To receive a verbal presentation from the Economic Development Officer.
The Economic Development Officer provided the Group with a presentation in relation to a recent bid submission regarding rural Broadband provision.
The officer explained that an exciting opportunity existed to apply for funding to enter into a programme to provide a fibre network within Mid Devon. An expression of interest had been made to the relevant funding body as well as details of a discrete project which it was very much hoped if successful could be expanded. The current situation was that whilst some parts of the district received a reasonable service, within other areas, the service provided by commercially, or via the ‘Connecting Devon and Somerset’ programme provided limited coverage. However, demand was high from residents and businesses and the poor coverage was providing a barrier to growth.
Details regarding the proposed project were as follows:
A loop would be created linking the villages between the Link Road and the A377 as well as the Link Road between Crediton and Tiverton along the A3072. Creating a ring was a very resilient way for building a network to enable wider coverage. The principal villages on the loop between the A361 and A377 would be:
Who would benefit?
Why pick this route?
What happens now?
Other key activities
The Group were asked to comment on the following discussion points:
Discussion took place regarding:
· Whether or not there was financial capacity to take the scheme forward and funds that were available;
· Other local authorities and the fact that neighbouring authorities were supportive;
· The fact that transmission points could be added to extend the area of the scheme in the longer term.
It was RESOLVED that joint working with the Economy PDG be proposed as the matter was of such importance to both Groups.
(Proposed by the Chairman)