Residents left in lurch in broadband debacle

Woodilee Estate residents
Woodilee Estate residents

Residents at a luxury Lenzie housing estate claim they will have to fork out £30,000 for an internet link after developers left them in the lurch.

Furious people living on the Woodilee Village estate have been campaigning for months for superfast broadband.

Many of them work from home and rely on the internet for their business.

The 400 or so properties on the Woodilee Village estate can only receive maximum download speeds of 2Mbps and upload speeds of 300-400Kbps.

BT Openreach has told them it is “not commercially viable” for the company to 
upgrade the service.

In a letter to one of the residents, BT says the consortium of four housing developers, CALA, Miller, Springfield and Persimmon told BT they won’t pay for the upgrade – despite originally saying they would.

But the developers say the responsibility for cabling and accessibility lies with BT.

Resident Martin Trotter, who has a video production company, said: “My firm relies on broadband. If I don’t get a file uploaded it reflects very badly on me. The four house developers have sold us short by not helping to plan and co-ordinate a key service for residents.

“Private funding is a last option. We have done some research and have been told it will cost between £15-£30k. “

In a letter to Martin, Annmarie Cork of BT Openreach said it was “not commercially viable” to upgrade the 
estate. She added: “At one stage we were in discussion with the consortium of developers with a view to providing them with the details of costings involved for them to privately fund but they have advised they do not wish to continue and were not willing to pay.”

A BT Openreach spokesman told the Herald this week: “Although around 10,500 premises in the Kirkintilloch area can now access fibre broadband, the cabinet serving the new premises was not included in BT’s commercial fibre deployment programme as it did not meet our commercial investment criteria.”

Doug Riddell, on behalf of the Woodilee Village consortium of builders, said: “Around nine months ago, the developers’ engineers looked into the ducting after it was suggested there was an issue with the broadband speed being received by some residents of Woodilee Village. On inspection, the engineers confirmed there was more than adequate ducting to facilitate BT’s cabling but the cabling installed by BT could not support fibre optic broadband.

“Funding and installation of the ducting is the responsibility of the consortium but the responsibility for cabling and accessibility lies solely with BT.”