Tech-savvy villagers and work-from-home businessmen in Hornton have expressed their outrage after it emerged the village would miss out on plans to install the fastest high speed broadband across 90 per cent of Oxfordshire .
The dispute erupted after a new £25 million deal between British Telecom and Oxfordshire County Council was unveiled last week to install superfast 24Mbps broadband to 90 per cent of all county properties and villages.
The upgrade will have significant commercial benefits but many in Hornton, which has a primary school, are outraged that villages with no schools such as Alkerton and Horley will get the highest speeds.
An estimated 30 per cent of residents depend in some way on broadband for their livelihood in Hornton. Among them is Felix Francis – son of bestselling author the late Dick Francis – who researches and writes novels from his village home.
Mr Francis said: “It would seem careless not to bring superfast broadbandto the village. I use broadband for all my research which I do online.”
“The broadband here especially on a week day can be really slow. It would be a great disadvantage to the children of Hornton if we don’t have superfast broadband.
County council spokesman Martin Crabtree said: “The village is in a ‘white’ area on the map and these areas are not expected to achieve ‘superfast’ broadband speeds as a result of the county council’s investment. However, included in the contract is a requirement that BT provide 100 per cent of homes and businesses a minimum of 2Mbps. The white areas will receive speeds in the range of 2Mbps and above.”