Heathfield failed by inadequate broadband provision

11th September

No Broadband service available from Vodafone

Despite the welcome announcement from ESCC of new funding from central Government to help those out of work and support business growth in East Sussex, The Heathfield News was shocked to learn that anyone moving to Heathfield, business or residential, is unable to connect a new account to fibre broadband.

BT has confirmed that the provision for fibre is oversubscribed and the OpenReach infrastructure is not there to support this demand.

The Heathfield News would like to challenge Graham Peters, Team East Sussex Chairman, who was quoted below in a recent press release to take an urgent look at the infrastructure strategy for areas like Heathfield. It is no longer a nice to have, but an essential service to enable businesses and those working from home to function.

The press release said: “The coronavirus crisis and the restrictions of the past few months have left businesses across the county facing unprecedented challenges.

“The East Sussex Economy Recovery Plan rightly focuses on helping businesses and communities reset, recover and overcome these challenges, but it also looks forward; building sustainable and inclusive prosperity and accessing new opportunities for our county, while remaining responsive to a rapidly changing world.”

This is what a local business owner had to say: “I am a digital business and am moving to Heathfield this September. I was shocked to find that I cannot receive the same quality fibre broadband as I get in Burwash once I move to Heathfield. As working from home has replaced London meetings 100%, I am dependent on Broadband for daily meetings and all of my work takes place online. BT could only offer 8-16 Mbps in contrast to my current speeds of 55-73Mbps. I tried SKY, Vodafone and others, all gave the same response or worse. I am now questioning if moving to Heathfield is a good idea.”

The best BT could offer

The Heathfield News contacted the local MP Huw Merriman and Openreach but neither have responded.