Superfast broadband becomes a ‘hot topic’ as it is rolled out across Wells
Over 3540 businesses and households in Wells now have access to faster, more reliable broadband
Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) has brought superfast broadband to Wells. The city is becoming one of the best connected communities within the CDS programme. More than 3540 Wells homes and businesses are now able to connect to high-speed fibre broadband following the installation of 12 fibre broadband cabinets, which represent approximately half of the total deployment in the city. Coverage of the new fibre broadband network in the city will further increase as engineering work continues in the coming months.
CDS is on target to make superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above available to around 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the two counties by the end of 2016.
Somerset County Council leader John Osman, attended a special event celebrating the switch on of the fibre broadband cabinets in Wells, where Councillors and CDS and BT representatives talked about the great benefits superfast broadband will deliver to local businesses and households. The event was held at the Swan Hotel, which featured in the hit British film Hot Fuzz and is one of the first businesses in Wells to place an order for superfast broadband.
Over 100,000 homes and businesses now have access to fibre broadband through the CDS programme. A further £45m has now been committed to the project; meaning close to £140m will be invested on bringing Devon and Somerset 95 per cent coverage by the end of 2017. The partners in CDS are Devon and Somerset County Councils; North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay councils; along with BT as delivery partner.
Cllr David Hall, deputy leader of Somerset County Council, said: “CDS remains on target to make superfast broadband available to around 90 per cent of our homes and businesses by the end of 2016. This project is making a huge difference to people’s lives – the take-up rate in the areas that have gone live this year underlines just how just how keen businesses and members of the public are to get connected, and what a difference it can make.”
“Tracy Aarons, corporate manager, Built Environment of Mendip District Council, said: Tracy Aarons, Corporate Manager for Built Environment at Mendip District Council, said: “It’s great news that superfast broadband has arrived in Wells. It’s set to be rolled out to even more of the city soon, but this is a fantastic start and will have a really positive impact for businesses and residents in Wells. People here can now benefit from broadband services as high in speed and reliability as anywhere else in the country.”
Mark Tobin, general manager of the Swan Hotel and a major business leader in the city, said: “Superfast broadband will have an enormously positive impact on the City of Wells, the Best Western Plus Swan Hotel and the economy of the City in general. To have 21st century technology in a 15th century building like the Swan will be quite something. Slow Wi-Fi connectivity is a problem for both domestic and overseas visitors, many of whom are used to superfast broadband in their own homes and businesses. Wells continues to grow as a major international tourist destination and business hub and the arrival of superfast broadband to the city will only aid the growth and diversity of our wonderfully vibrant City moving forward.”
Michael Johns, vice chairman of Wells Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, said: “Superfast broadband is rapidly becoming an absolute necessity for businesses of all types and sizes, so for us to be able to say that Wells will have almost full superfast coverage is a real boon. Taking advantage of this should stand Wells-based companies in good stead, safe in the knowledge they’ve got the tools necessary to compete, whether that be regionally, nationally or even internationally.”
CDS has gathered significant momentum in recent months, with more than 460 cabinets now ‘live’ thanks to the programme. In addition, more than 7,000 individuals and businesses have attended events as part of the Get up to Speed programme, designed to help people get the most out of faster broadband through training events, workshops and roadshows.
Paul Coles, South West regional manager for BT, said: “The arrival of superfast fibre broadband in Wells is another important milestone for the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme. Our engineers are working hard to make this exciting technology very widely available across the city. Superfast broadband will make a major contribution to the future success and prosperity of Wells. Businesses can use it to boost their competitiveness, whilst households can benefit from enhanced online learning and entertainment. Whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband.”