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December Update

Gainsborough Hedge

At the beginning of 2021, a straggly part of the allotment hedge was removed so that it could be replanted, and the new hedge seems to be doing really well! We hope that it will go from strength to strength and form the future home of many creatures!  The photographs show its progress:  February, July and November! (Funny how the November picture looks more ‘summery’ than the July one…!)

High-speed broadband coming to Milborne Port?

The current BT service in Milborne Port is circa 30 MB/s, which is just a little above the barely acceptable minimum, which means that whenever there is a glitch, the village tends to drop below that level; historically we have been somewhat at the back of the queue for upgrades.

Our Deputy Clerk attended the first part of the South Somerset District Council presentation (via Zoom) in early December which disseminated information about what different providers are doing in our area with regard to high-speed broadband.  The main options are summarised below:

  • CDS (Connecting Devon and Somerset – a government-led partnership) – Susie Jones spoke about how CDS has been helping people access broadband provision. The main bodies and initiatives are:  Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme; Community Challenge Programme; Project Gigabit. There is also a Mobile Boost Scheme – residents can apply through the CDS website if they are eligible.
  • Wessex Internet – providers of fibre optic broadband, primarily focused on rural communities. Milborne Port is not included in their initial 3 year roll-out in South Somerset as they focus on communities below 30 megabites per second.
  • Konnect Satellite – satellite providers for those who struggle to access 4G, when ground-based broadband does not work. A satellite dish is required, plus a modem/router, professional installation within 3 weeks. Free trials available until the end of January 2022.
  • Jurassic Fibre – You might well have seen this company working in the village recently, preparing for the roll-out of fibre optic broadband. They have been establishing Point of Presence (PoP) hubs. The PoP sites closest to Milborne Port are now in Yeovil and there will be one in Wincanton. Tim Carty, our Chairman, spoke to someone from the company when they were working here and understood that they have completed a mapping exercise, stage one of a three stage project to offer high speed fibre optic broadband in Milborne Port.  The stage two work they are doing now is to validate the stage one plans. This process has Milborne Port split down into 5 areas, three of which are now surveyed, and they should have the last two (the Tanneries area is one of these) completed shortly. This information is then sent off to head office for sign-off, and once it is done then the village is viewed as ready for implementation in stage three, which is to an extent a commercial decision. All residents will apparently be contacted to see whether they are interested in having high-speed fibre optic broadband installed. If enough people indicate an interest, then that location will be prioritised; prioritised areas are likely to be implemented in 2022, maybe in as little as eight months. If there is limited demand, then Jurassic will likely focus on other locations first; they claim that they can provide broadband from 30 all the way up to 950 megabytes per second. The higher the speed the greater the cost. 

The quality of the broadband in the Parish has been something of a variable feast. If you are totally frustrated then you might wish to opt for Konnect Satellite (or other similar providers) and that is an individual decision, and you may be able to source support from the CDS initiatives. However, both Wessex, and especially Jurassic, are more dependent upon our community as a whole. The more residents, organizations, and businesses in the parish who register an interest, the more likely they are to install high speed fibre optic broadband here. You do not need to wait until asked, just go to their websites and register; make it a New Year’s Resolution! The Parish Council has already done so. There is no commitment to buy.

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