LETTER: THE continuing struggle to drag Somerset into a 21st Century Broadband friendly existence looks set to go on after Connecting Somerset & Devon (CDS) abandoned their negotiations with BT in June with the reasons given that BT were not providing value for money and they could not guarantee what the end result would look like.

No contract will be awarded now until October 2016 at the earliest.

Local Pressure Group Broadband for Rural Devon & Somerset (B4RDS) points out that there is a government target to deliver 2MBPS Broadband (Superfast Broadband is a minimum of 24MBPS) to 95 per cent of residents within the two counties by the end of 2016. Even if this ‘pitiful’ aim is the national average, a lot of Somerset residents won’t even get this.

A prime example locally is that of Stoke St. Gregory where 30 per cent are even without even access to fibre connection!

This absurdity is not untypical on the ongoing lack of progress in implementing a sophisticated fibre network which is supposedly ‘cheaper per metre than toilet paper’ yet even in 2016 many places continue to rely on copper circuitry designed in a Victorian era.

Though Somerset County Council has confirmed Somerset is on target to hit 90 per cent by the end of the year, it simply means the Conservative administration has just doubled the number of households which will not receive broadband and now one in ten will never be connected.

Our very own MP Rebecca Pow lives in the rural community herself yet has failed to ever address this serious issue.

CHRIS BOOTH Taunton Deane Lib Dem Party Organiser