While we are making headway on broadband in North Devon, there is still much more to do. I get that many people are confused, and may not realise that they are actually able to get a better internet connection. I hope to clear up some of these confusions with this page.
One of the main confusions is Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre to the Premise (FTTP). Most places are referred to as having access to fibre broadband if they have access to FTTC. This technology, called superfast broadband, even though it was only put in place a few years ago, is already out of date! When we talk about fibre, we mean FTTP which can get you speeds of up to 1000Mbps. We are already seeing these ultrafast Gigabyte connections, known as gigabyte capable, or ultrafast broadband, in Lynton and Lynmouth as part of a brilliant upgrade that as MP I helped introduce last year.
If you have a poor connection in your local rural area then you should check if there are any wireless or fixed broadband options available to you from Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS). I would encourage you to visit their site here: https://www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk/.
Alternatively, you can visit CDS’s contractor for North Devon’s very hard to reach areas, who have a range of wireless and FTTP options, here: https://www.airband.co.uk/coverage/
Jurassic Fibre are also putting in FTTP across Barnstaple and Roundswell and you can check whether you can upgrade with them here: https://jurassic-fibre.com/
For information on what kind of connection you may be able to get you can go to https://www.thinkbroadband.com/ where you can find some helpful technical information, if not the links to actual providers.
I would also urge constituents in some of the most remote areas to look at a 4G or satellite option for their connectivity. While FTTP may come to you eventually, some areas will, unfortunately, be waiting longer than others. As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Broadband and Digital Communication, I am pushing for the Government to provide further support and money.
While I welcome that the Government has so far committed to getting 85% of all homes in the UK connected to Ultrafast Gigabyte broadband, these percentages can be deceiving. In the CDS region, we are currently 22% Ultrafast capable with the national average being 24%. However, the 85% target is an average across the whole UK, meaning that if West Yorkshire for example makes it to 98% Gigabit coverage, then our local CDS area could be as low as 72% Gigabit coverage, and the Government’s target of 85% would still be met. That is clearly not going to work for North Devon, and I will be fighting to ensure that we are not left behind.
If your village wants FTTP now, then please do look into a Community Fibre Partnership. With enough people signing up to take advantage of Gigabit Vouchers, you can help accelerate the levelling up of the standard of living of your community.