If you don’t fill out this consultation you might lose out on rural broadband

“People in Somerset and Devon are being asked which areas have the biggest need for broadband, ahead of the process to appoint a new contractor.

In September Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) terminated its contract with Gigaclear as it significantly fell behind schedule.

CDS wants to establish which areas lack infrastructure and where the private sector has no future plans to invest.

A replacement contractor is likely to be in place by next November. ‘Biggest impact’ CDS is a partnership between Devon and Somerset county councils to deliver broadband to rural areas.

Responses to the consultation will help inform how the contract is shaped.

The procurement process is due to begin next month.

Devon County Council’s cabinet member, and CDS board member, Conservative, Rufus Gilbert said the consultation would help them set out the proposed areas and where to focus efforts.

Somerset County Council has added that it wanted to ensure the public funding as the biggest impact in increasing coverage.

The consultation closes on 10th December.

Consultation here:

Yet another broadband promise …

Owl teserving judgment … but does note Swire’s constituency set to get it long before Parish’s … if it happens.

“More than 300,000 properties are set to benefit from a £250m project to improve broadband connections across the South West.

Jurassic Fibre, which is leading the fibre-optic project, says it is specifically targeting rural communities instead of cities.

Initial testing is being launched in parts of Devon in the autumn before the full rollout in early 2020.

Speeds of 20 times faster than the average UK household are expected.

Michael Maltby, CEO and founder of Jurassic Fibre, said the investment would “radically change” internet options.

He said the plans will reduce the “digital divide” between cities and smaller, rural areas, offering speeds of one gigabyte per second to homes and 10 to businesses. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-49900477?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/england/devon&link_location=live-reporting-story

DCC FINALLY sacks broadband (non) provider Gigaclear

And it took 18 months of failure before they did so!

Gigaclear sacked from rural broadband contract after 18 months – why did it take them so long? This mess also shows just how hollow Boris Johnson’s promises on broadband are.

Don’t rely on Boris for fibre broadband – best do it yourself

A computer magazine (Computer Active!) has warned that Boris Johnson’s promises on UK-wide fibre broadband are just wishful thinking (or, if you prefer lying) – but there is an alternative for hard-to-reach properties:

Johnson countrywide broadband fibre promise totally unachievable

Owl says: What planet is this man living on? Planet Trump?

“The UK’s telecoms industry has issued the prime minister a challenge of its own after Boris Johnson said he wanted full-fibre broadband “for all” by 2025.

An open letter says the target is possible, but only if the government tackles four problems causing delays.

It adds that all of the issues must be resolved “within the next 12 months” to achieve the high-speed internet goal.

But one expert said at least one of the measures was unachievable in that time frame.

Mr Johnson originally declared his desire to deliver the 100% rollout of fibre-optic broadband to properties across the UK “in five years at the outside” in an article for the Telegraph published before he won the leadership vote.

In it, he described the government’s former target of 2033 as being “laughably unambitious”.

The letter sent to 10 Downing Street lists four policies that the industry says require urgent attention:

Planning reform – at present telecom providers need to get a type of permission known as a “wayleave agreement” to get access to land and buildings to install cables. But in many cases property owners are unresponsive. The industry wants ministers to force landlords to provide access if a tenant has requested a full-fibre or other connection be installed

Fibre tax – the so-called tax refers to the fact that fibre infrastructure currently has business rates applied to it, just like other commercial property. The industry claims this discourages investment and should be rethought

New builds – the government has carried out a consultation into whether new-build home developments must incorporate gigabit-capable internet connections, but has yet to publish its response. In the meantime, the industry says too many new homes are still being developed without provision for fibre broadband

Skills – a large number of engineers will be required to carry out all the work involved. BT and Virgin Media have previously warned that Brexit could result in labour shortages. The industry says more money must be committed to training, and it must also be allowed to continue to “compete for global talent”

“Nationwide full fibre coverage is not a can that can be kicked down the road,” the letter concludes.

“Work needs to start now, and 100% fibre coverage requires a 100% commitment from government.”

The letter has been signed by the chair of the Internet Services Providers Association, the interim chief executive of the Federation of Communication Services and the chief executive of the Independent Networks Co-operative Association.

Their members include BT, Openreach, Sky, Gigaclear, CityFibre, Hyperoptic, Virgin Media, Google and Vodafone among many others.

Openreach, which maintains the UK’s digital network infrastructure, said it welcomed the government’s ambition but warned: “Upgrading the entire UK network is a major civil engineering challenge.”

It urged the government to “boost the build” by “creating an environment that encourages greater investment”.

Number 10 referred the BBC to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for comment. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-49209013

Rural broadband still a dream for many – and will remain one

Shelve that dream of running an internet-based company in many parts of rural East Devon.

“The company awarded the publicly-subsidised contract to deliver superfast broadband to thousands of rural homes in Devon and Somerset has been given a deadline to come up with a rescue plan for the programme.

Last September, Gigaclear admitted the project was facing significant delays and was two years behind schedule.

Connecting Devon and Somerset, the organisation in charge of the whole project, stopped paying Gigaclear nine months ago.

It has told the firm it must come up with acceptable plans by the end of July to fulfill the contract.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-48664146

Vouchers up to £350 available to upgrade poor broadband services in Devon

“If you currently experience broadband speeds of less than 2 Megabits per second (Mbps), the Better Broadband Voucher Scheme may be able to help you access a basic broadband service that will offer download speeds of at least 10 Mbps.

The Better Broadband Voucher Scheme, developed by the UK government, provides a voucher worth up to £350 for basic broadband installation to homes and businesses that will not benefit from superfast broadband within the next twelve months. …”

To see if you qualify, see here:

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