Moor homes struggle to get connected

High Wood residents and local councillors
High Wood residents and local councillors

Residents at the new Moor Hospital development in Lancaster have been left without phone or internet connection following “several failed commitments” from BT.

Residents at High Wood, the brand new housing development in the grounds of the Moor Hospital say that BT have given a number of dates for phone line installation but have continued to push the date back.

High Wood resident Derek Gatherer said: “I moved into my new home in May and had a commitment - the latest of several failed commitments - from my service provider, BT, that connection would take place on August 12.

“BT called the following morning with a new installation date of September 26. I want to commute less into work but without broadband that’s impossible.” Resident Neil Perks, added, “I run my own small business as an engineering consultancy and frequently need access to internet from home to send and download large engineering drawings and documentation.

“It becomes a bit of an embarrassment to frequently tell the client to hold on for a few hours whilst I nip to the coffee shop in the city to download and send the documents and get back to them to discuss.

“Like Derek said dates come and go, with no real sense of commitment or apology.”

Another resident commented that mobile phone-based communications are not a short-term solution because the signal is so poor.

Bulk ward city councillor Tim Hamilton-Cox said: “A resident of High Wood contacted me for help in trying to establish when Openreach might actually get round to installation. Efforts to communicate with Openreach contract management have foundered. But I approached a sub-contractor for Openreach last week who told me that it was undertaking off-site preparatory civil engineering work - ahead of the cabling gang. In that case, any earlier installation dates were clearly unachievable and so residents have been seriously misled.”

A BT spokesman, speaking for Openreach which builds the local network, said: “As this is a new development there is a considerable amount of ducting work, cabling and preparation that needs to be done.

“We understand the frustration of people in High Wood and we recognise the difficulties the delays have caused. Openreach, which sets up the network for BT, has put in a team this week to speed the work up and they will have finished shortly. It is regrettable that High Wood people have had these delays and we hope they will bear with us.”