A leading East Anglian communications consultant is urging BT to reconsider its decision to delay vital network upgrade works as pupils at a boarding school in Suffolk struggle to maintain contact with their parents overseas due to poor connection speeds. After expert advice from Karl Alderton of Comms Consulting, leaders at St Felix School in Southwold have agreed to invest £70,000 in a superfast connection to the BT network to enable pupils to access faster internet connections which they need to keep in contact with their families overseas.
“This is a big investment from the school and yet BT Openreach have just announced that they have deferred works on a new link between Lowestoft and Southwold for six months – this overdue upgrade is crucial to the successful completion of the school’s superfast connection,” explained Mr Alderton who works with companies across East Anglia to audit their communications systems and implement communications cost management solutions. “The government is telling us that businesses must be prepared to make investments in technology to match their own commitment to improve networks but BT Openreach is not keeping their side of the bargain,” continued Mr Alderton, a former BT manager who started his independent communications company in 2010.
“We are really disappointed with the news,” explained school bursar Mr Chapman. “Our overseas pupils rely on email to keep in touch with their families across the world, and they would love to be able to use VoIP systems like Skype to chat to their parents but its simply not possible with the slow broadband speeds we have at the moment.”
St Felix School has pupils from countries across Africa and Asia. The school currently enjoys an average connection speed of 4mbps, which is too slow for the large number of users who need to log on at the same time in the evenings. The Government has promised that every community in Britain will have access to superfast broadband (at least 24mbps) by 2015. Suffolk has recently secured £11million in government funding to improve broadband connections, which is matched by £10million from Suffolk Country Council.
St Felix broadband EADT