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OpenReach Burned In Effigy By Angry Villagers

Brian Baglow

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Openreach Templeton burned the company in effigy

After three years of speeds under 1 megabit per second, villagers in Templeton, Devon, burned the company in effigy for Guy Fawkes night…

The effects of slow broadband on a community can be a bone of contention for many places across the United Kingdom. Few however are putting up with the sloth-like speeds of Templeton in Devon, where residents report average speeds of less than 1 Megabit per second (1Mbps).

After being promised the problem would be ‘looked into’ three years ago – with no results – villagers vented their frustration in a traditional way – by burning an OpenReach van in effigy on November 5th – Guy Fawkes night.

BT told the BBC that the village was ‘extremely rural’, which made connecting the village to a fibre network ‘more challenging’. The company says it is “working hard to find alternative ways of bringing faster broadband to residents, including a community fibre partnership and a mobile broadband solution.”

However, Templeton resident Roger Linden remains doubtful the company will deliver. According to the BBC, he said: “They managed to get a cable to the nearby hamlet of Nomansland, but just eight kilometres further and there’s nothing. It’s incompetence of the first order… but we all had a great evening watching the bonfire.”

With a speed of 0.7 megabits per second, Mr Linden, like many others in the village, says he cannot stream media can only check email and occasionally browse the internet.

Fellow resident Adam Short, who moved to the village about 18 months ago, said: “We knew it was terrible before we moved, but we hoped there would be a solution. Trying to run my business from home is nigh on impossible at times, and I’m one of the lucky ones because I have a 4G signal on the roof with some specialist kit.

“It also has an impact on the children in the village as it’s restricting their homework.”

Mr Short told the BBC he helped create the van effigy, painted ‘won’t reach’ over the company’s actual name, on the floor of his barn.

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Brian Baglow

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