Council insists work is scheduled as villagers hit out at internet speeds

PUBLISHED: 08:17 19 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:17 19 February 2018

Archant

Flitch Green residents have claimed they are being left behind by Essex County Council’s superfast broadband rollout scheme, which has reached 100,000 homes and businesses, with some saying their work is suffering because of slow broadband speed.

The Superfast Essex programme is the fibre infrastructure rollout being co-ordinated by Essex County Council in partnership with network operators Openreach and Gigaclear.

Councillor Steve Crawford, vice chairman of Flitch Green Parish Council, said: “There are 960 houses on the estate and approximately half still don’t have super fast broadband. People who want to work from home find it very difficult. It is very difficult for anyone to establish a business on the estate.”

He added that his 18-year-old son struggles to game online.

James Hall, 59, managing director at a financial technology company, who works frequently from home, described the broadband as ‘inoperable’.

He said: “I have a lot of meetings on Skype and half the time I can’t join in the conversations. Even my Norwegians colleagues up in the mountains, in tiny log cabins, get better broadband than me.”

IT consultant John Doughty, 51, who has lived in Flitch Green for 13 years said: “We are getting really concerned about this. I rely on the internet for work and for running my business and it just doesn’t work properly. I have had to rent another office in Dunmow just to take video calls, particularly with important clients.”

Peter Glen-Doepel, 48, director of Essex & Herts Pest Control echoed John’s frustrations. He said: “We were supposed to have a service up and running and we have had no explanation. We are angry and disappointed.”

An Essex County Council spokesman said work was being done to improve the service in the village.

The spokesman said: “The Superfast Essex programme has already upgraded part of Flitch Green Parish to superfast broadband by upgrading cabinet 11 in Felsted to fibre on the Openreach network.

“More work is planned in the parish by December 2019 with both Gigaclear and Openreach, including upgrades to Felsted 8 estimated by March and Felsted 9 estimated by June 2018.

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