Rural Broadband Project Enters Final Phase

A trial scheme between Connecting Devon and Somerset and specialist provider Satellite Internet has been set up at it’s third and final location in the village of Broomfield in North Somserset. Funded by Broadband Deliver UK the project looks at finding alternative solutions to get areas up to superfast speeds where they’d otherwise be stuck with a few Mbps max.


            For this trial the ISP Satellite Internet established a high capacity satellite connection connected to a hub in the centre of the village. The hub then broadcasts the connection using point-to-point wireless to all the surrounding residences. A few houses out of range of this connection were given ‘direct to house’ satellite connections.

            Located only 5 miles from the county town of Taunton, Broomfield’s average broadband speed was only 2Mbps prior to the trial and it’s small size meant it wasn’t high on the priority for upgrade. Now that the satellites are in place the average speed has gone up to 25Mbps just reaching the threshold to be considered ‘super-fast’.

            The schemes implementation followed extensive consultation with local residents and the parish council on the location for the satellites and the work that needed to be done to install the network nodes. Broomfield as a location was only chosen 7 weeks before the due date for install so all parties needed to get up to speed quickly to ensure it was a success.

            Previously the nearby villages of Luxborough and Simonsbath had received similar satellite connections which were generally considered a success. 60% of households decided to continue paying for the service after the initial trial period finished. The provider Satellite Internet have said “The effectiveness of the installation and supporting network was an excellent proof point to demonstrate the speed and flexibility with which satellite connectivity can be deployed”.

             The aim of the scheme is to explore alternatives to traditional phone line connections for areas that would otherwise miss out on speedier broadband connections. Utilising ‘Altnets’, smaller suppliers that specialise in different form of connections, this phase focuses on satellites where later trials will involve other connection types.

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