PM pays tribute to County Council’s broadband push

Somerset County Council has welcomed the Prime Minister’s recognition of its work to bring superfast broadband to the county.

Theresa May used today’s Prime Minister’s Question Time to congratulate the authority for its work on the Connecting Devon and Somerset project.

CDS has already seen 310,000 premises connected to fibre and more than 1,500 people have benefitted from a recently launched a broadband voucher scheme which gives residents and businesses the opportunity to spend up to £500 on improved broadband.

In response to a question from Wells MP James Heappey the Prime Minister said: “I’m happy to join you in paying tribute to the council for the work that it has been doing to bring broadband connectivity to the county.”

Councillor David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy, said: “Working closely with our Devon colleagues, a huge amount of effort has gone into this project and it’s always welcome to have that effort and success recognised, especially when that recognition comes from the PM.”

The tax-payer subsidised programme aims to bring faster broadband to areas unlikely to benefit from wholly commercial operations

Live connections are expected on Exmoor this autumn as part of the Airband element of the project which is delivering connectivity to the Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks.

A procurement exercise is underway to deliver the second phase of the CDS project, which means tens of thousands of additional premises across Devon and Somerset will benefit from superfast coverage by 2019.