Basingstoke new-build residents excluded from BT broadband plans
Residents of a Basingstoke housing estate have been left to suffer with poor broadband as BT revealed there are no current plans to upgrade the area to fibre.
Average broadband speeds across the 401 properties in the Everest Park development range from 1-3Mbps, far behind the UK average of 17.8Mb.
Local resident Oliver Colenso told Cable.co.uk, “Our broadband is slower than it should be in this day and age. It works but the slow speeds make it frustrating to use, especially when I’m trying to work from home”.
The estate falls outside of Hampshire County Council’s superfast broadband rollout, which aims to reach 95% coverage by 2017. However, a spokesperson for the Council told us the area was part of BT’s commercial rollout.
Mr Colenso said Openreach confirmed this in 2013 and told him in an email that it would be upgrading the cabinet serving the estate in early 2014.
Despite this, the cabinet has still not been upgraded and Mr Colenso has now launched a campaign to encourage BT to bring fibre to Everest Park. “I don’t know if it’s one month away or not coming at all,” he told us.
Local councillor David Potter (Popley East, Labour) is aware of the frustration among residents to secure fast broadband. “The lack of delivery of this by Openreach and the County Council has given rise to many complaints and the new campaign being organized,” he told us.
He added that he will be meeting with residents next week to discuss “what action can be taken to put pressure on the providers”.
“We will be looking at all possibilities and in particular what can be done by the local authorities to financially stimulate and support the providers in the provision of high speed broadband in that area.
“Some of the residents claim that promises about the provision of high speed broadband have not been fulfilled contrary to what was promised when the houses were built and it is unacceptable for Openreach not to have updated their provision over the last 3 years”.
An Openreach spokesperson told Cable.co.uk, “The Everest Park development isn’t included in BT’s current commercial or BDUK roll-out plans for fibre broadband - possibly because it didn’t exist three to four years ago when these were devised.
“It might well be upgraded to fibre under Hampshire County Council’s future plans, but those haven’t been confirmed yet and BT has not been contracted to carry out the work."
The development was constructed in two stages with the first houses built back in 2008 and work completing on the site in January this year.
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