BT should be made to pay for their part in broadband farce

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The Star Opinion column entitled ‘Digisaster’ (Wednesday, July 30, 2014) has prompted me to add further comment about the Digital Region debacle.

Without reiterating all of the points made, the most concerning ones are a) the present and foreseeable state of internet service provision in South Yorkshire, and b) the accountability of those elected and appointed to serve the people and who are responsible for this debacle.

Broadband accessibility has been a contentious issue for a decade now and particularly in rural communities, nothing has changed in that time. In 2006 the then regional development agency, claimed that South Yorkshire had 100 per cent broadband coverage. Of course that was untrue as it still is today. When I moved to Dunford Bridge in November 2005 I signed up with BT for phone and broadband service. The phone was adequate but the line wasn’t capable of providing broadband – it still isn’t! The most infuriating aspect of this is that I am continually bombarded by BT offering‘fantastic deals’ on broadband, even ‘superfast broadband’, often free for an introductory limited period, despite the company not having the infrastructure to deliver any service to Dunford Bridge whatsoever. BT is a private company with a monopoly on landline telecommunication services but it has failed many areas across the country by not investing where it is desperately needed. This is an outrage and the company should be brought to book. My view is that BT should be renationalised and accountable through due democratic process.

Will those responsible be held to account? Will they lose their jobs? Or are the same incompetent, bungling bureaucrats now in charge of negotiating the latest deal with BT? We have a democratic right to know!

Mick Drewry

Don View, Dunford Bridge, S36 4TE