The Hartington Upper Quarter Parish Council and other Local Authorities in the area have been asking BT to confirm that high speed broadband will be made available in this part of the Parish as soon as possible. Samantha Flower ( High Peak Borough Council) and Caitlin Bisknell (Councillor for Buxton North and East) have been helping us with this issue and have passed to us the following update;
First of all, I would like to apologise for the delayed response as we are still investigating this matter for you.
We have raised the issue of letters with BT and have asked them to look into this. Such exercises are carried out by the marketing department of BT, who identify areas. We are still awaiting a response from BT.
If you, or a constituent, have a copy of the letter from BT, which you could forward to me, it may help to speed things up.
When the Digital Derbyshire programme came into being, an Open Market Review (OMR) was carried out and the communications providers were asked to identify the areas where they had existing or planned fibre service. Under the State Aid rules, these areas were classed as covered by commercial roll out and were subsequently removed from the scope and remit of Digital Derbyshire. Sterndale Moor was identified as part of BT’s commercial roll out.
Derbyshire County Council conducted a further OMR in June 2014. The results of this OMR confirmed that Sterndale Moor was now eligible to be included within our revised Intervention Area as BT were unable to provide the required level of service. We are subsequently exploring whether Digital Derbyshire can help the area. We have asked BT to explore the options of how and when this area may be upgraded and will be able to advise as to the progress in due course.
I appreciate that this does not provide you with a definitive solution to the current situation. Although we will endeavour to try to help you, there are commercially available solutions, which you can explore and may be suitable for residents’ immediate needs. These include alternative technology or private lease lines which have been used to good effect. BT is running a scheme known as “never say no”, which looks at co-funded upgrade of the infrastructure. It may also be worth looking at 3G and 4G mobile coverage. The Ofcom coverage checker website (www.ofcom.org.uk/mobile-coverage) provides an indication of what coverage is like in your area. 3G and 4G data packages are dropping in price, whilst providing good speeds with increased monthly usage allowances so this might be something that residents wish to explore. There are other alternative technologies available privately such as wireless or satellite, these may also be worth considering. There is also a voucher scheme available for others in a similar situation, please visit the following link for further details http://www.digitalderbyshire.org.uk/news/news-items/new-satellite-broadband-scheme.asp.
I hope the above is helpful.
Councillor Caitlin Bisknell
Buxton North & East