At Devon County Council’s Corporate Infrastructure and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee yesterday, campaigner Guy Cashmore told members that (up to September) Devon had the lowest uptake in the BDUK Phase 2 rollout – 5 per cent compared to a national average of 25 per cent. Cabinet member, Cllr Stuart Barker, who represents Devon on the board of Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS), said that he was nevertheless confident that the target of 95 per cent of homes with super fast broadband by 2020 would be achieved.
The Committee approved a careful task group report on the rollout, with important recommendations for improved transparency, but my proposal that CDS board meetings should be open to the public (albeit with commercially sensitive discussions reserved) was defeated by 6-4.
Devon County Council managed not to spend £2 million it was supposed to contribute to Connecting Devon and Somerset’s roll-out of broadband and mobile phone coverage in rural areas, because CDS didn’t need the money. When I pointed out that many people were having to wait far too long, and asked if the money couldn’t be used to speed things up, Conservative Cabinet Member Cllr Stuart Barker said that that was up to CDS, not Devon County Council to decide.
Gigaclear announce superfast broadband rollout by 2020 in Branscombe, Weston, Farway and Offwell – postcode checker available online
It is intended that work will start in Q3 of 2019 (Q4 in Offwell) and finish in 2020: Q1 Farway, Q2 Branscombe and Offwell, and Q4 (Weston). You can see the map and check your postcode HERE.
Although a Carillion company has been contracted for some of the work, Ian Thomas quotes statements suggesting that Carillion’s collapse will not affect the programme.