Wednesday, October 16, 2013
BT plan sees most towns around East Devon receive faster internet.
An Upottery councillor is appealing for action following news that the whole of the parish has not, so far, been selected to receive faster fibre optic broadband from BT.
Graham Long, who lives in Smeatharpe, labelled the rural plan, published on the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) website, as an ‘urban scheme’.
Larger towns such Hemyock, Dunkeswell and Churchinford will receive the faster service whilst smaller villages in the Blackdowns will get no improvement in speed from the £94million programme.
“It’s a disgrace,” Cllr Long said. “Out of the money to fund this scheme, £53million is made up of public funding, and it’s unfair that Upottery residents have contributed towards something that will not be of any benefit to them.”
CDS displays a colour-coded ‘final coverage map’, showing BT and CDS’s projection of who will and won’t benefit from faster fibre optic broadband in 2017, when all the public money invested in the project will have been spent. Upottery has been given a white area on a ‘final broadband coverage map’ displayed on CDS, indicating it will receive just less than two to 24 megabits per second (Mbps) coverage. Speeds are typically around two mbps in the parish at present and anything approaching 24Mpbs will be achievable by satellite broadband.
This is more expensive than telephone broadband and can make it impossible to use interactive websites because of the delay through the satellite.
A spokesperson for Connecting Devon and Somerset said: “Connecting Devon and Somerset published the final coverage map as a way of showing the estimated final coverage at the end of the programme. To map the final coverage map onto an Ordnance Survey map and to infer that an area will see no improvement in broadband speeds is both inaccurate and misleading. The Connecting Devon and Somerset programme will guarantee that all premises receive at least two Mbps by the end of 2016.”
An online petition to provide faster fibre optic broadband cabinets in all Devon and Somerset villages has now been created and can be signed on www.upottery.com