Bret Whitcombe is heading up a campaign to bring super-fast broadband to the Lincolnshire town of Bourne. He is running an online petition to try and show Openreach that the demand for its fibre based services does exist.
With the Openreach roll-out set to reach around two-thirds of the population under current plans, there will always be the have nots, the question really is how much can petitions influence Openreach (remember it is not BT Infinity from BT Retail, but BT Openreach that controls the roll-out). Bourne does not appear to be too remote, since it has acquired some five LLU providers offering ADSL2+ services, and is due to receive ADSL2+ from BT Wholesale too in 2011.
Bret was interviewed for the Stamford Mercury, where he states that many people had a standard speed of 2Mbps. Looking at our own Broadband Maps which record recent speed tests people have carried out, we can see that the peripheral areas of the town (which incidently appears to feature a lot of new build properties) do see speeds of just over 2Mbps, though oddly in some areas you see speeds of 8Mbps with a couple of hundred metres away people getting just 2Mbps.
Poor broadband performance can be a common issue in new build properties, as generally they are wired up by the builders with BT Openreach simply doing the final connection to the network, and while invariably the wiring is good for a telephone, in terms of broadband, having a phone extension in every room can cause havoc to a xDSL signal. Where people are getting slower broadband than they want, testing the internal wiring and comparing it with best practice, i.e. filtering the phone line at the entry point to the property can pay dividends. Other options where people and businesses can only get 2 to 3Mbps is to exploit bonding options, which some providers offer, admittedly this will cost more, but is something that can be accomplished in a matter of weeks.
Should providers do more about ensuring their customers are getting the best speed from their connection? It would be nice, but with the pressure on ever cheaper pricing, the spare capacity to help people ascertain whether their broadband is slow, or extension wiring is causing issues does not exist. Invariably it falls to friends, family or kind neighbours to help people, or places like our own forums which contain a great many posts on resolving wiring issues.