Locals fume as BT boss gets broadband first

BT has upset the good folk of an Oxfordshire village by giving its chairman broadband ahead of the rest of the residents.

Locals fume as BT boss gets broadband first

Hambleden, near Henley-on-Thames, is a broadband “notspot”, where the length of the lines make it impossible for BT to serve up regular ADSL broadband.

However, BT’s managed to find a way to deliver broadband to its chairman using the company’s recently announced Broadband Enabling Technology (BET). The technology doubles the reach of ADSL to 12km from the exchange by bonding two copper lines together.

Despite moving into the village only a year ago, Sir Michael Rake is the only resident of the village to be granted access to the trial – a move that’s infuriated locals who’ve been asking BT for broadband connections for more than five years.


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“I run a business and we probably have 1,000 BT lines,” local businessman Gary Ashworth told The Daily Telegraph. “Clearly there is preferential treatment if you happen to be the chairman. I think it is a disgrace.”

BT says it’s standard practice to carry out small field trials with its own staff. “At the moment we are trialling broadband enabling technology (BET) at 10 locations in the UK,” a spokesman told the newspaper. “We can confirm Sir Michael Rake is trialling BET at his home. The pilot is very small and involves a handful of users at this stage.”

BT is waiting for funds announced in the Digital Britain report to become available before it considers deploying BET on a nationwide scale.

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