Many residents from rural parts of my ward have contacted me about continuous problems with British Telecom; both normal telephone and broadband provision. Many of these complaints have been forwarded, via local MSP’s to senior executives within British Telecom. However, residents across Lochaber remain concerned that these problems are not being properly addressed.
Today, I have written to Brenden Dick, Director of British Telecom Scotland, setting out the overall problem and inviting him to meet with local businesses and community representatives to discuss these issues:
Dear Mr Dick,
Since the New Year, I have received a raft of complaints from Ardnamurchan, Moidart, Morvern and even Ballachulish about the poor telephone and broadband service provided by British Telecom. Some of my constituents have experienced no telephone or broadband for days, if not weeks, over the last few months. I have businesses who have struggled with no connection for nearly ten days, in an area where there is no mobile coverage. In Lochaline, the intermittent broadband has caused problems with Post Office services and meant people are unable to use the automated petrol pumps owned by the local community company.
When reporting these faults, residents have experienced problems with call centres denying there is a problem or giving out conflicting information. A lack of engineers is often cited for delays in repairs.
Then there are examples of residents waiting months to get a telephone line installed.
Two of our local MSP’s, Dave Thompson and Mary Scanlon, have assisted in referring any specific complaints to your company’s executive team for escalation and resolution. However, a perception of a fragile and frequently faulty telecoms network is widespread amongst the communities I represent.
It seems that British Telecom, as well as the Scottish Government and local authorities, are concentrating so much on superfast broadband rollout, that the basic infrastructure and service provision is neglected.
As this is of continuing concern to my constituents, would you, along with your team, come to West Lochaber to meet with businesses, community councils and other community representatives to discuss their concerns? Such a high-profile visit would go a long way in reassuring the community that British Telecom is addressing these issues.
I look forward to hearing from you.