High speed broadband roll out in the South Hams

By Ginny Ware   |   Totnes Reporter   |
Saturday 16th July 2022 6:00 am
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Wildanet chief executive, Helen Wylde ( )

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Work to provide thousands of homes in Totnes and Dartington with high speed broadband is due to start this summer.

Wildanet is to connect up to 6,000 homes and businesses in the area with the latest fibre technology to deliver internet speeds of up to one gigabit.

The work will involve replacing the old copper network with underground fibre-optic cables which will connect directly to properties.

Where possible existing ducting and infrastructure will be used to help minimise disruption.

The work is expected to take several months, says Wildanet, and it will be carried out on a rolling street by street basis.

To explain its planned roll-out in more detail, the high speed broadband provider is staging two drop-in sessions at Totnes Civic Hall on Thursday July 14 from 4pm to 7pm and Friday July 15 from 8am to 11am.

Members of the Wildanet team will be on hand to answer any questions and refreshments will be provided.

This will be the first roll-out in Devon by the Cornwall-based Altnet (Alternative Network provider), and marks the start of an ambitious expansion by Wildanet across the South West.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 78,000 people in Devon have never used the internet.

The UK government is committed to upgrading the UK’s digital infrastructure, and Wildanet’s new full fibre digital network is part of a national upgrade taking place across the country.

Chief executive Helen Wylde said: “We believe every person, business and community should have the freedom to access the opportunities high speed broadband provides.

“That’s why we’re investing £50m to build a new high speed digital network across the South West, and we’re delighted to be coming to Totnes and Dartington.

“This will be our first connected community in Devon and we look forward to working with the local community to deliver the service they deserve.

“We’re also supporting communities around the world by planting a new tree for every property our new fibre network passes, which means we will be planting 6,000 trees as a result of the work we’ll be doing in Totnes and Dartington.”

Wildanet is working with its contractors and Devon County Council, which licenses the works, to ensure there is as little disruption as possible while the cabling is buried underground.

The company promises to engage directly with local traders to take account of their needs, especially when the installation reaches Fore Street and High Street.

Wildanet is already rolling out fibre broadband to communities across Cornwall with work completed in Liskeard and Dobwalls, currently under way in Torpoint, Callington and Launceston and shortly starting in Wadebridge, Bude and Pensilva.

The high speed broadband provider recently published independent research which found gigabit capable broadband would pump hundreds of millions of pounds into the regional economy and deliver savings of more than £220 per year to individual households at a time when home budgets are being hit by the escalating cost of living crisis.

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