Meanwhile elsewhere in Shropshire…
Shropshire Councillor for Chirbury and Worthen , Heather Kidd, is urging Shropshire Councill to review their contract with BT in the light of the poor results of their recent ‘superfast broadband’ upgrades across the County.
Heather said “In the villages in my part of the world superfast broadband has been a huge disappointment for many. I’m getting complaints in from villages along our valley from Worthen through to Chirbury. Both villages that supposedly went ‘live’ with Superfast broadband cabinets in September.
ONLY SOME BENEFIT
“Although the new cabinets have delivered for some, many are seeing little or no increase in its performance. The main problem is that many residents are simply not connected to the new broadband cabinets. Instead many, perhaps a majority are still connected to the old fashioned exchange in Chirbury or Worthen using copper wire technology. If they are they simply do not have access to superfast speeds but are stuck with awful broadband performance. In our part of Shropshire ‘Superfast’ is rapidly becoming a sick joke.
“The next phase in 2017 to villages such as Marton in 2017 doesn’t look any more promising as Connecting Shropshire are refusing to say what proportion of properties in these villages will be connected.
“It’s clear to anyone that until the copper is upgraded or homes are connected directly to the Cabinets then superfast will simply not happen for many in rural Shropshire.
“Over the past year, the public money invested in the superfast broadband market has seen provision improve across England. However there is still a large swathe of rural areas like parts of Shropshire that are falling behind in the superfast revolution.This is even more pronounced at ward level where in some cases whole villages (such as Priest Weston and Stiperstones) can be cut off from superfast speeds- or indeed any broadband. This digital divide could become even more significant in the near future if hard to reach areas are excluded from the Government’s ambition to rollout ultrafast broadband of at least 100Mbps to premises across the country.
“Intelligence gathered by the Local Government Association from councillors across England has suggested that councils are increasingly dissatisfied with the current BT-led deployment model and its associated technologies, which they argue are ill suited to the roll out of superfast broadband to hard to reach rural areas. As the first and second roll out phases edge closer to completion, the sector is approaching a crucial milestone in its efforts to achieve 100% superfast broadband provision.
“BT was paid a huge sum from the European Union (via BDUK) to connect as many properties as possible- up to 98%- not just a selective few. There is a concern that when measuring availability of superfast Broad band it will be measured as the presence of a cabinet and not who can benefit from it.
Given that other companies are quoting the same connection service at a third of the price* for phase 2 of the connection programme, I am strongly urging Shropshire Council to review BTs performance so far on the grounds of both cost and quality.”
* Local Government Association, People and Places Board 22nd October 2015Published and promoted by Shropshire Liberal Democrats, 72 Cannon Street, Shrewsbury, SY2 5HH
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Source: Shropshire Liberal Democrats