No quick answer to slow internet in Bradley Stoke as Virgin Media says it won't be extending cable network
INTERNET users in Bradley Stoke have been dealt another blow after Virgin Media said it had no plans to extend its cable network in the town.
The company says there is not enough demand for it to justify rolling out its services.
Around 5,000 of the 9,000 homes in the town have access to Virgin's cable service but the remaining 4,000 are dependent on BT's telephone lines for their broadband.
As Bradley Stoke does not have its own telephone exchange, the long line lengths from the exchanges in Almondsbury and Filton mean internet speeds are often slow.
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BT has previously ruled out upgrading the copper wires that run from the two exchanges to Bradley Stoke as they are too far away to make it viable.
In a letter sent to Bradley Stoke Town Council, Virgin Media said there was not enough demand in the town.
Public affairs manager Dan Butler states: "Unfortunately, it is clear from our most recent cost assessment that the cost-per-home of building network in Bradley Stoke far exceeds our investment case.
"Virgin Media would need to see levels of uptake in the region of 75 to 80 per cent of homes in order for the investment case to stack up."
Mr Butler added Virgin Media had spent a number of years assessing and reassessing "cost and demand of network build" in Bradley Stoke .
Speaking at a town council meeting, Councillor Rob Jones said the response was not unexpected and he was confident a solution to the town's broadband problems would eventually be found.
But it a few years time there could be a light at the end of the tunnel for internet users in the area.
In April 2011 BT announced it was upgrading its Filton exchange, while money from a council subsidy is to be used to upgrade the Almondsbury exchange.
The money will come from a £2.2 million pot that South Gloucestershire Council last year allocated to providing better broadband access across the district.
It is hoped that nine out of ten users will have super fast speeds of up to 24 Mbps by 2015 and that everyone in South Gloucestershire will have a minimum of 2Mbps broadband by the same date.
The authority has said it expects to complete its infrastructure investment by 2015.
A Virgin Media spokeswoman said: "In recent years we've looked in detail at the demand for super-fast broadband in the Bradley Stoke area and the cost of building out the Virgin Media network here.
"We would love to be able to offer our services to everyone but building networks remains very expensive and, sadly, the cost for us is too high in Bradley Stoke which means we won't be doing so at this time."