I have been made aware of discrepancies in superfast broadband speeds in Fenland and have now launched an investigation into the issue.
I was contacted by constituent Roy Jacobs of Wardy Hill, who has encountered problems following the launch of superfast broadband in the hamlet.
Mr Jacobs was among the first to sign up for the service after it was introduced about two months ago, but since then he has been perturbed at the lack of speed with his broadband.
“Superfast broadband is supposed to be at least 18 mps but my service at best is 7.5 mps, my neighbour is getting 15mps and his neighbour is getting 19 mps while the neighbour over the road has just 3.8mps.
“I did speak to a BT engineer about it and he said it was down to the distance I am away from the green box, which houses the fibre optic cabling, which is located in neighbouring Coveney. But that can’t be the case as the person receiving the fastest broadband service is furthest from the box,” said Mr Jacobs.
“BT said I should be getting between 24 and 33 mps which is why I upgraded in the first place. I am paying for a service that I am not getting and distance from the green box seems irrelevant. I have made repeated telephone calls which resulted in a marginal improvement as initially I was only getting 6 mps.
“I fear the main reason why the service is so slow is down to the infra-structure which links the green box to Wardy Hill, I suspect the cabling has not been upgraded for many years and is simply not good enough to cope. A signal booster outside each hamlet could help,” said Mr Jacobs.
Superfast broadband is a vital service that can help boost the local economy, but I am concerned that whilst the rollout programme bringing it to rural areas is progressing there are still issues over speed. I am currently looking into why there should be such a discrepancy among individual households and whether this could be due to outdated infra-structure. If new cabling is needed then that could have major implications for all rural areas and of course raises the issue of funding.