North-east villagers have broadband complaints header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

Residents of a north-east village are unhappy with the situation surrounding their broadband service. 

People living in Oakenshaw, near Willington in County Durham, have recently switched to BT fibre broadband, only to find the speeds delivered are much slower than was promised, the Northern Echo reports.

Local resident Chris Tapp told the newspaper BT had said its service would provide a minimum speed of 24.1 Mbps, when in reality he is only getting a connection of 6.7 Mbps.

"The line was in a fault state from day one. It went up to about 14 Mbps but soon dropped back down to six Mbps," he stated.

"Before I switched I was getting 11 Mbps and it was £150 a year cheaper. With the broadband from BT the work I was sending from home was taking 15-20 minutes to go through," Mr Tapp added.

John Spencer, chair of the Oakenshaw Community Association, said the problem is a result of the upgrade to fibre only happening at a data cabinet in Willington that is 1.6 km away. He claimed Oakenshaw is only connected to this using existing old cables. BT has apologised for the poor speeds and said it is looking into the cause of the problem.

In other local broadband news, a council-led scheme in Dorset is to be abandoned at significant cost. The Dorset Public Sector Network, which currently supplies broadband to a number of areas in the county, went live in July 2012, but has exceeded its budget by some £340,000.

Take-up of the service has also been lower than expected and will lead to the network eventually becoming "defunct", local newspaper the Daily Echo reports. 

However, it will continue to go over budget by a further £200,000 until the contract between Dorset County Council and contractor Kcom comes to an end in 2018. The project currently costs around £1.1 million per year and the success of the scheme was dependent on a much higher level of uptake than has been achieved.