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Good News on Superfast Broadband for Hedon – Mayor’s Campaign

Fibre Optic CableSUPERFAST BROADBAND connections for residents and businesses in Hedon look set to be rolled out next spring thanks to a campaign by the Town Mayor.

Hedon Mayor, Councillor John Dennis will update the Hedon Town Council tonight (Thurs 24th July 2014) with the news that the town will have KC’s Lightstream High Speed Broadband Service much earlier than was originally planned.

Sad face message from KC Lightstream

Sad face message from KC Lightstream

Cllr Dennis, first raised the issue of superfast broadband for the town in February this year, and again in his Mayor’s Report to the Annual Town Meeting in April, when he told council members and the public in attendance that he had held initial discussions with the Lightstream roll-out team leaders and questioned why Hedon was so low down the priority list for superfast broadband, when much smaller communities in the KC area have already got it.

The Mayor now reports ‘that after much discussion, and some gentle persuasion’, KC’s response has been very positive. Subject to certain technical issues being resolved, Hedon residents can look forward to having KC’s Lightstream facility as soon as Spring 2015, which is several years earlier than originally scheduled.

Even better news is that businesses who need faster broadband sooner, can in fact apply for the service now if they wish, but this will be subject to a higher connection costs. All they need to do is call KC and ask to talk about Business Lightstream

John Dennis - jubilantCllr Dennis said: “The item was placed on the Town Council Agenda over a week ago, and it is purely coincidental that the East Riding of Yorkshire Council have since announced their high-speed broadband successes out there in BT Land – of course there are other suppliers out there too – and that’s really good news for them. However, I am very pleased to bring the news to the people of Hedon, here, deep in KC territory, that they are not being left out.

“This has come about because I was perturbed to hear earlier this year that a number of very small communities were already receiving Lightstream, yet a bustling, vibrant town like ours was way down the list. Something had to be done, and as the Mayor I decided it was my job to look into it. I am already moving forward with my own application to upgrade my business broadband connection, and expect many others will be doing so too.

“Much work is still to be done however before it all comes to fruition and the Town Council will need to join with the KC team to promote the service and encourage local interest.”

Hedon Town Council meets tonight (Thurs 24th July) for a Public Participation Session at the Town Hall from 7pm – 7:30pm – the regular council meetings will follow immediately after, and this includes the Finance & General Purposes Committee at which the broadband issue will be formally raised.

29 replies »

  1. To answer the question ” What will any councillor do to bring fast speed broadband to Hedon? ” As a County Councillor and Town Councillor I would lead a local campaign to sign up businesses, schools, GP practices, churches and local organisations and households to demonstrate to KC the widespread support for Hedon’s inclusion in he next rollout.
    I did suggest this last year – (that Hedon Town Council should lead such a campaign.But they didn’t). And as we have seen 14 months of meetings and phone calls by the Mayor have not delivered any result. Which suggests a single councillor will not easily achieve this, It needs a response from the Council and community together to make KC listen.

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  2. I can respond to Mr Sherwood’s enquiry with the following extract from my Mayor’s Report, presented last night (16/4/15) to the Council and residents at the Annual Town Meeting. I’m not sure if Mr Sherwood was there to hear it first hand.

    “Many of the challenges I took on during the term of office did have the right result, and I am pleased to have secured a number of successes. Not all however have produced the desired outcome, and the one project in particular that I would wish to mention, and to update you on is my ongoing campaign to persuade KC to bring their Superfast Lightstream Broadband service to Hedon.

    Despite many and frequent contacts with the roll-out team leaders, (the most recent contact being 4.30 this afternoon) and some very encouraging noises at the outset, the company announced a few weeks ago that this year’s roll-out programme is being concentrated in the West Hull and Haltemprice suburbs.

    Whilst I have endeavoured throughout my term as Mayor to promote Hedon’s case, and I have held maybe 6 or 7 meetings with high level officers of KC, it has not, yet produced the hoped for result.

    The most recent meeting on the subject was last month when, together with Graham Stuart our MP, I went to discuss the issue with Gary Young, KC’s Managing Director together with the MD of their Technology, Service and Operations Division, Sean Royce.

    Even though my term as Mayor is coming to a close, I will still as Ward Member (if elected) continue in my endeavours, and bring whatever pressure I can to bear to secure the earliest possible installation of this much needed service.

    As I say, not yet the success I’d hoped for, but you have to keep the pressure on to get the right result in the end; and I will be doing just that. I’m not noted for giving up easily.”

    Hope this is useful. I’m not an expert in the technical side of all this, and KC have tried to explain to me the issues which lead them to make their decisions, but much of it goes over my head! They say however that they are still keen to involve Hedon at as early a stage as possible, and I will continue to press for our case to be heard.

    John P Dennis
    668th Mayor of Hedon
    ERYC Ward Member for S.W.Holderness

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    • Maybe it’s worth a change of tack with KC, I don’t believe there are engineering constraints that can’t be over come. I have spoken to engineers that have said it can be done and at one point could be done.

      There are issues in the town, with black spots in some areas, Leaf Sail Farm suffers with slow speeds, why can’t KC change their cabinet on Cleeve Road with a VDSL cabinet similar to the ones BT are now installing in Thorngumbald?

      Should the Hedon Blog launch a campaign so the people of Hedon can be part of ‘Superfast Britain’?

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      • I think a Hedon Blog campaign is a very good idea, Phil. We need to put forward an argument and prove that if KC invests, the demand for Lightstream will be there in the town. How we demonstrate that demand is important, perhaps needing something more than just a petition or online poll (although both those ideas are a start).

        In the meantime it is also worth exploring what other service providers might have to offer? If the HUBB, the HU12 community wireless broadband initiative can offer up to 24mbs download speeds, then there must be an alternative solution out there?

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        • I’m sure if there is publicity on how much the town wants faster internet the KC must have to listen, East Riding Council are pledging that 42,000 homes will have superfast internet by the end of 2015. Looks like Hedon is going to be one of the last places in East Yorkshire to get superfast broadband. Superfast broadband would attract new business and employment to the town and will improve house prices.

          It’s maybe worth asking the question to KC on why they told the Mayor that Hedon had moved up the list and recommended the town for the next phase, what changed?

          There are alternatives (Connexin, Airnet) to fixed line broadband (BT, KC) but these can be unreliable, fibre optic broadband is the way to go. KC should recognise that there is a desire for their Lightstream service in Hedon.

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  3. What will any of the candidates in the local elections propose to bring fibre optic broadband to Hedon?

    KC have told me that there are no current plans to supply Hedon, all areas of the 2015 rollout have been announced and Hedon is not on there.

    BT are rolling out BT Infinity with the assistance of money from the European Union and East Riding Council to Thorngumbald, Ottringham, Burstwick, Withernsea. Hedon is being left behind and a lot of the town is suffering with speeds of less than 10mbps.

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  4. So KC have announced the next roll out to cover the year upto March 2016. And guess what ? There is no mention of Hedon.
    So was the Mayor misleading us when (as recently as December) he posted that KC had told him they would “move us up the list” and “recommend Hedon for the next phase” ? Other Councils have got local businesses and organisations on board and lobbied effectively to get priority. But not Hedon.
    John Dennis first said it wasn’t the Councils role and said individuals and businesses should pursue it themselves. Then after it last years by-election when it was an issue I raised, he switched to meeting with KC, and claiming progress. But we see the fruits of this has been no progress whatsoever !
    An opportunity missed and we’ll have to wait until at least the next round in 2016/17..

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  5. Air Net Lightwave is already available in parts of Hedon, full coverage will be available by the end of March 2015. Speeds are currently up-to 25Mbps, but will be increased beyond this by mid February 2015.

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  6. Just on with KC again and no details on lightstream yet for Hedon – its not on the radar.

    Paull has it. Can it be that difficult to extend to Hedon?

    I’m getting around 5.5 meg presently but my neighbour only gets 1.5 meg and KCsay there is no issue!

    Perhaps we need a petition

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    • The Town Council should have nailed down KC on this matter. Of course a lot of the town get’s decent speeds but those places furtherest away from the exchange in Ketwell Lane will struggle, the internet speed on Leaf Sail Farm is really poor.

      A KC engineer told me a quick fix would be to update those green boxes, even he said he didn’t think their fibre optics were coming to Hedon.

      Who was involved with this earlier in the year https://www.facebook.com/hedonwants.fibre ? If the Town Council can’t/won’t get it surely people power can.

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      • Residents could petition KC, but I did suggest way back in Feb 2014 that the Council would have more impact, especially if they asked local schools, doctors surgeries, businesses etc to sign up too, so that it represented the whole community.. That would carry more weight with KC. But the Mayor’s response was “do it yourself” !

        It’s great for Paull, Thorn and Burstwick if they are on the rollout programme. But Hedon is the hub of Holderness business and community and should be getting this service too ! And soon.
        I’m lucky enough to live near Ketwell, but residents raised it with me during the Council by election last February.. and here we are almost a year on and no further forward.

        When the local Council won’t champion a local campaign that would benefit the town, what are they there for ??

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  7. I note the request for updates, but have just got back from holiday so wasn’t able to respond before today.

    I pointed out at the Annual Town Meeting back in February that a number of discussions had already been held with KC’s Lightstream Roll-out Team and that they were enthusiastic about getting involved with Hedon, They agreed to recommend that we were brought ‘up the list’, with the hope of including the town in the next phase commencing in the Spring of 2015.

    KC’s people came to speak to us again a couple of months ago, and I since requested an update from them. Their response is that the situation remains the same, Hedon is recommended for inclusion in the next phase .

    They point out that the Lightstream Roll-out is a massive project for their company, and the plans are subject to constant review, for all sorts of technical reasons, however their commitment to bringing Lightstream to Hedon has not changed.

    Residents can rest assured that the Town Council will continue to maintain pressure on the KC team, and I will bring further news as matters develop.

    John P. Dennis
    668th Mayor of Hedon

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  8. I was on the phone to KC this morning, they say there are no plans to bring KC Lightstream to Hedon although new areas will be announced in the spring.

    It really doesn’t seem too promising although according to this article you can order it if you are a business customer.

    What is going on?
    Hedon Town Council and KC are beginning to look a bit daft now.

    Also ERYC have signed a £14M deal to bring superfast broadband to the county, I presume this is a partnership with BT. How can this go ahead to the detriment of us council tax payers in the KC area.

    http://broadband.eastriding.gov.uk/

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  9. Mmmmm, it’s no secret that superfast broadband was coming to Hedon anyway. It was on KC’s radar but was pushed back. It’s also interesting that this announcement has been made when KC won’t commit to say where any new areas will be after 2014.
    This looks like the Mayor is trying to capitalise on something that was going to happen without his intervention.

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      • KC still don’t have a date for Hedon. Their current advice is to register your interest and “call us back in March, we may know then” .- so we’re no further on than we were in February
        .
        When John Dennis says he heard about this in February. He’s right. I raised it in the Hedon byelection campaign. And I asked Hedon Town Council to lobby KC on our behalf to get Hedon prioritised. Other Parish Councils have done so. John’s response then was “it’s upto businesses and individuals to register with KC” So to try and claim some credit for something that, it turns out, hasn’t even been scheduled is a bit rich not to say disingenuous.

        Hedon Town Council should now approach KC and ask for a commitment of when we will get Lightstream in HU12.

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  10. I’ve just moved to Thorngumbald from Hedon, my broadband speed in Hedon with KC was pretty good with 7meg speeds but when I moved, I moved to BT for my phone and broadband service.
    What a mistake, my internet was so slow with BT it was impossible to use, at best it was 1.5meg, couldn’t use the ‘free’ BT Sport. Luckily I was within the cooling off period and was able to cancel,I’ve moved back to KC and my speeds are about 10 times faster. I didn’t opt for Lightstream, 15meg is fast enough for me.
    Price wise I’m also saving a little bit of money compared to BT, BT was about £35, KC is now about £30.
    Service wise I can’t knock KC, they are a little company compared with BT but at least you don’t have to call overseas to sort stuff out, BT were a bit of a nightmare.

    KC have their critics but if other companies like BT, Virgin and Sky don’t want to come in, it’s not KC’s fault. The grass really isn’t greener.

    I recently had a conversation with a BT Openreach engineer who told me about 70% of people that use broadband in places like Burstwick, Keyingham and Thorngumbald, where you have a choice of BT or KC, they use KC as it’s a superior service.

    My advice is don’t knock KC until you’ve had BT, they do a great job and best of all they’re local and employ local people.

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