Check back here regularly to find out what's going on at B4RDS.

Gigaclear set to roll out Ultrafast Broadband to the Blackdown Hills.

A press release from the company Gagaclear has announced...

Read more pdf format

Firm could deliver ultra fast broadband to rural areas
People living in hard-to-connect rural areas in Devon and Somerset are being offered the chance to hook-up to ultra-fast broadband with speeds up to a massive 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps).

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Rural areas stuck in the slow lane after broken pledge on broadband.

"Ministers have abandoned efforts to deliver superfast broadband to about a million homes, claiming that most of those in remote locations would not want it."

Read more here


B4RDS admin thoughts.... I wonder how many people in urban areas didn't want to be connected yet rural & "hard to reach" tax payers still had to foot the bill?

The government will give up on rural super fast broadband at its peril

"we have smug careerists like my good friend Minister of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey self-congratulating until they're blue in the face while being the first to leap up to batter down dissent the moment queries arise."

Read more here

Villages are robbed of fast internet to save cash: Ministers drop multi-million pound plan to connect the 'final 5%' of the country without superfast broadband

Plans to deliver superfast broadband to the 'final 5 per cent' of the country have been dropped because they are too expensive.

In a blow to rural communities, ministers have ruled out a multi-million pound programme to connect around a million homes and businesses – arguing it would not be 'value for money'.

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Superfast broadband roll-out curbed in rural areas over claims ‘not everyone wants to be connected’
"It is unlikely that everyone will want to be connected, even if that option is made available to them, and so we do not believe that an additional broadband roll-out programme at this time is proportionate or would represent value for money," 

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A few more home thruths about britains broadband.

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a few home truths

Up in Yorkshire, where they call a spade, a spade, they print the facts about satellite broadband.

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A few home thruths about britains broadband.

After last weeks misguided attempt by BT to tell us Britain invented the internet* we now have the facts according to BT.

You can see them here

And then read the real facts here


*BT's spin department in overdrive,

Britain inventing the internet here

Watch out - watch out, Satellite is about!

Connecting Devon & Somerset website test page

Dont be fooled as the government get ready to spend yet more money convincing the UK population that this is the blanket answer to "hard to reach"* areas



Traffic management

Data capping

Time restrictions

Asymetric data



This is just weeks after Kerri Denton from CDS told the DCMS Select Committee

"we've chosen not to participate in the BDUK national satellite scheme
partly because there is a mark up from BT in it & therefore it doesnt represent value
& partly because our communities are quite erm perceptional or otherwise not wanting to see satellite"

"our alternative is to run our own voucher based scheme with infill solutions which would be a blend of wireless as well as wireless satellite"

Can be seen here:


* Areas that are too far away from a BT cabinet, Exchange only lines & not enough financial return to bother with.

No Mention of the UK in the FTTH european ranking, because WE DONT HAVE FIBRE BROADBAND.

Read more here

DCMS Select Committee Thursday 11 February 2016 Meeting.

Evidence given by Malcolm Corbett, Chief Executive, Independent Networks Co-operative Association, Graham Long, Chairman, Broadband for Rural Devon and Somerset, William Perrin, Connect8, Dr Charles Trotman Senior Business & Economics Adviser, Country Land & Business Association.



& follow up letter written to Jesse Norman MP here

Broadband deprivation in England

"Forcing poorer populations onto relatively expensive, data limited broadband services will only entrench and extend existing divides.

Read the full article:

Campaigner warns of 'digital rural apartheid'

According to Graham Long, Chairman of Broadband for Rural Devon & Somerset, official figures show that nine per cent of rural areas in the UK are unable to access speeds of 2MB.

Read the full article:

Also in the:

Broadband campaigner for Devon and Somerset says rural communities are facing a "digital rural apartheid"

A broadband campaigner for rural parts of Somerset and Devon has said rural businesses in both counties are facing "discrimination" due to differing broadband speeds.

Read the full article:

Also in the:

Devon and Somerset march on with superfast broadband roll out amid accusations of 'wasting time'

Devon and Somerset have set the ball rolling to tender for phase two of the region's superfast broadband expansion – but critics claim the counties are "wasting time and money".

Read the full article:

Two million households lack fast broadband

A new report by the telecoms watchdog Ofcom has found that two million households across the country still can't get high- speed access to the internet.

Watch it here:

'How long is a piece of string?' - fears over broadband rollout

Graham Long, a parish councillor in Upottery, has warned that delays in securing a contract to install more fibre-optic cables could lead to businesses leaving rural areas - and problems for homeowners trying to sell their properties.

Read the full article: Midweek Herald

Fed up with superfast broadband farce

The roll out of superfast broadband in Devon and Somerset has come under some harsh criticism. In your letter columns Paul Coles, the SW manager of BT robustly defended BT's performance My experience is quite the opposite.

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Letter sent to the Devon County Council Scrutiny Committee by Roger Cashmore - B4RDS.

Sent to the Chair, Vice Chair and Place Scrutiny Councillors, all county councillors as well as members of the CDS board, over concerns of a continued lack of transparency & openness.

Read the letter: pdf format

Letter sent to the Editor of WMN, published in the Opinion column on the 19/10 by Roger Cashmore - B4RDS.

Read the letter: pdf format

A follow up letter was sent on the 22/10, the letter was in response to some of the unsubstantiated assertions made in the responses written at the bottom of this article by Paul Coles Regional Partnership Director South West.

Read the letter: pdf format

Report on broadband meeting Oct 9 - Bishopswood

Read the report: pdf format

Supporting material: County table 030915 ; CDS Member Briefing Oct 2015 ; Satellite Internet Brief ; Information Request 05001 Satellite BB

In My Opinion - Poor broadband is harming the economy in the West

The Western Morning News publishes the letter written to editor of the North Devon Journal.

Read the full article: and longer article:

Letter to editor of the North Devon Journal

From Graham Long, Chairman, B4RDS (Broadband for Rural Devon & Somerset)

Read the letter: pdf format

The world according to BT's regional manager for the South West, Paul Coles

Amongst the usual marketing spin and rhetoric, It now seems that we, the customer, are now becoming more & more responsible for the BDUK broadband roll out shortcomings. During a North Devon Council executive meeting, Paul Coles reportedly said that "there were certain individuals who were particularly vocal about broadband issues in the area who might be putting businesses off relocating here" & that "there remained challenges in the South West, one of which was getting people to sign up once their area had access to superfast broadband."
Read the full article:

Devon and Somerset superfast broadband delay could be 'fatal', campaigners warn.

Delays to the second phase of Devon and Somerset's superfast broadband rollout could be "fatal" to businesses in the area, councillors have been told.

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Public invited to speak at council broadband scrutiny meeting.

Devon County Council's scrutiny committee has invited one representative to speak on behalf of the thousands of businesses and residents who claim they have been affected by delays.

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DCC Place Scrutiny Committee - Fair & Democratic process of accountability? You decide.

After initially only allowing individuals listed to give evidence on the formal agenda (representatives of BDUK, CDS and BT, members of the council, local MPs and the broadband provider Airband), a decision was announced on Friday afternoon that the DCC Place Scrutiny Committee will now allow one (1) person to speak for 5 minutes on Sept 3, representing the 7 organisations that put their names to the open letter.

Businesses without broadband not allowed to give evidence to dcc scrutiny committee which is chaired by councillor Andrew Moulding

Business leaders have spoken of their disappointment and “frustration” that the pleas of thousands of local companies to give evidence in a pending broadband inquiry have not yet been acknowledged.

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Businesses 'frustrated' at ongoing exclusion from council meeting

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The NFU add their name to the open letter sent to Devon County Councillors

who sit on the Place Scrutiny Committee that will examine the activities of CDS on September 3rd.

Read the letter: pdf format

A Somerset County Council FOI response shows that Devon District Councils were making no contribution to the Phase 2 broadband contract negotiations with BT when they broke down June 26. It also shows that the £50M that CDS Board members claimed was available for Phase 2 included £14.875M that is still pending and could not be included in a legal Phase 2 contract. It is disingenuous for CDS to claim that £50M was available. Only £35M was being offered to BT when the contract deadline for state aid approval was reached on June 30.

Read more: pdf format

More than 14,000 businesses tell Connecting Devon and Somerset to get its act together over rural broadband after it binned its second-phase BDUK contract with BT

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Thousands of businesses join call for 'fair' inquiry into broadband failure

More than 14,000 Westcountry business are backing calls for a "fair" examination into Devon and Somerset's superfast broadband programme when the scheme goes before council scrutiny committees next month.

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Open letter sent to the DCC Scrutiny Committee

A copy if this open letter has been sent to the DCC Scrutiny Committee. With further copies going on wider distribution including MP's and other press contacts.

Read the letter: pdf format

Representation made to full DCC Council on July 23rd 2015

Short representation given by Roger Cashmore re Connecting Devon and Somerset to a Full Meeting of Devon County Council on July 23rd 2015, Made by Roger Cashmore on behalf of B4RDS.

Read more: pdf format

We'll go bust waiting for BT's broadband, say rural companies as they warn businesses and jobs are at risk

Small firms in rural areas of Britain have warned that they will be put out of business if they cannot get access to broadband internet....

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Unhappy residents demand answers over Devon and Somerset rollout

A pressure group in Devon and Somerset is demanding answers over the rollout of superfast broadband across the two counties

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Three million switched onto rural broadband - but MPs 'simply don't believe' the figures
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Rural residents question Government claims of broadband success

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Today program on BBC Radio 4 - 12/08/2015

The government is announcing that more than three million homes and businesses have been reached by the Government's nationwide rollout of superfast broadband. 

Simon Jack met Steve, a farmer in Devon, who said that his business suffers from the slow broadband speed in the area.

He called it 'scandalous' and blamed 'ineptitude by local government, who failed to negotiate a contract with BT'.

Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, said the government plans to reach '100% coverage' of the country by the end of this parliament.

Listen to the podcast mp3 format

Pressure group to demand answers on Devon and Somerset superfast broadband

Campaigners in Devon and Somerset have set up a lobby group to demand answers over the future of superfast broadband in the counties....

See here for the full article

Tonga has better broadband than Westcountry

Says Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud. “When I was in Tonga, I found I could get better broadband in the Pacific than at home – and since then, nothing’s changed. The Internet is about connecting people, from everywhere to anywhere, and it’s even more crucial in remote geographical areas where there are fewer resources and services. The people of Devon and Somerset deserve a broadband fit for the 21st century and I applaud B4RDS’ campaign to see this realised.”


Kevin McCloud MBE

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I support B4RDS in their campaign to champion the  interests of digitally deprived communities here in the South West

Says Valerie Singleton.

“I haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing the broadband in Tonga .. but as a director of a local small business in Somerset  I know how much we were held back by having a dreadfully slow connection to the internet on the edge of Yeovil.  So I appreciate  just how vital good digital communications are to not only rural businesses, but also to the very survival of many rural economies  in the South West, many of whom already suffer from reduced services. I support B4RDS in their campaign to champion the  interests of digitally deprived communities here in the South West"


Kevin McCloud MBE

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