Row breaks out over slow internet speeds

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RESIDENTS of a newly-built estate say they have been left in the ‘dark ages’ as their homes cannot be connected to superfast broadband – despite being in the heart of the city.

Hundreds of residents of the Guardians Gate development, off Locksway Road in Milton, have been caught in the middle of a row over who should foot the bill for fibreoptic cables to be laid.

Developer Bellway Homes, which starting building the 191-home estate in 2013 and is due to finish shortly, say residents should pay the £10,000 fee that BT Openreach want to charge.

The residents have become so enraged, they have formed a residents’ association and have contacted their MP.

Chris Green, secretary of Guardians Gate Residents Association, said: ‘In this day of digital inclusion, it’s unbelievable that two major companies would leave a significant digital not-spot in the middle of a major city.

‘Superfast broadband is no longer considered a luxury but a standard household utility service.

‘The incremental cost of laying fibre when the original telephone lines were installed would’ve been insignificant, instead BT and Bellway chose to leave 400 residents with out-dated services.’

He said the typical download speeds are between 2 Mbps and 4 Mbps with regular peak time speeds dropping to a speed below 1Mbps.

A spokesman at Bellway said: ‘With advancements in broadband technology since the development of Guardians Gate, we understand residents are now wishing to upgrade their broadband connection to achieve greater speeds. While we are aware of this desire, as the service is not provided by Bellway, we have no control over either the quality or provision of broadband services.’

A BT spokesman said: ‘We understand how frustrated the residents of Guardian Gate are that they do not have fibre broadband yet.

‘We are working in collaboration with Bellway to take a wider look at all their sites in the region to find a way to deliver fibre at a lower cost. We are hopeful that we can come up with a proposition that works for everyone.’

The association has started a petition calling for action. To sign go to change.org/p/bellway-high-speed-broadband-for-guardians-gate

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