FOURTEEN Somerset towns and villages will soon have access to an 'ultrafast fibre broadband network' which will deliver some of the fastest internet speeds in the UK.  

A number of Somerset towns and villages have been selected for the next phase of a £62.25 million rollout scheme, led by Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS), to receive access to some of the fastest internet connections in the UK. 

CDS is a local government-led broadband programme that aims to provide homes and business with faster internet speeds.

The lucky communities that have been selected are: Blagdon Hill, Bradford on Tone, Brean, Buckland St Mary, Corfe, Crickham, Dowlish Ford, Isle Abbotts, Lympsham, Merriott, Over Stratton, Wadeford and Weare.

The Somerset towns and villages were chosen based on their location near to existing connections to main broadband networks.

The ultrafast broadband scheme is supported by Gigaclear, a broadband provider that is dedicated to providing fibre broadband to rural communities.

Cllr David Hall, CDS board member and Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources and Economic Development, said: “We have already dramatically improved broadband speeds across Somerset and I’m delighted with Gigaclear’s plans to extend this further.

"It’s great news for homeowners and the Somerset economy as a whole. Broadband connectivity is a vital part of the infrastructure that helps current businesses grow and attracts new entrepreneurs to the county.”

Work to lay new fibre optic cables is due to start in November to initially provide almost 9,000 homes and businesses in the first communities with access to the ultrafast network by February 2018.

Cllr John Williams, leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council, said: “It is truly an exciting prospect that the majority of our previously ‘too hard to reach’ rural homes, businesses and settlements are now going to be served by a dedicated ‘fibre to the premises’ delivering up to 1,000 mbps.

"CDS and Gigaclear are to be applauded for securing what has the ability to be a life changing service for our communities.

"A decent broadband service is now regarded by most as an ‘essential service’ just as water and electricity services are a necessity.”

Joe Frost, Business Development Director at Gigaclear, said: “As part of the CDS and Gigaclear ultrafast broadband transformation, some of the hardest to reach rural areas of Devon and Somerset will be able to access the UK’s fastest broadband speeds through full fibre.

"The first Gigabit enabled residents and businesses will soon be able to do whatever they want to do online, regardless of their location or the amount of people using the service simultaneously.

"We are proud to be working with CDS on this project and look forward to being part of this rural broadband revolution to future-proof the area’s digital economy.”

The scheme has already provided 282,000 homes and businesses to access faster broadband with an overall total of 327,000 accessing faster internet.

A spokesman for CDS said that by the end of 2019 over 40,000 more homes and businesses in the CDS region will have access to ultrafast broadband in the biggest single investment in fibre connections in the UK.

For more information about broadband in the rest of the region visit