Two years on and fast broadband still out of reach for some homes

Published on: 25 Feb 2016

By Rebecca Day
Cheswick Village thought that its troubles with internet access were over.
Fibre broadband was finally installed early last year after many local residents were left in the dark ages with slow internet speeds.
But a new problem has arisen – there’s now not enough capacity in the fibre cabinets for people wanting to upgrade to superfast speeds.
According to the broadband provider BT Openreach, cabinets 14 and 28 which serve the estate, have reached their full capacity and the equipment needs to be upgraded, to meet the demand.
It is expected that residents will be able to order fibre broadband from July this year.
Sejal Hampson, a local resident and campaigner, has referred to the situation as “unacceptable” and “disappointing”.
She said: “The estate I live on has 1,000 homes and I know of at least 50 homes personally who are having issues.
 “Some potential customers who want to upgrade to fibre have been chasing their communications providers for months about when they will be able to offer fibre products.
“They have all been given the same message that they are waiting for Openreach to increase the capacity on the boxes.”
A new housing development is also being built in Cheswick for around 100 dwellings, which will only increase the demand, says Mrs Hampson.
A spokesperson from BT Openreach said: “The cabinets are full, but there is a proposal to [upgrade the equipment] which is awaiting financial approval.
“If approved, it will take approximately six months and we would expect it to be ready to accept new orders by July 2016.
“I suggest residents continue to keep checking our website (www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when) at regular intervals for an estimated date.”

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