Bicester residents 'going round in broadband circles' header image

Residents of a new housing estate in Bicester are unhappy with their lack of super-fast broadband. 

According to the Kingsmere Residents’ Association, slow connectivity is affecting the ability of local people to work from home and children to do their homework.

Co-chairman of the group Graham Brogden told the Oxford Mail: "We are going around in circles and have been for two years. It’s incredibly frustrating. A lot of people work from home these days."

Residents of the estate, which is due to be expanded from 450 homes to around 2,000, say they were promised improved broadband more than two years ago, but it has not been delivered.

Local resident Fiona Chalk commented: "There was a huge presumption that because it was a brand new estate that [high-speed broadband] would be included.

"We did a residents survey in September and there was a clear indication that people expected the service should be in place."

The Kingsmere Residents’ Association was formed as BT Openreach said it would only discuss the issue with a community group and not individual homeowners.

A spokesperson for developer Bovis Homes said they are currently in discussions with BT about delivering improved connectivity to the estate.

Complaints such as this have become commonplace across much of the UK over the past few years, with the broadband infrastructure in many areas still unable to deliver the level of connectivity now required. 

For example, this month has seen The Ross Gazette report on broadband problems in parts of rural Herefordshire. Residents of villages such as Ross, Walford, Upton Bishop and Goodrich have told the newspaper their service becomes unusable at peak times, with connections often cutting out.

This is not uncommon, as earlier this year uSwitch found average broadband speeds drop by a fifth at peak times. Its research discovered connections tend to be fastest at 5am, when they reach an average of 18.1 Mbps, and slowest at 9am, when they fall by 21 per cent 14.3 Mbps.