Broadband for Rural Crediton News

31 May 2016

Since the last broadband newsletter, quite a lot has happened - but not much of it actively helps our cause. CDS's plans for Phase 2 have again been slightly delayed, but we were pleased to hear that the plans have not had to be significantly modified after Mr Vaizey's recent pronouncements about broadband for the truly rural becoming a requested option.

It is now looking unlikely that we will be able to get access to dark fibre to do our own FTTH scheme in the way we hoped. However, a variety of commercial companies offering fixed wireless links, FTTH, and satellite options are likely to tender for Phase 2 - although we cannot at this stage have any idea which of them might find our area attractive. It now looks like November before there will be any real clarity on these matters.

A voucher scheme from CDS is now running for those presently unable even to achieve 2 Mbps download speed. It is intended to help those who desperately need a better connection now to undertake their own contract with an approved commercial supplier. Because this is essentially giving away public money, there are a number of rules and restrictions but to be fair to CDS, these have been kept to a minimum. Interestingly there is nothing in those rules to prevent groups of eligible individuals from applying and getting their vouchers, but then holding on to them rather than spending them immediately. Where enough houses in a local area agreed to do this, they may well be in a position to encourage the technically better, and more future proof options to come to their local area rather than simply getting what the CDS machinery would otherwise provide. We hope that B4RC will be invited to join in a planned CDS "Industry Day" and have the opportunity to inform would-be tendering companies about the potential offered by our area, and find ways to work with such organisations to our mutual advantage.

There is more on all this, including the report of a meeting that B4RC had with CDS on 11 May posted on the website. Please specifically check the menu options CDS VOUCHER, and NEWS.

As always, if you have questions on any aspect of this complicated business please feel free to contact us via the website or directly on