Residents of the Barnsley village of Dodworth are being asked to raise £11,000 to cover the costs of installing a BT street cabinet, which will connect them to superfast broadband.
The village isn’t on the radar of BT’s £2.5 billion commercial rollout and BT has said that it won’t be connected due to cost reasons.
To set up a cabinet in the area would cost £22,000. The local council and BT have agreed to stump up some of the costs but the remaining money would need to be provided by local residents and businesses.
Speaking to local paper Barnsley Chronicle, a BT spokesperson said: “The costs to do this work are not commercially viable, however we have worked with the local community and agreed to cover a substantial amount of the costs but have asked the local community to also contribute.
“On a per household basis this proposal will be very good value for money and transform the way residents can use the internet.”
The spokesperson added that the reason that Dodworth was not initially included in the rollout was down to technical challenges posed by the area: “To bring higher speed broadband to this community an extremely complex underground network rearrangement is required as the technology put in place decades ago did not take into account the invention of broadband.
“The underground cabling from the exchange will be rearranged enabling engineers to install a copper and a fibre street cabinet which will give almost all the residents superfast broadband speeds.”
South Yorkshire is one of the few areas of the UK that isn’t currently due to benefit from the government’s BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) plan.
Parts of South Yorkshire including areas around Barnsley were previously served by the Digital Region project, which ended up folding after running up costs of £100 million. As this project was already up and running by the time BDUK funding became available, South Yorkshire missed out.
Now that this has collapsed, residents and businesses are more dependent on projects like this, where getting connected to a commercial superfast network will require extra local investment.
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