17th May  Throwleigh Parish Council secretary asked for the following to be published:


The current situation is that “Connecting Devon and Somerset” has brought fibre connections to areas in the parish with cabinet 3 on the Whiddon Down exchange line going live.   Homes and businesses at the postcodes below should check with their Internet Service providers to see if they are or can be connected.

EX202QF, EX202HT, EX202HX, EX202HZ, EX202JF, EX202HU, EX202JA, EX202QE, EX202JB, TQ128HW.

This is an interim measure designed to bring at least 10 Mbps to a property while details of further superfast rollout are finalised.

“Connecting Devon and Somerset” are committed to bringing broadband to everyone within the programme area.   If there any premises that are not in the programme or who are in the programme but are located too far away from the cabinet and are receiving speeds less than 2 Mpbs they are eligible to apply for Connecting Devon’s voucher scheme subsidy (up to £500) which is valid until March 2017 to cover installation of an alternative broadband technology.   For details go to http://connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk/cds-broadband-voucher-scheme/.    The alternative supplier for Dartmoor is Airband. Airband are currently looking at areas of Throwleigh and Gidleigh .   Airband are committed to completing their assignment by the end of this year (2016).


1st May

It looks like the forecast at the bottom of this blog was too optimistic.  The speed we can get falls off rapidly once you get over 1.5km - worse than the graph - probably because of the amount of overhead cable picking up interference - particularly at night.

By the time you get to the letterbox at the top of Shilstone lane the speed is below 10mbit/sec and the end of the lane is not worth having.  Unless BT put repeaters in place the only alternative might be Air Band - more anon

3rd April

I emailed connectingdevonandsomerset.com to let them know their data was wrong.  Received a reply thanking me and saying

it would be updated shortly.

23rd March - Working!

Syncing at 16.479 mbit/sec download and 2 mbit/sec upload.  Seems to be steady.  Speedtest shows 15.5 mbit/sec compared with 4.2  this morning.  So that’ll do me.

Chris Ball, nearer the exchange is getting a download speed just below 30mbit/sec because he is about half the distance from the cabinet compared with me.  Speeds align well with the graph at the bottom of this blog.

And of course connectingdevonandsomerset have just updated their site to say my postcode will be available August 2016!!

I am lost for words

16th March  - Taking Orders

Cabinet 3 is now taking orders.  I live in EX20 2HX and the checker shows a speed of 13.5 - 19.5 mbit/sec download and 1.6 - 3.3 mbits/sec upload.  Ordered - activation due next Wednesday 23rd March.  I shall report results here.

Chris Ball EX20 2HT is nearer the cabinet and his download speed is estimated from 17.8 - 25 mbit/sec.  He has been quoted a guaranteed 19mbit/sec download.

oh yes - none of this is on the ConnectingDevonandSomerset site - which still says end of January 2016!!

9th March 2016

An engineer was working on the box today.  

Nice guy - contractor.  Confirmed the power was all connected - you can see the cable going up the pole near the sewage works - and the trench is filled in.  He was installing all the cards, batteries and other stuff.  Apparently capacity for 105 customers is being provided (out of a total of 128).  All that remains now is for BT to test remotely that it all works and then it can go live.

Significantly the magenta system target date has now changed from May 2016 to April 2016

ConnectingDevonandSomerset site is still saying end of January 2016!!

Now I suppose we just wait ……

18th February 2016

Another day - another van.  This time it is the power men.  They said they had laid the trench in the cable BUT ( isn’t  there always a but) - they had only laid the cable up the field  to the bottom of the pole, near the road to the sewage plant, which has the power on it.  ANOTHER group of power men will be required to actually connect the cable to the power.

No bets as to how many more stages are then required before we can order anything.  Still, visible progress once more.

12 February 2016

More activity!  The trench for the power has been dug across the field.

How exciting is that!  Now we presumably have to wait for it all to be connected up.

Connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk are still saying we shall be connected by January 2016.

27th January 2016  Good news and bad

I passed the fibre cabinet today and there was an engineer!  He said the box was all ready to go apart from the power.

So now we have the gubbins inside.  Note the cardboard box - presumably with a spare rack in case one blows up.

So I looked up our status on ConnectingDevonandSomerset - and it still says Jan 2016

Then I checked the magenta system on


That has now changed to say “FTTC being Connected, live due by May 2016”

Here we go again.  Watch this space for more updates no doubt.

22nd January 2016

Great excitement.  They are blowing a 24 way fibre cable through to the cabinet.  Yes, that’s all the way from the exchange in one go.  Below you can see the manhole near Ash Bridge.  The blanked off bit sticking out is the sheath that has been put in by opening up the manholes in between.  At present the air is being blown through - soon to be followed by the all important fibres.

Almost as important is the news about the power.  Talking to Jackie at Rashleigh Farm - agreement has been reached with the water authorities and the power cable is now due to be laid, one metre deep, across a field to a pole with power on it.  Subject to there being no granite in the way of course.  This is now due to happen 17/18 February - so there goes the January 2016 target on the ConnectingDevonandSomerset website.  We wait to see when it will be updated.

18th JANUARY 2016

The lane has been blocked for several days and something actually seems to be happening.  I visited the closed off area near the exchange and talked to the man in the BT van.  He is indeed laying fibre cable down to the cabinet no 3 at Ash Bridge.  He reckons that the work would be finished by the “end of next week” i.e. 29th January 2016.

 Now we shall have to wait and see if they have got the power sorted!

4th JANUARY 2016

After a long silence in which vicious rumours were flying around that BT was not able to get power to the cabinet because the water company wouldn’t allow them across their land (!?), we now have a sign up saying road closed from 12th January - and a quick check on http://devon.roadworks.org/ shows BT are doing work between here and the exchange.  Could this be the fibre cable to the cabinet going in?  If anyone passes by perhaps they could ask if the power is sorted and email kim@btinternet.com with the answer so I can put it here!

The deadline of January 2016 is still unchanged.


Finally some real evidence of activity.  A new Box has appeared at Ash Bridge - near to Cabinet 3 which serves Throwleigh.

This is a Huawei 128 cabinet.  So soon we might have the same communications as the Shetland Islands - who got

Superfast Broadband today - 15/10/2015


BT has applied to close the road near Ash Bridge between 8th and 23rd October.

Application is to enable “works to fibre network”.  Work being done by Oakway Ltd on behalf of BT.  See application here

We shall wait to see what happens.

JUNE 2015

Now the BT openreach site at https://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/default.aspx?pc=ex202hx


“Enabled area

Your area is enabled for Superfast Fibre but your cabinet is not ready yet so you can't place an order today. It is in our plans to be upgraded and we update this info weekly, so please check back later.”

So maybe it won’t be up to 18 months as this site showed in April 2015

MAY 2015

All change again:  Now the www.connecting devonandsomerset.co.uk site says January 2016 for cabinet 3 and October 2015 for cabinets 1 and 2.  Don’t hold your breath for cabinet 3 - Throwleigh: the rest of Whiddon down was originally March 2015

APRIL 2015

So now we have gone backwards from “Coming soon” to “Planned area” : “Your area is in our future plans and should be enabled in the next 18 months”.  This comes from the “https://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/” site.

The http://www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk site still says we are not even going to be surveyed until the first half of next year and even then the site is full of disclaimers indicating why nothing at all might be provided.

BT engineers have been seen working on the Huawei 96 FTTC cabinet - but obviously not much is happening.


The simple answer is it depends who you talk to.

Taking the post code EX20 2HX - which represents 39 properties along Shilstone Lane:

- If you look at www.connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk it says

 “Your postcode and cabinet are still to be evaluated by Connecting Devon and Somerset

  … Estimate date range for surveys of EX202HX Jan 2016 – Jun 2016

- But if you look at “https://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/

It says “Coming soon.  Your area will be enabled within the next six months and we’ll provide more details nearer the time”.

So who is right and what is happening?

There is some evidence of activity.  In order to have Superfast Broadband, or “fibre to the cabinet"as the engineers call it, there needs to be fibre equipment installed in our local exchange at Whiddon Down:

This cabinet has recently been provided.

So something is going on. Unfortunately most of the village is on Cabinet 3 near Ash bridge:

And for us the green “cabinet” is only a gritting container. So maybe we should take what we hear from BT Openreach

with a pinch of salt!

When it does arrive you can use the following table to work out how fast it might work:

Remember this is the distance from Cabinet no 3 at Ash Bridge. So, for example, the bottom of Shilstone Lane is about 1 km, could expect up to 26 mbit/sec and the other end about 2.1km, around 15mbit/sec.  In practice all would depend on how much slows down in the evening.  Netflix recommend 5mbit/sec for each hd streaming channel so this should be enough for most families.  We wait to see!

When will Throwleigh get “Superfast Broadband”?