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Gleeful BT Openreach Finally Hooks-up the CLA to Fibre Broadband.. Sort Of

Saturday, Aug 27th, 2016 (7:59 am) - Score 1,899

Openreach (BT) engineers appear to have scored a small PR coup by connecting the CLA, which represents 33,000 rural land owners from across England and Wales and often campaigns for better rural broadband (partly by criticising BT’s effort), to their superfast broadband capable FTTC service.

The bad news is that Openreach has only hooked-up the CLA’s Midlands headquarters in Woodseaves, which was achieved as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK based Superfast Staffordshire scheme in England. The rest of the CLA’s members will have to wait a little longer, but naturally BT couldn’t miss out on scoring a little PR from connecting one of their loudest critics.

Ian Binks, BT’s Regional Manager for the West Midlands, said:

“Every day we’re seeing how faster fibre broadband is changing people’s lives for the better – whether it’s small businesses wanting to share information with their customers and suppliers, or people wanting to work from home, everything is easier and faster with fibre broadband.

Meanwhile, families wanting to connect more than one device to the internet at the same time can do so without worrying about buffering or their connection dropping out.”

Mind you the CLA is no stranger to criticism and has itself faced questions over their support for inferior Satellite technology as a fix for the 10Mbps broadband USO. On top of that they’re opposed to big chunks of the revised Electronic Communications Code (ECC), which seeks to make it easier and cheaper for telecoms and broadband operators to roll-out their infrastructure over private land.

However the ECC changes also threaten private land owners with the removal of the rights of individuals to negotiate an open-market commercial agreement with network operators for access to land or property, not to mention the possibility of less income from related rents for new infrastructure.

Caroline Bedell, CLA Midlands Regional Director, said:

“Our years of campaigning for universal access have not just been based on the needs of our members, but also on our own experience. We are therefore delighted to become part of the Superfast Staffordshire network, which means that in common with our other regional offices, we can now share data and use the same programmes via our London-based servers.

This means more efficient, cost-effective technology, with increased speed, greater choice and added resilience that ultimately benefits our members.”

Suffice to say that the CLA finds itself in a tricky position; do they want superfast broadband that can deliver the full range of Internet services for rural communities or the protection of land and higher rental income? So far the latter appears to be winning out.

Meanwhile Superfast Staffordshire has so far enabled more than 90,000 households and businesses to connect to faster broadband speeds. The figure rises to around 465,000 when combined with commercial fibre roll-outs by private sector companies, such as BT.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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