A row has broken out over distribution of super-fast broadband in the Isle, after Crowle was dropped in the roll-out of the service across North Lincolnshire to summer next year.
Residents vented their disgust on social media site Facebook, after learning of changes to the roll-out plan that see Crowle moved from phase one to phase four, while other towns, including Epworth, are moved forward.
One resident described himself as “disgusted and disappointed” at the news that connection of the high speed broadband is unlikely ‘until the end of summer 2015’ and added his concern that funding might not even stretch that far or that long.
Others commented on the “disgraceful” and “terrible news” while some spoke of alternatives they have already put in place, branding the superfast broadband scheme as “a nonsense all the way through.” One said: “As always, Crowle is treated like the poor relation.”
Mayor of Crowle, Paul McCartan, said he only found out himself about the changes in priority via a comment on Facebook, and had received no official communications.
He has set up a ‘Crowle and Axholme North Survey’ for Crowle and Ealand residents to contribute to and allow the community to speak as one on the issue – it can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8BKH2HD.
Coun McCartan said: “The latest revelation that Crowle and Axholme North Superfast Broadband roll-out has now been relegated to phase four from phase one, whilst Epworth has upgraded to phase one, is a blow for residents.
“The whole communication of the project has been misleading and confusing and we are calling for us to be put back to phase one and an apology to be issued from those that have misled the public.”
A spokesman for North Lincolnshire Council said: “All four phases are fully funded and the roll-out is one complete project, simply divided in to different phases. From the very start it has been made clear that timings could alter as the exact technical requirements cannot be assessed until the team is on the ground.
“Crowle was in phase one. The team started on site and this surveying identified technical issues which engineers say will delay the roll-out. The fact that other areas have been brought forward is totally unrelated and simply as a result of there not being similar technical problems.
“The four phases overlap and the roll-out in North Lincs is all due to be completed by about this time next year. It is unfortunate there are issues that will delay this a few months but Crowle is still in and there is no threat financially. We are lucky to have such an extensive scheme.”