Tenants at the new WeWork Edinburgh offices have complained of poor connectivity issues after the firm failed to install broadband before companies moved in.
A host of companies from Edinburgh’s technology scene have moved into – or are set to move into – the luxurious offices which offer panoramic views of Edinburgh Castle. The co-working space, which is the third WeWork office to open in the UK, can house up to 800 residents.
Initial teething issues led some firms to complain about sub-standard broadband services. Other tenants (who wish to remain anonymous) told DIGIT that they were unable to move into the building due to the lack of connectivity, while others were streaming 4G data to stay connected.
One source said: “The building is not fully operational because WiFi is provided by 4G dongles only. They are working on a solution but not confirming if they have fibre in the building.”
Tenants were led to believe that connectivity issues may persist for some time, with one source noting they were told it could be a “couple of weeks” until the issues were set to be resolved.
“Teams have been running on 4G,” a source told DIGIT. “Ethernet is going in as a temporary solution now and I gather that the fibre will be up and running within a couple of weeks.”
To compensate for the disruption, WeWork allegedly offered temporary accommodation at EICC for tenants to use. However, it is unknown whether any agreed to the offer.
DIGIT contacted WeWork yesterday, who responded with a statement clarifying the situation.
“Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, the WiFi service at 80 George Street, whilst available, is below our usual standard and speed,” a spokesperson said.
“We know this is really disappointing for our members and apologise for the inconvenience this has caused – their experience is our top priority and we are working hard to get this resolved as quickly as possible,” the statement added.
Since speaking to WeWork, DIGIT understands that efforts have been made to resolve the connectivity issues. A “dedicated internet line” has now been established at the office by the company’s internet service provider, which WeWork failed to disclose.
Communication throughout the ordeal has been described as “vague” by some tenants and one source spoke of their frustration over the “unacceptable” situation.
Prices for private offices at the George Street location start at £1,150 per month, with hot desks setting tenants back £350.
WeWork’s meteoric rise and subsequent difficulties have grabbed headlines for several months now. The company recently withdrew its planned public listing just days after founder and CEO Adam Neumann left the company.
SoftBank has poured upwards of $11 billion into the workspace startup, and when it invested in the company in January, it expected the company to float on a $47 billion valuation. Since then, however, investor concerns over the company’s losses and business model have driven the valuation down significantly.
WeWork considered going public with a valuation of around $10 billion before scrapping plans for a 2019 IPO entirely.
Significant job losses are also on the horizon at WeWork. A report last week from Business Insider claimed that the company could lay off between 10 and 25% of its workforce.