Councillor reiterates doubts

By Sara Bryce

Sunday, September 1, 2013

 

THE councillor who raised concerns over super-fast broadband has hit back at fellow members who called for a quick decision or risk losing government funding.

Cllr Phil Jordan, who urged cabinet members to proceed with caution when appointing BT as supplier of super-fast broadband, has accused conservative councillors Bob Seely, Dave Stewart and Stuart Hutchinson of being politically mischievous in suggesting a £3.09 million government grant could be lost by delaying the decision.

Cllr Jordan also refuted claims councillors had not done their homework before the meeting and reiterated his concerns over appointing BT as the supplier for the rural broadband project.

He said: "In some respects the whole scheme is wrongly described as 'super-fast broadband’ as it won’t be delivering that to many properties in rural areas and BT has said some properties in rural areas will only receive 2Mb download speeds.

"BT has also told us existing broadband users will get just up to 10Mb more than they have currently. That is not super-fast broadband, even though the investment of £3.6 million is for super-fast broadband technology."

Cllr Jordan also claimed it was not yet known what areas would be covered under the scheme and that BT had said two per cent of premises would not have any broadband access at all.

He also stressed that in areas with super-fast broadband access, statistics show only one in five people purchase the service, meaning millions of pounds of investment could provide just 4,000 premises with broadband access.

The decision to appoint BT as supplier was deferred by cabinet members until the next meeting on Tuesday, September 10.

Reporter: sarab@iwcpmail.co.uk

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