Broadband rollout. Is it on hold?

Back in April of 2012 I wrote to your esteemed organ on the subject of rural high speed broadband roll out plans.

I expressed some cynicism as to whether we, in true rural areas, would ever actually see such investment.

The drift of my viewpoint was that if there was any money spent on such infrastructure then it would likely be to large towns in the area only and that the country areas would be left out of the equation.

My letter stirred the emotions of a couple of correspondents. One, R.S Clymo of Robertsbridge, said I’d got hold of the “wrong end of the stick” (I never did quite understand what he meant by that), and the other, Cllr. Keith Glazier of ESCC, claiming that appointed contractors would “roll out superfast broadband as quickly as possible”.

I so wanted to be proved wrong about my suspicions on this one, but sadly it looks increasingly like I was right.

If one clicks onto the www.superfast-openreach.co.uk website and enters in the postcode details for Northiam (where I live) the planned rollout map shows the same depressing lack of plans that it did 18 months ago.

Worse still is that, just as I had suspected it would, the only areas that show any sort of high speed broadband roll out are the major towns in the area.

Every other rural exchange shows up as ‘NC’ (Not Currently in roll out plans).

Once again I challenge ESCC and the other people who were quick to jump on my back with patronising put downs to not just prove me wrong, but categorically assure those of us in real rural areas that this investment will not just benefit the major towns.

I hope that if I write in again in 18 month’s time it will be to congratulate on planned roll outs and not to have to repeat the same calls for action on this matter.

Gary Mewis

Northiam