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Northamptonshire street still waiting for superfast broadband 3 years after rest of village

Friday, April 10th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

A street in a Northamptonshire village is still waiting for superfast broadband – three years after residents were told it would be just a few months before it was active.

Residents in Springfield Gardens in the village of Deanshanger, still don’t have fibre broadband, despite the rest of their south Northamptonshire village being connected.

Local man Andy Gray said he first contacted BT Openreach in 2012 to ask when his street would get superfast broadband, as it seemed that half of the village had fibre-optic broadband installed three years previously.

He was told that it looked like his local cabinet would be enabled by the end of that year, although it could be rolled over until the early part of 2013.

But Mr Gray said three years on, his street is still without superfast broadband.

“All the streets around me are live yet they seem to have problems with our cabinet,” he told Cable.co.uk.

“It seems that we have been missed as the whole village has fibre but we still do not.

“Various Openreach engineers I have spoken to have all said that they don't see why Springfield Gardens has no fibre as the cabinets are there and should be activated.”

Mr Gray said he currently gets 2Mbps, while surrounding streets get 20Mbps.

“This is fine if the family is using the wi-fi to read emails but if one wants to download music from iTunes it's better to switch to 3G as this is quicker.

“If I want to settle down for a bit of gaming myself after work it can be a bit frustrating if someone else is watching Netflix.”

'Totally missed'

Mr Gray’s neighbour Graham Kemp suffers from the same problem – getting just 1.5Mbps at home, yet speeds of 79Mbps through fibre at the local sports club just 200 yards away.

“It’s literally about 200 yards and they can’t install it,” said Mr Kemp, who is chairman of the Deanshanger Sports and Social Club.

“They’ve even got it across the road at the community centre which is even closer to my place.

“For some reason or other Springfield Gardens has been totally missed.”

Mr Kemp said since they signed up to a fibre connection through TalkTalk at the sports club around a year ago, they receive speeds of 79Mbps – sometimes more.

But at home, they are stuck on 1.5Mbps.

“We can’t even properly watch BBC iPlayer,” he added.

A BT spokesperson said: "The fibre broadband service we installed in Deanshanger has been so popular that our roadside cabinet has reached full capacity, but we’re working hard to expand the cabinet and add extra capacity in the coming months.

”Rolling out fibre broadband is an incredibly expensive and complex business, but around 80% of UK homes and businesses can now access the technology.

"That is a UK success story given the percentage is higher than in Germany and roughly double that for France.

"Plans are also in place to make sure 95% of the UK will have access in the next few years.

“We can understand the frustration of people who don’t yet have access, but many of these people will get access in the next couple of years."

The spokesperson said it is also the case that many people currently have access to "very decent", if not superfast, speeds via the existing copper network, so are able to make full use of the internet.

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