Rattery Business and Telecommunications Advisory Group

South Hams Businesses - Consultation on South Hams District Council's Budget 2018/19
As part of the annual budget setting process, South Hams and West Devon Councils have a statutory duty to consult with businesses on the Councils' Budget Proposals for the next financial year.

The Council would like to capture the views of businesses electronically (as we did last year) and we have designed a short questionnaire with five questions for this purpose.
We would be grateful if you could spare five minutes to share your thoughts. The survey will close on Friday 16 February and the results will be shared with all Councillors.

Click here to go to survey

Planning for the Future of our Businesses
South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council.
As part the ongoing work towards the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan, South Hams and West Devon Councils are currently gathering information that can help them to understand the future need for commercial land and premises in our area.
So if you own a business and think you might need bigger premises, more land or you might want to move into the South Hams or West Devon in the future, please take five minutes to fill in our short survey. You will be helping us prepare for your future needs.

Click here to go to survey


Since being established to help help deliver commitments in the Parish Plan, the Parish Council’s Business and Telecommunications Advisory Group has continued to pursue improved Broadband services for the parish.  Late last year there was a meeting with Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS), the organisation set up to deliver next generation broadband infrastructure to areas where the market has failed to invest, and this provided further information about their plans.  Below is a summary of what has been learned:

The existing BT / Open Reach system

Because it is based on copper wire, the current BT/OpenReach system cannot provide fast broadband speeds.  At one stage it was thought that BT might be prepared to bring a fibre cable to the cabinet at Almshouse Cross, using the underground ducting that already exists.  If that were to happen then households supplied from the cabinet would be able to access fast broadband via the Open Reach network.  Unfortunately, more recently it has become clear that this will only be possible if a substantial financial contribution is made by the community.  Given the relatively limited scope of such a solution this is not something that is currently being pursued.

Fixed Wireless Internet

Fixed wireless is the broadband of choice in a number of countries including South Africa, Italy, America, Australia and many others.  The technology is generally reliable and is not affected by the weather because the signal only covers very short distances.  Fixed wireless provider Airband Community Internet Ltd. have erected two masts in the Parish (one on Culver Lane, the other close to Willing Cross) and to date approximately 30 households in the Parish have signed up to receive the service.  Premises that are within “line of sight” of one of the two transmitters can expect to obtain high speed broadband of up to 30Mbs; to establish whether you can obtain a signal, log on to Airband’s website (www.airband.co.uk) and enter your address in the checker.  The website contains information about the services that are available, including a video demonstrating how it works.  It should be noted that a number of teething problems have been reported, many of which are believed to be the result of power supply issues.  Airband are aware of these difficulties and it is hoped that their service will become more reliable as the problems are resolved.

4G cellular network

4G is a relatively easy way of quickly gaining a faster internet connection. It works by using the well-established 4G mobile phone network to access broadband services.  4G technology is offered by most of the mobile phone companies, with experience suggesting that at present EE seem to offer the best 4G coverage in this area.  However, the Vodafone network has recently been upgraded and this may provide a viable alternative.  Both companies have conducted preliminary surveys which show good coverage over most of the parish but with weak reception in the low-lying part of the village centre. If you are considering the 4G option then supplying companies will conduct an individual survey before you agree to installation.

Its worth noting that no 4G network offers an unlimited data option making usage potentially more expensive than indicated by the advertised monthly figures. With any capped service such as 4G, care needs to be taken to avoid accidental data usage, such as switching iPlayer to standard definition rather than HD and avoiding automatic cloud photo backups. You could start on a 30 day flexible contract to establish data usage and then upgrade to a 12 month contract. Some users opt to maintain their phone line broadband service and use this for overnight cloud uploads.

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

Once available FTTP potentially offers the fastest broadband option, with speeds of 50 - 100Mbs promised.  CDS have recently awarded a contract to Gigaclear Ltd to deliver ultrafast fibre broadband as part of their programme and they have confirmed that Rattery is included within Lot 6 (South Moor) of the implementation programme.  This is scheduled to be delivered during 2019.  Gigaclear’s website makes it easy to check whether your address is included within their rollout plans and if so provides the opportunity to register your interest in order to receive updates on progress.   We’d recommend as many people as possible register interest at this stage as this doesn’t imply any commitment on your part but should help to reassure Gigaclear (which is a commercial operation) that there is likely to be demand for their service once it becomes available. 

Next steps

Through discussion and correspondence with CDS it has been made clear that the position is continuing to evolve as further funding streams become available.  In the circumstances the Advisory Group will aim to update this page frequently in order to reflect the latest available information.  The up to date status of CDS’s delivery plans can be found by visiting their website.

January 2018