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Homeowner's anger as his road misses out on fibre broadband

Suffolk County Councillor Mark Bee, Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Tony Twomey. at the BT box which should give Fredericks Road and The Greenway fibre broadband.

Suffolk County Councillor Mark Bee, Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Tony Twomey. at the BT box which should give Fredericks Road and The Greenway fibre broadband.

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A Beccles resident is questioning why he and around 250 other households are still awaiting fibre broadband after the rest of the town was linked to it by BT three years ago.

Tony Twomey, who lives in The Greenway, says he is unable to download films or send pictures in emails because it takes too long.

“Being a granddad I take a lot of photos,” said Mr Twomey. “Sending them just takes so long and often they just sit in my outbox. Sending one picture can take 10 minutes when it should send in seconds.

“It takes so long to download films and I don’t download them in HD because they just end up buffering.”

Although a new box was put in for fibre broadband on Fredericks Road, near Mr Twomey’s home, it appears to not be connected.

And when he consulted with BT as to why the area did not have the broadband, he was told the area is not commercially viable.

Mr Twomey said: “I can’t understand how this heavily populated area, which has a care home and commercial business, is not a commercially viable area.

“It is so frustrating when the rest of Beccles appears to be connected.”

Mark Bee, Suffolk county councillor, said the area should have been connected at the same time as the rest of Beccles.

“The infrastructure is there but this part of Beccles has been bypassed,” said Mr Bee. “It should have been done three years ago when the rest of Beccles was done. I have fibre optic in London Road which isn’t far from Mr Twomey’s road and I get speeds of 55MB, the standard for fibre is over 24MB, these are the sorts of speeds Mr Twomey should be having but he’s getting 3 to 7MB.”

In 2011 Suffolk County Council formed the Suffolk and Broadband Delivery UK Rural Broadland Programme (BDUK) to help deliver fibre optic broadband to rural areas which BT would not invest, such as rural locations, because these were not commercially viable.

The aim was to extend the coverage of fibre optic broadband to 85pc by the end of this year and to 95pc of Suffolk premises by 2018.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous raised Mr Twomey’s problem in the House of Commons last month.

“We need to be able to map the areas that are left behind so we can get 100pc coverage as quickly as possible,” he said. “It’s not a unique Suffolk problem. These debates help bring it to attention and help keep chipping away.”

When asked to comment BT said they are committed to making superfast fibre broadband as widely available across Suffolk as quickly as possible and would look into the problem.

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