Superfast broadband could cost estate residents up to £30,000

Residents on a new Scottish housing estate have been told they will have to pay £30,000 to get superfast broadband after housing developers reportedly went back on their word to provide fibre connections in the area.

The occupiers of 900 homes in the Woodilee Village estate near Kirkintilloch can only access speeds of 2Mb and residents have been campaigning for several months for better broadband connectivity. However, there now appears to be confusion about who is responsible for making it happen.

BT has reportedly claimed that housing developers had agreed to pay for the installation but had failed to do so. The developers have now said that it is BT Openreach's responsibility to deploy superfast broadband but BT has told locals that to upgrade the present service is "not commercially viable."

A spokesperson for Openreach said: "Although around 10,500 premises in the Kirkintilloch area can now access fibre broadband, the cabinet serving the new premises was not included in BT's commercial fibre deployment programme as it did not meet our commercial investment criteria."

Residents will now have to raise thousands of pounds to get access to speeds greater than 24Mb. Local, Martin Trotter, who runs a video production company, said: "Private funding is a last option. We have done some research and have been told it will cost between £15 - £30k."

The government has asked house builders to make fast broadband a priority when planning new estates, however, there is currently no law to ensure it happens. New rules from the EU could change that but it will not help areas experiencing problems like Woodilee Village are now.

Source: Kirkintilloch Herald

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