An Open Letter to BT’s Openreach

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Openreach – keeping the nation connected ey? This certainly isn’t the case in our new home in Weston-super-Mare. We are lucky to hit broadband speeds of 1.5mb. In fact here is a screen shot from the BT website showing us what we can get at our address. Minimum guaranteed speed – 256kb. Lucky us.

 

BT open reach broadband speed test weston super mare UK average digital targets fibre

Back in July we moved 300 meters from our previous home to our new home. In our old house we enjoyed super-fast fibre broadband and it allowed us to do everything we wanted to online. And by this I don’t just mean faff on Facebook and play Xbox – I mean it allowed me to work from home and take Skype calls with colleagues half way across the world.

We’d heard that our new house was connected to a different exchange and that this didn’t yet support fibre – but it would do soon- early 2017. Not moving because of poor broadband speeds seemed ridiculous to compromise on. March 2017 didn’t seem too long to wait and certainly wasn’t worth losing our dream home over…or was it?

It was just announced last month in our local paper, The Weston Mercury, that no, Weston Village in Weston-super-Mare would not be getting fibre in March 2017.

“Internet provider BT had announced its Weston Village cabinet for superfast broadband would be switched on by March 2017 – but residents have now been told they face further delays.”

And quite honestly, the hubby and I have had it. You’d think we moved to the most rural location in the UK. Instead we are on a modern housing estate, the SAME housing estate we were on six months ago. The difference now is that we struggle to do much online at all. If the hubby wants to Xbox, I need to refrain from uploading photos to the blog. If I need to take a work Skype call, little man can’t chill out to Paw Patrol after nursery.

I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home when I need to. And working for a global organization means I do to accommodate different time zones. The limited internet speeds have made this really difficult and in some cases have meant working from home isn’t an option. So the days I commute up to Bristol, I’m putting more strain on our poor junction 21. Our MP, John Penrose wrote recently about a new Junction 21a – but maybe traffic would be eased if more people who had the option to work from home had the infrastructure from Openreach to support them?

We literally went from 40mbps to 1.5mbps and we still pay the same line rental. And line rentals continue to go up in price, yet we are not seeing this reflected in the service we receive. So we pay £19 a month just to rent the line we get our 1.5mb broadband through.

Like most people, we love to stream TV boxsets on Netflix, Now Tv and Prime. We can’t stream HD (high definition) and SD (standard definition) is sometimes a struggle. We can, however, stream in PD (Pixelated Definition), the definition of choice in Weston Village.

The average UK broadband speed is now 29mb per sec (that’s 19 times faster than what we currently get). The average ‘rural’ download speed is 13mb per sec (that’s nearly 9 times faster than us). Our current internet speed is similar to that experienced in Paraguay and Venezuela (1.5 mb per sec). Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

BT open reach broadband speed test weston super mare UK average digital targets

Openreach state online: We’re committed to continue to help the Government achieve 95% fibre coverage by the end of 2017. I’m guessing now that we are in that last 5%. To be clear, this post is not directed at our ISP (TalkTalk), it is acute frustration towards the infrastructure – of which BT’s subsidiary, Openreach, are responsible for.

People do more and more online than ever. People run their businesses from home, children use the internet to research homework, and a lot of people use the internet to network and socialise. Having fast internet access isn’t a luxury these days, it’s a necessity.

What are your broadband speeds like where you live? Are you facing similar problems or have you caught up to 2016? Share with me your experiences in the comments and of course on my usual social media channels 🙂 Facebook, Twitter or Instagram !

BT openreach broadband speed test weston super mare UK average digital targets fibre bt infinity reviews problems

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