I have been aware for some time that some of the telephone wires in this area are aluminium rather than copper, and that this (very old) wiring results in very low internet speeds for those affected. I became aware of the extent of this problem in the run up to Christmas. Although my knowledge is specific to North and South Wheatley, I suspect that other villages using the Sturton exchange are similarly affected.
It is also worth noting at this point that there is now a ‘fibre’ connection between the exchange at Sturton le Steeple and the junction box in South Wheatley. From South Wheatley to properties in the village we are still reliant on the old cabling.
Being aware that Nottinghamshire County Council are trying to boost internet speeds in rural Nottinghamshire, I contacted our County Councillor, John Ogle, to see if pressure could be put on BT Openreach to replace the aluminium wires with copper. John Ogle put me in touch with Phil Berrill and his team at the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme. The reply from Phil Berrill was:
“We cannot make Openreach replace old cables if they choose not to, however if the cables are unable to provide the service customers are paying for then Openreach are obliged to remedy the situation.
“This will only happen if faults and complaints are reported to internet/telephone service providers (who, in turn report the issues to Openreach). Openreach prioritise their repairs/upgrades dependant on volume of recorded issues, therefore the more people that complain the better.”
“I would always encourage residents to upgrade to a fibre broadband service, although this will still rely on the same copper/aluminium from the Cabinet to the home this will be a vast improvement on the standard service. The cost is not always prohibitive, can often be the around the same price as standard (ADSL) broadband.”
I suspect that service providers are more likely to do something about poor speed if you have just moved to ‘fibre’ as this service has been sold as ‘superfast’. This ‘doing something’ could well involve moving you to copper — or even replacing that bit of aluminium wire with copper.
Based on this, if you are suffering poor internet speeds, it is up to you to keep on at your service provider to do something about it. If this does not work, switch to another provider in the hope that they may provide a better service. Yes, some are better than others in this regard.
Finally, I can confirm that ‘fibre’ does provide a more reliable and faster internet service and is, in my view, well worth the (small) extra cost involved.
Hannah Gibson from Better Broadband Nottinghamshire will be at the Coffee Morning to be held at the Village Hall, South Wheatley on Saturday 10th March. Hannah will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding broadband speeds in this area. She will also have leaflets available for you to take away.
For more information, please contact Alan Guest on 01427 884147 — or by email at email@example.com.