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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Displaying the last 10 of 11 comments - Show All Comments

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by roger mazillius

6th September 2013, at 10:00:16

So no reply to my postings asking why this was supported by several senior Cabinet Members. What a bunch of political cowards!

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by roger mazillius

2nd September 2013, at 14:01:30

Thanks Peter. Makes the move by senior administration members to rubber stamp the BT deal even more odd, wouldn't you say?

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by Peter Cole

2nd September 2013, at 12:43:15

Well done councillor Jordan.
So there we have it, it is not what is known as superfast broadband at all (30Mbyte plus)
Seems its upto 10MByte above the current upto 8Mbyte (ntypically 6Mbyte or less).
So, its a token effort.
Hardly pushing the boudaries of technology is it.
So council stop playing a pretend we met our target on rural superfast broadband and find a way to actually provide it.

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by roger mazillius

2nd September 2013, at 09:30:38

You probably noticed that this went offline yesterday, but now it is restored, I can comment further.
John, I think I am right that the decision on this with all additional required detail arose post May. We were responsible for the "£3m in principle government grant" decision upon which the further paper was then prepared. So it was very much a matter for the new administration to have all relevant technical information embodied within that paper.
However, that still does not explain why the report for decision went to Cabinet with the support of the Cabinet Member with that responsibility and two other Cabinet Members and experienced ones at that!
So I still await Phil's answer which I assume he does not wish to give because that would then surely put them in KB-J's description of "the most "incimpetant" (sic) council this Island has ever seen"!
Marie, understood but at least we do have a voice!

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by John Lovell

1st September 2013, at 13:27:13

And my question still needs answering Roger.

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by Marie Cheverton

1st September 2013, at 13:13:15

Roger take it from a lay person, being on the outside looking in, you don't have a voice!

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by Kevin Barclay-Jay

1st September 2013, at 13:10:22

Roger ..as amember of possibley the most incimpetant council this Island has ever seen (a close run with the Island First/Ind coalition) I'm surprised you have the gall to compare what the last council did with the current one.

I suspect, as with most things, when you are sold a line by a huge corporation you are bound to have some buyers in the first instance.

Cllr Jordan is absolutely correct to urge caution

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by roger mazillius

1st September 2013, at 12:51:21

My questions still need answering!

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by John Lovell

1st September 2013, at 11:42:19

I totally agree Marie. Were we ever given such information regarding probable internet speeds by the previous Council members?
I have to back Phil on this one.

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by Marie Cheverton

1st September 2013, at 11:37:09

I am a pleased the council has laid caution to such a decision. I believe if the last administration was still in, this would of been pushed through in favour of BT, without a second thought. At least the delay has raised a debate within the County Press, so a lay person like myself can read the facts, on the so called "super fast broadband for all".

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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