BiGDiG - Broadband in Greater Devauden interest Group
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About BiGDiG

What is BiGDiG?

BiGDiG – or “Broadband in Greater Devauden interest Group” – was formed in April 2012 by a group of local volunteers, responding to an invitation from Monmouthshire County Council’s Adventa team to apply for financial assistance in bringing the benefits of faster broadband to Devauden and the surrounding area.

Why is BiGDiG important?

Internet users in Devauden and the surrounding villages experienced download speeds below the minimum level judged by the UK Government and the Welsh Government to be acceptable (2Mbps). As internet services develop, what was once acceptable is rapidly becoming unacceptable. Small businesses in particular need reliable and fast connections for downloading and uploading data.

Devauden is served by the Wolvesnewton exchange, which does not appear in BT’s published plans for roll-out of fibre optic broadband services. If Devauden was allowed to remain a “Not-Spot” for high-speed broadband, this would start to have an adverse impact on property values, as buyers opt for better-connected locations.

Grants of up to £1,000 per household became available from the Welsh Government towards the installation costs of faster broadband infrastructure. In practice, no single householder or business could achieve a fast service at reasonable cost acting alone.

This is where BiGDiG came in. Our aim was to work with all residents and businesses in and around Devauden, assisting with grant applications, negotiating with suppliers and developing a community-wide approach to take us from “Not-Spot” to “Hot-Spot”.

BiGDiG was successful in bringing superfast broadband to Devauden in March 2013 and, as a result, over 100 households are now receiving an improved internet service.

This work is not yet complete and BiGDiG continues to be actively involved in both extending the superfast service to all areas of our community and ensuring the long-term success of the project.

How BiGDiG works

BiGDiG now has a formal constitution and a board of trustees - currently Andy Williams (Chair), Chris Balmer, John Davis, Chris Hall and Peter Kenington. This structure has allowed us to engage with Monmouthshire County Council and to apply for financial and practical assistance from them towards our goal – to bring high-speed broadband to “Greater Devauden”.

We depend entirely on the efforts of volunteers to make things happen. If you think you might be able to help, whether by acting as a trustee or perhaps as a local advocate, please get in touch.