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Leominster Enterprise Park companies get shock broadband bill
BUSINESSES on Leominster’s Enterprise Park have been told they will have to cough up more than £30,000 to have the same superfast broadband as the rest of the town.
BT has been upgrading roadside cabinets throughout the town, and more work is continuing in the town this month.
But firms on the Enterprise Park have been told that the cabinet on the Enterprise Park is not being upgraded and is excluded from BT’s commercial deployment.
This means they will be left with slower internet speeds than others in the town and the estimate for private funding for the enablement of the cabinet is £30,120.
Helen Bowden, director at Orphans Press, said: “We are all very concerned and annoyed about the situation as we have been tolerating slow internet speeds for a few years in the knowledge that fibre was coming, but if other industrial areas get fibre and we don't we will be put at a disadvantage.
“Equally worrying is that any new business considering a move here would have to consider carefully whether they moved on to the Park.”
Robin Lynch, director at Pinstone Communications added that while the current service is fine for emails, the “changing nature of business” means his company uses cloud-based software – which needs an instant response.
Helen added: “At Orphans we have 10 heavy internet users in our design, web and repro departments all sharing a single ADSL connection which can make life very slow at times.”
In a statement, BT said the aim of the Fastershire project is to give 100 per cent of homes and businesses in the project area access to at least 2Mbps and the majority of homes and businesses are expected to be able to get more than 30Mbps.
A BT Spokesman said: “Each exchange area goes through a period of detailed survey work which enables us to plan the network for that area.
“This gives far greater detail in terms of speeds expected for each premise and the specific technologies that will be used.
“Until this detailed survey work has been completed for Leominster we are unable to give any further detail about how and when areas like the Leominster Enterprise Park may benefit from faster broadband.”
But there might be additional funding available, according to Herefordshire Council.
Dawn Thompson, broadband manager, said: “The council has ring-fenced an additional £350,000 to extend the coverage of faster broadband to make sure anyone that needs it can get access.”
To be eligible, residents or businesses will have to demonstrate they are not receiving commercial investment and that they need access to speeds of more than 30Mbps as opposed to the basic provision.
“Therefore, while this funding does not mean that you will receive faster broadband quicker than the current planned rollout (as funding will be allocated in line with the phasing of the project), all businesses that can prove the need for faster broadband will be supported to access the connectivity they require,” she said.
“We hope this provides comfort both to existing business who are constrained by their current connectivity and prospective businesses considering Herefordshire as a place in which to relocate.”
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