Campaign calls for improvements to “terrible” Wortham broadband

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Latest News from the Diss Express, dissexpress.co.uk, @diss_express on Twitter

The clerk of a north Suffolk parish council has written to the chairman of BT in a bid to improve the ‘terrible’ broadband in their area.

Netty Verkroost, clerk to Wortham and Burgate Parish Council, has penned the letter to Sir Michael Rake, stating a survey taken by 575 parishioners indicates the broadband service is the worst thing about living in the parish.

VILLAGE SIGN - WORTHAM ENGANL00120121029160507

VILLAGE SIGN - WORTHAM ENGANL00120121029160507

The letter reads: “This poor service is unacceptable since it creates unequal opportunity of Internet access for the affected business and domestic users alike, putting both at significant disadvantage compared to competitors and neighbours.

“The consequent potential financial, social and educational implications should be taken very seriously. We urge you to enhance your efforts to provide better broadband service to our parish.”

The council is yet to receive a response to the letter.

The speeds of 26 homes connected to the Botesdale, Mellis and Diss telephone exchanges were also checked. The Botesdale exchange, of which 80 per cent of local subscribers are connected, had an average speed of 1.06 mbps, up to four times slower than the average at Diss.

Chairman of Wortham and Burgate Parish Council Stephen Rash described their current offering as “medieval” and “super-slow broadband.”

“It has never been good,” he said. “As more and more business is done online people are finding it more and more difficult.

“We felt this needed to be pointed out. We had a recent parish survey and it came up as something that frustrates residents quite highly.

“Sometimes the broadband drops off or is slow and as people develop new systems they forget about the people who have terribly slow broadband.”

The Better Broadband for Suffolk programme, a partnership between the council, BT and the Government, aims to create a broadband network “fit for the 21st Century” and was launched 16 months ago. Suffolk County Council says by the end 2015, all premises in Suffolk will have speeds of at least 2Mbps, with 90 per cent served via fibre and 85 per cent getting over 24Mbps. A council spokesperson said once fibre optic was installed in an area, it would be up to residents to upgrade their packages in order to benefit from the improved speeds.