July 23 2014 Latest news:
By sabah meddings
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Disgruntled BT customers have spoken of their annoyance at the poor internet connection at their Edingthorpe home.
Kaye Lansdell, 50, said she had been without the internet for months and had been told there was nothing the telecoms company could do.
Ms Lansdell, who has four children and three grandchildren, lives in the north Norfolk village with her disabled friend Stephen Harvey, 54, who is the account holder.
And because they are more than 8km from the nearest exchange, BT has said it could not sustain a workable internet connection.
Ms Lansdell, who has health problems, said it was unfair she was paying the same amount as people with fast broadband, and said BT would not fund new cabling needed to improve the connection.
She said: “I was told there were things they could do but they are not going to because it is not cost effective. According to BT we are out of limits and they can’t sustain the connection.
“They think I am being greedy but I just want a little bit of what I pay for. I don’t think it is a big ask. We shouldn’t have to live like this because we may be a rural community but we do exist.”
She said when she spoke to BT call centres she was told the problem would be fixed but when engineers arrived they failed to fix the problem.
Ms Lansdell said if they did have the internet, when the home number rang the internet disconnected and would not connect again for several weeks.
She said there was lottery funding available for broadband which should be spent in rural areas.
A BT spokesman said: “BT has been in regular contact with Mr Harvey and last year gave him a detailed account and our final position on this issue. We were also notified by the industry ombudsman earlier this year that BT was not required to take any further action.
“Our records show that there were nine engineer visits before BT’s final position was given to the customer. We can’t see any evidence in the engineers notes that suggest re-routing the line. This wouldn’t be done to improve ADSL connection.”
BT offered to cease the broadband contract without holding them to any termination charges or to look for a cheaper package on the understanding accepting the reliability issues.
A spokesman for Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, said a universal service obligation applied to BT.
He said: “What the obligation means is that BT has to provide a functional internet connection to every address in the UK at the same price.
“It does not mean a fast broadband. There is no obligation other than to provide a functional internet connection.”
Progress on the BDUK contract can be found on the councils better broadband for Norfolk site www.betterbroadbandnorfolk.co.uk