Letters to Rt Hon. Sajid Javid

Letter from Rebecca Pow:

Letter from Upottery, Yarcombe and Otterford Parish Councillors:

Dear Sajid Javid MP,

An opportunity to make Superfast Broadband available

to all properties in Devon & Somerset

Connecting Devon & Somerset are soon to issue an Invitation To Tender (ITT) in order to select supplier(s) for the next phase of Superfast Broadband deployment across Devon & Somerset. The current phase, contracted out to BT, will make Superfast Broadband available to 90% of residential and business properties across the two counties. This leaves approximately 44,000 residential and business premises to be connected by the next phase of the project.

Connecting Devon & Somerset have secured the single biggest allocation of Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) funding (£22.75M) from BDUK for the next phase, but once matched with locally raised funding this will only take deployment to 95% of premises across the two counties. It is understood that the soon to be issued ITT for the next phase will require potential suppliers to offer solutions providing a minimum deployment of 95% of properties across the two counties.

This next phase is a golden opportunity for CD&S to extend deployment to 100% of business and commercial properties across the two counties, not just 95%.

This can be done by selecting suppliers who respond to the ITT offering 100% deployment solutions, rather than suppliers who offer the minimum 95% deployment or less than 100%. Such suppliers will have to do this by bringing additional investment to the programme and possibly also, some of the required match funding, together with proven, workable technologies to get superfast broadband to 100% of properties.

Such suppliers are out there and will be eager to see the CD&S ITT. Other County Council managed Superfast Broadband procurement projects have already embarked on similar 100% deployment solutions.

Those of us, who live in predominantly rural areas, now declared as “Out of Programme” on the CD&S deployment maps published July 30, have no idea whether or not we will be included in the next phase of deployment if it is limited to 95%.

CD&S Board members, are in a position to advocate that a 100% solution should be the outcome of the September ITT round. We will then at last know that the supplier(s) chosen will bring us the fast broadband solution that many individuals and businesses across rural Devon & Somerset are getting evermore desperate for.

Please request CD&S Board members to make sure that supplier(s) selected for the next phase of broadband deployment in Devon & Somerset are offering a 100% Superfast Broadband deployment solution for the two counties and not 95%.


Graham Long, Upottery Parish Counsellor, grahamglong@gmail.com

Mike Canham, Otterford Parish Counsellor, mike.otterfordparishcouncil@hotmail.co.uk

Steve Horner, Yarcombe Parish Counsellor, steve@horner.uk.com