CDS to begin work on new fibre optic broadband for Bath and Somerset region

In January 2018, the ‘Connecting Devon and Somerset’ (CDS) programme, will begin construction work on a major engineering project to connect 6,500 homes and businesses in Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset to a new “ultrafast” broadband network.

It’s part of what CDS calls the “biggest public-funded broadband project in England,” which has cost over £171 million and has apparently already provided “over a quarter of a million homes and businesses with access to superfast broadband.”

Ultrafast broadband provider Gigaclear is carrying out essential surveys for CDS ahead of the installation of a new full-fibre network that will deliver the fast broadband connections. It is estimated that the first residents and businesses will be connected by the end of spring, 2018.

The project is the result of a £10.3 million investment deal that CDS has signed with Gigaclear for Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset. Under the deal, Gigaclear will be investing £7.8 million of private sector money and building an entirely new all-fibre network to connect directly to local homes and businesses.

CDS is backed with funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, local authorities and the private sector.

Cllr Paul Myers, Bath and North East Somerset Council’s cabinet member for economic and community regeneration, said: “Excellent broadband infrastructure is essential for our economy to remain competitive. So this is good news as it will give our local businesses access to some of the fastest broadband speeds available and the ability to trade without boundaries. For our residents, it means the whole family can get online to take advantage of all that the internet has to offer.”

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economic development, added: “Bringing high-speed broadband to all of North Somerset is well overdue and essential for business growth across the region. Digital connectivity is such a vital element of our economy and everyday life and this latest investment will ensure that North Somerset’s rural communities and businesses are not left behind.”

Leave a Reply