Battle to bring Pendle out of broadband ‘black hole’

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A BATTLE has been launched by Pendle Council to boost broadband in the borough, where it is considered “a black hole”.

The motion by Coun. David Whipp got unanimous support and action will be taken to get BT to improve the communications link.

The council noted that some Pendle residents and businesses continue to receive poor standards of broadband services.

It is thought it may be years before fibre optic broadband is provided by BT and it says: “The lack of ‘point of presence’ exchanges is handicapping businesses with costs of £6,000 a year more Pendle-based concerns.”

The council agreed to ask chief executive Mr Stephen Barnes to write to BT requesting local exchanges become “point of presence” and the fibre optic network is extended within Pendle as a matter of urgency.

The council also called on Pendle Vision Board and MP Andrew Stephenson to support its efforts.

Coun. David Whipp said: “This motion seeks to fill a broadbank black hole. I don’t understand all the technicalities of this. You can get better and cheaper broadband. It’s crucial for the whole of Pendle.”

He felt that, in rural areas of Pendle, it its “woefully inadequate”. And he said: “We want to be Pendle pioneers!”

Coun. Graham Roach added: “If you ever checked with computers, the speed of broadband is not very fast around here.”

And the leader of the council, Coun. Mike Blomeley, said: “BT look at it on a purely commercial basis.” But he added: “There will be a £40m. fund to help administer this problem. Lancashire County Council are themselves in negotiation with BT or other matters. The Vision Board is also going to write to BT.”

He concluded: “I am happy to accept the proposal Coun. Whipp has made and we should lobby for that.”