Earl blocks villagers broadband plans

The 5th Earl of Iddesleigh refuses to let BT build telephone poles on his land.

The 5th Earl of Iddesleigh has sparked outrage in the small Devonshire village where he lives by refusing to let plans to install ultrafast broadband go-ahead.

Upton Pyne is home to around 300 residents and currently has access to broadband speeds of just 2Mbps, which is well below the 10Mbps standard the UK Government stated every household should have access to.

Telecommunication giant BT started work to bring ultrafast broadband to the village last November, even going so far as to install a green street cabinet, but hit a wall when they announced that they’d need to erect four telegraph poles across a 2,500 acre stretch of land belonging to Lord Iddesleigh.

The Earl, whose real name is John Stafford Northcote, refused BT permission to build on his land stating that he didn’t want to ruin what is considered an “unspoilt valley.”

Other residents labelled Northcote’s decision as “ridiculous”, stating that faster broadband was desperately needed in the village.

"When I want to load images, it's very, very slow,” said local photographer and artist John Howells. “If it gets very desperate I have to drive to my girlfriend's in the countryside - and that's 25 miles away.”

Although the Earl hasn’t made any official comments or statements regarding the villages complaints, a spokesperson has claimed that Northcote wouldn’t be opposed to running the cables underground so they wouldn’t have to spoil the beauty of the village.

Source: Daily Mail

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