Oakley Green, Fifield and District Community Association Ltd
Communications
Update report 10 - 18.05.2012
Email thread - Theresa May's office and OGAFCA Communications

From: Ian Bennett
To: Rod Lord
Subject: RE: Broadband in Fifield
Date: 16 May 2012 10:21


Dear Mr Lord,

Thank you for your email to Theresa regarding her meeting with BT on Monday. I apologise for the delay in getting back to you.

As you are aware, Theresa held a meeting with senior executives at BT to discuss the concerns about the provision of broadband and super fast broadband that a number of constituents have raised. Theresa sought assurances from BT that action was being taken to address these concerns and raised her specific concern about the negative effect on businesses and people working from home that a lack of broadband connectivity has.

Recognising the lack of capacity at the Twyford exchange, BT have recently increased the number of connections available at the cabinet, meaning more people will be able to gain access to the fibre optic broadband. Part of the problem is the rural nature of the constituency and it was suggested that Broadband Extension Technology (BET) can be used to boost poor broadband speeds in areas that are further from the exchange. BT also outlined their plans to roll out fibre based broadband to two thirds of the UK, with the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) strategy aiming to provide for the remaining third. However, the BDUK strategy requires Local Authorities to submit plans and undertake tendering before works can start and Theresa will be writing to other Berkshire MPs, Local Authorities and Parish Councils in an attempt speed up this process locally.

Commenting, Theresa said: “It is not right that in the Thames Valley, an area close to London and Heathrow and now considered to be a burgeoning technology hub, we do not have a stable and reliable broadband connection. I am hopeful that the work being undertaken by BT, and the Government through BDUK, to provide fibre based broadband will improve this situation dramatically and allow business and individuals in my constituency, and the surrounding area, to thrive.”

I hope that this helps to clarify some of the issues discussed at the meeting and I will provide you with some further updates as we receive them.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Bennett
Case Worker
Office of the Rt Hon Theresa May MP

From: Rod Lord
To: BENNETT, Ian
Subject: Re: Broadband in Fifield
Sent: 16 May 2012 11:53


Dear Ian

Thank you very much indeed for coming back to us on this.

We are very grateful to Theresa for the effort she puts in on this and I am personally highly impressed that amongst all the important and pressing demands on her time she still manages to find some to spare to devote to these comparatively trivial issues.

They are of course not at all trivial from our local short sighted point of view.

We are completely bemused by the very efficient camouflage cut-out loop that BT and Openreach have established which allows BT to claim that infrastructure issues should be referred to Openreach, only to go on to say that of course Openreach do not speak to the general public. The fact that the BT logo appears under the right hand end of the Openreach logo and that the head offices have identical addresses apparently does not seem to need explanation - or even the slightest blush of embarassment.

We have been unable to get past the marketing chatter and vague platitudes trotted out by these organisations and we had great hopes that they might actually treat the Home Secretary with the seriousness and respect that the Office deserves. Unfortunately it has became apparent that even in our advanced years we have been far too naive. The fact that a letter from the Home Secretary could be completely ignored requiring a second letter to be sent demonstrates a corporate arrogance that takes the breath away.

Mr Tim O'Sullivan says that the problem for customers in our area is that we "are too far from the roadside cabinet". This statement actually misses the point completely and demonstrates once again a puzzling refusal to answer our single very simple question. We have been trying for the past 2 years to get an answer to this single very simple question ... "why has the roadside cabinet at the junction of the A308 and Fifield Road not been upgraded to fibre optic like all the others along the A308 ?"

We have not been able to obtain even a vague effort at answering this simple question, despite the additional Stirling efforts of our Borough Councillors and the local Maidenhead press. Even today the local reporter covering our area is undertaking to ask the question yet again, but she admits that she has no real hopes of actually getting an answer to this question.

We do understand that these organisations see their primary responsibility as the payment of dividends to their shareholders. So the minor noises off stage from the "disgruntled of Fifield" must seem completely irrelevant to them. In the great cosmic scheme of things it won't make their shareholders more than maybe a penny or two on their dividends in the fullness of time. We however believe that they also owe a duty of responsibility to their host nation, whose asset they have been entrusted with, and who is speedily falling behind in the global technology race so crucial to a modern economy. The fact that they feel entitled to so cynically obfuscate and manipulate the distribution of information not only to their potential customer base but to a Secretary of State leads to considerable concern as it is a disturbing symptom that does not engender confidence in the competitive capability of the UK.

The only alternative conclusion of course would be that nobody actually knows the answer ... which is even more catastrophic !

Once again, many thanks for keeping us informed, and please pass on our thanks to Theresa for giving of her time to this. We are only sorry that it seems destined to be wasted.

Very Best wishes

Rod Lord
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OGAFCA - Communications Work Group
coms@ogafcap.co.uk - www.ogafcap.co.uk
Oakley Green, Fifield and District Community Association Ltd
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From: Ian Bennett
Subject: RE: Broadband in Fifield
Date: 17 May 2012 11:25


Dear Mr Lord,

Thank you for your further email regarding the above.

I have written directly to Tim O’Sullivan to ask that he looks into your specific concern about the cabinet at the junction of the A308 and Fifield Road.

I hope that this is helpful and I will, of course, write to you again once I have received a response.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Bennett
Case Worker
Office of the Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Tel. 0207 219 1013

From: Rod Lord
To: BENNETT, Ian
Subject: Re: Broadband in Fifield
Sent: 17 May 2012 11:55


Dear Ian

We are very grateful for your help.

We have one of our regular open volunteers meetings this evening and I will be expressing our gratitude for the help provided by Theresa's office.

Thank you.

Rod Lord
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OGAFCA - Communications Work Group
coms@ogafcap.co.uk - www.ogafcap.co.uk
Oakley Green, Fifield and District Community Association Ltd
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From: Ian Bennett
Subject: RE: Broadband in Fifield
Date: 18 May 2012 10:19


Dear Mr Lord,

Further to yesterday's email, I have had a response from Tim O’Sullivan apologising that you feel BT have obfuscated on this issue.

Mr O’Sullivan advised that “not all the roadside cabinets serve the same purpose or play the same role in our network (i.e. they are not all relevant to our fibre upgrade programme)”. However, he did confirm that the cabinet serving this area of Fifield will be providing a fibre service from July this year.

I hope that this has helped to clarify the matter for you.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Bennett
Case Worker
Office of the Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Tel. 0207 219 1013

From: Rod Lord
To: BENNETT, Ian
Subject: Re: Broadband in Fifield
Sent: 18 May 2012 10:31


Ian - Thank you so much !
You've achieved in one day what we have failed to do in almost three years !
Fantastic.
Thank you.
Rod
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OGAFCA - Communications Work Group
coms@ogafcap.co.uk - www.ogafcap.co.uk
Oakley Green, Fifield and District Community Association Ltd
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