South Chale fibre connection ‘beyond the control’ of BT and IWC

South Chale residents and business owners are still without fibre broadband after a lengthy waiting period.

BT Openreach have been promising to connect power to a new fibre exchange cabinet in the Church Place area for two years.

Some people in the area are lucky to receive very slow download speeds of 3Mbps at peak times, meaning businesses and residents have to restrict internet use just to carry out basic online tasks.

Isle of Wight Council and BT have been working together to fix the issue and believed it would be resolved this summer – now they say it is “beyond the control of both organisations”.

Cheryl & Andy Greenwood in their pub, Wight Mouse Inn

Andy and Cheryl Greenwood, owners of the Wight Mouse Inn have been repeatedly told for two years that fibre broadband is “just around the corner” – a phrase they’ve begun to take literally as their neighbours already receive a fibre service.

Mrs Greenwood said: “It’s particularly frustrating when you hear from the media on a regular basis promoting ‘even faster internet’ through fibre and we are stuck with a line that’s a max of 2Mbps.

“We’ve been told for a long time that it is just around the corner while our neighbours who live yards away have had fast broadband for a couple of years all because they are on a different exchange.

“Both ourselves and our customers would benefit from a more consistent, faster service.”

Outside the Wight Mouse Inn – Google Maps

Next door to the Wight Mouse is the Chale Service Station whose card machine is often temperamental for customers. They also said that receiving faster, more reliable broadband would make business easier for them.

A BT Openreach spokesman said: “This particular cabinet was put on hold due to issues with gaining permission to lay cables across private land. The good news is that these issues are now resolved, and discussions are underway with our partners at Isle of Wight Council to look at when this cabinet can be fibre enabled.”

A Isle of Wight Council spokesman said: “The broadband cabinet is in position and the fibre optics connected. To complete the work and become operational the cabinet requires an electrical connection.

“This was planned to happen over the summer, however, it was not possible to secure permission for the required road closure to undertake the work safely.

“Both the Isle of Wight Council and BT are working to get this broadband cabinet connected to a power supply as soon as possible, but some aspects of this work are beyond the control of both organisations.”