Yorkshire village forced to run 'high-speed' broadband connection on battery power

The broadband in one Yorkshire village is being powered by battery. Pictures: SWNS
The broadband in one Yorkshire village is being powered by battery. Pictures: SWNS
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Angry villagers have hit out at Openreach after a car-crash left their high-speed fibre-optic broadband connections unreliable - and powered by BATTERIES.

Their frustration began when a vehicle careered off a road and struck their village's transformer box damaging its power supply nearly a month ago.

Since then engineers have been forced to travel to Streethouse, near Wakefield, West Yorks, to change the batteries every six hours.

And some of the village's 400 residents are furious that they are often left completely without an internet connection for hours due to the power problem.

Many ipay around £40 a month for a super fast internet service - but have been left with hours of no internet since the smash on the night of Friday October 13.

Lee Johnson, 29, says his broadband is disconnected more than four times a day while internet engineers replace batteries.

Infuriated Mr Johnson said: "The box got crashed into on October 13.

"We literally had no broadband in the whole village for a week after the crash, it affected everyone and my business was brought to a halt.

"They got it back up and running but they have to send out an engineer to change the batteries multiple times a day, it is ridiculous.

"We have been told it is a temporary fix but there has been nothing said about it being fixed for good and there has been no communication from Openreach who manage the box.

"It feels like we are living in the stone ages.

"I rely on the internet both at work and to use my mobile phone because of lack of signal and it has impacted me.

"At work I have had to stop recording shows and can't upload others when the internet turns off, it is so frustrating.

"Just last night it went down for three hours when my daughter was doing homework.

"You'd think it would be sorted by now."

The cabinet has not been reconnected to the mains since it was struck by a vehicle.

Another resident, Dan Pearson, 31, says Openreach - the firm responsible for connecting most of Britain's homes to the internet - told him that the village is not a priority to be fixed.

He said: "It's incredibly frustrating because Openreach say they are busy and we are not a priority, we're too low down in the queue.

"Openreach are paying their technicians a call-out fee every six hours to change the battery in the cabinet to get the system back up and running.

"The battery is supposed to be used to stop the phone's going off should there be a brief power cut. They wait until the battery goes flat before they call out the engineers so it can be down between half-an-hour and an hour-and-a-half each time."

Mr Pearson's partner recently launched a nursery business from home which requires constant internet access so parents can constantly monitor their children, and says the situation could threaten her livelihood.

He suggested installing a street generator but was told that due to the location, the risk of theft or vandalism was too high.

Openreach said: "We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused by the temporary power solution. Restoring the mains power connection is absolutely a priority for us and we are working to secure the earliest possible date for it to be re-connected."

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