Homes in north Swindon and Priory Vale are still without a fast broadband connection, despite efforts by ward Cllr Toby Elliott to petition BT for a better service.
Outlining the issue Toby said: “Rural homes are getting European funding to improve wi-fi connectivity, new homes in parts of North Swindon seem to be in a black hole because they don’t qualify for such financial support.”
Toby’s petition calls on BT and Swindon Council to invest in fibre optic broadband for the area, which he believes will quickly deliver a good return.
Despite lobbying by North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson and Swindon Council cabinet member Dale Heenan, BT Openreach maintain the Haydon End exchange is not due to be upgraded for the foreseeable future.
The exchange only opened about five years ago because the area was too far from the Blunsdon telephone exchange to provide decent connectivity.
Justin said: “It took a long time to get BT to build the Haydon End exchange. Now, getting them to provide high speed broadband is equally difficult. With government funding BT now covers over 80 per cent of Swindon, but the lack of progress to provide a quality service in North Swindon is really frustrating.”
Swindon Council leader Cllr David Renard said: “BT have confirmed that the 17 per cent of Swindon homes without high speed broadband do not feature in their current business investment plans for upgrade.
“However I have managed to keep BT talking. My cabinet and I are seeing if there are any options open for council and government funding to help make the upgrade happen. I am hopeful.”
Support Cllr Elliott’s petition at: thepetitionsite.com/442/307/950/fibre-broadband-for-priory-vale