Disappointment as village misses out on web upgrade

A COUNCILLOR says she is disappointed that Ninfield will not benefit from an £2.5 billion investment to upgrade parts of the Sussex to super-fast broadband.

British Telecom announced on Tuesday that Bexhill was one of nine exchange areas earmarked for upgrades, due to be completed by next autumn.

But neighbouring Ninfield will miss out.

Councillor Pam Doodes, who represents Ninfield, Hooe and Wartling on Wealden District Council, has been lobbying hard for better broadband in rural areas.

She said: “Whilst I am delighted that three Wealden exchanges - Pevensey, Hailsham and Polegate - and locally Bexhill have been included by BT, I’m bitterly disappointed that Ninfield, Hooe and Wartling have missed out

“Ninfield and Hooe are covered by the Ninfield exchange, and Wartling by Herstmonceux, and as neither have been included in this phase we will just have to step up our campaign to ensure inclusion in the next phase.

“BT expects to make super-fast broadband available to two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2015, but even that is too long to wait.

“And to think that one third of homes and businesses will still not have super-fast broadband by then really horrifies me.

“Super fast broadband is an essential tool if our rural businesses are to compete nationally and globally.”

Also included in the latest upgrades are Baldslow, Hailsham, Hampden Park, Lewes, Newhaven, Pevensey, Polegate and Seaford.

In June, BT said 61,000 homes and businesses in Eastbourne and Hastings would get the technology by 2012, and the latest announcement will add considerably to the county’s capabilities.

A further 85,000 homes and businesses are expected to benefit as a result.

Currently, just three per cent of East Sussex has access to high speed broadband, making it one of the poorest served areas in the country.