Superfast broadband comes to Batheaston

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Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS), the programme set up to deliver superfast fibre broadband, has now connected its first three fibre broadband cabinets in the Bath and North East Somerset area.

To celebrate this important improvement, Councillor Ben Stevens, of Bath and North East Somerset Council, and BT’s regional manager, Paul Coles, attended an event to switch on the new cabinets and called on local people to sign up to the new service available through a range of different internet service providers.

The three cabinets will provide 1100 premises with access to superfast broadband services benefitting local residents’ quality of life and businesses, and are the first of eight currently being installed by BT in the Batheaston exchange area.

The CDS programme is on target to make superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above available to around 90 percent of homes and businesses by the end of 2016. The project has already made fibre broadband available to more than 100,000 homes and businesses across Devon and Somerset and is set to reach many more, with other exchange areas, such as Blagdon and Temple Cloud. Bath and North East Somerset’s five local authority partners in the CDS project are Devon, Somerset, North Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay, along with delivery partner BT.

Councillor Ben Stevens, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development at Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: “This is the first Connecting Devon and Somerset delivery in Bath and North East Somerset, and it’s great to welcome the programme here. The benefits that superfast broadband can bring are enormous – more and more, we find that people are reliant on high broadband speeds for business and home life, and we’re ahead of the curve in being able to offer this.

“Bath and North East Somerset has rightly got a fantastic reputation for digital business, with some truly leading companies in the sector. The roll-out of superfast broadband will underpin this and support the further growth of this exciting part of our knowledge economy, along with the many benefits to householders of high speed internet, in areas such as shopping, entertainment and leisure.”

Paul Coles, South West regional manager for BT, said: “Connecting Devon and Somerset has been warmly received in all the areas where the programme has been able make superfast broadband available. One thing businesses always tell us is the increased efficiency and productivity it brings to them from day one. This is only the start. As more cabinets go live in Bath and North East Somerset, further businesses and residents will be able to get the benefit. This programme is leaving a lasting legacy that will help secure the future prosperity of Devon and Somerset.”

Councillor David Hall, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many people getting connected as a result of this programme. We’re continuing to take superfast broadband to new areas as we approach our ambitious target of 90 per cent of premises covered by the end of 2016. There’s still a lot of work to do, and the next phase of the programe will increase coverage further.

“With the £45 million of additional funding announced recently, we will be able to reach at least 95 per cent of people across Devon and Somerset by the end of 2017, and our ultimate aim remains to provide 100 per cent coverage.”

CDS has gathered significant momentum in recent months, with over 450 cabinets now ‘live’ and more than 100,000 homes and businesses already having access to fibre thanks to the programme. In addition, some 2,500 individuals and businesses have attended events as part of the Get up to Speed programme, which is designed to help them get the most out of faster broadband.

Cllr Stevens said: “As a region, we need superfast broadband to be available as widely as possible as quickly as possible. Along with our partner authorities, we’re committed to giving homes and businesses across our region the best connectivity they can get.”

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