High-speed broadband to hit 70,000 Devon and Somerset homes

70,000 homes and businesses in Devon and Cornwall will have high-speed broadband before the end of July, BT has announced.

High-speed broadband is coming to the south west in a big way. More than 70,000 homes and offices in Devon and Somerset will get nippy Web access by the end of July, the Western Daily Press reports.

It's part of the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project, which partnered with BT a year ago. It's a £94 million project, with 19 exchanges already upgraded, and seven due to go live by the end of March.

The latest exchanges to benefit are Braunton, Kingskerswell, Pinhoe, Sowton, Swimbridge, Spaxton, Topsham, and North Petherton. Some of these may be in urban areas, but will cover rural areas too.

Fibre broadband coverage will also be extended to include areas like Ilminster and Newton Abbot.

The CDS project aims to make 24Mbps broadband available to at least 90 per cent of all residents in Devon and Cornwall by 2016.

The project has been affected by the recent adverse weather conditions. "We are delighted with the progress that has been made so far but clearly the severe flooding in Somerset is posing challenges for the engineering teams who are rolling out the new network," said councillor David Hall, deputy leader of Somerset County Council.

But the teams are working around the floods, he added. "Connecting Devon and Somerset is working very effectively to deal with these and ensure the rollout continues at a fast pace. For example, where the flooding is particularly serious, we will switch some work to less severely affected areas until the waters subside."

The project has already hooked up more than 16,000 homes and businesses with high-speed Web access.

How fast is your broadband? Have rural areas been given short shrift when it comes to Web access? Do schemes like Super Switch On Day help at all? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

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