Suffolk couple left at centre of broadband nightmare

Alan Austin and his wife Vanessa have been left frustrated by their poor experience with Openreach

Alan Austin and his wife Vanessa have been left frustrated by their poor experience with Openreach - Credit: Alan Austin

A couple living in a rural area of Suffolk have been left frustrated after their broadband connection was delayed for more than three months.  

Alan Austin and his wife Vanessa's home in Tangham Forest has been without sufficient broadband since September.

The Austin's were promised better broadband by Openreach who wanted to connect them up to fibre optic services.

Until then the couple had been using satellite broadband to stay connected because of their remote location. 

However, three months later the new connection has not materialised after Openreach struggled to get the correct permission to connect up the couple's broadband because of work that needed to be done in the nearby forest, which is managed by Forestry England. 


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Mr Austin's neighbours in the forest have all since been connected but delayed talks between Forestry England and Openreach meant that Mr Austin's home remains the only one of the four homes in Tangham Forest not to have been connected. 

"It's a nightmare," said Mr Austin. 

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"We have a mini hub which is good enough to receive emails if we are lucky."

Mrs Austin is unable to work from home as a result, despite having COPD. 

The couple are also having to use a temporary phone line while the work is looked at. 

The couple have been promised various dates as to when the work will be carried out but even now they aren't sure what will happen. 

"We've been told January 14 but we are not confident that that will happen," said Mr Austin. 

A spokesman for Openreach said that it had now received the relevant permission and hoped to be able to start work soon.

“Our work in Suffolk continues with more and more homes and businesses being connected to fibre broadband every week," said the spokesman.  

"Around 97 per cent can already access faster broadband speeds, and we’re building a full fibre network already in a number of locations.

"In this instance, we needed permission from Forestry England to install more than 20 metres of underground ducting, which will be used to connect this property to the fibre network.

"We now have this permission so will be progressing the work as planned.” 

Forestry England were contacted for comment. 

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