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Family stuck with ‘shocking’ broadband a year after superfast upgrade promise

Monday, July 20th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A BT customer is stuck with “shocking” broadband that drops out several times a day despite her village being promised an upgrade to fibre 12 months ago.

The problem is made worse by the fact Carol El Hawary lives in a mobile not-spot – an area with little or no mobile phone coverage.

BT has been promising to upgrade the Scottish coastal village of Garmouth to superfast broadband for more than a year, Mrs El Hawary told Cable.co.uk.

But despite repeated requests, neither she or her parents have been able to find out when the upgrade will happen.

Mrs El Hawary, 50, is staying with her parents Jean (pictured) and Gordon Rae, who are both in their 70s.

“My dad has called BT about it. He called to upgrade to the unlimited package and took the opportunity to ask them about superfast. They were non-committal.”

Poor mobile coverage in the area makes an unreliable broadband service all the more frustrating, Mrs El Hawary said.

“It is very important for them. They are very reliant on it because they have a landline but that’s about it – there is no mobile signal around here.

“Vodafone is the only mobile network you’ve got a chance of getting here, and that’s really poor.

'Falling over'

“They have Vodafone Sure Signal but that relies on the internet, so when that drops out there is no mobile signal either. It drops out several times a day – it’s shocking.”

Sure Signal boxes use a broadband connection to provide a mobile signal, and are used by customers in places where they cannot get a signal.

Mrs El Hawary said she finds it impossible to have a Skype conversation with her husband, who lives in Egypt, because the internet “keeps falling over”.

She is also worried about being able to contact her parents when she moves to Cairo next month.

"It's going to be a nightmare trying to keep in touch using broadband methods like Skype, Whatsapp and Viber."

She added that broadband speeds got noticeably worse last week after Scottish schools finished for the summer.

“I wouldn’t mind so much if they could tell us what is wrong. We don’t know what the problem is.

“They sent an engineer a while ago and they just said it was too much traffic. The whole village suffers from it, as far as I know it is anyone on the Spey Bay exchange.”

Cable.co.uk approached BT for a comment, but one had not been provided at the time of publication.

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