Two Shropshire Lib Dem Councillors have expressed alarm over the effectiveness of superfast broadband cabinets is several rural localities after doubts expressed by contractors charged with putting them in.

Heather Kidd (Chirbury and Worthen) said: "We have been promised more broadband cabinets for a number of villages such as Clunton and Marton going live in 2017. In theory a cabinet should ensure that everyone within 1.2Km of the box should get Superfast broadband with its promised speed of up to 25mb. What we are now being told by the contractors on the ground is that this may be pointless unless we reroute telephone connections at the same time. This is because we would still be depending on the old copper wire from distant exchanges. Only last week a contractor working in Marton told residents that even when their cabinet goes live in 2017 most of the village won't be able to use Superfast broadband as phones in the village were directly connected to the exchange in Chirbury which still uses copper wire.

This episode begs the questions a) Why put a cabinet in Marton at all and b) If you are running fibre through a village like Marton wouldn't it make more economic sense to install a cabinet at the same time as the Chirbury one was put in??"

Cllr Nigel Hartin (Clun) added: "We have a similar situation in Clunton and a number of other settlements where Cabinets have been promised but there have been no guarantees that they associated infrastructure will be updated to allow the upgrade a significant difference. Residents and business owners have a right to know what will be delivered so that they can plan a future for their Broadband."

Heather and Hartin have now put these concerns to Officers at 'Connecting Shropshire' as a matter of urgency

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Source: Shropshire Liberal Democrats