The Connecting Devon and Somerset project signed its contract a year ago and has started to deliver but the news released today reveals they plan to have passed some 70,000 premises by early summer. Thus bringing faster broadband options to many more businesses and premises across both counties.
The latest areas that will benefit are Braunton, Sowton, Pinhoe, Topsham, Kingskerswell and Swimbridge in Devon and Spaxton and North Petherton, which while not all ultra rural will serve as the core exchanges for the smaller villages in the surrounding area. The network topology of the GEA network from Openreach (same design for BDUK as for commercial areas) means that a larger exchange operates as the fibre handover node serving perhaps as many as eight smaller exchanges. This allows fibre to the cabinet with VDSL2 to be offered in areas that have not even seen ADSL2+ as an option yet.
"CDS will also extend fibre broadband coverage in Ilminster and Newton Abbot, building on the technology already available through the private sector’s commercial roll-out. Much of the new CDS network is being built out from areas where fibre broadband is already available in order to ensure best value for money when rolling out the technology to as many rural locations as possible."Extract from CDS news
The news is unrepentant that the build is starting from the edges of the commercial areas outwards, and while it is technically possible to do it from the edges in, this would have meant a longer period building the various fibre splines before premises had the option to order and after the mauling from the NAO and PAC in the summer of 2013, the pressure to build coverage quickly and at the best value for money means that any attempt to improve speeds for those who most need it first has been put on the back burner. There is an irony that those complaining about the roll-out to rural areas, may just be slowing down its roll-out to the real rural areas.
The Devon and Somerset project is aiming to have superfast (24 Mbps and faster) as an option to 90% of premises by the end of 2016, so fibre based services with speeds better than current ADSL services will be available to many more and the project is explicit about planning to ensure a minimum of 2 Mbps for all premises in the programme area.
Residents of Moretonhampstead, Christow, Blagdon Hill, North Tawton, Greenham, Milverton and Longdown should already have started to see the fibre cabinets springing up and are set to be lieve by the end of March 2014.