The council leader is calling on BT to improve access to broadband in the Old Town.
Councillor Peter Chowney has written to Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access, saying businesses in the area were suffering from ‘very slow internet speeds’.
Difficulties were experienced in finding a suitable site for a particular fibre broadband cabinet in the Old Town. This has been resolved but BT has indicated it could take another 18 months to install it, the council leader said.
In his letter, Cllr Chowney said: “We have been told this cabinet might not be live until December 2017 which is, frankly, unacceptable. We are in the middle of a major programme to regenerate Hastings, which has enjoyed very considerable success. Nevertheless, we remain the 20th most deprived borough in the country and it is vital we do all we can to improve our prospects.”
He has asked Mr Murphy to speed up the installation of the cabinet.
Cllr Chowney said: “It is very frustrating for businesses to be told they may have to wait another 18 months to enjoy the kind of service most of the rest of the country have taken for granted for ages. I do hope Mr Murphy is able to bring pressure to bear and get our Old Town businesses their broadband connection as soon as possible, and certainly by the end of 2016, not 2017.”
An Openreach spokesman said: “We have replied to Cllr Chowney about the installation of a new fibre broadband cabinet for Hastings Old Town. The relevant documentation from the planning authority and highways department is being sought. We are working as fast as we can to bring fibre broadband access to homes and businesses. As long as there are no objections, the Openreach delivery team can deliver the fibre broadband cabinet by March 31, 2017.”
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