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Streatley couple recalls digital isolation after internet ‘nightmare’

One couple’s struggle to connect left them facing an “internet nightmare”.

Streatley residents, Simon and Mandy Barter thought their broadband issues had been resolved when their home was directly connected to high-speed fibre in 2017. But they were wrong.

The couple soon found themselves facing digital deprivation due to a badly executed installation – forcing them to vacate their home in search of a reliable connection.

Simon and Mandy Barter — it was all smiles, until it wasn’t
Simon and Mandy Barter — it was all smiles, until it wasn’t

“Initially, when it worked, it was amazing, providing fast and reliable internet speeds,” said Mr Barter, who is newly retired and whose wife works in the charity sector.

“However it became unreliable and when it did not work, it was just a nightmare of extremes.”

The couple endured repeated back-and-forth communication with their provider, but say they never received any answers as to why their fibre kept cutting out.

Mr Barter continued: “We live on a single track lane in a very rural location and the fibre cables were dug into the earthen banks of the lane when first installed back in 2017.

“Unfortunately, they were neither installed deep enough nor in any trunking.”

And the Barters were not the only couple affected, with their neighbours facing frequent interruptions to their services.

But the couple eventually discovered alternative broadband specialist National Broadband and decided to contact the company.

The firm quickly installed its 4G-based broadband solution at the Barter home, which has transformed the speed and reliability of the household’s internet connection.

Mr Barter added: “Mandy and I were simply unable to connect reliably to the internet, so we were both forced to travel to get to work online.

“National Broadband has helped us get back online with dependable broadband, making our day-to-day online lives so much easier and more efficient.”

According to Ofcom, more than 450,000 premises across the UK remain without access to the national minimum standard broadband speeds of 10 megabits per second via a fixed-line.

National Broadband director David Hennell, said: “The digital isolation that Simon and Mandy experienced typifies the struggles that all too many rural households and businesses face when it comes to being able to access fast and reliable broadband.

“It also clearly highlights the urgent need for alternative solutions to bridge the digital divide.

“We know there is a need to bring reliable broadband to all corners of the UK, ensuring that no one is left without the vital connectivity they both deserve and require in today’s society.”

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