Broadband News

The changing broadband picture in Devon and Somerset

We thought given the high profile that the CDS project is continuing to have we would look at how the coverage has changed in the last seven days and it is possible to look back in hindsight at some comments by a local MP made in a debate on Wednesday 24th June.

"In the Blackdown hills, which are part of my constituency, we have huge problems in getting broadband. We talk about 95 percent broadband being delivered to the country, but we are bordering on 50 percent in my constituency and most of the Blackdown Hills are not getting any broadband at all, with many villages being left out."

Neil Parish MP for Tiverton and Honiton in Westminster debate
thinkbroadband calculation of Superfast Broadband Coverage in Devon and Somerset Constituencies - updated 30th June 2015
In ascending order of fibre coverage
Area % fibre based % superfast
30 Mbps or faster
(change since 23rd)
% cable % Openreach FTTP % Under 2 Mbps USC % Under 5 Mbps (new USO) % Under 15 Mbps
Somerton and Frome 44.4% 37.5% (+3.2) 22.8% 0% 1.4% 23% 40%
Tiverton and Honiton 57.7% 43.8% (+2.2) 0% 0% 3.4% 21.7% 38.8%
Torridge & West Devon 56.2% 43.3% (+0.1) 0% 0% 3.9% 22.9% 41.9%
Wells 62.1% 53.4% (+0.3) 0% 0% 1.8% 13.9% 31%
Central Devon 63.2% 43.8% (=) 0% 0.2% 3.6% 20.9% 43.7%
Totnes 66.8% 60% (-0.1%) 7.9% 0% 1.2% 12.9% 23.2%
North East Somerset 66% 60.6% (=) 24.8% 0% 0.9% 12.2% 26.3%
Yeovil 70.3% 62.8% (=) 0% 0% 1.6% 11.8% 20.5%
Bridgwater and West Somerset 71.6% 60.2% (=) 0% 0% 2.1% 16.4% 28.5%
North Devon 73.7% 60.8% (+0.2) 0% 0% 1.9% 14.3% 26.7%
Weston-Super-Mare 74.8% 66.8% (+0.9) 0% 0% 0.6% 4.4% 17.7%
South West Devon 82.7% 78% (+0.1) 56.8% 0% 0.7% 7.6% 18.4%
East Devon 82.8% 73.5% (+0.9) 7.2% 0.2% 2.1% 9.2% 16.3%
North Somerset 82.3% 76.2% (+0.4) 42.8% 0% 2.2% 6.9% 14.7%
Newton Abbot 84.1% 75.2% (=) 40.8% 0% 1% 5% 13.7%
Taunton Deane 84.7% 71.8% (+1.2) 0% 0% 3.9% 10.3% 19.2%
Bath 94.7% 93.1% (=) 35.2% 0% 0.1% 0.5% 2.1%
Exeter 97.1% 96.9% (=) 91.8% 7.7% 0% 0.7% 2.1%
Plymouth Sutton and Devonport 97.6% 97.3% (=) 92.9% 0% 0% 0.7% 1.7%
Plymouth Moor View 98.9% 96.6% (=) 88.8% 0% 0.6% 1% 2.3%

We present constituency level data as its the smallest easy to track data unit to present data for the counties and it helps to show which areas are getting the bulk of the upgrade work at any one time.

The comments by Neil Parish MP we believe reflect one of the core problems that exist for the CDS project, that the delivery is not uniform across the district councils and constituencies in Somerset and Devon. Never at any point has the UK Government stated any ambition to get every constituency or district council to a certain coverage level, the Westminster ambition was 90% superfast for phase 1 as a nation, and it seems this needs to be re-iterated by the DCMS and the BDUK.

If targets like this are imposed as part of the new open procurement process it will reduce the chances of getting any new bids as even with fixed wireless broadband there are areas where the costs ramp up to install a mast for a cluster of say 10 premises means that value for money is invisible.

The next year is certainly going to be more exciting for us as we track what is going on in Devon and Somerset, and while some will be very pleased that BT has lost out, the uncertainty of what or if anything will happen once phase 1 completes is something those living in the final 10% who where hoping to be part of phase 2 will not enjoy.


I'm in the 1.2% under 2Mbps for Totnes and in a commercial rollout area (cab 9 Follaton). It's active. I'm 5.2km away.
I can't see BT extending this themselves and phase 1 can't do it so I'm stuffed now.
If something doesn't happen and quick, rural areas are going to suffer really badly very soon.
Government needs to get with the program and put that train cash into full superfast for EVERYONE.
Just FTTP everyone who is under 25Mbps which with the infrastructure already in place would cost less that doing the whole country.
How is a bloody train going to help??

  • ahockings
  • over 3 years ago

It is a disaster for the final 10% as I don't see anyone being able to step in and do it any quicker or cheaper. Equally BTs proposal was unacceptable as another 5 years to complete the next 5% is too long. The 15 year return on BDUK schemes isn't attractive to them and so CDS has gone to the bottom of the 'to do' list. the village I live in is at 1.5mbps and it looks like we are going to be on that for some time to come. Thanks CDS - great job NOT!!

  • Jerrym1
  • over 3 years ago

Andrew, It would be interesting to see a summary for the whole area. This would give us the % for the whole of CDS showing how close the whole is to targets even though parts are a long way below what some people expected. The sheer geography in some areas and the spread of houses may make CDS harder than somewhere like Wales where houses tend to be clustered.

  • jumpmum
  • over 3 years ago

Jermyn think most of all BDUK schemes had The 15 year return on them

  • fastman
  • over 3 years ago

What is the definition of "coverage".

In the village where I live I am told the exchange is fibre enabled, but the rollout of the service is minimal.

This is based upon feedback from users distributed around the area. Openreach seem unwilling to supply figures on the actual numbers installed.

Come on CDS, you (or rather I) are paying the bills. DEMAND the figures.

  • gbc00
  • over 3 years ago

GBC00 please be aware the coverage is based on the overall county coverage , so the county has X money and for that is gets Y coverage and Z have to be >24 m/bps co be counted . in that scenario some exchanges don't get coverd at all, some get enabled and a one or 2 cabs get done , some more cabs and some where exchange is enabled will get more cabs as they likely to less expensive than other - actually it would be up to CDS to share the figures as they would not what cabs / postcode were in the build and which were not

  • fastman
  • over 3 years ago

its also a 3 way funding, BDUK, County and Private Operator in this Case BT

  • fastman
  • over 3 years ago

More here about CDS:

  • Somerset
  • over 3 years ago

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