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Villages to hold summit over internet issues

Section:  Annan and Eskdale  | Tags: , , , , , , ,

GROWING frustrations over phone and internet issues in Powfoot and Cummertrees have sparked plans for a summit on Monday September 11.

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The meeting will allow residents to tell a BT representative about problems such as speed, connectivity and drop-out which they say are badly affecting private homes and businesses.

Annandale South councillor Sean Marshall has arranged the meeting, and said: “During the local election campaign in May a number of residents contacted all local council candidates for Annandale South Ward about internet issues in the Powfoot, Cummertrees and Newbie area.”

Councillor Marshall says the issues have been raised with other politicians, but have not resulted in any action.

As a result, Councillor Marshall collected data on the problems and forwarded it to BT, asking for a public meeting.

He said: “This is an opportunity for BT, etc to come back with some solutions to the problems identified.” John Graham of Cummertrees is one of those affected.

Mr Graham, 48, said: “Not everybody in our village seems to be having a problem, but on talking to them most do. “You can be using the internet, and then all of a sudden it just drops out. It goes off; your router changes colour.

“Or if your using the internet and the telephone rings, your internet can go off. “People are just fed up.”

Mr Graham says the problem is affecting an accounting business run from home and a woman who does online lectures.

And he says engineers have suggested that ageing copper wiring could be to blame. Openreach say an extensive upgrade of its network in Powfoot and Cummertrees has been carried out, replacing three metres of cabling to provide more than 2300 metres of new cabling.

A spokesman said: “We are confident that this repair has fixed recent fault reports of crackling lines and dropping Internet connections.”

And Openreach say engineers have installed a new fibre cabinet providing faster speeds of up to 80Mbps to about 190 homes and businesses.

And they say about 30 premises benefiting from a direct fibre connection will increase to 115 next year offering speeds of up to 3000Mbps, which they say are ‘some of the fastest speeds available in the UK’.

A spokesman said: “We look forward to meeting the community next week.”

The meeting takes places on Monday September 11 at 7 pm at Powfoot Hotel.

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