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It''s forward with high-speed broadband as Gazette campaign claims victory
8:19am Friday 4th April 2014 in News
RESIDENTS of West Malvern have been celebrating after high-speed broadband has come to the village, following a campaign by the Malvern Gazette.
And people living in Malvern Vale hope to be next as BT says 97 per cent of homes and businesses in the town are now wired up.
The long-awaited upgrade was completed last month, and residents will now be able to enjoy fast internet connection speeds.
Musician Paul Farrer of Westminster Bank said: "We're very glad that we've finally got fast broadband, but we won't forget that we had to shout and scream for two or three years to get it.
"It seems wrong that we had to make so much fuss to get something that the UN considers to be a basic human right.
"West Malvern is hardly a rural backwater, so what must it be like for someone really living out in the wilds? If that is you, I'd advise you to keep making a fuss, as that seems to be the way to get BT's attention."
The Malvern Gazette has been campaigning to speed up the installation of the up-to-date equipment cabinets needed to roll out high-speed broadband across the town, alongside MP Harriett Baldwin.
BT has been working with Worcestershire County Council on the Superfast Worcestershire partnership, to provide broadband in areas not covered by the commercial rollout.
Mrs Baldwin said: “Residents in West Malvern now enjoy superfast broadband and I am pleased that the Malvern Gazette’s campaign has been successful.
“BT faced unusual challenges with the terrain and land ownership, so the Conservators, Malvern Hills District Council and local landowners have all played a helpful part in resolving the problems."
Her efforts were praised by Mr Farrar, who said: "Harriett has done a lot to make this possible, and we're grateful for the hard work that she's put in."
Now Mrs Baldwin will be turning her attention to the town's newest housing development, in the hope of achieving the same success there.
“My efforts will now be directed towards Malvern Vale’s upgrade and I hope that the county council and BT will have some good news to share shortly,” she said.
Her words were welcomed by Tom James, chairman of Malvern Vale Residents' Group, who said: "There are still houses being built here, so I appreciate the problems, but I hope BT can make progress soon."
Bill Murphy of BT said: “As a result of our investment just under 97 per cent of homes and businesses in Malvern can now access fibre broadband. We will now focus on working with Worcestershire County Council to deploy fibre to the remaining parts of the county not covered by any commercial roll-out.”
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