Light at end of tunnel after train line broadband woe

Dean Jackson has been campaigning for better broadband in Stoke Hammond
Dean Jackson has been campaigning for better broadband in Stoke Hammond
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Residents who have suffered ‘sub-standard’ broadband speeds for years due to nearby electrified railway lines have been told their service is back on track.

And one villager in particular is celebrating super-fast optical fibre broadband arriving in Stoke Hammond at last after years of campaigning.

Dean Jackson, who was also an active member of Stop Dorcas Lane Turbines, has spent the last nine years lobbying BT to upgrade the broadband supply to his village.

Stoke Hammond, like so many other villages in the area, suffers from very low strength internet connectivity.

Dean was successful in getting Chris Rawson from Connected Counties involved, who was ultimately able to secure the funding required to upgrade the village.

Connected Counties are funded jointly by Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire County Councils, the Local Enterprise Partnerships for each county, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK team. Their objective is to increase fibre broadband coverage in the two counties to at least 90 per cent by the end of March 2016.

Dean, a telecoms engineer by profession and director of a small local business has worked tirelessly to convince BT that the village should be seen as a priority for the upgrade and that the poor signal strength experienced was not isolated to a few houses but endemic across the village.

This involved leafleting every home in the village and holding meetings at his house with BT, assisted at the meetings by fellow villager Malcolm Newing.

Dean said: “I am delighted that my years of hard work have paid off. The village and surrounding area have suffered for too long – it was practically impossible to download data or watch videos via the internet, but all that will change with the arrival of super-fast broadband.

“Thanks to Connected Counties and with the support of BT, who recognised that our service was impaired by the electrified lines of the nearby railway and as a consequence that our broadband was ‘sub-standard’, we’re now finally going to enter the 21st century!”

The cabinet is now in and it is orders are being taken. Residents will need to contact their service provider to check if their existing broadband package needs to be enhanced to take advantage of the improved service

Mr Rawson, who works with Buckinghamshire Business First leading the Connected Counties project, said: “We are very happy to be able to provide access to the superfast broadband that the village clearly needs. It’s also pleasing to know that similar outcomes are benefitting many other communities across the Vale.”

In addition, this month saw the 187th green roadside cabinet going live, making fibre broadband connections available to order for an additional 43,034 Buckinghamshire residents and businesses as part of the £18.06 million Connected Counties project.

To keep up to date on progress of the Connected Counties project please look at the ‘rollout update’ section at http://www.connectedcounties.org/home