Council fines CityFibre for work which is not ‘up to standard’

CityFibre has been fined where its work has not been “up to standard”, Swindon Borough Council has confirmed.

CityFibre, which is rolling out a full fibre network across Swindon, recently came under fire for severing a power cable in Covingham earlier this month.

The broadband provider has apologised for this disruption.

The borough council revealed at the end of May that all works conducted by CityFibre for the £40m scheme would be inspected following a number of complaints.

A council spokesman would not specify how many penalty charge notices had been issued or what they were for.

He said: “While we cannot go into detail on what fines have been given, we can confirm that, in line with legislation, penalty charges have been issued to CityFibre.

“Due to the scale of this rollout, our team has been inspecting CityFibre’s reinstatement work since the scheme began to make sure it is up to standard.

“Where it hasn’t been, we have taken action.

“This infrastructure rollout covers the whole borough and will mean Swindon gets lightning fast broadband connections, making sure homes in the town stay connected to the ever-growing online world.”

Earlier this month, Coun Dale Heenan tweeted: “Slow clap for #cityfibre. Problems across #swindon with quality of the work leading to penalties by Swindon Council yet Scottish and Southern Energy confirmed that we have the first case of a severed power cable to streetlights in Covingham. Not the only case under investigation…

“I’m sure #cityfibre will be great alternative to Openreach & Virgin but these problems will put off potential customers. I wonder if they are prepared to offer #Swindon residents 6m free as a thanks and sorry.”

Residents have also shared their complaints, including some who have accused contractors of leaving them ‘trapped’ in their homes.

Dominic Mazotta, from Rodbourne Cheney, said the dropped kerb outside his house was dug up for cabling work and was then inadequately replaced.

Councillor Jim Grant, the Labour member for Rodbourne Cheney, added: “We have had numerous complaints – whether it’s about the quality of the work and the repairs.”

The broadband provider’s city manager for Swindon, Neil Madle, said: “We understand that infrastructure works can cause some disruption, however, we always work to manage this closely with all stakeholders.

“On the occasion that electrical strikes happen, we work closely with our build partner to ensure that issues are addressed as quickly as possible.

“We are aware that electricity services were recently affected at a small number of addresses in Swindon, and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“CityFibre is investing at least £40m to deliver a town-wide full fibre network that will future-proof the town’s digital infrastructure for decades to come.

“In Swindon alone, the take-up of services has been rapid, demonstrating the demand for full fibre connectivity. We want to thank Swindon residents for their patience and support as we transform the town’s digital capabilities.”

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