Cynon Valley AM calls for ‘superfast’ resolution in broadband saga

Cynon Valley AM Vikki Howells is urging BT Openreach and Persimmon Homes to reach agreement over who is responsible for providing broadband to the Coed Duffryn housing development in Cwmbach.

The estate containing around 300 properties was built by Persimmon Homes nearly four years ago, but since then residents have found their new homes haven’t been provided with adequate broadband services. For example, the best speed that has been noted in the development is 0.3 kb/sec, with residents saying it takes 45 minutes to open an email!

The housing developer says it is the responsibility of BT Openreach to remedy the infrastructural defects, but BT Openreach say the fault lies with Persimmon.

Vikki Howells AM was made aware of the issue after being contacted by local resident Christopher Stephens, who says the poor connection causes him difficulties in his personal and business matters.

The Cynon Valley AM has said that last week’s ruling by communications watchdog Ofcom that BT must establish its Openreach division, which runs the UK’s broadband infrastructure, as a distinct company, offers a chance to resolve the matter.

Vikki Howells AM said:-

“I recently went on a Committee meeting to North Wales and saw how farmers in the most remote parts of Snowdonia are using the internet to market their businesses. When they can do this, it is ludicrous that residents living on a new housing development just over 20 miles from the capital city of Wales cannot have a broadband service.

“It is simply unacceptable that my constituents, living on a new housing estate in an urban area, aren’t able to access highspeed broadband in their homes, causing difficulties with work, study and even leisure opportunities.

“Ofcom’s decision to separate out Openreach offers us a new chance to bring Permission and BT Openreach together and fix this for my constituents”.

Christopher Stephens said:-

As residents we feel that there has been ample time to discuss such a simple matter but the two sides cannot agree and have stalled for over 3 years whilst hundreds of residents suffer and are paying full prices to their internet provider.

“We feel both BT Openreach and Persimmon have operated under the pretence of discussing and resolving matters but, as the last three years have shown, nothing is ever done about it.”