Residents on Lower Manor Lane estate in Burnley launch petition against telegraph poles installed by broadband network provider brsk

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Residents have launched a campaign against the installation of telegraph poles on their housing estate in Burnley.

To date 342 people have signed the petition against the poles claiming they are ‘vehemently’ opposed to them.

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Resident Deborah O’Donnell said: “The poles cause visual degradation and disrupt the aesthetic appeal and charm of our locality and we already have superfast broadband on this estate.

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Residents of the Lower Manor Lane area in Burnley are unhappy with the brsk telegraph poles that have been erected. Photo: Kelvin Lister-StuttardResidents of the Lower Manor Lane area in Burnley are unhappy with the brsk telegraph poles that have been erected. Photo: Kelvin Lister-Stuttard
Residents of the Lower Manor Lane area in Burnley are unhappy with the brsk telegraph poles that have been erected. Photo: Kelvin Lister-Stuttard

““Our opposition stems from the lack of proper notification about the plans and the fact we already have superfast broadband here.”

But a spokesman for independent full fibre broadband network provider brsk said they first consulted with residents who would be directly affected by the poles in February and then followed this up in June via letters to every house on the development.

Dedicated engagement managers have been carrying out further community engagement since the beginning of August, according to brsk.

The spokesman said: “We take community engagement very seriously and are very concerned to hear that residents feel we have not fulfilled this aspect as we have received a significant amount of positive interest in the area. “

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The residents have also called for brsk to collaborate with Burnley Council and Lancashire County Council to explore alternatives, such as providing underground services.

In response brsk said the company had consulted with the local authority and its permits were approved after it shared plans for the street, but the company would welcome the opportunity to engage with any local councilors who would like to work together with it to improve the digital connectivity in Lancashire.

The spokesman added: “ We are very sorry to hear that residents feel that way. Poles are required to deploy the network because in certain instances, a large amount of infrastructure already exists underground, which leaves no space for any new infrastructure.

“We promote collaborative planning efforts between local government, utility companies, and residents to find mutually acceptable solutions that address both utility needs and community aesthetics.

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“We strive to develop and enforce design guidelines and regulations that govern the appearance and functionality of telegraph poles and associated infrastructure.

“We implore residents to see past the poles for the sake of progress, which ultimately fade into the background and are far less disruptive to the community than digging up pavements.

“Opening trenches also creates significant risk to the other services in the ground and there is always the risk that water, gas or power services will be damaged, leaving residents without these services while they are being repaired.

“Trenching is also extremely disruptive to the local residents and furthermore, trenching is extremely costly which would drive up the cost of full fibre broadband.

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“Brsk offers residents full fibre, which is a superior technology to any other technology currently available, and we are able to do so at a very reasonable price point which would not be possible with trenching.

“Not only are we driving prices down for residents by offering competition, we are providing the community with a choice of suppliers, who have previously had very limited choice and largely been stuck with outdated infrastructure.

“70,000 homes across the Lancashire region can already enjoy the benefits of full fibre thanks to brsk and over 22,000 of these are in Burnley. This work is in support of the Government's 2019 manifesto to deliver nationwide gigabit-broadband (which is only achievable with full fibre) by 2025.

“In February 2022, the target was revised to ensure that gigabit-broadband will be available nationwide by 2030. Therefore, brsk are making Lancashire one of the best digitally connected regions in the country ahead of the national deadline, and creating the opportunity for Lancashire residents to take up world class broadband now.

“ The community should be proud to have been prioritised so soon while many parts of the country patiently wait their turn.”