Maltby le Marsh villagers ‘held to ransom’ over fast broadband

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A Maltby le Marsh parish councillor has claimed that the village is being ‘held to ransom’ by BT, after it was suggested that residents could end up footing part of the bill in order to bring fast broadband to the area.

As previously reported, villagers have slammed the ‘pathetic’ broadband speed in Maltby le Marsh, which has had a negative impact upon some businesses trying to get by in the digital era.

Parish councillor Philip Baildon told the Leader that BT has suggested Maltby le Marsh could take part in the ‘Community Fibre Partnership’ scheme, which would see village residents co-fund the cost of installing a high-speed broadband line.

Coun Baildon said: “Cities, towns and other villages don’t have to pay.”

However, BT responded that the Community Fibre Partnership is just one of the possible options available to this village at this stage.

A BT spokesperson told the Leader: “Around nine out of ten premises in Lincolnshire can already access superfast broadband.

“Inevitably, there are some places fibre broadband hasn’t yet reached and although we recognise this is frustrating, there are options.

“We’re continuing to work with the county council to see if anything can be done for the community of Maltby le Marsh through the ‘Onlincolnshire’ programme, which has already reached more than 150,000 homes and businesses across the county.

“The community also has the option of a community fibre partnership with BT, where they would co-fund the cost of making fibre broadband available.

“Across the UK, hundreds of areas have gone down the same route, with more than 75 partnerships already successfully completed.”