North Somerset set to receive internet speeds of up to 1,000 mbps
PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 July 2017
One of the 'fastest broadband networks in the UK' will be installed in North Somerset after a multi-million pound contract to provide high-speed internet to thousands was agreed.
Government organisation Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) has penned a £10.3million deal with broadband provider Gigaclear, which will see £7.8million of private sector money used to fund a new all-fibre network for homes and businesses.
The new network ‘will be socially and economically transformative’, with broadband speeds more than 30 times faster than the national average.
Speeds of up to 1,000 mbps will be available to up to 6,500 rural homes and businesses, according to North Somerset Council.
Several areas of North Somerset suffer with poor internet speed, including Weston Village and Burrington, and residents will be hoping their homes will be connected to the new ‘ultrafast’ network.
CDS is the biggest publicly-funded broadband programme in England, and awards tax-payer subsidised contracts to private sector firms to build infrastructure like fibre broadband networks.
CDS has already connected 320,000 homes to broadband networks. It previously worked with BT to install a network which connected 28,000 homes and businesses in North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset to high-speed internet.
The council’s executive member for economic development, Elfan Ap Rees, believes public and private sector investment is necessary to ensure people are not ‘left behind’.
He said: “Digital connectivity is a vital element of our economy and everyday life, but the market alone cannot deliver.
“Here in North Somerset public sector intervention has been vital in ensuring rural communities and businesses will not be left behind. I am pleased this new investment continues our drive to provide the best broadband for our communities and economy.”
Joe Frost, business development director at Gigaclear, said: “We’re delighted to win this contract to build this completely new, full fibre broadband network in North Somerset.
“It will be socially and economically transformative, delivering speeds up to 33 times faster than the UK average and crucially for business the upload speeds are just as fast.”