Partial victory for South Leeds residents over broadband speeds


Residents in Middleton have been connected to fibre optic broadband following a successful campaign backed by local Councillors and local MP Hilary Benn.

BPixBTMiddleton23ACouncillors Kim Groves and Paul Truswell (Labour, Middleton Park) visited the New Forest Village estate in Middleton to see the ‘switch on’ of two new superfast broadband cabinets by BT.

Residents had led a campaign urging BT and the Government to address the poor broadband speeds on the estate who had speeds as low as 0.3-1.3Mbps (megabits per second), compared to a national average of 14.7Mbps.

Residents complained to BT and their Councillors about the terrible broadband speeds as soon as they began to move into the area. Many claimed that people working from home faced losing their jobs and were considering moving from the estate due to the problems.

BT has apologised for the problems and will work with the campaigners to get the rest of the area connected as soon as possible.

Local resident Carl Thomas said:

“When I moved in I was shocked. I knew it wouldn’t be good but I wasn’t quite expecting it to be as bad as it was. We spent quite a lot of time knocking on the door to get through, but to BT’s credit once we did we made rapid progress. I do see BT’s point of view – they have to make money – but at the same time I think you can make a case for decent broadband being an essential utility.”

Councillor Kim Groves (Labour, Middleton Park) said:

“This is a fantastic achievement and residents should be proud that their campaign has led to these results. Now a large part of New Forest Village will be able to benefit from superfast fibre optic broadband. Many residents came to me about their concerns and I believe that everyone in Leeds should be able to access the best broadband available.

“It was great to meet the residents and BT representatives to see the broadband get ‘switched on.’ We are aware that many residents are still having problems with their broadband and phone lines and we will continue to work together to address these remaining issues.”