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Ultrafast broadband plan 'unfair' to 7,000 left behind with poor speeds, says MP




Jo Churchill MP at a meeting with Openreach chief executive in January. Picture: Mecha Morton.. (2766198)
Jo Churchill MP at a meeting with Openreach chief executive in January. Picture: Mecha Morton.. (2766198)

A BT Openreach plan to boost those on superfast broadband to 'ultrafast' speeds has been criticised by an MP for making those with inadequate services feel 'left behind' again.

Openreach announced on Monday that Bury St Edmunds is one of 59 new areas to get ultrafast GFast broadband

While welcoming the improved services for those who can get it, Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket MP Jo Churchill urged Openreach to make those who cannot get decent speeds feel they are being listened to.

The company says the new network is more secure and reliable than existing technology. It uses software that can detect and fix issues before customers even notice and provides a faster, more stable service.

It also provides enough additional capacity to ensure broadband connections to homes and businesses are able to support future data-hungry services.

A BT Openreach engineer working on broadband connection (2716917)
A BT Openreach engineer working on broadband connection (2716917)

Kim Mears, Openreach’s infrastructure development director, said: “Britons are using their home broadband connections more than ever – consuming more than double the amount of data than they did three years ago.

"A mass of new apps and services which demand higher quality broadband connections are finding their way into our homes and businesses.

"That’s why we’re constantly investing in upgrades to the network, to make sure we stay a step ahead of that demand.”

But Mrs Churchill said: "This announcement is good news for those homes and businesses with superfast broadband, who will now receive an upgrade to ultrafast.

"However, for the approximately 7,000 homes across Bury and Stowmarket still without adequate speeds, this simply isn’t fair.

"Following this announcement, it is not lost on me the sense that homes and businesses struggling to achieve basic connectivity, are again being left behind."

She said she would discuss it with Openreach chief executive,Clive Selley when they meet in August.

Openreach says is ‘Fibre First’ programme aims to run superfast fibre cables from exchanges to three million premises by the end of 2020 and to the majority of British homes and businesses by the mid-2020s.



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