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Contact Information

Caroline Bizios
4 Divalls Cottages
Woodshill Lane
Ashurst Wood West Sussex
RH19 3RH
Tel: 01342 322568
Click here to email
Glyn Henley
3 Priors Way
Tel: 01342 850254
Click here to email

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September 2013

BT has won the contarct to roll out superfast Broadband in Kent. The objective is to have 95% of homes receiving broadband at gretaer than 2MB by 2015, see KCCplans - click here. However, there are currently NO PLANS to upgrade the Cowden exchange - based on little or no demand. An upgrade to the echange could see speeds well in excess of 2MB for all in the Parish and certainly a lot higher than this for the majority. To register interest in having Cowden exchange upgraded click here and then enter your post code and fill in the ''expression iof interest' to hhow suppliers there's a demand in your area - you can access the form by clicking here. Lets get Cowden faster Broadband.


Joe Midleton advised in Jan 2013 that he had submitted a proposal on behalf of SDC  to get superfast broadband to Cowden, Leigh, Hever, Penshurst and Chiddingstone to DEFRA. SDC anticipate that they will get a response from DEFRA in late February along with what this actualy will mean for Cowden. Please note that it is not clear what , if any benefit, willl be available to Cowden, this is dependent on the conditons of any approvals to the submitted proposal.


SDC has been informed by DEFRA that their Expression of Interest has been approved and SDC have been invited to submit a full application. If SDC submit the full application and meet all the conditions set out by DEFRA then SDC should get access to the funding.This will be quite a lengthy process as this is a very large project and we will be compiling a working group to progress the application over the coming months. We have no specific deadline however DEFRA recommend we submit it within the next 6 months.

So if we want this ffor COWDEN then please go to and vote online then this would be very useful in gettin COWDEN upgraded. Vote to get better BB now


Broadband for residents have identified that the quality of Broadband varies considerably within the Parish, affecting residents and businesses. Register your interest in this matter by contacting the Clerk.

The broadband speed that Cowden obtains is limited by the technology that the telecoms providers install within  the local exchange. The decision regarding the technology and hence capability is a commercial one with income from users dictating if this is a financially sound venture. However there is also a government initiative, as well as district council initiative to improve broadband speeds within Rural Areas, Cowden falls into this Kent County Council category.

Whilst speeds close to either the exchange and / or distribution junction box (Butterwell Hill) should be receiving speeds up to and around 5 MHz this drops off quiet significantly the further you move away - speeds on the periphery of the parish dropping below 1Mhz at times.

In addition to speed comes bandwidth, basically the exchange has a capacity and the more people that are using broadband at the same time so, at a given amount, the speed will reduce. This has a knock on effect for everyone.

DEFRA have recently confirmed their commitment to rural broadband and an activity is being coordinated through Kent County Council to help rural communities obtain a better service. The Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) has been launched in England with confirmed funding of £20m and is now open to Expressions of Interest. The RCBF is delivered as part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). The RCBF is jointly funded by Defra and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). However, we do need to demonstrate a community need and in addition to completing the survey (see below) it is paramount that your interest is also registered through this KCC link   Click Here Cowden Parish Council is exploring the opportunity to participate in these grant schemes, the much publicised Iwade success is one such example of a local community benefitting from these types of initiatives.

Please contact the Clerk if you would like Cowden Parish Council to explore the possibility of an improved broadband service (faster access) via email and / or complete the survey that you can access here and return to the Clerk by post or email.

The Clerks contact details are on the site home page.