Selaine Saxby welcomed Simon Blagden, Chair of Building Digital UK (BDUK) to meet with contractors and discuss broadband and digital rollout in North Devon.
BDUK is responsible for the roll out of gigabit-capable broadband and the expansion of 4G mobile coverage in hard-to-reach areas of the UK. They work with suppliers and communities to ensure that people can access fast and reliable digital connectivity that can transform their lives.
Selaine Saxby MP said:
“Connecting rural North Devon has been a core part of my 6 point plan. As part of my work in levelling up broadband across the region and as Chair of the APPG for Broadband and Connectivity, I was delighted to welcome Simon Blagden, Chair of BDUK to North Devon.
BDUK is responsible for the rollout of broadband across the country and we met with teams from Openreach and Airband who have been involved in some of the projects who described how challenging connecting rural North Devon has been, but were proud to show different business connections near to South Molton.”
BDUK Chair Simon Blagden said:
“I was delighted to see first hand how homes and businesses across the area already are benefiting from improved connectivity thanks to government funding.
We're rolling out Project Gigabit to North Devon to enable even more rural communities to access lightning-fast broadband, as part of our mission to level up digital connectivity across the UK.”
BDUK works closely with industry partners and local bodies to deliver Project Gigabit and the Shared Rural Network. The Shared Rural Network will deliver improvements in 4G coverage across North Devon, as mobile network operators improve their network of masts, and build new ones, to reduce the number of not spot areas where people can struggle to get a signal.
Selaine Saxby MP added:
“I want to see better coordination between contractors, be they commercial or backed by government money. I was glad to hear that communications and working practices have improved, indeed the number of households connected to gigabit capable broadband has improved a lot in the last few years. We have come a long way and in North Devon 94% of properties have access to superfast broadband and 49% have access to gigabit capable broadband. This is a significant improvement since 2019 but we need the next contract phase in place as soon as possible and speaking to many businesses, indeed our local hospital as well what is often lacking is reliable 4G or mobile signal.”