Lancaster residents force BT into action over broadband connection

One of the convenors of the resident action group, Alan Bean, at the cabinet.
One of the convenors of the resident action group, Alan Bean, at the cabinet.

A group of Lancaster residents are claiming a victory in their campaign to have fibre broadband delivered to their homes.

Houses on the Highgrove estate had previously been left in the dark over whether they could receive the high speed internet service, despite surrounding properties being connected.

But at a well-attended community meeting on Friday, which was convened by Lancaster MP Cat Smith, the Highgrove residents’ group won their campaign to have BT deliver fibre broadband to the estate.

Ms Smith said: “This is an example of how community activism can achieve great results in an area. BT have only decided to upgrade the cabinet because of a strong local campaign from the residents of the Highgrove estate and surrounding roads.

“Whilst I welcome BT’s commitment to upgrade the cabinet, I will be monitoring their progress to ensure that promises are delivered.”

At the meeting, BT heard concerns from residents about the impact of slow connections speeds on their personal and business needs.

Through the course of the meeting, BT agreed to residents’ demands to upgrade their cabinet to fibre broadband within the next nine months.

The decision to include the cabinet in their commercial rollout comes after several years of campaigning by residents of the Highgrove estate.

Through the course of the campaign the residents compiled a 71 household strong petition which was sent to the Minister for the Digital Economy.

Late last year MP Cat Smith met with senior representatives from BT in Westminster, where she reached an agreement for officials to come to Lancaster to meet with local residents.

BT have also agreed to provide bi-monthly updates on the progress of the work.

Local residents who wish to receive updates on the progression of the upgrade should contact Cat Smith’s office on 01524 566 551 or by emailing cat.smith.mp@parliament.uk.