BROADBAND: Sidetracked in the rush

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I read with interest Derek Richardson’s letter outlining the “major achievement” represented by his company in bringing superfast fibre coverage to 97 per cent of north east homes and businesses, (News Post Leader, February 8).

He admits that there is “still work to do”.

As someone who has been asking to be connected to fibre for some years now and is always told that there is ‘insufficient capacity at your local cabinet’, I wonder how many of us have been sidetracked in the rush by BT Openreach to expand over the widest possible geographical area?

I don’t live in a rural village. The infrastructure is already there, waiting to be upgraded.

Many of my friends and neighbours are happily streaming movies, playing computer games and watching smart TV. I, on the other hand, am stuck with a broadband contract that achieves only a trickle of speed (1Mbps), which produces only frustration.

My letter to OFCOM got me nowhere; its stance is that there is, at the moment, no obligation on providers to offer broadband in any form, whether superfast or otherwise.

It did inform me, however, that it is talking to the government about plans to give everyone the right to request a 10Mbps service by 2020.

The providers seem willing to take our money for their service, whether or not it matches up to their claims.

Grafting fibre-optic cable onto a dated telephone system in towns may be difficult, but surely not impossible.

Come on, Openreach, re-visit the urban broadband problem and don’t hide behind your reassuring statistics.

Alan Storey