'We're living in the dark ages'
Sluggish broadband speeds have left some Lincolnshire families in the ‘dark ages’ – despite many homeowners being just yards away from people with superfast speeds. One family say they had to wait more than three months just to get a phone line installed in their property on a new estate in Boston, with the resulting speeds from a new copper line not able to meet their needs. While another angry homeowner, who lives just two miles away from the centre of Lincoln, has been left with speeds under 1mb.
Lincolnshire County Council revealed 10,500 properties in remote locations will not be connected to superfast fibre broadband because they are too rural.
But readers have contacted Lincolnshire Live to say, it’s not just those in the middle of the countryside who are currently left out in the lerch.
Some homeowners in more rural areas are currently out of look
Richard Smith, who lives in Riseholme Lane near Lincoln, said: “Our computer download speed is slightly under 1Mb – 0.87Mb to be exact – so our new “smart” TV is unable to give us the full range of programmes it should. “However, less than 100ft from our homes going down the lane, there is a superfast internet cable going to Lawress Hall and Riseholme College.
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“There is no date given as to when we will be connected and BT are very vague in their forecasting as to when we will have access to superfast internet. “Apparently 94 per cent of the county has access to superfast speeds and by 2019 that figure should be 97 per cent.
“Somehow I am very sceptical of those figures especially after talking to people who live in properties in much more remote areas of the county. “As a country, we are lagging far behind our European neighbours when we should be leading the way.”
David Barton, who lives in a new state in Moorhen Close in Boston, said more than 100 families in his area have poor speeds. He said: “We moved into our new build property in July 2016 and there was no services available at all, no phone line was even installed.
People have said their internet is unstable
“We chased BT for when the services would go live and when we could place a broadband order, as before we moved in we were told we could take our fibre service 76/18 with us once we moved in.
“However, this was not the case and in fact it took Openreach until the November to get a working phone line installed. Then to our surprise only a copper line was installed!
“We have since then been stuck on a 6mb service with less than 1mb upstream that is unstable and doesn’t meet the needs of the family or the families living down the estate, of which there are 100 plus. “We have two children who use the internet for socialising with school friends online in games and for learning and completing homework, I am disabled and use the internet for films/gaming and my wife likes to browse the news.
“The current service simply isn’t capable of supporting our needs or those of other families in the estate.”
The county council has rolled out better services to thousands of homes
Lincolnshire County Council has spent around ?30 million on boosting speeds in recent years. Bosses say they are exploring other ways to provide better speeds to people in black spots across the county.
Steve Brookes, onlincolnshire programme manager, said: “Although 94 per cent of the county now has access to superfast broadband, we recognise there are still places without it. “So we are currently working on further improvements that will take coverage to 97 per cent by the end of 2019.
“The plans for West Lindsey are currently being drawn up and could include Riseholme Lane. “In terms of the new estate in Boston, this is outside of the area our project is allowed to work in. “Where new developments are concerned, it is up to the developer to work with BT to provide faster broadband at the time of building the homes.
“This facility has been available to developers for some years, although it is has not always been taken up.
“The good news is that BT now has a new scheme to retrospectively upgrade all new developments under their own commercial operations.”
Lincolnshire Live has contacted BT for comment.