Residents' fury as Gobowen street named 20th worst in the country for broadband

Reporter:

Emily Davies

A street in Gobowen has been named the 20th worst in the UK for broadband.

Thomas Penson Road, which forms the new Watts Meadow development, has an average download speed of just 1.049 Mbps (megabits per second) – making it 168 times slower than the best street in the UK, according to a survey by comparison website uSwitch.

Residents, who have been calling for improvements since the first homes were built in 2014, say they are not surprised.

Adele Lloyd, who moved in with her fiance Andy Rogers in November 2015, said: “You can’t watch a film straight away on Sky Cinema or Amazon Prime like other people can – you have to download it and that can take 24 hours, so then you think what’s the point in having broadband.

“It won’t even load a two-second video, it’s that slow. Or you’ll be watching something and then the picture goes – it’s really frustrating.”

Andy added: “We’ve both changed mobile phone networks so we have unlimited data, but then it means you’re paying twice for your mobile data and your broadband.”

The Advertizer reported on the slow internet speeds almost two years ago, leading to Connecting Shropshire and Fletcher Homes – the company behind the development – working together to roll out fibre broadband to the 124 homes in June 2016.

However, when speeds were checked last week, the Advertizer found on most occasions the download speed was less than 1Mbps.

The best street it in the UK is Benford Avenue in Motherwell with speeds of 177.009 Mbps.

Laura Rogers, who lives down the road from Adele and Andy, added: “It takes the mickey, it really does. It’s the least you expect when you buy a house.”

Andy added: “We’ve had letters to say fibre broadband is coming – I think the last one said it would be some time last year. But it’s still not here.

“It should be in the top 10 worst streets, not the top 20.”

Chris Taylor, the Connecting Shropshire programme manager, said: “The premises in Thomas Penson Road are due to benefit from the Connecting Shropshire programme.

“As part of a co-funded initiative agreed in 2016 between Fletcher Homes, Shropshire Council and BT, a new fibre cabinet has now been installed which will serve these premises.

“The original expectation was that all network engineering work associated with the cabinet would be completed by the end of 2017. While some of the work is complete, BT still needs to finalise its network build over the forthcoming months.

“Shropshire Council expects all network build to be completed by the end of March, which will then enable residents to upgrade their broadband provision, with speeds of up to 80 Megabits per second available to order.”

Emma Tennant of BT division Openreach, said “the majority” of engineering work for Watt’s Meadow has been completed, adding: “The final stage is under way and every effort is being made to complete the upgrade work as quickly as possible to enable local people to order fibre broadband from the service provider of their choice very soon.”

Email:

emily.davies@nwn.co.uk

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