Many Exmoor communities can now access superfast broadband. To check whether you can get high-speed fibre broadband use your postcode on the Connecting Devon and Somerset website.
Good internet access is important for many people for business, learning and everyday life. Exmoor National Park Authority is committed to working with communities to help them access superfast broadband, by working with and supporting the Connecting Devon and Somerset project. Central government has set targets and provided funding to Somerset and Devon county councils to deliver super fast broadband to 95% of premises across the Devon and Somerset. We've worked hard to maximise the coverage within Exmoor.
Given the challenging topography, deep rurality and sparsity of population it is more difficult to deliver super-fast coverage on Exmoor than in many other areas of the country.
Progress to date
- Phase 1 of the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project (delivered by BT using fibre to the cabinet) aimed to deliver superfast broadband access to an estimated 60% of premises within the National Park. Working with CDS we secured over £700,000 additional funding through the Rural Community Broadband Fund (1 of just 2 successful applications) to extend the reach in this phase to 69% of premises within the National Park. For information on coverage of this phase please visit www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk.
- Phase II. The National Park Authority has worked with CDS and contributed match funding to Phase 2 securing a dedicated programme utilising wireless technology delivered by Airband to provide further superfast broadband coverage across Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks extending superfast coverage to well over 90% of all premises by 2018. The deployment of transmitters is almost completed as of Spring 2018 with many premises now able to receive a service using the Airband system. Visit the Airband website to see if you are covered.
The Authority has worked closely with Airband to find the best locations for the transmitters to provide good coverage with minimal impact on the special qualities of the National Park. We agreed a Planning Protocol and have recently developed installation guidance which shows how an Airband antenna can be installed on your premises while respecting the special qualities of the National Park.
- Exmoor also hosted two pilot areas as part of the 'Superfast Satellite 4 Communities' project delivered by Satellite Internet Ltd. This was 1 of 8 projects funded through the Government's 'Broadband Innovation Fund' to test the technology and user experience / uptake testing the use and uptake of a new superfast satellite / Wi-Fi mesh system to inform future plans for delivering to harder to reach communities in the 'final 5%. The National Park hosted two pilot areas in the parishes of Luxborough and Exmoor.
Beyond phase II
If you cannot currently access a superfast broadband service there may be other potential funded options available in the near future. For more details, please visit the Connecting Devon and Somerset web pages.
In the meantime 4g (mobile) broadband can be an effective solution for some more remote properties - the receivers used are different to phones and so it doesn’t necessarily follow that if you can’t get a 4g signal on your phone that you can't utilise 4g mobile broadband. Satellite is another alternative option for some. There are also some opportunities to work with existing providers to contribute towards the costs of your own fibre connection - particularly where there are a number of properties close together working collectively.
For further details on rural broadband options and issues visit the Rural Broadband Partnership.
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