Internet plea from Rushton villagers

The poor broadband service in Rushton has been raised in Parliament
The poor broadband service in Rushton has been raised in Parliament

Villagers are missing out on proper broadband access and BT is doing little to help, an MP has claimed in Parliament.

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone said villagers in Rushton had been unable to connect to super-fast broadband.

The village receives some of the slowest connection speeds in the country, as provider BT focuses on installing newer technology in areas with a greater population.

John Tyas, of Rushton, who raised the issue with Mr Hollobone, said: “It’s an ongoing issue. It all started several years ago. We keep losing the connection – it drops out for five minutes or two hours, and on one occasion it went out for two days. I’ve had several engineers here over the years, but they haven’t found anything wrong with the equipment in my house.”

Mr Tyas says the Government should force BT to introduce its Infinity broadband, a super-fast service using fibre-optic cables. He added: “They could solve all these issues if they just bring us into the 21st century.”

Last week, Mr Hollobone told MPs: “It seems to me that BT is a big company that sometimes does not treat small communities very well.”

He added that in Rushton “residents are complaining that they are not getting the proper broadband access they deserve, despite their best efforts with BT”.

BT says it has committed £2.5bn to deliver fibre-optic broadband to two thirds of UK premises by spring 2014, more than 18 months ahead of its original schedule.

A spokesman added: “In Northamptonshire we have invested £8.1m in the Superfast Northamptonshire programme which is currently in a surveying and mobilisation phase. Projects such as this are designed to bring high-speed fibre broadband to many areas not currently within BT’s commercial roll-out plans.”

But he also said larger towns would generally have priority over villages, saying: “Openreach, BT’s local network business, is investing £2.5bn to deliver fibre broadband to around two-thirds of UK premises on a commercial basis.

“Unfortunately it is more difficult to make a commercial case for fibre deployment in areas with lower population density, or where the costs of deployment are very high.

“This final third of the UK, which includes many more rural areas, is where additional Government funding is being used, in combination with further investment from BT, to boost the business case for deployment.”