Broadband campaign ignoring existence of current operator in East Cambs village, says resident

MP Steve Barclay with the Connecting Cambridgeshire website.

MP Steve Barclay with the Connecting Cambridgeshire website. - Credit: Archant

FOR the last five years there has been a broadband service based in Prickwillow, run by one of the residents.

Over the last few years the business has been working on ways to grow, both by expanding footprint and moving to provide superfast broadband to customers.

As you know, Connecting Cambridgeshire is funding BT to enable superfast broadband to much of the county.

Under EU funding guidelines, this funding cannot be used in areas where there will be a duplication of next generation access services – where another provider is already providing, or planning to provide, superfast broadband.

Connecting Cambridgeshire has defined Prickwillow as a ‘white area’ after its open consultation last year – an area where no other operator is planning to roll out superfast broadband. This is simply not the case.

Local councils are well aware of the existence of the existing operator (4SG Telecom), but has chosen to ignore its existence.

BT will then use this EU funding to come in and wipe out the small incumbent – whose business literally vanishes overnight.

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CONNECTING Cambridgeshire is well aware of the history of poor broadband coverage in Prickwillow and has been working with councils as well as local broadband champions to keep residents informed about the project.

Broadband suppliers had the opportunity to take part in both open market and public consultations, which were published on the website between March and September 2012. This required suppliers to outline details of their current and future plans.

4SG Telecom, a not-for-profit service in Prickwillow, did not come forward during the consultation period.

This will not affect the rollout programme, which is now under way with the first areas to receive fibre broadband by the end of 2013.

The BT fibre-based network will be open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis, bringing greater choice and affordable prices.

We welcome any alternative provision as this will give residents more choice provided it is affordable and sustainable.


Communications and Media Manager

Connecting Cambridgeshire

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