Fibre broadband rollout in the UK is continuing apace with a further 31 communities in Devon and Somerset due to be upgraded by March 2014, according to the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) programme.
CDS said survey work for the areas scheduled to be upgraded by spring 2014 has been completed, and that the 31 communities will extend the number of homes and businesses able to benefit from fibre broadband to 44,000. The project is working with BT as its telecoms provider to deliver the fibre rollout.
According to the CDS project's website, parts of Holsworthy, Bradford-on-Tone and Sticklepath have already gone live, while Moretonhampstead, Bishops Lydeard, Monkton Heathfield and Creech St Michael will be upgraded by the end of this month. A full list of the 31 communities involved in the latest deployment is available on the website.
The CDS programme said it aims to make superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps or higher available to around 90 percent of homes and businesses in the region by the end of 2016. It also plans to ensure a minimum of 2Mbps for all premises within the programme area.
However, the move follows criticism earlier this year that such rural broadband rollouts may not represent the best value for money for the public funds spent on them, with BT often ending up as the sole bidder for contracts.
MPs sitting on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said that schemes such as the government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework had failed to create competition or secure value for money.
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