Reydon/Southwold: BT under fire over service

COMMUNICATIONS giant BT has come under fire from an independent school and a community radio station over the time it has taken to install broadband and repair a telephone line fault.

St Felix School in Reydon, near Southwold, placed an order with BT Openreach last June to set up a broadband service to improve its students’ education and to help them contact their families over the internet.

But, one year on, the work has still not been done and the school’s headmaster Dr Simon Letman says it feels “badly let down”.

There is similar frustration at Blyth Valley Community Radio which has been without a telephone line at its studio at The Casino on Gun Hill, Southwold, for more than four weeks, causing it to miss out on vital advertising.

St Felix School says it was told by BT Openreach that the work to install its 20MB broadband line should have been completed by September but, because of size of the job, it has still not been finished.

Dr Letman said: “We feel badly let down by BT Openreach over this whole issue. There is clearly a failure of management here and scant regard for customer service. Our planned developments to benefit pupils have had to be delayed and BT Openreach appear largely unconcerned about the impact on customer confidence.”

A BT spokesman apologised for the extra time taken but said it was a “major engineering project” that required a significant amount of work.

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“The circuit is reliant on a major upgrade of the core network between Southwold and Wangford exchange and between Wangford and Lowestoft, which involves laying two new fibre optic cables over a total distance of 25km (15 miles),” he said. “This work, along the busy A12 trunk road, will require traffic management in order for the work to be completed and there is currently a roadworks embargo during the busy holiday period.

“The order is also taking longer to complete than originally planned as the work will be very close to a gas main. All indications of timescales on major works such as this are subject to unforeseen problems which occur. ”

Staff at Blyth Valley Radio are hoping their phone problems will soon be resolved as they say they have lost a lot of business.

The BT spokesman said they hoped to finish the work at the end of last week.

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