superfast broadband telecoms box (pic by Mike Cattell)

Villagers in Burland and Swanley near Nantwich are stepping up their fight to improve rural broadband services.

Resident Wayne Zakers was so frustrated at the lack of service, he leafleted neighbours and discovered scores of others shared his feelings.

Now he has set up a community meeting with a private broadband provider in a bid to speed things up.

He said residents have been waiting for an upgrade to superfast services through BT and Connecting Cheshire.

But they say BT/Openreach has not provided a timeline for improved provision in their villages.

Some rural businesses have been forced to buy satellite systems, and it is feared the lack of broadband is putting off investment and employment.

Fibre to cabinet services have been added to nearby villages like Bunbury, Acton and Faddiley – but many neighbours are still without.

Wayne said he decided to leaflet households after he was introduced to a private provider called eXstream, which said it could install a 50-100 Mbps service for those still without.

Wayne said: “When I initially spoke to eXstream they seemed very confident in being able to provide reliable speeds way in excess of the fibre-to-cabinet systems used in neighbouring villages.

“It occurred to me others in the area might wish to benefit from such an upgrade, and so my sons and I set about leafleting our neighbours to gauge interest.

“We had favourable returns from around 50 properties, with many vehemently expressing their own frustrations.”

Now a community meeting is to be held on August 9 at the The Goodwill Hall (pictured) in Faddiley at 7.30pm.

Goodwill Village Hall, faddiley - pic by Espresso Addict creative commons licence

Allan Redfern, director at eXstream, will speak and meet anyone interested.

“The meeting will provide an opportunity for us to learn more about the options and to ask questions of eXstream prior to making individual agreements to proceed to the next steps,” added Wayne.

“We will also be welcoming neighbours from nearby Poole, who are also running a community project to improve the very poor services they experience.

“I hope that anyone with an interest in improving the rural infrastructure will come along on the night.”

(superfast broadband telecoms box – pic by Mike Cattell, creative commons)

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