BT respond to Internet service petition

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Disgruntled islanders have shown strength in numbers by signing an online petition in protest of their waning internet speeds.

The petition was set up by Keith Morrison, who runs Wee Studio in Stornoway, and had by Tuesday gathered over 500 signatures.

The petition was aimed at BT, and demanded that the internet service provider ‘repair internet infrastructure to the Western Isles’.

Keith said: “We do a lot of business on the internet: Youtube videos, music streaming and downloads etc.

“I was experiencing massive slowdown in speeds between 5pm and 2am every night since June. Also most of the day at weekends.

“There’s no way to contact BT directly. You have to do it through your Internet Service Provider.

“Then they send out an openreach engineer. The engineer can’t fix it because it’s not a problem with your setup, then you hit a brick wall. Back to complaining to your ISP.”

Keith set up the petition after seeing a lot of complaints about poor internet service on Facebook, and was confident that it would gain signatures.

He continued: “I was trying to think of a way to package up all the problems and all the complaints. This seemed like a good step to get BT to recognise the problem.”

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus MacNeil joined the petition on Tuesday, and wrote to Brendan Dick, Director, BT Scotland.

Mr MacNeil said: “I am receiving reports that BT broadband customers in the Western Isles are becoming increasingly frustrated about the poor broadband service they are getting.

“I will be writing today to Mr Brendan Dick, Director, BT Scotland to highlight the petition which has been set up locally, calling on BT to repair the infrastructure to previous levels.

“Customers are obviously exasperated about the level of service they are receiving from BT and they are must address these issues.

“Fast internet connections are essential to so many aspects of our lives and BT has a responsibility to provide an adequate level of service.”

In response to the petition a BT spokesman said: “We’re sorry to hear so many people in the Western Isles are having problems with their broadband speed.

“We’ve not had a significant influx of reported broadband faults from the islands but we’re listening to what local people are saying via the petition.

“As a result, we will carry out a number of detailed checks on different parts of our network to determine if there are any issues that could be leading to a loss of speed.”