A Lavenham family looking to upgrade to fibre broadband have been quoted more than £2,000 by their service provider.
Sam Watson, 47, husband Simon, also 47, and children Becky 17, and Mikey, 13, were achieving “reasonable” download speeds of 10 mbps since switching to Zen, but decided to upgrade after learning fibre was available as part of the Better Broadband for Suffolk rollout.
But a Zen representative contacted Mrs Watson to say fibre cables would have to be laid to her house from the cabinet at the end of the street — quoting a cost of £2,323 to carry out the required work.
Mrs Watson made her concerns known to internet service provider comparison website, Cable.co.uk.
“Having two teenagers plus running an IT consultancy business partly from home I got in touch with Zen,” said Mrs Watson.
“A couple of weeks passed, Openreach turned up for a site survey but didn’t give me much information beyond needing to dig across our garden.
“It’s mind-boggling, even the Zen rep was shocked.
“I asked if we could just go with fibre to the cabinet, but apparently that’s a different technology and not what our cabinet is enabled for.
“This really bothers me. Better Broadband For Suffolk tweet every time a cabinet gets upgraded, but what does that even mean?
“It certainly doesn’t mean that consumers are connected to superfast broadband, as I can’t imagine I’m the only one who’s been quoted a jaw-dropping amount for installation.”
A spokesperson from Openreach said: “Openreach charges each broadband provider the same amount when their customers want to upgrade to fibre broadband.
“In almost every case this amount is small and not passed onto the customer, but in a tiny minority of cases we face complex engineering challenges that cost a lot more to overcome.
“In this case, we’d need to excavate a road and install new cabling to connect a single home.
“Openreach covers the first £1,000 of costs in any case like this, but the remainder is passed to the customer’s service provider.”