Woeful broadband says survey

The Leveller has written many articles about the failure of Connecting Devon and Somerset to deliver adequate broadband to Somerset. Our research is based around information supplied by the House of Commons Library. There is a further article in our October edition which will be available next week.

In the meantime the Somerset Chamber of Commerce have been doing their own research in conjunction with Truespeed. Asking for feedback from their members, the Chamber of Commerce wanted to know how broadband provision (or lack of it) was impacting local business. Interesting the survey prompted a quarter of their members to respond (this is a very high percentage for a survey response).

The findings accord pretty much with the work done by The Leveller.

Half of the respondents to Somerset Chamber of Commerce’s broadband survey said their poor internet connections were already restricting their businesses – almost 10% said they had no broadband coverage at all, with some firms in Mendip and West Somerset relying on 4G and those in South Somerset turning to satellite provision.

Coverage across the county was patchy and unreliable with 42% of businesses who responded not having a fibre connection. Half experienced daily or weekly drop-outs in their service.

Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber, told us  “It’s clear the current coverage across Somerset is not robust enough to support the growth and development of businesses.

And it is worth reminding ourselves that around £100m of public money has been put into the CDS project. What we have exposed, and this report clearly highlights, is  a poor return for that investment.

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