Residents in an Aberdeenshire village have finally been connected to fast internet a year after their neighbours, fuelling concerns about a “postcode lottery”.
Almost two dozen properties in Meikle Wartle were not connected to superfast fibre broadband last year by provider Openreach, due to a “systems error”.
As a result, they were left with sluggish internet connections while their neighbours were able to take full advantage of the technology.
Openreach admitted there had been an issue with the roll-out, leaving some homes waiting for superfast internet.
Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett said it was only right for the provider to come clean and admit their error and apologise to the residents.
Mr Burnett said: “I would like to thank Openreach for their honesty in error, and rectifying this issue as soon as they could.
“I appreciate that technical difficulties are not so simple to resolve, but it is important that rural communities are not at a disadvantage.
“Broadband should not be a postcode lottery.
“Many homes and businesses now rely on superfast broadband to ensure they can connect with others, and at this day and age, no one in the UK should be denied access to these services.
“I have spoken with some of the residents who had been affected, and they are grateful that their providers will now be able to offer them superfast broadband services.
“I am pleased there has been a speedy and positive outcome for my constituents in Meikle Wartle.”
A new Connected Nations report by Ofcom released this week revealed superfast broadband availability covers just 78% of properties in Aberdeenshire.
In Aberdeen, the 85% of premises can receive the service.
A spokesman for Openreach said: “Many homes in Meikle Wartle have been able to get superfast broadband for some time through the Digital Scotland roll-out.
“Due to a systems error, 22 local properties were not connected to their closest fibre cabinet, which meant they couldn’t get a superfast speed.
“Once we were made aware of this, we’ve taken action to put it right.
“We’re really sorry for the wait these residents have had, and hope they will now see a big difference with superfast broadband.”