Upottery Parish Council letter to CDS Board

On September 10, 2014, Upottery Parish Council wrote to the Board of Connecting Devon & Somerset:

(Parish Councils and Parish Councillors across Devon & Somerset have also been sending the same letter to CDS Board members. A copy of the letter is available for download at the bottom of this page)

Dear Connecting Devon & Somerset Board Member,

An opportunity to make Superfast Broadband available

to all properties in Devon & Somerset

Connecting Devon & Somerset is soon to issue an Invitation To Tender (ITT) to select supplier(s) for the next phase of Superfast Broadband deployment across Devon & Somerset. The current phase, contracted out to BT, is intended to 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 has secured the single biggest allocation of funding (£22.75M) from BDUK for the next phase but once matched with locally raised funding, this is expected to be sufficient to take deployment to only 95% of premises across the two counties. Following meetings with CD&S officials, it is understood that the soon to be issued ITT for the next phase may indeed set a minimum threshold for potential suppliers of only 95% of properties.

This next phase should be viewed as a golden opportunity for CD&S to raise its ambition and to extend deployment to 100% of residential, business and commercial properties across the two counties, not just 95%.

This is a realistic ambition, simply requiring a procurement process that is genuinely open to new business models and to innovative technologies – and one that directly incentivises suppliers to respond to the ITT with 100% deployment solutions.

Those who live in areas declared as “Out of Programme” for Phase 1 do not know if they will be included in the next phase of deployment, if its coverage ambition is limited to 95%. This continued and protracted uncertainty is damaging for all concerned and is wholly avoidable with a procurement process that invites and rewards 100% coverage solutions.

As a Board Member of Connecting Devon & Somerset, please ensure 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%.


Upottery Parish Council

Connecting Devon & Somerset Board members:

Cllr. Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, Devon County Council, County Hall, Topsham Rd, Exeter, Devon EX2 4QD. Email:andrew.leadbetter@devon.gov.uk

Cllr David Hall, Deputy Leader, Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, Somerset TA1 4DY Email: DHall@somerset.gov.uk

Dr Phil Norrey, Chief Executive Officer, Devon County Council, County Hall, Topsham Rd, Exeter, Devon EX2 4QD. Email: phil.norrey@devon.gov.uk

Patrick Flaherty, Chief Executive Officer, Somerset County Council, County Hall Taunton Somerset TA1 4DY Email: pflaherty@somerset.gov.uk

Dr Alan Srbljanin, Project Director, BDUK. c/o Dept of Culture Media and Sport, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH Email: Alan.s@culture.gsi.gov.uk

David Turner, Director, Development and Environment, North Somerset Council, Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Rd, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1UJ. Email: david.turner@n-somerset.gov.uk

John Wilkinson, Economic Enterprise and Business Development Manager, Bath & North East Somerset Council, Guildhall, High St, Bath, Avon BA1 5AW Email:John_Wilkinson@bathnes.gov.uk

Nick Ames, Managing Director, Supacat Ltd, The Airfield, Dunkeswell, Devon EX14 4LF. Email: names@supacat.com

Paula Hewitt, Director of Environmental Management and Regeneration, Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY Email: prhewitt@somerset.gov.uk

Charles Uzzell, Director of Places and Resources, Torbay Council, Town Hall, Castle Circus, Torquay, TQ1 3DR Email: charles.uzzell@torbay.gov.uk

Keri Denton, Head of Economy and Enterprise, Devon County Council, Room AB2, Luscombe House, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD Email:keri.denton@devon.gov.uk