Victory in a broad sense in Bonnyrigg

Left to right, Councillor Ian Baxter,with local residents Stuart Wilson, Simon Collins and Sarah Jayne Reid, at Cabinet 56
Left to right, Councillor Ian Baxter,with local residents Stuart Wilson, Simon Collins and Sarah Jayne Reid, at Cabinet 56

Residents in a new housing scheme hit by slow broadband are delighted that the developer has agreed to foot the bill to have it upgraded.

People living on the Hopefield Estate in Bonnyrigg are angry at the speed of the broadband in their brand new homes.

Now Taylor Wimpey has promised to pay BT Openreach to upgrade the much maligned Cabinet 56 which serves Hopefield.

Simon Collins, who moved into his brand new home there in January said: “It’s obviously fantastic for everyone that uses Cabinet 56 and I think we are now looking forward to continuing to grow our relationship with Taylor Wimpey.

“We are just looking for timescales now. It’s good that Taylor Wimpey have dug deep in their pockets. As by all accounts it’s not cheap to upgrade the cabinets.”

Hopefield Residents Association chairperson Sara-Jayne Reid said: “I’m really delighted and I think it shows the power that we have had. All the residents are really working together and it has definitely worked.

“Taylor Wimpey has suggested that we have an ongoing relationship with Openreach, which I think is a very good idea. So we know the timescales etc.”

Sarah MacAndrew, head of customer service for Taylor Wimpey East Scotland said: “Our agreement will allow Openreach to resolve the issues surrounding Cabinet 56, and include the cabinet within the broadband upgrade plan they have for the Hopefield area.

“Finding a resolution to this situation has been our primary focus since this issue was raised with us by both the residents’ association and our customers.

“Whilst we are wholly reliant on Openreach to undertake this work, the subsequent service levels and the download speeds that can be achieved and indeed the timescales for delivery, we’re confident the broadband service will eventually improve for our customers within the northern part of our Hopefield development.

“We will continue be in regular contact with the residents’ association as our development progresses.”

A BT spokeswoman said: “We’re very pleased to have reached an agreement with Taylor Wimpey and are in the process of formalising the detail. As with all other contracts of this type, we anticipate deployment being completed within nine to 12 months.”

Local Green councillor Ian Baxter, who has been fighting for better broadband coverage in the area, welcomed Taylor Wimpey’s intervention:“This is great news for the residents of Hopefield and I’d like to thank Taylor Wimpey for stepping in to help resolve what has been a long battle to get a decent broadband service for people who have moved into this area.

“I hope the message is getting through to everybody that broadband needs to be treated like any other utility, built into the design at a very early stage.”

A spokesperson for Midlothian Council said: “Taylor Wimpey’s recognition of the importance of digital connectivity in the Hopefield Estate is very welcome. Reliable and fast broadband is an essential service for Midlothian residents and businesses.

“Looking at this issue from a wider perspective, it is the council’s vision, as laid out in the Midlothian Local Development Plan, to ensure the integration of digital technologies into the design of all new developments, and we continue to work to have as much of Midlothian connected to superfast broadband as possible.”