A further 1,110 homes and businesses in South Somerset will be provided with ultrafast broadband access thanks to extra funding secured by Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) as part of a planned rollout being delivered by Wessex Internet to bring connectivity to hard to reach areas.
The additional properties will be added to around 3,600 homes and businesses that Wessex Internet is already covering as part of its three-year contract awarded by CDS in 2020 – bringing the total to over 4,700.
Wessex Internet will now extend the network to connect even more rural communities, including surrounding areas of Isle Abbotts, Bower Hinton, Yeabridge, South Petherton and Tintinhull. Initial planning for these additional properties is currently underway, and a full community engagement programme will be rolled out to ensure that residents are fully informed of the plans.
The first homes were connected last year in the North Cadbury area and work continues on the network build in villages that include Hardington Mandeville, Chilthorne Domer, Ashington, Mudford, Yeovil Marsh, Odcombe, and East and West Coker. For a map please visit the Wessex Internet website.
Councillor Mike Rigby, CDS Board Member and Somerset County Council Lead Member for Transport and Digital, said: “This announcement of the contract extension is extremely welcome news. The team at Wessex Internet has been making good progress on its rollout on behalf of CDS and this extension to the contract will enable a further 1,100 premises in rural areas of South Somerset to gain access to full fibre broadband connections.”
Hector Gibson Fleming, CEO Wessex Internet, said: “We are pleased to be able to bring ultrafast broadband to even more people in rural areas as we extend our reach to the western part of South Somerset where we know that there is a real demand for a fast, efficient broadband connection.”
Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “It is fantastic to see Wessex Internet and CDS roll out full fibre broadband for South Somerset homes and businesses, bringing modern, digital connectivity to more than an additional one thousand premises in the area. We are delighted to help fund the rollout through our Growth Deal funding, as we look to support connectivity and inclusive growth in the region.”
CDS has delivered superfast access to more homes and businesses than any other broadband programme in England, with over 315,000 premises receiving access to superfast broadband as a direct result of investment by CDS.
The CDS programme is being funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Heart of the South West LEP, CDS local authorities, European Regional Development Fund and the Rural Development Programme for England. For more information visit the Connecting Devon and Somerset website. Residents and businesses can visit wessexinternet.com and use the postcode checker to find out if their property is covered.
Senior Media and PR Officer
Devon County Council