deployments represent automatic upgrades. If you want to take an FTTP broadband package from Openreach then you need to order it from a supporting ISP like BT, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Zen Internet, AAISP, Sky Broadband, iDNET and many more.

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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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