Faster broadband on the way for North Devon towns

Local towns to benefit from new exchange upgrade programme.

ILFRACOMBE, Torrington and Combe Martin are set to benefit from faster broadband.

The local exchanges are among 66 South West locations to be included in the latest roll-out of BT’s next generation broadband service, delivered over copper lines. They are due to be upgraded by spring of next year.

The investment will enable download speeds of up to 20Mbps – more than double the speed previously available from BT.

BT estimates that by next spring, 77 per cent of homes and businesses in the South West will be served by an unpraded exchange.

To date, faster broadband is already available in more than 200 communities and more than 1.5 million premises in the region. The latest Devon exchanges to ‘go live’ are Cullompton and Colaton Raleigh.

The upgrade is being carried out in addition to BT’s �2.5 billion roll-out of fibre-based broadband, which will bring even faster speeds to around two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014.

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Ben Rhodes, chief executive of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said: “This kind of major investment has never been more vital. It is an essential part of building a more prosperous region in these economically uncertain times.

“Businesses can use the technology to be more efficient and competitive, while individuals can develop their education and skills for a fast changing world. Efficient, high-speed communications are critical to our future success.”

Jon Reynolds, BT’s South West regional director, said: “The rapid roll-out of faster broadband offers a great opportunity for the South West. It is an important part of BT’s plans to help ensure that the region is able to take full advantage of the communications revolution.

“The technology is having a major impact on our everyday lives and changing for the better the way we live, helping businesses work more efficiently and flexibly and to find new markets.

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