Express & Star

Outraged residents protest against broadband provider plans to 'change estate forever'

Enraged residents are protesting against their beloved estate, which has never had above ground communication infrastructure, being 'changed forever' by internet provider BRSK.


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More than 30 residents of The Charterfields estate, Kingswinford, protested yesterday (Thursday) against the broadband providers plans to build huge poles on their roads.

The estate was built with telephone cables underground, but locals, used to gazing at an uninhibited street scene will soon be forced to look at telephone poles and cable boxes.

A petition has been launched objecting to the installation of new telecoms poles after BRSK, a broadband network provider, is seeking to put overhead cables in multiple locations across the Charterfields Estate.

BT Openreach manage the existing network nationally, but the government have given third party companies the green light to help speed up the rollout.

However, BRSK are choosing not to use the existing network instead they have opted to using the outdated technology of telegraph poles and cluttering up streets with new overhead cabling, poles and boxes.

Phil Hall, a Charterfields Estate resident who coordinated the petitions said “Charterfields was built in the late 1960’s early 1970’s with a unique feature – that all telecommunications were installed underground. "This design has allowed us residents to enjoy an unspoiled street scene free from the usual network of telegraph poles and telephone cables and this is how we want to keep it.

"We are not opposed to new Full Fibre network technology just the manner it is being installed”.

The majority of residents living on the estate have signed a petition which says “That they do not want new telegraph poles installed on their streets, nor do they require the services BRSK are providing”.

Mr Hall recently submitted the petition signatures to BRSK and copied in his local MP Mike Wood and the Julia Lopez MP the Minister of State for Media and Data.

Dudley South MP Mike Wood joined protestors on the estate yesterday (Thursday) and backed their campaign.

He said: "I can understand why the residents are angry, and hopefully BRSK will see sense and make amends to the plans so the estate's character will not be changed forever.

"You can see the strength of feeling here, BRSK need to go back, speak to providers and change their plans."

Former Kingswinford Councillor Shaz Saleem added: "The residents voices need to be heard, it is a disgrace this company is just going to ignore them totally and ruin this blissful estate."

As part of the Government’s digital rollout to provide every home with full fibre broadband, the entire network infrastructure is being upgraded over the next few years.

BRSK's construction project takes place in six stages, clearing, construction, cabling, splicing, testing and then the broadband can 'Go Live!'

BRSK explained on its website: "Sometimes existing infrastructure doesn't cover your whole neighbourhood, so we have to build some of our own. During Phase 2 of the project, we will be erecting new poles, trenching where necessary, installing manholes, street cabinets and all the new physical infrastructure required to bring world-class fibre to your doorstep. Don't worry, we promise to clean up after ourselves and make sure your suburb looks as good as new at the end of the project."

BRSK have been approached for a comment.