Ashton Hayes community 'without broadband for third time in year' header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

Villagers from Ashton Hayes in Cheshire are furious that their broadband and phone lines have been cut off for the the third time in a year, due to no fault of their own.

The community has been plagued with broken phone lines and no internet connection on more than one occasion since July 2014, the Chester Chronicle reports.

These issues have had a knock-on effect on the entire town, leaving businesses unable to operate properly, students struggling to study and complete assignments, and pensioners scared that their panic buttons weren't working.

Service provider BT claims that the problem was caused by a broken cable, which was reportedly fixed before Christmas last year. However, the community says they are still experiencing problems when trying to access their broadband, which is causing massive disruption in their everyday lives.

One resident told the newspaper: "BT is our service provider and from last Wednesday, our broadband has been down more than it has been working. We were away at the weekend, but when we returned, we had no service for much of Tuesday (May 19th).

"Two of us work from home so you can imagine it has been extremely disruptive to our business, not just an inconvenience."

He explained that the community hasn't just had to deal with a slowdown in speeds, but a stop-and-start service, interrupting everything they try to do on the internet.

More than a dozen villagers have reported their broadband access problems to BT, complaining that it takes too long to achieve a connection at all. Some have been told by the firm that the issues they are experiencing won't be resolved until the end of May at the earliest.

Another resident who has been battling with lacklustre connectivity explained to the Chester Chronicle that the community has effectively been cut off from communicating with the rest of the world, which has had negative consequences for families, schools and businesses.  

He added that BT have become difficult to deal with, as they are failing to keep residents updated, not giving meaningful advice and are being generally inconsistent. Furthermore, the town has experienced other major faults over the last few years and the firm has neglected to make any repairs.

A spokesperson for BT told the newspaper that each complaint is being seen to individually to find out what needs to be done to resolve the broadband problems currently facing the community.