BT battles to connect Sheffield games firm

Games company Distinctive Developments has been waiting since April for a fibre optic broadband line. Pictured is Nigel Little.
Games company Distinctive Developments has been waiting since April for a fibre optic broadband line. Pictured is Nigel Little.
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A Sheffield games company which has been waiting for superfast internet since April is being connected this week after The Telegraph Business intervened.

Distinctive Developments, of East Parade next to Sheffield Cathedral, has been waiting months for a ‘leased line’, seen as ‘business critical’ at the 30-strong firm.

Last week boss Nigel Little said they had written to the council, their MP and Creative Sheffield, part of the council, without success.

In conversations with Openreach, part of BT, he says he was told there was a problem with ducting.

He added: “It’s ridiculous that our staff have a faster connection when they go home.”

The Telegraph contacted BT and a spokesman said: “We are very sorry for the delay in providing an ethernet connection to Distinctive Developments Ltd and appreciate the inconvenience this delay is causing.

“A considerable amount of civil engineering work was required, the majority of which was located in the middle of Sheffield.

“As a result, engineers have only been permitted to work outside normal hours to minimise disruption. Severe blockages in the underground ducts have also been encountered which have caused further delays.

“Engineers are currently building a final 34 metres of underground duct with work expected to complete early this week. This only leaves the connection of the circuit which will be arranged via the service provider.”

Distinctive Developments was forced to pay for its own line after the £150m taxpayer-funded Digital Region network was shut down due to a lack of customers. South Yorkshire’s four councils have struck a second taxpayer–funded deal, for £22m, with BT. But funding rules exclude Sheffield city centre.