How far does the problem extend?

3rd February 2014:
We are currently exploring a number of “alternative” solutions to our Broadband needs. We have widened the campaign to Group 4 –Cabinet 48 homes too. To provide a tangible list of potential customers we have been asked to collect a list of telephone numbers and addresses of those residents that would take-up BT-Infinity (or other suppliers’ service) if offered to them.  This list is of those residents further than 1.5km from their nearest cabinet.  This would mean Hydestile, Feathercombe, Clockbarn Lane – effectively all homes East of Enton Green,  North of the Merry Harriers pub, South of Busbridge Lakes on Hambledon Road, and West of the Clockbarn/Salt Lane junction.

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How bad is your broadband?

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I live in Hydestile and have very poor broadband bandwidth.  I can get 1.8Mbps on a good day.  This is via ADSL2 on a BT line.

Surrey Council paid £35m for the Superfast Broadband Scheme to install Fibre Optic cable to areas not viable for BTs commercial roll out.   This was projected to cover Hambledon with FTC (Fibre to Cabinet) by December 2013.

However I have learned that Hydestile is not covered as the cabinet serving our area is not to be upgraded for fibre.   There are probably 180+ properties and businesses that are excluded: Hydestile, Feathercombe, ClockBarn, The Hydons, Enton, and Rake Lane.

These areas are served from a Cabinet (no. 26) near Milford Rail station, and it appears we were not included by the Surrey Superfast scheme because we would be covered by the BT commercial roll out.  Yet, despite BT maintaining that we are still in the commercial roll out, in reality Cabinet 26 is said to be unviable because it is "too expensive to upgrade with power" (exactly the criteria for others to be included in the SuperFast Surrey scheme).    So we can't be helped by Surrey CC. and BT won't do anything to upgrade.  Indeed  BT website still says upgrade in March 2014 - but that has been put back every 6 months since 2013 - so there is no reason to trust it. The "unviable for upgrade"  statement has also been changed to "delayed" after I complained - indicating to me that this cabinet is on hold until someone else intervenes.

There is a second area that is currently not served.  If you use the BT line checker it may say you are ready for BT Infinity (their fibre product) or it may say you will be ready in March 2014.  What the website won't tell you is BT do not install the product for homes above 1.8km from the cabinet. On poor cables (like cabinet 26) that restriction is nearer 1.5km. This also applies to Cabinet 48 in Busbridge too.  Cabinet 48 is already Fibre enabled.

Paul Osborne

 Map showing location of Cabinet 26 on corner of Rake Lane and Station Road in Milford.

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