Seven rural towns and villages have been named as the first communities to benefit from the major £94 million scheme to get superfast internet.
By the end of this year, high-speed fibre optic broadband will start to become available in:
- Sticklepath (near Okehampton)
- Bradford on Tone
- Bishops Lydeard
- Creech St Michael
- Monkton Heathfield (near Taunton)
Construction work for Sticklepath and Bradford on Tone has started three months early.
By early 2014, 15,000 homes and businesses in these areas will benefit from the new technology.
It is estimated that about 400,000 kilometres of optical fibre will need to be laid.
The first phase of the programme will also include extending fibre broadband in Taunton and Bridgwater, most of which have already been upgraded.
– Councillor David Hall, Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council
High speed fibre broadband is a key driver of economic growth and development. It has the potential to transform our rural businesses and communities, improve productivity, and enable business to access new markets while breaking down the digital divide within our communities. It will also improve and transform the delivery of public information and services.