Council says it will ‘fight for rural areas’ over superfast broadband

October 01 2018

Residents in Bibstone have been assured that South Gloucestershire Council will fight for all the village to get access to fast broadband.

Villagers have met Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources, Cllr Rob Creer, Liberal Democrat councillors, and members of the council’s digital team find out how they can access superfast broadband in future.  Some homes in specific postcodes in the village have been left out of all three phases of an Openreach improvement programme which was funded by the local authority. 

The council’s digital team has set a target of covering 99 per cent of South Gloucestershire by 2019, providing that it can obtain funding, and has achieved 96 per cent so far. 

Cllr Creer said: “It was great that the residents of Bibstone took up my offer to meet, and I am really appreciative they were so willing to discuss the current situation with regards to South Gloucestershire’s broadband rollout.” 

“The discussion was informative, and it was useful to hear the residents’ experiences first hand. It has given us a lot to take away and we will now investigate ways forward.” 

“We reiterate our promise to fight for our rural areas and have assured residents we will continue to work with them as we negotiate with Openreach.”

Openreach was invited to the meeting but no one was able to attend. 

Lib Dem Cllr John O’Neill, whose ward includes Bibstone, said: “I’m grateful Cllr Creer accepted my request to meet with residents and hear for himself what they have to put up with in terms of their slow internet speeds. Residents have previously been told that they will not be included in Phase 3 of the Council’s superfast broadband scheme and would have to pay BT Openreach an eye-watering £98,000 to be connected.”