Full-fibre broadband: the campaign continues!
The original deadline was 19 May, to raise a total of £937,513 quoted by BT-Openreach to bring full-fibre ultrafast broadband to Brightling, Netherfield Village and Woods Corner.
That deadline has now passed, with just 62% of the target being raised by people pledging their government (DCMS) vouchers. Many thanks to all those who have already pledged.
The closing date has now been extended to 19 June, but extra time on its own will not be enough. We also need to bring the target down to make it more realistic.
During the course of the campaign, it became apparent that there were a lot of mistakes in the BT-Openreach quotation. Not just a few, a lot. In particular, the quote included many properties that had already got full-fibre broadand under a previous upgrade paid for by East Sussex County Council. If the project had gone ahead as quoted, BT-Openreach would have been paid twice for the same work!
We complained to BT-Openreach, and they have now agreed to “re-model” and re-cost the project. This re-think started on 6 May and we should get the result before the end of May.
Once we have the results of the re-costing we can see if there is a way forward. There are certainly possibilities but it’s probably no worth speculating until we see what revised numbers and ideas they come up with. If the result is still unachievable, we will seek to negotiate, starting from the postion that it is the incompetence of BT-Openreach that got us to this position. Our MP, Huw Merriman, has promised to exert some pressure at the appropriate time.
Meanwhile, if you haven’t yet pledged, please visit the pledging site now and do so. It only takes 5 minutes. The nearer we can get to the target, the stronger the position we will be in for any re-negotiation.
Although it is obviously disappointing that we have missed this target, the campaign is far from over. Watch this space.
If you have any questions, or offers of help, please email the campaign.