Monday, 30 November 2020

Villagers set to miss superfast internet access

CRAZIES HILL is set to miss out on superfast broadband.

CRAZIES HILL is set to miss out on superfast broadband.

Ninety per cent of homes in Berkshire are due to have access to fibre-optic broadband by the end of the year under the Superfast Berkshire intitiative with BT.

Broadband cabinets for several streets in Wargrave have already been connected, providing speeds of up to 24 megabits per second.

But the cabinet that serves Crazies Hill will not be updated as part of the multi-million pound programme, meaning residents will be left with broadband speeds of as little as 2Mbps.

At a meeting of Wargrave Parish Council on Monday, chairman Richard Bush said: “Cabinet three, which is at the bottom of Wargrave Hill and supplies Crazies Hill, is not going to be changed as part of the programme and as far as I can see there are no plans to do that in the future.” Councillor Bush, who lives in Crazies Hill and works at the Spring Meadows business centre at Highfield Farm, said the current service was poor and residents wanted it improved.

He said: “At home I get a reasonable enough reception to do all I need to but at the business centre it’s pretty poor, 1Mbps or less.

“I understand that the feeling from the residents’ association is that all is not well with the service currently and they rather hoped they would be included.

“Quite a lot of money has been given to the county to make sure 90 per cent of the area is covered by superfast broadband.

“There’s people who want a better service and don’t know why they weren’t included in the programme.” Councillor Philip Davies said: “There’s a feeling that Crazies Hill is being left behind.

“Broadband is part and parcel of the future of the country â?? it’s what gets industry going and without it you can’t compete in the world today.

“We are struggling to get 2Mbps, which is ridiculous when you think of the millions of pounds given by the Government to get broadband installed.”

Dave Smith, who lives in Crazies Hill, said: “The service is moderate as it is and we could certainly do with superfast broadband.

“As far as I and most of the residents are concerned, it would be a mistake not to include the village because most of us would take it up.”

Superfast Berkshire, which is a government-subsidised programme launched in 2001, says it is considering installing broadband in the area by 2017.

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