Online petition calls for fibre optic broadband in Priory Vale
11:10am Wednesday 18th September 2013 in Latest News
AN ONLINE petition has been set up to demonstrate the level of support for the installation of fibre optic broadband in a north Swindon housing estate.
Much of Priory Vale has a very limited internet service, with some properties still receiving a dial-up connection.
The petition has been set up to convince BT there is sufficient demand for the service in the area.
“The best analogy of our situation is a tap,” said Peter Goodfellow, 32, who lives in Redhouse.
“If one person is drinking then they can get all the water from the tap. However, if someone comes along and barges you out of the way then you only get half each.
“Then more people come along until you end up getting nothing. This is the situation we currently have.”
As it stands many residents can only download at a speed of two megabytes per second.
This is in stark contrast to other areas of Swindon which have been upgraded, where residents can download at rates of 100mb. The average size of a song in mp3 format is 3.5mb.
Old Town and the town centre already have fibre optic broadband, with rural areas likely to receive the same in the next few years due to subsidies.
However, despite having a population of more than 10,000, BT has said there is a lack of demand in the Priory Vale area.
“There are a lot of young enterprises in this area so it is absolutely vital that we get this upgrade,” said Peter, who is a computer engineer.
“It is just not possible to operate effectively as a business in 2013 without such a fast connection.
“The download capability of fibre optic is phenomenal. It is the backbone of the country and we need this petition to send a strong message that we need it.”
Despite only being online for a few days, there are already almost 100 signatures and it is hoped over the coming weeks everyone in the area will sign so it can be presented to BT.
The lack of effective internet coverage has been an issue since the area was built a decade ago as provision to install the required cables was not put in.
Councillors and MPs have lobbied the company so it is hoped BT will soon start to realise the strength of feeling.
Coun Toby Elliott (Con, Priory Vale), is responsible for setting up the petition.
He said: “This is a very up and coming area with a lot of small businesses which need this access.
“There have been ongoing negotiations so it is intended this will add weight to the claim.
“It has only been online for a few days but already the response has been strong.”
To sign the petition visit www.thepetitionsite.com/442/307/950/fibre-broadband-for-priory-vale.
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