Broadband campaign archive



Broadband Public Meeting

(Organised by Upottery Parish Council)

Friday, February 6, 2015, 6pm to 8pm

In Upottery Manor Rooms EX14 9PL 

Neil Parish, MP for Honiton & Tiverton will chair the meeting.

Invited speakers include:

Phil Norrey, DCC Chief Executive & Chairman of the CDS Board

Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, DCC portfolio holder for CDS

Keri Denton, DCC Head Economy & Enterprise & Director of CDS

Cllr Paul Diviani, Leader, EDDC & DCC Councillor

Cllr Ross Henley, Somerset CC & Taunton Deane Councillor

Paul Coles, BT South West Regional Partnerships Director 

Last February, Neil Parish MP said he would come back to Upottery one year later to see how broadband provision has improved. Since then Connecting Devon & Somerset (CDS) has designated 90% of the parish and large areas of the Blackdown Hills as “Out of Programme”. Without fast broadband rural economies will fall behind those of nearby towns which are growing by £20 for every £1 invested in broadband. 

In April, CDS will sign contracts with suppliers for a Phase 2, Superfast Extension Programme, but this will leave over 100,000 people in 45,000 properties without improvement in broadband for the rest of this decade. 

Come along and let your views be known.

See www.upottery.com for more information.











MP to present petition on Blackdowns slow broadband
Clayhidon’s poor broadband service was raised in the House of Commons on 1 May  2014 by local MP Neil Parish. He has been promised a meeting with the new Culture Secretary Sajid Javid (pictured) to discuss improvements and and Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and Communications, when he intends to present a petition signed by hundreds of local people.
Mr Parish told MPs: “The Blackdown hills and villages such as Upottery, Clayhidon and Rousdon are finding it difficult to get broadband. We welcome the Government’s money, but BT is finding things difficult and there is secrecy about where the broadband will be delivered throughout the constituency. 
“Will the Secretary of State meet me and local representatives to discuss the way in which we can roll out this broadband in a much better way?” 
He was answered by the Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, who said: “Absolutely. It is important to point out that the progress of rural broadband is really picking up pace, with 20,000 homes passed every week, but we must get out the information to local residents. 
Mr Vaizey said he was sure Mr Javid would meet him “at the earliest opportunity” to discuss his points. 
More than 1,000 people have signed a petition organised by Upottery councillor Graham Long on Change.org calling for faster fibre optic broadband cabinets in all Devon and Somerset villages, not just larger villages and towns. "

'Invest Government money in a mix of technologies'
Graham Long, of Upottery Parish Council, who is spearheading a campaign for faster broadband in Devon villages, writesOn 25 February 2014, BDUK (the Government body responsible for managing Britain's rural broadband programme)) allocated an additional £22.75M for Devon & Somerset Rural Broadband, but there is still no statement from CD&S on how they will obtain the £1 for £1 match funding it requires.
As in January 2013, this is again the largest county broadband funding allocation in the UK. An open letter to Councillors and your MP has been prepared, asking the County Councils not to automatically hand this money over to BT but to invest it in a mix of technologies in areas where existing broadband is poor. 
The link also tells you how to find MPs' and Councillors' email addresses so you can send it to your MP and Councillors as well. See: https://sites.google.com/site/upotterywebsite/latest-news/faster-broadband-final-coverage-map-2017/open-letter-to-council-s-mp-s-and-press

Superfast broadband would cost £2,000 per household
Bringing superfast broadband to one Blackdowns village would cost around £2,000 per household, which would not be cost effective, a BT executive told a public meeting.
Clayhidon and many other Blackdowns parishes are in hard to reach areas which are unlikely to see any improvements in the foreseeable future.
These official replies have been rejected by Graham Long, the Upottery Parish Councillor who organised the meeting and is campaigning for more Government funding.
>Western Morning News report.
>Upottery Parish Council report.
Hemyock to get superfast broadband - but not Clayhidon
Hemyock is to get superfast broadband by the end of March 2014. but most and possibly all of Clayhidon parish will miss out.
You can check whether your property is likely to be included on this link.
A public meeting do discuss the lack of plans for fast broadband in villages has been arranged for February 7 in Upottery.
More than 850 local people have signed a Blackdowns petition calling for faster broadband for all Devon and Somerset villages. 
The meeting will be at 6pm in The Manor Rooms, Upottery, and will be chaired by Neil Parish, MP for Honiton & Tiverton. Mrs Keri Denton, Head of Connecting Devon & Somerset will be present together with Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council portfolio holder for CDS, and representatives from BT. 
East Devon and South Somerset District Councils have also been taking an active part in broadband developments. On 16 January a scrutiny panel met in public session in Honiton. >Read more.
John Hart, leader of Devon County Council attended the Blackdown Hills Parish Network meeting on 13 November and answered questions on CDS broadband
A full report of what he said is on the Upottery website. 

Why fast fibre broadband is so important to our future
Graham Long, of Upottery Parish Council, who is spearheading a campaign for faster broadband in Devon villages, writes: Your readers may  be interested in a page I put on the website a while ago explaining why fast fibre broadband is so important to all our futures (even if you presently don't use the Internet). >Click here.

MP to chair public meeting on Broadband
On Friday February 7, 6pm to 7.30pm, Upottery Parish Council will host an open public meeting on the lack of plans for fast fibre broadband in Upottery and other Devon & Somerset parishes. The meeting will be at The Manor Rooms, Upottery, and will be chaired by Neil Parish, MP for Honiton & Tiverton. Mrs Keri Denton, Head of Connecting Devon & Somerset will be present together with Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council portfolio holder for CDS, and representatives from BT. 
Over 850 people have now signed the petition and if everyone can get one or two more people to sign, we should have over 1,000 signatures by the time of the meeting. Please encourage everyone to support our campaign. 
A UK government report published in November demonstrates that for every £1 invested in broadband, the local economy grows by £20. If Devon & Somerset villages are left without fast fibre broadband, their economies will fall well behind those of nearby towns and large villages. This cannot be allowed to happen! 
Watch www.upottery.com for further updates on the public meeting.

Hundreds sign Blackdowns petition for fast broadband
Nearly 800 local people have signed a Blackdowns petition calling for faster broadband for all Devon and Somerset villages.
Neil Parish MP has agreed to chair an open public meeting on Connecting Devon and Somerset broadband in Upottery parish at a date yet to be confirmed. CDS and BT are expected to send representatives to that meeting.
John Hart, leader of Devon County Council attended the Blackdown Hills Parish Network meeting on 13 November and answered questions on CDS broadband
A full report of what he said is on the Upottery website. 

Clayhidon left out of broadband plan
Clayhidon is being left out of the Government programme to bring faster broadband to rural areas.
A map showing where the improvements are planned in Devon and Somerset shows huge white spaces meaning “no action” for the parish and hundreds like it.
In our neighbouring parish of Upottery an online petition to Ed Vaizey (Minister for Communications) and Keri Denton (Head of Economy and Enterprise at Devon County Council) has been started. It calls on the Government to provide FTTC faster fibre optic broadband cabinets in all Devon and Somerset villages, not just larger villages and towns. More than 200 people have signed so far.
Petition organiser Graham Long, a parish councillor, says: “The Connecting Devon and Somerset Faster Rural Broadband programme is funded with £53M of public money, but the Final Coverage Map on the CDS website showing who will get faster broadband (~24mbps) by 2017, when all the public money will have been spent, shows that only urban areas (large villages and towns) will benefit from FTTC fibre optic broadband.
“Businesses and taxpayers in rural Devon and Somerset have as much need for fast broadband as do those in urban areas. BT's current plans for who will get faster broadband from this programme seem to be based purely on population density. This has to be changed to a truly rural broadband programme providing FTTC faster broadband in smaller villages as well.
Meanwhile, estate agents are advising house hunters to  avoid areas with slow broadband connections, and prices are being affected adversely according to the Daily Telegraph.
>See latest map.
>Midweek Herald report

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