Residents of Rogers Meadow in Wiltshire protested against a broadband mast, leaving the entire street excluded from an ultra-fast broadband upgrade. (Instant street view)

A whole street has been excluded from a city-wide broadband rollout after some residents objected to the erection of an “ugly mast”.

Rogers Meadow in Marlborough, Wiltshire, has been excluded from the rollout of ultra-fast full fiber broadband as homeowners said they wanted to protect their street’s skyline.

Openreach should have erected a telegraph pole on the street, but faced strong opposition.

One immigrant, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “This is nonsense because most people don’t want the mast and it’s just a small road that would affect the skyline.”

“It was a very large pole, it was like going back in time and there were wires everywhere, it looked like a chicken coop.

“How would you like it? Nowadays such things should disappear underground, it’s an ugly thing.”

After several complaints, those who opposed the plans were told that no mast would be erected and so when workers arrived on site with a mast on September 7, they rushed to protest.

After discussions with objections, the installation team reportedly left the project without carrying out any work and will not be returning, according to Openreach.

Openreach engineers were sent away when they arrived to erect a mast for the installation of ultra-fast broadband at Rogers Meadow in Marlborough. (Getty)

The company confirmed it would not be erecting poles on the road in Rogers Meadow after consulting with locals.

This means that residents will not be able to upgrade to ultra-fast full fiber on the Openreach network, although the rollout for the rest of the city will go ahead as planned.

An Openreach spokesman said: “Our engineers and construction partners are working hard to bring ultra-fast, highly reliable full-fibre broadband to Marlborough. Not only will this bring major benefits to families and businesses in the area, but it will also provide a welcome boost to the local economy.

“Wherever possible, we use existing infrastructure such as masts and ducts when building full fiber. We understand the visual impact of our devices and recognize that it can be difficult to achieve a balance between cost effectiveness, aesthetics and safety.

The story goes on

“Therefore, there are times when we simply cannot avoid erecting masts to provide services efficiently, safely and in a technically sound manner.

“In this case, a new mast was the only possible way to deliver ultra-fast full fiber cable, but due to residents’ objections we removed this road from our construction plan.”

What is Ultrafast Broadband?

Fiber optic technology uses fiber optic lines to deliver broadband to homes faster than standard ADSL, which is delivered over the copper telephone line. There are two main types of fiber optics: Ultrafast solid fiber cables, which use fiber optic cables directly to homes, and Superfast fiber optic cables (FTTC), which use a mix of fiber optic cables and copper wires. The majority of fiber broadband in the UK is FTTC or cable.

Superfast and ultrafast broadband are significantly faster than standard broadband. Superfast broadband offers speeds of 30 Mbps or more and ultra-fast 300 Mbps or more. By using these faster connections, you can download things much faster, make high-quality video calls over Wi-Fi, easily access online TV and music streaming services, and have multiple people using the broadband connection in your home at the same time.

Superfast broadband offers speeds of 30 Mbps or more and ultra-fast 300 Mbps or more. (Getty)

What is the government’s commitment to gigabit broadband?

The Government has made a broader commitment to increasing broadband speeds nationally.

The Conservatives’ 2019 election manifesto promised to deliver nationwide gigabit broadband, sending data at speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second, by 2025.

This target was revised in November 2020 to at least 85% of premises by 2025.

The Leveling Up White Paper, published in February 2022, set a new goal: Gigabit broadband should be available nationwide by 2030. Nationwide coverage means “at least 99%” of premises.

The government says it remains committed to covering 85% of premises by 2025.

The 2030 target is seen as more realistic by industry representatives, but the delay to 2025 has been described as a “blow for rural communities”.

Andrew Glover, chairman of the Internet Service Providers’ Association, told the BBC that the government’s reduction in ambition was “a blow to rural communities”.

He added: “There is even greater focus on removing the regulatory and practical barriers that make adoption more difficult than it should be.”

The Public Accounts Committee said in January 2022 that the government’s approach to rolling out gigabit broadband “risks perpetuating digital inequality across the UK”. But the government says the revised targets reflect how quickly the industry could build in hard-to-reach areas that need public funding alongside their commercial rollout.

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