The village that broadband forgot battles internet hell

Angry Lyminster residents have united to demand a better broadband service. Picture: Derek Martin
Angry Lyminster residents have united to demand a better broadband service. Picture: Derek Martin

Documents which take hours to download – it sounds like a bad joke, but for residents of one village it is a daily reality as they live with hellishly slow internet.

The people of Lyminster are so fed up with their internet speed they have united to sign a petition calling for BT to improve their broadband strength.

The internet is rubbish. It really affects my homework

Max Kelly, nine

Carole Hatton, a former parish councillor from Church Lane, organised the petition which has 60 signatures. She said: “I can write letters until I’m blue in the face but I’m just one voice. I’m hoping together we can get something done.”

Mrs Hatton said her broadband download speed is just over three megabytes when it should be six. Her upload speed is 0.33 megabytes – a third of what it should be – and these readings are not even the worst in the village, she said.

In a letter to Mrs Hatton, West Sussex County Council revealed six Lyminster postcodes are included in BT’s ‘ambitious’ upgrade plans – but these will not be completed until the end of 2018.

Fiona Wicks, from The Paddock, described the situation as ‘outrageous’ and ‘so disappointing’.

Her husband Clive, 80, is a conservation and development consultant and has to download 6,000 page documents, read them and condense them for work.

He said the downloads ‘take an age’. “He is a speed reader, but he doesn’t have speedy broadband,” his wife added.

Beth Skordis, a 15-year-old from Church Lane, said 2018 would be too late for faster broadband: “I’m home schooled and it affects my education because a lot of it is online. I have my GCSEs next year so it isn’t a good time because I need to revise.”

Max Kelly, nine, agreed: “The internet is rubbish. It really affects my homework.”

Roger Davies, 68, runs a courier business from his home in Lyminster Road and said poor internet strength is ‘a real inconvenience’. He said his family’s evening routine fits around the internet, as his wife often needs to download lengthy documents for her work as a teacher.

A BT spokesman confirmed the plans to upgrade the broadband network by the end of 2018 and said he hoped residents understood why they could not give a firm timescale.

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