Devon and Somerset

Faster broadband is on its way
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  • Latest news

    • UK Umbrella State Aid Granted by European Commission

      Broadband Delivery UK (the organisation responsible for delivering the £52 million of public funding for the Connecting Devon and Somerset Project) has been granted State Aid* clearance by the European Commission. This allows Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) to approve local

    • BT Appointed Preferred Bidder for the Connecting Devon and Somerset Programme

      The Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) programme has announced that it has appointed BT as preferred bidder for the provision of superfast broadband across Devon and Somerset. The next stage of the project involves undertaking due diligence on the tender

    • Procurement Update

      As part of satisfying State Aid requirements, Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) is required to announce the launch of its invitation to tender (ITT) for the selection of its chosen supplier from the recent Framework arrangement set up by BDUK.

Latest News

Superfast Broadband Needed to Run Businesses Effectively

Richard Livingstone is an IT software specialist and an entrepreneur. He has established several companies including Clickvision UK and Banana Software Systems; all relying on state-of-the-art technology to deliver innovative projects, products and solutions.

One of Richard’s most successful innovations is ‘Perception Panel’, a technological solution that takes the traditional market research opinion panel to a new level. It allows audiences to interact with live TV to give their opinion.

Using their telephone keypads up to 30,000 people at any one time can register their support or disapproval of a topic under discussion. Their collated results are instantly displayed on the TV screen as customised moving graphics. The BBC, and most recently ITV, have been using this technique to gauge audience opinion since 2005. Although he cut his teeth designing high speed, high volume financial trading systems for the banking sector, Richard now specialises in using ultra-reliable free open source platforms in a range of sectors.

One of the biggest challenges currently facing Richard is his broadband service. To keep his costs and carbon emissions down, Richard is home-based in the village of Rode outside Frome. Unfortunately, his broadband provider is running the service using last generation copper wire infrastructure and it just isn’t capable of keeping pace with Richard’s heavy data requirements.

Richard takes up the story, “I work at the cutting edge of IT designing new software products that will really add value to the UK’s businesses, both big and small. I need superfast broadband as a minimum if I am to run my businesses effectively. For example, I need to test products before they go to market, but I can’t run a test server at home because I don’t have enough bandwidth. Poor upload and download speeds mean I can’t host videos or run video-conferences. Neither can I make use of cloud computing. For big projects, I team up with other freelancers around the country. We come together online, connected via high-speed broadband to work as a virtual team.”

“I know if I moved to a big city I’d enjoy the access and speeds I need but that’s not the answer. We can’t expect everyone to move to our cities to hold down jobs. That would be a death knell for rural communities and economies. The answer has to be to upgrade our 20th Century infrastructure and bring it up to modern-day standards. The technology already exists, so why hasn’t it been rolled out to everyone?”

Thankfully, that’s exactly what Devon and Somerset County Councils are aiming for. They, along with other local authorities in both counties, have joined forces to establish ‘Connecting Devon and Somerset’ – a programme aiming to deliver faster broadband for all residents, businesses and communities by 2015. Of these, 85% will enjoy superfast broadband. This would be followed by access to superfast broadband for all by 2020 and will transform online access across the area for businesses and visitors, as well as communities and residents.

If like Richard you would like better broadband, now is the time to register your internet and your need. Local people and businesses are being asked to take part in a survey asking for their views on their current broadband service. The survey is open over the summer and responses to the survey will be used to provide evidence that there is a strong demand for superfast broadband and persuade private broadband companies to invest in the area. Anyone who wants to participate can register on our website here or by calling the telephone hotline on 0844 4636887.

You can contact Richard Livingstone via email at:

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