From the blog of DCC Independent Councillor Claire Wright:
“There has been a delay now for sometime in Devon on the implementation of fibre to the home broadband. This means individual connections from the fibre cables in the road to each house.
A huge operation that was started by BT and in the past two years or so, operated by Gigaclear under the management of Connecting Devon and Somerset (Devon and Somerset County Councils).
Unfortunately, the timetable has slipped last autumn, partly due to the collapse of Carillion (Gigaclear were partners with a Carillion subsidiary engineering company) and partly due to the enormity of the Devon operation and road layouts.
One of the problems has been traditional Devon banks which have apparently been a challenge as the company usually digs up grass verges to install cables. Devon banks are also (quite rightly) protected under planning policy.
Connecting Devon and Somerset have had to apply for a funding extension from the government to allow for the extension of this work. This has been agreed in principle but won’t be endorsed nor the money received until the next comprehensive spending review later this year.
So without the firm confirmation contract extension funding and other logistical issues, there is still a delay of an unknown number of months.
This is deeply disappointing indeed and incredibly frustrating for communities such as Aylesbeare which doesn’t even have superfast broadband so residents are putting up with speeds of less than one megabit. I’m also aware that there are people living on the edges of communities who also have poor broadband service.
For residents and communities frustrated at the lack of connectivity there are other options, such as a voucher scheme to offset the cost of roof aerials for individual properties. For a bigger scheme involving whole communities, telecommunications companies can quote for a village service.
There are no easy solutions at the moment unfortunately and this is deeply frustrating for me and for many people in my ward.
Please email me if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will update you when I know more.”