BT 'refused to tell MP about broadband plans' header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

BT has refused to tell an MP about its plans for the rollout of super-fast broadband in his constituency.

This is according to Steve Webb, MP for South Gloucestershire, who told SouthWestBusiness the organisation was unable to tell him what sort of speeds are available in the areas already served by the rollout.

"I sat in my office in Yate with a man from the council and a man from BT and asked the question ... the man from BT phoned his head office and the message came back that he was not allowed to tell me," he stated.

"We want to know the actual number of people who are getting the superfast speeds of 24 Mbps," the politician added.

The subject of broadband in South Gloucestershire has proved particularly controversial in recent weeks, with a number of reports highlighting the anger of local residents at the lack of connectivity in the area.

A meeting was held in the village of Horton on Thursday (September 25th), giving local people a chance to discuss their grievances with representatives from BT and South Gloucestershire Council. 

Some residents claimed that even though the rollout has reached their area, they are too far away from the nearest cabinet to feel any benefit. Frustrations were expressed about the lack of information on the super-fast project and the fact some suburban areas have received a faster service ahead of rural communities.

The subject of broadband in the countryside has recently been discussed by Tristan Cork, a resident of White Lion Park in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, who has written about the issue for the Western Daily Press.

He claimed improving connectivity in rural areas is about "equality" as much as speed and warned rural communities could fall behind their urban counterparts without a better level of internet access.

Mr Cork claimed children in villages are often receiving a lesser standard of education, particularly at home, due to a lack of reliable broadband.