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BT threatens ‘Superfarce’ Welsh superfast broadband spoof site with legal action

Welsh superfast broadband ‘Superfarce’ spoof site gets legal takedown notice

BT has threatened legal action against the ‘Superfarce Cymru’ spoof site unless it removes copyrighted images within seven days. 

Richard Brown, the man behind the ‘up to prices for up to broadband’ campaign, set up the site to criticise the plan to bring superfast broadband to 96 per cent of Wales by 2015. 

The site has been up since late January, but now BT has asked for offending images such as a blurred but recognisable BT logo and the homepage design to be removed within a week.

Brown is currently talking to BT and has said that the Superfarce Cymru site will be around for the foreseeable, arguing that he is firmly outside the obligation to remove or change the content as the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 allows for fair use if it’s being used for critcism.

Welsh superfast broadband ‘Superfarce’ spoof site gets legal takedown notice
Spot the difference?

BT has been awarded a £205 contract to connect 96 per cent of Wales to faster broadband speeds. Part of Brown’s beef with BT comes from the fact that the project will however not make use of the Fibrespeed network in the north of Wales. 

Fibrespeed was a £30 million project that was supposed to generate £29 million a year for the Welsh economy. Brown says that hundreds of kilometers of fibre will be unlit and unused and BT’s network rollout will encompass Fibrespeed, rendering it virtually useless. 

Elsewhere Brown points to past plans to blot out Welsh broadband not spots, such as RIBS (Regional Innovative Broadband Support) and is concerned that those in rural parts of Wales won’t benefit from the superfast rollout, hence the protest site. 

The majority of premises covered by the Superfast Cymru project will benefit from FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) connections.

It’s true that as with ADSL broadband, FTTC is something of a postcode lottery – the further your home or business is from a street cabinet with fibre, the slower your broadband speeds will be. In fact if you’re too far away, there’s no real difference in terms of download speeds between ADSL and FTTC. 

Given that those in the sticks tend to suffer the most from this distance difference, there’s a real concern that those in rural Wales stand to get nothing from the government’s superfast ambitions. We’re keeping an eye on the progress of the Superfast Cymru project as well as that of superfast projects elsewhere in the UK, and will update as this develops. We’ve asked BT for a response on this and are waiting to hear back. 

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