It is now two years since Kintore was connected to the fibre network. So, now, all those who want superfast broadband are able to enjoy it, right? No.
There are still many households connected to the Kintore exchange that, two years after the fanfare for the arrival of superfast broadband, are still stuck in the broadband slow lane.
Most of those who are still stuck in the copper wire era of broadband are on lines that are connected direct to the exchange. ‘Exchange only’ lines they are called and, in Kintore, there are quite a lot of them.
Those who are on these ‘EO’ lines, including ourselves, go periodically to the ‘check whether you can get superfast broadband’ web pages and enter our telephone numbers in the vain hope that something has been done to allow us to join the 21st century.
With fingers firmly crossed we type in our phone number and up comes the message that because we are on an ‘EO’ line we cannot apply for superfast broadband. The response on the website adds “technology pending”. Any follow-up requests for any indication of when we might be connected are stonewalled.
Yes, we do realise that these lines may be a little more challenging, Yes, it is easy to accept OpenReach’s response that “we need to do a bit more work to bring fibre to the area”.
But, you have had two years to “do a bit more work to bring fibre to the area” and we still cannot access superfast broadband due to no fault of our own. We didn’t choose to be on an EO line.
In any case a quick search on Google quickly reveals that OpenReach apparently resolved the ‘EO’ technology question in 2014.
After all that – with the millions of pounds of our money that the Scottish Government and Aberdeenshire Council are pouring into providing superfast broadband for rural areas in North-east Scotland – it is no wonder that we feel a bit miffed to be left out in the cold.
Trying to lead a 21st century lifestyle with a 20th century communications network is not easy.