News Column

Devon and Somerset selected as a superfast pilot

June 27, 2014

Celebration for Connecting Devon and Somerset as one of only eight successful bids across the UK Devon and Somerset have been selected as the location of one of eight potential pilot projects to bring superfast broadband to the hardest to reach areas across the country.

Satellite Internet, a specialist satellite Internet Service Provider has secured £175,125 after a successful bid to the Government’s £10 million Broadband Innovation Fund.

The company specialises in bringing satellite to homes and businesses in rural and hard-to-

reach areas all over the UK and Eire. Their successful application was in competition with 38 other bids to test innovative new fixed wireless and satellite technologies.

Announced in December 2013, the Broadband Innovation Fund was set up to explore how alternative technologies could reach areas where extending the fibre network might not be cost effective. These extremely rural locations represent the final 5% of premises across the UK not already covered by the BDUK Superfast Britain programme.

Before the areas for trial can be selected, Satellite Internet will undertake a research phase in partnership with Connecting Devon and Somerset.  If the Government decide that the pilot is feasible, deployment is due to begin in September 2014.

The company will use KA-band satellite for local wireless networks and direct to the customer equipment to bring superfast broadband to the hardest to reach pilot areas

Mike Locke, Satellite Internet’s Managing Director said: "We’re very pleased to be working with Connecting Devon and Somerset to carry out the pilot project for the DCMS/BDUK Innovation Fund. We know from our customers in the region how important good broadband is for their daily life both business and domestic. Our project with Connecting Devon and Somerset will pilot new satellite technology to connect more people to Superfast in the most remote areas and share those results with broadband projects all over the country.”

Councillor David Hall, Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, said:  “It is great news for Devon and Somerset that we are one of only eight areas selected as a pilot location. We are determined that our hardest to reach areas will not miss out on the business and social benefits that access to superfast broadband will bring. If we get the go ahead in September, the scheme with Satellite Internet will build on the work already being undertaken by Connecting Devon and Somerset to look at how we can bring new technological solutions to reach our final 5%.”

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth for Devon County Council, said: “Connecting Devon and Somerset is working hard to bring superfast broadband to our rural areas. Our application to secure the £22.75 million further funding that will help us reach 95% of premises by the end of 2017 will be submitted at the end of this month. There is no doubt that we need innovative technologies to help us reach our most rural areas and we are pleased that the Government has agreed with us.”

More information on Connecting Devon and Somerset can be found at the website:


Notes to Editors:

For more information, visit

For more information on Connecting Devon and Somerset: please contact Julie Everett at Coast Communications on 01579 352600 or email

Most of the programme will be Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology, where the fibre runs from the telephone exchange to a fibre optic street cabinet. It can deliver download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps. These are the top wholesale speeds available from BT’s local network division Openreach, to all broadband service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.  According to regulator Ofcom, the average download speed in Devon is 11Mbps and in Somerset 10.1Mbps.

About Connecting Devon and Somerset

Councils across Devon and Somerset are working together to bring faster broadband to the area and deliver improved broadband to the “final third” – rural areas that are unlikely to benefit from commercial investment in broadband.

The Connecting Devon and Somerset project covers Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Plymouth City Council, Torbay Council, and North Somerset Council areas.

The project has secured £32 million of funding from the government agency Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and both Somerset and Devon County Councils will be putting in up to £10 million each. Further funding from Bath and North East Somerset Council brought the public sector total close to £53 million.  With the £41 million additional investment from BT, Connecting Devon and Somerset is now a £94 million project.

About Satellite Internet

Satellite Internet is a specialist satellite ISP serving homes and businesses in rural and hard-to-reach areas all over the UK and Eire. It was launched in 2001 by a team of people involved in the first IP-over -DVB-S trials in Europe and the development of digital TV and interactive services over satellite. Based in London with a national installation service, Satellite Internet has extensive experience in low -cost satellite broadband for consumers and SMEs and is proud to be SBBS’s partner in the UK for SES Broadband Services (SBBS). Satellite Internet is a division of Limited.

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:

· £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017 · £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities · £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services

Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.

For further information, visit

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