Concerned Uplyme residents met with BT Openreach in the Village Hall on 28th October to discuss the poor quality broadband service being delivered to the more rural areas of the parish.
I undertook to research the latest prospects for those present, by using their postcodes. I have extended that commitment to cover ALL postcodes in Uplyme, plus a couple where interested members of the public from outside the parish and my EDDC ward attended.
This assessment should not be taken as a guarantee, rather the best indication in a rapidly changing environment. The indication is the best possible for a postcode, but may not necessarily apply to all premises in that postcode.
Any individual property applying for the CDS Voucher programme is subject to individual test before a decision is taken.
Information is provided by postcode for three aspects;
1. Connecting Devon and Somerset - Phase 1;
This is the first Phase of delivery, via Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) which is now nearing completion. The successful supplier, for all tender parcels across the country was BT Openreach. The final stages of discussions are being completed between BT Openreach and Connecting Devon and Somerset with details of the few remaining areas to be covered by this initial funding to be announced soon.
Note: it is important that the difference between BT Openreach and BT Retail is understood. BT Openreach is the provider of the exchanges, cables and other infrastructure through which your fixed line telephone service and broadband is provided.
BT Openreach provides the network, on an equitable basis, through which BT Retail, Sky, Plusnet, Talk Talk and other Internet Service Providers deliver to us, as customers.
2. Connecting Devon & Somerset Voucher Offer
This is open to residents on less than 3mbps. The scheme measures up to 2.99mbps to ensure it does not suffer from inaccurate speed tests. Residents are awarded a voucher of up to £500 to spend with one of 15 approved suppliers. BT Openreach is not on this list of approved suppliers.
The voucher scheme is seen as an interim measure, although some residents who have been impressed by their new 4G fixed aerial system may well choose to retain in the longer term. Use of the voucher scheme does NOT preclude a property from being included in Phase 2 broadband project.
We have significant success in our area with a fixed 4G (the same as your mobile phone) system from EE delivered by Exmoor Technology. A representative of an alternate supplier active in our area, South West Mobile Broadband, was at our recent meeting.
For many, this is an alternative way to secure Superfast Broadband, now, with no infrastructure development required.
Funds in this project must be spend by the end of March 2017 and the closing date for applications is the end of this month, November 2016.
Full details were in my Uplyme Parish Magazine article in Aug/Sep 2016. The article is also available on my website www.trinitymatters.co.uk
3. Connecting Devon and Somerset - Phase 2;
Connecting Devon and Somerset is currently engaged in procuring a second phase of public supported investment.
An Invitation to Tender was issued to potential suppliers on 8th July. Tenders will be now have been received, with contract awards expected before Christmas. 12th December is the most recent potential date I have heard.
Uplyme is in the lot ‘Exmoor to Sea’. The report here confirms which post codes were included within this lot for tender. As the actual contract award will determine what is actually to be delivered and when, it is not possible yet to confirm that service to all the postcode areas identified will actually be delivered within the Phase 2 programme. I expect that more information will be avaialble soon and will update my website as soon as possible.
The published information should only be considered on that basis.
Note: Unlike Phase 1, BT Openreach is NOT the only bidder invited to tender.
I have nearly completed my report on the recent meeting covering local issues affecting Uplyme. When this is published, as link will appear here.
I would like to thank BT Openreach representative for attending the recent meeting, Ed Blundell for organising it and Connecting Devon and Somerset for their help in the preparation of this article.
Copies of the postcodes of meeting attendees have been sent to Paul Cole of BT Openreach. Paul has indicated I should expect a response in the next 2-3 weeks.
Cllr Ian Thomas
Sue Tuesday, 15 November 2016 15:39 Comment Link
Thanks for preparing this. There's actually a typo against the post code in which I'm interested - Harcombe Road, DT7 3RN. Could you confirm which line of the notes you think applies?