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West Winch residents left with ‘inferior’ broadband after work delayed




West Winch village sign
West Winch village sign

A West Winch resident has claimed some villagers receive a “second class service” of broadband as work to improve it is yet to be completed.

Duncan Garford said a number of those living in West Winch still have ‘faster broadband’, an inferior product to ‘high speed broadband’, which is enjoyed by the majority of residents.

He said: “Most of West Winch now has access to ‘high speed broadband’ with speeds exceeding 50Mbps (megabits per second).

“However, for those of us unfortunate enough to live in the last six dwellings of South East Hall Lane, Gravel Hill Lane, Pine Tree Chase, Oak Avenue and Popular Road, it is only possible to access an inferior product known as ‘faster broadband’.”

Mr Garford said this has expected download speeds of only 7 to 12Mbps.

The reason for this, he said, is due to the 1,500 metre length of copper cable, which takes the route along Gravel Hill Lane to the A10, along the A10 and down Long Lane to the broadband cabinet near the junction of Long and Hall Lanes.

Mr Garford said: “There is a simple solution to this. The line passes very close to the broadband cabinet located at the top of Gravel Hill Lane – an average run of about 350 metres.

“It would be a relatively simple task for Openreach (part of BT) to re-route the cable through this box and provide access to full ‘high speed broadband’.”

Openreach were due to start the re-parenting work between October and December of this year, but this has been delayed until March.

Mr Garford said: “There is a concern that Openreach simply do not want to carry out the re-parenting and will continue with delaying tactics.”

A spokesman for Better Broadband for Norfolk, which had arranged for the work to take place, said the speed a property has access to depends on its distance from the cabinet which serves it.

The existing cabinet in West Winch was fibre-enabled as part of the first rollout, he added.

“The work to re-parent the line to a new closer cabinet in order to provide access to faster speeds is included in the current rollout.

“The work is scheduled, and it had been expected it would be completed by the end of the year, but a delay has occurred which now means it will be re-parented by the end of March.

“The resident has been kept informed, I understand delays are frustrating, however sometimes on a programme of this scale delays can occur.

“Overall Better Broadband for Norfolk has provided access to Superfast broadband for more properties than expected, earlier than contracted throughout the rollout.”

He said in West Norfolk the percentage of properties with access to Superfast broadband has increased from 28 per cent at the start of the rollout in summer 2013, to 89 per cent at the end of this September.

“By the completion of the rollout in early 2020 coverage will have reached 93 per cent. As further funding becomes available further coverage will be possible.”



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