Broadband News

Fibre coverage maps for Devon and Somerset published

The Connecting Devon and Somerset project signed its contract with BT back in January 2013 and has now published what it calls its Final Coverage Map, though until the network is fully built you can never be sure if the map will be totally accurate.

The project covering these two counties has a stated aim of 90% of premises connected to some form of fibre based (FTTC/P) technology by the end of 2016. The question now is what speeds will people actually get and the map while carrying many caveats does not answer the question really. What is does reveal is the areas that are expected to only be covered at the basic USC type speeds, but even this has a range of 2 Mbps to 24 Mbps, as with the projects own caveats.

"The modelling which informed the maps is based upon a number of assumptions which may change following a detailed on the ground assessment of local conditions. Before commencing work on an identified area BT will conduct a planning survey and design phase. Any issues encountered during this stage may result in changes to the roll-out plan."

Caveat for Connecting Devon and Somerset Maps

The above quote nicely outlines the problem, and that the precise planning to work out the speed for every property in a county is long process and generally only modelling is done prior to the start of the physical roll-out and problems like wayleaves or cost of power provision can significantly affect decisions. With enough time and effort the counties and BT could come up with much better projections, but they would still be projections, and with time costing money there does come a point where need to just get on with the job of building rather than paper planning.

The project encompasses Exmoor National Park and Dartmoor National Park, as an example for how remote those areas can be one Parish - Simonsbath has just 78 households spread over 32 square miles.

For those convinced that the final speed targets will never be met, and be simply announced as job done, you can be sure we will be keeping an eye on the data from our speed test and tracking the changes for many years to come so that we can look back at the pattern of changes and equate the improvements to coverage and take-up levels.


Will be interesting to see if Northlew village, near Okehampton gets any benefit. Currently very few in the village can access any landline broadband and if so they would be very lucky to get a download speed over 0.5Mbps. The broadband when it works is far from reliable and this business user has required over 50 Engineer's calls in the past year to keep the service going. We feel like part of the 'Forgotten World'.

  • yellands
  • over 7 years ago

I feel fortunate, after reading yellands comment that I can achieve 0.7Mbps download and this is quite reliable, thanks to keeping on to Talktalk who, to be fair, didn't give up on me. West Ogwell, near Newton Abbot, was promised a nearby fibre connection for last December and we're still hoping it might arrive before this December!

  • trav743
  • over 7 years ago

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