Go-faster internet is in the slow lane

MANY Malvern businesses and householders are still struggling with slow internet connections six months after a new superfast service was due to arrive in the town.

The delay is because BT and the Malvern Hills Conservators have not reached an agreement about upgrading broadband cabinets and equipment on the charity’s land.

While more than 15,600 properties are now benefiting from downloads of up to 80mbps thanks to the arrival of BT’s fibre-optic service, hundreds more homes in West Malvern and Malvern Wells are still stuck with just a fraction of those speeds.

Both BT and the Conservators say progress is being made and that the upgrade will eventually happen, but the stand-off is causing frustration and prompting concerns that high-tech businesses may up sticks and leave the area.

Entrepreneurs Emma Philpott and Adrian Burden opened the new Wyche Innovation Centre, a hub for up and coming technology businesses, in January.

They now have 15 cutting-edge firms at the site and Mrs Philpott said the project was almost completely reliant on the promise of superfast broadband.

West Malvern composer and businessman Paul Farrer currently has to make do with a connection of less than one mbps.

“Everyone is absolutely fed up with it. We are not blaming anyone, but it seems like everyone should be able to get together and fix this hold up,” he said.

Malvern Hills District Council and MP Harriett Baldwin have been working with the two parties to try and solve the problem.

A spokesman for the council said it would be arranging a meeting and that both sides had indicated a willingness to find a solution.

Rob Havard, the acting director of the Malvern Hills Conservators, said the organisation was all in favour of the upgrade and was waiting for BT to agree to paying a deed of grant to place the equipment on its land – something which is asked of any utility company.

“Long-term we have to deal with people digging up our land and working on it and there is a cost associated with that,” he said.

“But we have met with their engineers and everything was left in their court. There is no hesitation whatsoever from the Conservators.

“Our policy is never to hold up utilities in Malvern and we would certainly not want to be an obstacle to this.”

BT spokesman Emma Ten-nant reassured residents that both Malvern Wells and West Malvern were still earmarked for the upgrades.

“Careful consideration is given to the siting of our super-fast fibre broadband cabinets and other equipment, which are required to connect the benefiting customers to the new network,” she said.

“We are working hard with Malvern Hills Conservators to ensure that the most appropriate locations are found before installing any additional equipment.”

Comments (7)

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5:16pm Sat 30 Jun 12

imustbeoldiwearacap says...

It's not just Malvern I live in Worcester - I've been promised infinity - first 30 Apr, then 30 Jun and now it's 30 September.
It's not just Malvern I live in Worcester - I've been promised infinity - first 30 Apr, then 30 Jun and now it's 30 September. imustbeoldiwearacap

8:41am Sun 1 Jul 12

yeller says...

Don't bother. I now pay an extra £5 per month for a new faster broadband - is it called micro fibre? - Not a jot of difference to its performance not least when trying to navigate this website, it must contain more rubbish/ads than any other.
Don't bother. I now pay an extra £5 per month for a new faster broadband - is it called micro fibre? - Not a jot of difference to its performance not least when trying to navigate this website, it must contain more rubbish/ads than any other. yeller

9:58am Sun 1 Jul 12

CJH says...

Malvern Hills Conservators know about the internet? Good heavens, that does surprise me...
Malvern Hills Conservators know about the internet? Good heavens, that does surprise me... CJH

10:25am Sun 1 Jul 12

PaulMeUnder says...

BT just are not interested. They don't believe the take up would be sufficient to justify the cost of upgrading the service.

We live just 3 miles outside of Worcester which is receiving speeds up to 80mbs while we a lucky to get 700kbs...thats just 3 miles away!

The BT engineer I spoke to the last time I had to have them out so they could fix (again) my pathetic connection (which I am paying the same for as someone receiving up to 20mbs elsewhere!) said that it would cost BT about 80k to upgrade our exchange but won't do as they don't believe they would be sufficient take up of the service!

How about we start paying for the service we get rather than what the advertised maximum speed is. I reckon that means I should be paying 77p per month for my broadband rather and £18.

This government should be extremely embarrassed about this whole sorry mess!
BT just are not interested. They don't believe the take up would be sufficient to justify the cost of upgrading the service. We live just 3 miles outside of Worcester which is receiving speeds up to 80mbs while we a lucky to get 700kbs...thats just 3 miles away! The BT engineer I spoke to the last time I had to have them out so they could fix (again) my pathetic connection (which I am paying the same for as someone receiving up to 20mbs elsewhere!) said that it would cost BT about 80k to upgrade our exchange but won't do as they don't believe they would be sufficient take up of the service! How about we start paying for the service we get rather than what the advertised maximum speed is. I reckon that means I should be paying 77p per month for my broadband rather and £18. This government should be extremely embarrassed about this whole sorry mess! PaulMeUnder

6:21am Mon 2 Jul 12

Guy66 says...

PaulMeUnder wrote:
BT just are not interested. They don't believe the take up would be sufficient to justify the cost of upgrading the service.

We live just 3 miles outside of Worcester which is receiving speeds up to 80mbs while we a lucky to get 700kbs...thats just 3 miles away!

The BT engineer I spoke to the last time I had to have them out so they could fix (again) my pathetic connection (which I am paying the same for as someone receiving up to 20mbs elsewhere!) said that it would cost BT about 80k to upgrade our exchange but won't do as they don't believe they would be sufficient take up of the service!

How about we start paying for the service we get rather than what the advertised maximum speed is. I reckon that means I should be paying 77p per month for my broadband rather and £18.

This government should be extremely embarrassed about this whole sorry mess!
Why blame this governement - BT are a private company - nothing to do with the governement. Don't like them move to another provider (yes yet another private company).
[quote][p][bold]PaulMeUnder[/bold] wrote: BT just are not interested. They don't believe the take up would be sufficient to justify the cost of upgrading the service. We live just 3 miles outside of Worcester which is receiving speeds up to 80mbs while we a lucky to get 700kbs...thats just 3 miles away! The BT engineer I spoke to the last time I had to have them out so they could fix (again) my pathetic connection (which I am paying the same for as someone receiving up to 20mbs elsewhere!) said that it would cost BT about 80k to upgrade our exchange but won't do as they don't believe they would be sufficient take up of the service! How about we start paying for the service we get rather than what the advertised maximum speed is. I reckon that means I should be paying 77p per month for my broadband rather and £18. This government should be extremely embarrassed about this whole sorry mess![/p][/quote]Why blame this governement - BT are a private company - nothing to do with the governement. Don't like them move to another provider (yes yet another private company). Guy66

6:46pm Mon 2 Jul 12

PaulMeUnder says...

Guy66 wrote:
PaulMeUnder wrote:
BT just are not interested. They don't believe the take up would be sufficient to justify the cost of upgrading the service.

We live just 3 miles outside of Worcester which is receiving speeds up to 80mbs while we a lucky to get 700kbs...thats just 3 miles away!

The BT engineer I spoke to the last time I had to have them out so they could fix (again) my pathetic connection (which I am paying the same for as someone receiving up to 20mbs elsewhere!) said that it would cost BT about 80k to upgrade our exchange but won't do as they don't believe they would be sufficient take up of the service!

How about we start paying for the service we get rather than what the advertised maximum speed is. I reckon that means I should be paying 77p per month for my broadband rather and £18.

This government should be extremely embarrassed about this whole sorry mess!
Why blame this governement - BT are a private company - nothing to do with the governement. Don't like them move to another provider (yes yet another private company).
I was with another company but got fed up with them telling me to contact BT with problems and BT telling me to content the supplier!

This government should be ashamed as it has done very little to push the private sector to improve the communications infrastructure. For a party that is all for business, they sure have a funny way of showing it.

Just glad I never voted for them.
[quote][p][bold]Guy66[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PaulMeUnder[/bold] wrote: BT just are not interested. They don't believe the take up would be sufficient to justify the cost of upgrading the service. We live just 3 miles outside of Worcester which is receiving speeds up to 80mbs while we a lucky to get 700kbs...thats just 3 miles away! The BT engineer I spoke to the last time I had to have them out so they could fix (again) my pathetic connection (which I am paying the same for as someone receiving up to 20mbs elsewhere!) said that it would cost BT about 80k to upgrade our exchange but won't do as they don't believe they would be sufficient take up of the service! How about we start paying for the service we get rather than what the advertised maximum speed is. I reckon that means I should be paying 77p per month for my broadband rather and £18. This government should be extremely embarrassed about this whole sorry mess![/p][/quote]Why blame this governement - BT are a private company - nothing to do with the governement. Don't like them move to another provider (yes yet another private company).[/p][/quote]I was with another company but got fed up with them telling me to contact BT with problems and BT telling me to content the supplier! This government should be ashamed as it has done very little to push the private sector to improve the communications infrastructure. For a party that is all for business, they sure have a funny way of showing it. Just glad I never voted for them. PaulMeUnder

9:54am Fri 6 Jul 12

heywesty says...

I live in the center of Worcester and I still can't get fibre. The original date on the infinity website was Dec 30th 2010. This has been pushed back endlessly... last time I looked it was June 30th 2012. Now it's Sept 30th 2012. I've pretty much given up on the whole idea.
I live in the center of Worcester and I still can't get fibre. The original date on the infinity website was Dec 30th 2010. This has been pushed back endlessly... last time I looked it was June 30th 2012. Now it's Sept 30th 2012. I've pretty much given up on the whole idea. heywesty

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