Internet joy for West Hill

NEARLY 2,000 homes in West Hill have been handed a “more reliable” internet service.

NEARLY 2,000 homes in West Hill have been handed a “more reliable” internet service.

The move comes after half-a-year of work by BT engineers and one councillor’s campaign to net the village better broadband.

Claire Wright, a West Hill representative on Ottery town council, said most homes in the village will now benefit from an improved service.

“We are in the countryside… realistically we aren’t going to experience the same speeds as city centres, but thanks to BT, we should at least have a more reliable service,” she said.

The Herald reported last year how Cllr Wright contacted BT chiefs after residents complained about frequent internet disconnections and low speeds – sometimes less than one megabit.

Mrs Wright wrote to the BT’s chief executive, Ian Livingston, to ask if anything could be done. As a result, BT Openreach operations director, Bob Challacombe, investigated the problem and a six-month survey saw repairs made to cabling in the village and in Ottery.

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Mr Challacombe said: “We were unable to replace the cable from Ottery to West Hill due to significant civil engineering work and much disruption over a long period to residents.

“We had to find an alternative strategy and I am pleased to say that a combination of limited civil works plus large-scale replacement and renewal of much of the network in and around West Hill will have made a big difference for a large number of residents.

“Some will notice an improvement in their broadband speeds, but our main aim from the start has been to create a more reliable service, with a reduction or, hopefully, an elimination of those annoying disconnections.”

Mrs Wright added many villagers had experienced internet problems due to internal wiring in their homes. She thanked Mr Challacombe for his hard work.