You may remember in 2016 we ran a blog tracking the somewhat tortuous progress of providing FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) Broadband to this area.  The page is shown here

Well now we have to start again, because it appears that the service in many areas is still very much lacking.  As an example we are focussing on Shilstone Lane - EX20 2HX.  The story so far is below:

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Shilstone Lane is over ¾ mile long (>1200 Metres) and is exclusively covered by post code EX20 2HX.

Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) list 39 properties in this area under their “where and when” checker. OF these 4 can have superfast broadband, those nearest the cabinet, which is some way out of the village. There is one (Browne’s Chocolates) at the other end of the lane which is also shown as available - this must be an error.

Airband claim to cover 10 of the properties.  However, with their alleged recent discovery that there are trees on Dartmoor it seems that many, if not all, of these properties cannot be covered.

The remainder are classified as “Out of Programme - Potential Uplift”.  Many of the properties are receiving very slow service.  Some are even paying for “superfast” broadband and getting about 5 mbit/sec in the evening.  So 89% (34 out of 38) of the postcode are not able to get the service which is advertised on the BT cabinet.

The parish council and parishioners have met with BT and Airband on numerous occasions, but despite a helpful manner, no written replies were received and nothing has been done.

So it is time to take further action and escalate matters.

14th August 2017 First, at his invitation,  a letter was written to Matt Barrow of CDS see here . It included an Annex detailing all the communication so far: plans for a further cabinet which were abandoned, discussions about Airband availability which resulted in no action, and a vague mention of possibilities of funding beyond phase II as a result of money returned from BT, but with no visible methodology or action.

20th September 2017  The matter was discussed at the Throwleigh Parish Council meeting and the clerk was asked to pursue further since no reply had been received from Matt Barrow.


6th Ocober 2017.  After writing to Mel Stride our MP the following reply was received (line spaces removed for web publication).

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From: STRIDE, Mel [mailto:mel.stride.mp@parliament.uk]

Sent: 06 October 2017 13:57

Subject: Throwleigh broadband

Dear Julie,

Thank you for your letter on broadband in the parish

 I have written to Connecting Devon and Somerset to ask whether it has a response to your letter of 14 August.  Additionally, I have asked in particular for advice on the impact of a new cabinet, whether there is an up-to-date map of provision and what advice is available to those not currently receiving superfast broadband.

 As soon as I have a response I will be in touch and I will then be happy to make further enquiries as appropriate.

 In the meantime, do let me know if you have any further concerns.

 With best wishes,

 Mel

 Rt Hon. Mel Stride MP

Member of Parliament for Central Devon

Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

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9th November 2017  - after chasing we got this:

Dear Julie,

 

Thank you for your email. I apologise for not being in touch before now.

 

I contacted Matt Barrow at CDS on Monday. He apologised for the delay in the implementation of a faster broadband connection and advised that CDS have been in discussion with providers but progress waits on BDUK’s announcement for Phase 2 on the 14th November. I am sorry not to be able to provide a more concrete response but please be assured that I continue to make enquiries with CDS and will let you know of any further updates I receive.

 

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

 

With best wishes,

Mel

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So what was the announcement on 14th November - well nobody knew and we couldn’t find out.  So after a number of phone calls - yup - you guessed it - we have another meeting with Matt Barrow on 8th December in response to Matt’s email which said “ I have been working on a variety of ideas that may benefit Throwleigh – difficult to give you any detail just now, but I would hope to be able to share them with you next week.”

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When will Throwleigh get “Superfast Broadband”?