A survey conducted in Kintore reveals widespread dissatisfaction with broadband services in the town. While some of those who are able to get fibre broadband enjoy speeds over 65MB, a significant number on conventional wired broadband report their service appears to be deteriorating.
Almost two thirds (65%) of those who responded complained of disconnections affecting their broadband service, with 38% saying these outages are “quite regular” or “very regular”.
On broadband speeds, 40% say they are dissatisfied. Just over a quarter reported that the speeds they get were 1MB or less and 10% complained of broadband speeds less than 500k.
Three quarters of those responding are on traditional wired broadband, with only 17% having “superfast” fibre broadband. Satellite accounts for 4% of the total, with one subscriber saying that they switched to satellite in response to poor speeds and disconnections on conventional broadband. Almost 70% of respondents are BT Broadband customers.
The survey, conducted over five days at the end of October received 52 responses.
“We are seeing something of a digital divide in Kintore,” says Ken McEwen of Kintore.org.uk. “Those who are able to get fibre broadband are seeing higher broadband speeds, but those of us who are stuck on wired broadband are convinced that our service is getting worse.
“A substantial number of the responses from the survey refer to slow speeds and data throughput failures affecting broadband services at peak times. This must raise questions about the capacity of the exchange in Kintore, or the wider broadband network that serves the town.
“Given that considerable amounts of public money are being invested to improve the broadband services in Aberdeenshire, it would be concerning if this investment is coinciding with a deterioration in the wired broadband network that still supplies the majority of connections in towns like Kintore.”
"BT need to up their game in Kintore and deliver the broadband speeds that enable residents to access the internet without having to wait and wait for files to download,” comments East Garioch Liberal Democrat Councillor Fergus Hood
"I have asked BT to explain why broadband speeds are so slow not only in Kintore but also in Blackburn and Newmachar,” Councillor Hood continues. “BT needs to start communicating with their customers to confirm when the fibre optic network will be completed in these communities. Fast broadband is essential for modern communications for business and residents.”
Councillor Hood points out that Aberdeenshire Council is investing £16 million in broadband upgrades in Aberdeenshire and BT has the contract.
Some comments from Kintore Broadband Survey responses:
“Connection drops out regularly.”
“Broadband speeds are excellent, except when I want to use it, ie evenings and weekends then it is dreadful. Exchange is to small for the town.”
“Got BT infinity about a month ago. Download speed great - over 20MB, but upload times out. Result is a very intermittent service - often losing connection. Having ongoing support calls but they only seem to contact me during day when I'm at work so taking forever to resolve - very frustrating!”
“Since fibre-optic arrived, have had more problems with internet connection. Was regularly stopping. Got in touch with BT. They said they had changed a setting (?) and it did improve. However, recently I have started to have disconnection problems again.”
“It has been very intermittent recently, and has periods of v slow. I don't have time to complain about it.”
“Satellite broadband is great but it can be expensive and has download limits depending on package. I got fed up with BT Internet at 0.2 Mbps and regularly dropping out.”
“Regularly disconnects during the evenings - very frustrating!”
“Regularly seeing <2MB and lower than 0.5MB in the evenings.”
“I was with BT prior to fibre being available, and had noticed a general slow down and occasional outages. It was particularly bad around 3:30pm to 4pm when the school kids got home, and seemed to be better after 9pm.”