Photographer left confused after told he's definitely not getting fast broadband - then finding he already had it

Original by Owen Hughes, North Wales Live - https://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/photographer-left-co…

Jeff Pavey was told there were no plans to bring fast internet services to his home - but this suddenly changed

 

A photographer has been left frustrated and confused after being told he definitely wasn't getting fast broadband access - and then discovering he already had it.

Jeff Pavey said he had seen Openreach workers on his road in Penrhyn Bay 2017 and that they told him they were installing fast internet services.

He kept looking on the online checker but was getting the message that it was not available at his Penrhyn Madoc home and there was no schedule for the work to be competed in the future.

But then this spring he was told by a local engineer that the work connecting his nearest cabinet to fast fibre broadband had already been done and was available to him.

The 71-year-old contacted Openreach and AM Janet Finch-Saunders also took up the case with the company and Welsh Government.

But this April an Openreach official still insisted the work has not been done and there were no plans at all to bring fast fibre to his home in the near future under future rollouts.

They even asked him to consider satellite broadband or a Community Fibre Partnership in a letter seen by North Wales Live.

Deputy economy minister Lee Waters also wrote to Mrs Finch-Saunders with the same message on May 21 and apologising that there were no plans to connect Mr Pavey's house.

However Mr Pavey has now been told his property is connected to fast fibre - although there is confusion about exactly when this work was carried out.

Mr Pavey is convinced he has had the services available for months but that Openreach did not realise.

Openreach says while it did bring high-speed fibre broadband to 300 properties in Penrhyn at the end 2017 - it later returned to give access to an additional 119 properties.

He said: "More than three months ago an engineer came to my house to do a survey on broadband services.

"I told him we didn't have superfast but he said it had been done, he knew because he had done it!

"We went to Openreach to tell them but they wouldn't have it and kept saying we had not been connected. AM Janet Finch-Saunders was also involved in the case on my behalf.

"But they kept telling us the work had not been done and was not scheduled to be done, offering expensive alternative options.

"But a week ago they eventually admitted it had been fitted already and was available, we don't know exactly when but the engineer said it had been 'quite some time' ago. I think it must have been around 18 months and no one knew.

"Clearly there has been some sort of error, it is incredibly inefficient, monstrous really and you wonder how many other people across Wales this could affect.

"We have been putting up with 2.5 to 5 megabits per second broadband when we had FTTP broadband fitted that brings speeds of 250 megabits."

Mr Pavey is a retired photographer and now uses his photography skills to showcase North Wales.

He said: "This has been hard with such slow broadband, I don't do it for any money now but I love to promote North Wales by sharing photographs of the area."

AM Mrs Finch-Saunders said she was "using all levers at my disposal to highlight the significant demands for fibre connectivity in Conwy".

A spokesperson for Openreach said: “More than 93% of Conwy homes and businesses can now access fast reliable fibre broadband as a result of a combination of our commercial roll-out and that of the successful Superfast Cymru programme – a partnership between Openreach and the Welsh Government.

“Given the challenging and often complex nature of deploying fibre broadband there are occasions when we’re unable to reach every property within a postcode at the same time.

"Approximately 300 properties in Penrhyn were provided with access to high-speed fibre broadband as a result of Superfast Cymru and this work was completed at the end 2017.

"Openreach has since returned to Penrhyn and provided fibre broadband access to an additional 119 properties as part of our ambition to connect 4m premises to a full fibre network by the end of 2021.

“We’re also currently working with the Welsh Government to rollout fibre broadband to a further 26,000 premises across Wales and the majority of these properties will be able to access ultrafast speeds once they are connected.

"This further fibre rollout is part of a package of measures from the Welsh Government to reach the remaining five per cent of Welsh premises without access to fast broadband, which includes broadband voucher schemes.

“Individual properties can be checked online to find out if they are in plans for this project and other options that are available.”