Time to show results for £100M broadband fund

Three men on the steps at Jacob's Ladder in Sidmouth

Michael Maltby, CEO and founder of Jurassic Fibre; Matthew Galley, head of partnerships at Jurassic Fibre; and Simon Jupp MP at Jacob’s Ladder - Credit: Gareth Williams Photography

Families and businesses across East Devon are relying on the internet now more than ever to work, shop and stay in touch with loved ones. Connection speeds have never been more important.
 
The government-led broadband programme ‘Connecting Devon and Somerset’ has now received £100 million. With this huge sum of money, it’s time to show the results.
 
That’s why recently I was pleased to hear the Broadband Minister tell Devon MPs which further homes are planned for full-fibre gigabit-capable connections.
 
For the East Devon district, 6,200 homes are getting connected by the government-led programme, and an extra 3,450 by commercial providers.
 
At the moment, 84% of homes have at least superfast broadband in East Devon. ‘Superfast’ means any broadband service that provides speeds of 30Mbps or higher.
 
With these further homes in line, 99% of homes will soon have at least superfast broadband.
 
In plugging in and powering up every corner of Devon and the South West, we can help accelerate our recovery from the pandemic, create more jobs and spread wealth across our area.
 
I’m sure everyone will agree that it’s not acceptable for anyone in East Devon to be unable to make a video call or watch a TV programme via the internet in 2021.
 
If you are coming up against slow speeds, in some cases 4G can give a quick fix with usable speeds particularly in more rural areas.
 
Alternatively, you might be in line for an upgrade from Jurassic Fibre.
 
Good broadband isn’t just about helping people who work from home. In fact, in East Devon during 2020, only one in five of the workforce regularly worked from home. Three in five never worked from home at all, according to figures from the ONS.
 
I get emails from families who just want an acceptable connection which allows them to go on a Zoom call while another family member might be streaming Netflix at the same time.
 
Good broadband is increasingly important to live and work more flexibly, to fire up people’s businesses, and access the vital public services we all rely on.
 
Full fibre broadband is a game-changing upgrade for East Devon – and about time too.

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