Large parts of Carlisle will not get superfast broadband
Last updated at 15:33, Thursday, 05 April 2012
Large areas of Carlisle will miss out when BT extends superfast broadband to the city this summer.
The fibre-optic network should provide speeds between 2.52 and 55.29 times faster than existing broadband connections.
But a BT document obtained by The Cumberland News shows that thousands of customers will not be offered the enhanced service.
Areas omitted include Kingstown, Rosehill and Durranhill industrial estates, part of the city centre, and many residential addresses in Harraby, Botcherby, Currock, Raffles, Belle Vue, Stanwix and Denton Holme.
Kingmoor Park, which is serviced by Rockcliffe exchange, also misses out.
BT says it is not viable to connect the whole city.
MP John Stevenson and business leaders fear this will put Carlisle at a competitive disadvantage.
David Newstead, managing director of Online Systems at Kingstown, said: “I was shocked to find this is the case. It is going to disadvantage business. It’s got to the point where it is critical.
“It will affect inward investment from companies looking at Carlisle. The first thing they ask is, ‘what are the broadband connections like?’”
Superfast broadband speeds up the download of data-heavy files such as graphics, music, films and technical drawings.
Packages such as BT Infinity typically cost £10 a month more than conventional broadband.
Cumbria County Council’s Connecting Cumbria project aims to ensure that 90 per cent of the county has the option of superfast broadband by 2015.
The council has secured £16.7m of government funding to deliver superfast broadband in rural areas where it is unviable for BT to do it.
Mr Newstead added: “We’re going to find out we have super-fast [broadband] in rural areas but not in the industrial estates in Carlisle. This needs to be addressed. ”
Mr Stevenson hopes the gaps can be filled.
The Conservative wants the county council to ensure that whoever is awarded the contract to deliver rural broadband also plugs the gaps in Carlisle.
BT and Fujitsu are competing for the work and the contract should be awarded this summer.
The council says it is committed to “delivering the best service we can for most citizens”.
Mr Stevenson said: “I am concerned. We need the best possible broadband in Carlisle.
“It is modern-day infrastructure and it is absolutely critical for business.”
He is lobbying too for Carlisle to receive some of the £50m announced by Chancellor George Osborne last month to upgrade broadband in smaller cities.
BT Openreach is rolling out superfast broadband nationally at a cost of £2.5bn.
BT claims it is the largest engineering project of its kind in the world.
A spokeswoman said: “Work on upgrading Carlisle for super-fast broadband is going well and we’re on course to see the first people using it from the summer onwards.
“New street-side cabinets are being installed to connect residents to the fibre network.”
She added that, in deciding which areas to upgrade, BT took into account feedback from broadband companies about potential demand as well as “technical considerations”.
First published at 14:21, Thursday, 05 April 2012
Published by http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk
Have your say
Well it's arrived... Many (yes not all yet) cabinets are getting switched on and the exchange enabled. Good news for 'many' parts of Carlisle... A step forward! Not seen the switch on highlighted in the News & Star yet? Maybe to positive a story!
And your point is , Kevin Josey? Business has long been able to pay for high speeds and high capacities. Carlisle Council will have high data requirements when linked up to Allerdale and Copeland for the joint processing of housing and council tax benefits and demands.And business can buy this service, but it costs, and costs a fortune.I am always fascinated by Carlisle people's use of the word 'they'. As if some all knowing, all powerful people are responsible for everything, and these people are somehow holding things back on purpose.There are no 'they'. The cable company now known as Smallworld got the franchise for cable in Carlisle, it planned to cable up the whole urban area, however the internet crash resulted in its loss of investors. It no longer had the funds to carry out infrastructure investment so no more coverage.
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