BT 'broke promise over broadband upgrade'

BT is under fire from all sides for failing to deliver its superfast broadband upgrade to parts of Malvern as promised.

Residents, businesses and even council economic development chiefs are in the dark over the company’s plans.

BT pledged cabinets in Malvern Wells and West Malvern would be upgraded as soon as planning consent was given.

The consent was fast-tracked by Malvern Hills District Council in September, but still nothing has happened. The telecomms firm is also accused of breaking a promise to upgrade parts of Enigma Business Park, Malvern’s largest employment site.

Tony Stephenson, managing director of the park’s Traplet Publications, said BT assured him he would be able to order the superfast service by October. He was then told it will happen before the end of the year.

However, he says a BT Openreach engineer working at the business park told him no work is planned for Malvern this year.

BT denies that is the case, saying the engineer was “mistaken” and all 19 town cabinets will be done at the same time, though no date is set.

Mr Stephenson says people are being “fobbed off” by the firm.

“Not only have we been lied to by BT, but they clearly don’t care,” he said.

“We employ a lot of people and this is starting to put their jobs at risk.

“We will consider relocating if it is not resolved.”

Simon Smith, district council economic development manager, said: “We were told the park’s cabinet was being sorted and we expect that to happen. I cannot understand why there are not contractors down there.

He urged BT to “just get on with it”.

Malvern’s MP Harriett Baldwin is now calling on residents to share their “internet horror stories” ahead of a planned meeting with BT chiefs.

“Maybe BT will deliver an early Christmas present for thousands who pay the same prices for a fraction of the service as those enjoyed in our major cities.”

BT spokeswoman Amy Walker said: “Openreach decided it would be better to come back [to Malvern] and complete all works in one go.

“They are in the process of confirming a date to return to Malvern and finish the job and are pushing for the earliest possible date.”

“Our regional director has continued to liaise with the council – he has definitely not been avoiding their interest.”

Comments (6)

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3:16pm Sun 4 Nov 12

les-70 says...

Please could you print the numbers of "all 19 town cabinets" mentioned above. The area in the centre of the town with its mix of businesses and shops, apartments and houses never gets a mention. Is it within the 19 cabinets and why was it omitted? It would be good to know exactly what is promised and what will be missed out. With that information those who may be missed could stop waiting, and move on or complain.
Please could you print the numbers of "all 19 town cabinets" mentioned above. The area in the centre of the town with its mix of businesses and shops, apartments and houses never gets a mention. Is it within the 19 cabinets and why was it omitted? It would be good to know exactly what is promised and what will be missed out. With that information those who may be missed could stop waiting, and move on or complain. les-70
  • Score: 0

5:23pm Sun 4 Nov 12

wispa Limited says...

Unfortunately this is not uncommon.
BT do have an enormously complex infrastructure, and limited resources (significant, but limited).
With increasing amounts of BDUK money being handed to them, these resources are only going to become more and more stretched.
96% of Wales is supposed to have access to superfast broadband by 2015 - I suspect there will be plenty of 'Malverns' between now and then
Unfortunately this is not uncommon. BT do have an enormously complex infrastructure, and limited resources (significant, but limited). With increasing amounts of BDUK money being handed to them, these resources are only going to become more and more stretched. 96% of Wales is supposed to have access to superfast broadband by 2015 - I suspect there will be plenty of 'Malverns' between now and then wispa Limited
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Sun 4 Nov 12

johnpopham says...

The problem here, as in lots of other cases, is lack of competition. If the authorities and businesses got together to source another broadband provider, I think you'd find that BT would soon pull its collective finger out
The problem here, as in lots of other cases, is lack of competition. If the authorities and businesses got together to source another broadband provider, I think you'd find that BT would soon pull its collective finger out johnpopham
  • Score: 0

7:54pm Sun 4 Nov 12

Ctrl Alt Del says...

Trust me it's worth it when it arrives, Mine varies a bit depending on the time of day but almost 40meg at times.
Trust me it's worth it when it arrives, Mine varies a bit depending on the time of day but almost 40meg at times. Ctrl Alt Del
  • Score: 0

7:55am Mon 5 Nov 12

Andy-Apache says...

So, playing devils advocate here, what is the problem with NOT having superfast broadband? (Aside from a publishing house like Traplet which presumably needs to move high res graphics files around continuously?)

Why do businesses need to move files in milliseconds as opposed to a second or two?

I run occasional video conferencing on 'old style' broadband with little problem, and do all the usual businessy things such as email, sending files, internet phone etc and haven't noticed a problem.

Isn't this driven by BT telling us we need it, and then us moaning when we don't have it? Is it not just an issue for gamers? And if so, why are they gaming at work?

Genuinely interested to know of a business app which NEEDS 40Mb/s.
So, playing devils advocate here, what is the problem with NOT having superfast broadband? (Aside from a publishing house like Traplet which presumably needs to move high res graphics files around continuously?) Why do businesses need to move files in milliseconds as opposed to a second or two? I run occasional video conferencing on 'old style' broadband with little problem, and do all the usual businessy things such as email, sending files, internet phone etc and haven't noticed a problem. Isn't this driven by BT telling us we need it, and then us moaning when we don't have it? Is it not just an issue for gamers? And if so, why are they gaming at work? Genuinely interested to know of a business app which NEEDS 40Mb/s. Andy-Apache
  • Score: 0

8:18pm Tue 6 Nov 12

Ctrl Alt Del says...

Point taken Andy, however I started off with standard broadband which was perfectly adequate, then BT upgraded me to Infinity, at no extra cost, some months later they updated me to superfast Infinity 2, with only a commitment to stay with them for a further 18 months and again no additional charge. What is usefull is when my daughter's mates are all round here and all of them can connect their 'phones to my broadband with no apparent loss of speed.
Point taken Andy, however I started off with standard broadband which was perfectly adequate, then BT upgraded me to Infinity, at no extra cost, some months later they updated me to superfast Infinity 2, with only a commitment to stay with them for a further 18 months and again no additional charge. What is usefull is when my daughter's mates are all round here and all of them can connect their 'phones to my broadband with no apparent loss of speed. Ctrl Alt Del
  • Score: 0

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