Cambridgeshire housing estate 'struggling with internet speeds of 1 Mbps' header image

Published: 24th Feb 2015

Residents living on a housing estate in Cambridgeshire town claim they have been forced to live with sluggish broadband speeds of just 1 Mbps, which is having a negative impact on their daily lives.

Occupiers of homes on the Summer Field estate in Papworth Everard told Cambridge News that their current provision doesn't allow them to watch online videos or browse the internet during peak times.

According to figures from Cable, those living in the area are indeed putting up with broadband speeds that are a far cry from the national average of 18.5 Mbps.

Tom Pinnock, who has lived on the estate for less than a year, claims that his connectivity is so slow and inconsistent that his family has stopped attempting to use it in the evenings, which is peak time.

"We are sitting here just nine miles out of Cambridge with really poor internet. It's like living in the past," he told the newspaper.

His job requires him to work from home, but the poor broadband provision he has to put up with means Mr Pinnock often has to travel to the local McDonald's to download important documents.

"Considering 1Mbps was slow 15 years ago, the developers must have known residents would get slow speeds," he continued.

Building work on Summer Fields started back in 2011 and is due to be completed by David Wilson Homes, part of Barratt Developments, later this year.

After a lengthy campaign in 2014 - led by resident and ex-councillor Nick Clarke - the property development firm agreed to pay for BT to install a cabinet last October, but it has not yet been connected to the broadband network.

In a statement, Barratt said it understands that effective telephone and internet connections are important to its customers and claimed it had provided all the facilities needed by BT to supply residents with these provisions.

"The actual service and speeds available are the responsibility of the service provider and we have met with BT Openreach to raise the issue," the firm added.

In response, a spokesperson for BT said it is waiting for the power company to confirm an installation date to get the cabinet up and running.

For those in a similar position to the residents of the Summer Field estate, satellite broadband could be a viable alternative. Avonline's Fibre Guarantee means customers can cancel if fibre is installed in their area and they are unable to switch the firm's service.