Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride was in Sandford to meet with representatives from broadband supplier Gigaclear and Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS). CDS is the Government funded organisation responsible for the rollout of superfast broadband in the hardest to reach areas – typically rural communities where commercial suppliers consider installation costs to be unviable. Since its creation in 2013 CDS has laid a quarter of a million miles of optical fibre. Attendees at the meeting included Gigaclear Chief Executive Matthew Hare, Keri Denton from CDS, Sandford’s County Councillor Margaret Squires, County Councillor Stuart Barker and local broadband campaigner Al Sutter.

    Speaking after their meeting Mr Stride said:

    “The Government hit its December target of 95% superfast broadband coverage nationally but there is still a lot of work to do in order to reach the remaining 5% so communities like Sandford, along with neighbouring parishes such as Kennerleigh, can access the speeds that both businesses and family homes require. Key to this is the combination of laying optical fibre cables where possible and installing wireless masts where not. I was very encouraged to hear that Gigaclear’s rollout around Sandford will start in the first quarter of 2019 and that planning is now well advanced.”

    During his visit Mr Stride also caught up on Gigaclear’s plans for superfast broadband rollout in other parts of his constituency including Poughill, Thorverton and Cowley in Mid Devon, Stoke Canon, Rewe and Brampford Speke in East Devon and Tedburn St Mary, Whitestone, Trusham and Bickington in Teignbridge.

    Photo: Central Devon MP Mel Stride being briefed on progress with bringing superfast broadband to Sandford.