A small village in the heart of North Devon is at the forefront of the digital revolution which is set to sweep across the region.
Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) and Airband have announced that Airband’s ultrafast fibre network in Devon is live in Kentisbury Ford, thanks to the CDS Fibre Extension Programme. Homes and businesses in Kentisbury Ford are now able to enjoy some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK.
Most homes in Kentisbury Ford have a connection speed of less than 10Mbps, making it a proper digital ‘not spot’. The new fibre optic broadband network means that people in Kentisbury Ford can get connected to an internet service with download speeds up to 10 times faster than they currently have (100Mbps) which is enough bandwidth to stream ultra-HD on four devices simultaneously, or download a HD movie in five minutes.
Airband is currently delivering ultrafast full fibre access to around 6,000 premises as part of the CDS Fibre Extension Programme. This fibre roll-out in Devon by Airband includes Ilfracombe, Barnstaple, Abbotsham, Bideford, Great Torrington, South Molton, Okehampton, Tavistock, and many more locations across the region. All of these areas are expected to be live this year. Over the course of the rollout, further network developments will be undertaken to make the network gigabit-capable, in other words download speeds of up to 1000Mpbs will become a reality for homes and businesses across rural Devon.
Simon Palmer, project manager at Airband, is delighted with how smoothly the process has gone. He said: “Bringing ultrafast to Kentisbury Ford represents everything that Airband is about – we are transforming connectivity for people and communities who deserve better. It’s so rewarding to be able to provide such a vast improvement in broadband speeds and the reaction and appreciation from the villagers here has been incredible. Deployment of the remaining clusters in this part of the contract with CDS is progressing very well, thousands more rural homes and businesses in Devon will very soon be able to access ultrafast broadband. And when we build our ultrafast networks, we use existing infrastructure wherever possible (e.g., existing poles and underground ducts), which means we can set up an ultrafast fibre network very rapidly. Once we start building a network in an area, the process from ordering to installation should take just a few weeks.”
Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “It’s encouraging to see the roll out of full fibre across Devon and Somerset and it’s great to think that people in Kentisbury Ford can now access some of the fastest broadband speeds in the country. More rural communities will also benefit from full fibre as the network is extended. That’s exactly how we need to ensure the recovery of our economy is inclusive and sustainable to make Devon and Somerset more resilient as we look to build back better.”