Ebernoe has been left in a ‘digital time warp’

Business owners pictured last year on the industrial estate at Ebernoe, unable  to get broadband or mobile reception are still fighting for access

Business owners pictured last year on the industrial estate at Ebernoe, unable to get broadband or mobile reception are still fighting for access

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Despite neighbouring villages now receiving superfast broadband and mobile signals there is rising frustration in Ebernoe where villagers say they are still in a ‘time warp’.

Now parish council chairman Ann Tyrell has written again to MP Nick Herbert imploring him for help launch village businesses and the community into the ‘digital society’.

She told him: “At our recent parish council meeting continuing concern was expressed about the lack of information or signs of progress to either improve mobile reception or fibre optic solutions to our digital access.

“I understand, as we are still regarded as eligible for the super fast broad band project roll out, we are not eligible for the ‘community funded’ schemes. We are also not eligible for the schemes which are aimed at helping businesses as many properties are residential. As you can imagine frustration is rising.”

Ebernoe faced being left behind in the digital revolution, she said, “with very poor broad- band strength and almost non-existent mobile coverage the notion the whole UK is entitled to have access to effective telecommunication systems seems as far away as ever.”

Ebernoe parish councillors were astonished to be informed by Chichester District Council recently the village now had good mobile coverage

“They must be referring to a different village,” said Ann. “We can sometimes manage to use a mobile phone if we hang out of a bedroom window and hold the phone at a certain angle when the weather is sunny.”

Neighbouring villages had either effective mobile coverage or super fast broad band.

“The fact the road through Ebernoe was closed on a number of occasions to run fibre optic cable through the centre of the village looked as though it might be a hopeful sign. However we are just as disadvantaged as ever. The notion that we are too rural seems odd when none of the surrounding villages are deemed too rural and the fibre optic cable runs past many of our driveways.”

She said parish councillors wanted to give villagers positive information about when they could join the ‘digital society’.

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