Friday, 19 April 2019

Rollout of broadband programme delayed

A BROADBAND rollout programme covering parts of Wargrave and Charvil has been delayed.

Superfast Berkshire was launched in 2013 with the aim of providing superfast broadband to 99 per cent of the county by September 2019.

Providers BT and Gigaclear are currently installing broadband boxes in the Wargrave area but say the project is now unlikely to be completed before the end of next year.

They blamed a lack of engineering capacity in the broadband industry and Gigaclear’s large number of commitments.

Wokingham Borough Council said it was “disappointed” by the delay.

Stuart Munro, executive member for business, economic development and strategic planning, said: “We’re working closely with both suppliers to minimise these delays and to meet the broadband expectations of our communities.

“Any extra programme costs associated with this late delivery and other remedial works will be borne by the contractors and will not come from public funds.” 

Gigaclear chief executive Mike Surrey apologised and said: “We are confident that under new ownership and with a new management team in place we will work with the Superfast Berkshire team to complete these projects without further operational delays, delivering ultrafast broadband to all the properties in our contracted areas.”

In September, the Henley Standard reported that a Gigaclear project to install broadband in Crazies Hill had also been delayed.

The village agreed a deal with the provider in July 2016 but the £3.5million project has stalled after the company ran into problems with groundworks.

The work to connect the village was due to resume in April but the firm said this would not happen until this month, meaning homes will not be connected before spring, almost two years late.

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