Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Finally, superfast broadband to be available to whole village

SUPERFAST broadband should be available to the whole of Peppard by September — almost two years late.

About 70 per cent of the parish is already capable of accessing a speed of 24mbps thanks to the installation of fibre optic by BT Openreach.

But the whole area was due to be covered by December 2015 under the £35million Better Broadband for Oxfordshire programme.

Craig Bowers, the project’s programme manager, told about 30 residents at a parish council meeting last week that several more months’ work was still needed. He said: “This is one of the rare occasions when we have to stand up and admit things have not been smooth for Rotherfield Peppard... we are significantly behind.

“We have done six months of surveys to deliver a final solution. We have got to the point where we are going to install three additional cabinets. Once they are installed, there will be 99.7 per cent coverage in this area.

“That work is due for completion by September. The contractors say the latest it would be done is December but we are aiming for September. It should have been a long time before then.”

The new cabinets will be by the Unicorn pub, in Colmore Lane and near the junction of Gypsy Lane and Stoke Row Road, all subject to planning permission.

Mr Bowers said: “We have to find the optimum place to get everyone coverage. Initially, everyone should be above 24mpbs, so it’s superfast.

“Most places should receive significantly more than that. There will be improvements in speed over time and capability for 100mbps or 150mbps. It’s an open network and you have a right to cancel should speeds not be sufficient. If your neighbour has good speeds but you do not, then report it and an engineer will come out and find the fault.”

Speaking after the meeting, council chairman Simon Crouch said: “I think a lot of people now feel reassured that something is going to happen. BT seems to be getting to grips with the issues and most people were very pleased to have the opportunity to hear them. I’ve had emails of thanks and people were pleased they came and explained it to us.”

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