Wessex Internet has laid its first fibre cable in Woolston, nr North Cadbury to mark the start of an extensive 3-year programme to bring full fibre broadband connectivity to thousands of homes and businesses in South Somerset.
The “breaking the ground” took place in the village of Woolston, North Cadbury.
Onlookers watched as the vibratory mole plough and directional drilling teams laid the first fibre of the programme which it claims will enable 3,618 properties to have world class broadband with gigabit speeds.
Wessex Internet, a specialist rural internet provider was awarded the public-funded contract to deliver the programme in December 2020 following a successful bid to Connecting Devon & Somerset (CDS).
The 36-month programme will be rolled out across 6 phases. Details and timings for the areas within those phases will be announced in due course, along with the exact locations and properties that are included in the rollout.
Work started in the first area which covers Woolston, North and South Barrow and Sparkford at the beginning of May.
Hector Gibson Fleming CEO, Wessex Internet said: “We are excited to announce the start of work that will bring ultrafast full fibre connectivity to the most remote parts of South Somerset. We believe that people living outside towns and cities have the same right to a speedy, efficient internet connection and we look forward to working with local communities on this exciting programme. In Woolston, we know that residents are struggling with typical speeds of less than 20 Mbps, which is not acceptable, and we are here to change this.”
Councillor David Hall, CDS Board Member and Somerset County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure, said: "We're delighted that Wessex Internet has started the rollout of Gigabit capable fibre in South Somerset, on behalf of Connecting Devon and Somerset. Over the next three years they will be delivering access to fibre broadband to some of the hardest to reach premises in the region, giving our local residents and businesses the future-proof internet connection they need."
Karl Tucker, chair of Heart of the SW LEP, said: “I am delighted to see this three-year programme getting underway that will bring much needed ultrafast broadband to south Somerset. This rollout, which is supported with funding from the HotSW LEP’s Growth Deal, will provide vital internet connectivity for residents and businesses in some of our most rural communities which is essential to allow these areas to increase their economic productivity and output.”