People who cannot even watch videos online have longer wait for superfast broadband
PUBLISHED: 17:00 08 October 2016
Long-awaited improvements to broadband speeds in one of Weston-super-Mare's housing developments are likely to be delayed despite a campaign for BT to take action.
Parts of Weston Village suffer with slow broadband speeds, which are said to drop below five megabits per second. Industry watchdog Ofcom says the UK average is 23 megabits per second.
Internet provider BT had announced its Weston Village cabinet for superfast broadband would be switched on by March 2017 – but residents have now been told they face further delays.
Ward councillors Sarah Codling and Dawn Payne said in March that internet access is a ‘necessity’ for modern families and launched a campaign to lobby BT into taking action. The telecoms giant says the area remains a part of its future upgrade plans.
Cllr Codling said: “I originally launched the campaign for better broadband speeds in the area precisely because so many people told me about their sheer frustration with the appalling speeds and BT’s inaction.
“It is simply inexcusable for providers to neglect a community for so long and then fail to keep their commitment to works. Further delays are completely unacceptable.
“I will be holding BT to account for this and appealing yet again for these long overdue and much needed improvements to be made.”
Cllr Payne added: “This delay is very frustrating, as BT originally assured me the cabinet serving this area would be upgraded between January and March next year.”
Residents say they are unable to watch videos online because it takes so long for their internet to load, and those who could work from home are opting not to.
A BT spokesman said the project in Weston Village has been put on hold while further surveys are carried out.
They said: “We are very sorry for the delay in bringing fibre broadband to people living in the vicinity of Careys Way.
“This upgrade is part of BT’s commercial roll-out of fibre broadband but has been delayed due to a review of the engineering solution.
“We expect work to complete by summer next year subject to survey and planning.”