Riverside Close resident, Mark Painter moved in to his new home eight years ago. Five years ago he enquired about a high speed broadband connection, but discovered it wasn’t available in Riverside Close. Since then, he has been waiting for this to happen. Mark says, “Anyone who has tried to get an answer from Openreach will know how difficult this is. They say talk to your telephone supplier. When you ask your supplier, they say it’s an Openreach problem, we can’t help. So round and round you go!”
“I cornered an Openreach engineer in the street a while ago and asked him what was going on. He told me that Cabinet 84 is one of two cabinets in the whole of Bridgwater that does not have a fibre connection. Checking on the website regularly over the years showed that fibre broadband in my area was ‘in the design stage with delivery expected in less than 12 months’. It was like this for five years!”
Tony steps in
Eventually, Mark raised the problem with Tony Heywood, the Labour Candidate for Bridgwater West, who agreed to see what he could do to help. Tony also had difficulty at first finding a way through BT’s closed communication network. However, his persistence paid off.
Tony says, “It is quite common these days for organisations like BT to try to avoid all contact with the general public. They employ teams of people, laughingly called Customer Relations Advisors, to fend off enquiries or redirect you to websites that never give the answer you need. It can be so frustrating.”
“However, I refused to be side-tracked and found a way to make a formal written complaint on Mark’s behalf. Within a couple of weeks, I received assurance from Openreach that the job was now scheduled to be done and that Mark should be able to apply for his fibre broadband around the end of June.”
Mark, a local DJ for Sedgemoor FM, was overjoyed at the news. “Tony has been brilliant. I really didn’t expect to get a result so soon. In this day and age, it is almost essential to have high speed fibre broadband. I’m really looking forward to being able to stream my favourite movies and TV programmes. Bring it on!”