Update – Betterbroadband for Norfolk (BBfN) – but not for all in our Parish!
Sandra Betts, Parish Councillor, Wramplingham
As you may have been pleased to read, Barford and Wramplingham Parish will benefit from the latest roll out of BBfN – please see article posted on the website on 12 July.
This, sadly, will not apply to all residents and businesses in the Parish boundary. Since becoming a Parish Councillor for Wramplingham in May, I have been investigating the situation and on further enquiry with the project manager, Karen O’Kane, I was informed that Wrampingham postcodes NR18 0SA and NR18 0RZ would be excluded from the County Council current roll out. Nor are there any plans at the present time to include them. Residents living in Wramplingham in postcodes NR18 0RU, NR18 0RX and NR18 0RY will be included but further enquiries have unearthed that you will only benefit from superfast broadband (+24Mpbs) if the cable to your home is a less than 1 kilometre from the BT cabinet that serves your premises.
I am aware that residents and businesses in postcodes NR18 0SA and NR18 0RZ are struggling to reach 2Mbps which the Government has recognised as a minimum requirement for all households. Even reaching 2Mbps will not relieve the situation for long. We know from experience that large data files will still struggle to come through quickly and efficiently as more and more commercial companies and government departments are building websites that assume highspeed internet connections.
I have been pursuing the issue on behalf of residents in NR18 0SA and NR18 0RZ. I met with our local MP, Richard Bacon and have been in correspondence with Marie Strong, Chair of the committee in charge of BBfN and the BBfN project manager, Karen O’Kane. To date I have been unsuccessful in achieving our inclusion onto the project.
However, one hope on the horizon is a pilot BT is currently trialling in North Yorkshire with a rural community. Comments from North Yorkshire County Council project manager and local residents have been very positive. South Norfolk District Council is also looking at what can be done for premises not covered by the County Council by BT for the District Council I am pleased to report that BT has confirmed this technology, called fibre to the remote node (FTTnR), will be made available for the tranche involving the District funding. The South Norfolk District Council working party held their 1st meeting on 7 July so it is still early days and we await further news.
Whilst I have been particularly interested in the situation in Wramplingham, I would be pleased to hear from any residents of Barford who are having similar issues.
I know this is an area of frustration for many residents and businesses. Broadband is not a “nice to have” but an essential part of our lives. Let’s hope the final outcome is positive for all residents.