East Yorkshire MPs meet broadband bosses about telephone poles


As published by BBC News

MPs have called on broadband companies in East Yorkshire to work together after rows erupted over the installation of telephone poles.

It follows protests by residents upset about poles put up near their homes.

Rules allow companies to install them without going through the usual planning process.

Conservative MP Sir David Davis organised a meeting with fellow Hull and East Yorkshire MPs and bosses of the three relevant telecom companies.

Mr Davis told the meeting that there needed to be better communication.

“Residents have for far too long felt their concerns are not being heard and they are simply being swept aside by companies doing what suits them,” he said.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Guy Miller, Furwan Alamgir and Tim Shaw, chief executives of MS3, Connexin and KCOM respectively, said they welcomed the MPs’ intervention.

As well as Mr Davis, who is the Haltemprice and Howden MP, the meeting was attended by Beverley and Holderness Conservative MP Graham Stuart and Hull’s three Labour MPs: Emma Hardy, Dame Diana Johnson and Karl Turner.

In a joint statement, they said there was a frank exchange with the companies who were told their failure to share infrastructure was having an unacceptable impact on local people.

The CEO of MS3, Guy Miller, said he welcomed the call to share infrastructure.

“This would reduce the need for additional street works, including the installation of new telegraph poles,” he said

Connexin’s CEO, Furqan Alamgir, said working with KCOM had been challenging.

“This incumbent behaviour has meant we have had no option but to build our own infrastructure,” he said.

“This is not new. The same problem existed with BT/Openreach and the only solution was regulation.

“Only then will customers see lower prices for faster broadband, using existing ducts and poles in the areas covered by KCOM.”

Tim Shaw, head of KCOM, said KCOM was ready to share access to their network if other providers apply correctly.

Mr Shaw said: “I look forward to the meeting with Connexin to discuss the request for infrastructure access they made just before Christmas.”

As well as protests against the poles in the towns of Hedon and Hessle, two broadband poles which were recently installed in Hull have been cut down.