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Saturday, September 20, 2014
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OTTRY: Superfast broadband to reach town by July
Thursday, 06 March 2014
Ottery St Mary will be among the next communities to benefit from a programme to bring superfast broadband to rural areas in Devon and Somerset.
The Connecting Devon and Somerset scheme (CDS) is working with British Telecom (BT), the UK Government and local councils to connect remote parts of the two counties to high-speed internet.
And bosses announced last week that Ottery St Mary would be one of 25 communities to benefit from the latest phase of the £94million programme.
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth for Devon County Council, said: “With the recent weather highlighting the weaknesses in our critical infrastructure, superfast broadband has become even more essential to ensure that our businesses remain competitive and our economy continues to grow.
“Superfast broadband can dramatically alter how we work – opening up homeworking and other measures to improve efficiency and enable rural communities and businesses to continue to function in all but the most extreme circumstances.”
In January, CDS announced it would make high-speed fibre broadband available to 70,000 homes and businesses by the end of July.
Alongside the private sector’s commercial roll-out, the CDS programme aims to make superfast speeds of 24Mbps available for around 90 per cent of homes and businesses by the end of 2016. It also plans to ensure a minimum of 2Mbps for all premises within the programme area.
Laurent Boon, BT’s programme manager for CDS, said: “The announcement today is another example of the programme’s commitment to keep communities fully informed of the roll-out as soon as the plans have been checked and confirmed.
“Despite the continuing bad weather, the CDS programme continues to achieve great progress.”
Feniton will also benefit from the next phase of the programme and in Honiton, where there is already some fibre broadband through commercial investment by the private sector, high-speed technology will be made even more widely available.
Phil Henderson, Chairman of Ottery’s Chamber of Commerce, said: “This will enable the many businesses in Ottery that have invested in their online presence to fully take advantage of the growing numbers of people using the internet as their shopping preference.
“Also, due to the recent poor weather, the internet can and will be a lifeline for many of the older people in Ottery, whether that be contacting family they are not able to visit, or having their supplies and requirements delivered to their homes.”
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