Published: 22nd Jan 2015
Residents from a housing estate in a town in East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, could be forced to pay £30,000 for an internet link after developers left them without super-fast broadband.
Those living on the Woodilee Village estate in Lenzie have spent the last few months campaigning fiercely for super-fast broadband, as many work from home or need the internet for business, the Kirkintilloch Herald reports.
However, the pleas of the 400 residents have been largely ignored and have been left to deal with maximum download speeds of just 2 Mbps and BT Openreach informed the estate that it would not be "commercially viable" for the company to upgrade this service.
According to the newspaper, in a letter from the telecommunications firm to a Woodilee Village homeowner, the consortium of four housing developers - CALA Homes, Miller, Springfield and Persimmon - told BT they wouldn't be willing to pay for the upgrade, despite originally promising residents they would.
However, in response to BT's fingerpointing, the housing developers have passed the book back to the company, saying the responsibility lies with the network operator and not them.
Resident Martin Trotter, who runs his own video production company, said his business relies on broadband and if he can't deliver on time it reflects badly on him. He believes the consortium of housing developers has sold Woodilee Village short as it has not helped plan or coordinate a "key service" for the estate.
“Private funding is a last option. We have done some research and have been told it will cost between £15,000 - £30,000,“ he added.
In a letter addressed to Mr Trotter, Annmarie Cork of BT Openreach described the upgrades as not "commercially viable" and said that at one point her firm discussed it with the housing developers, but they are not willing to pay.
Doug Riddell, on behalf of the Woodilee Village consortium of builders, said that the developers enlisted the help of an engineer to look into the issue of connectivity and he found that there could be changes made to facilitate BT's cabling, but this would not support fibre-optic broadband.
He added: "Funding and installation of the ducting is the responsibility of the consortium, but the responsibility for cabling and accessibility lies solely with BT."
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