RESIDENTS in Winchester will have to fork out £30,000 for superfast broadband, BT have reportedly told them.

Home and business owners on the western edge of the city have been told they will have to put their hands in their pocket to pay for the infrastructure as the company claims the area is commercially “unviable” to install it themselves.

Hampshire County Council says the majority will be included in the ‘Wave 2’ rollout of the technology to 95 per cent of homes by 2018.

But the residents of Sarum Road and View area, behind Kings School, say they are “being held to ransom” to fund “the monopoly” that is BT.

Campbell Robertson has two children, six and eight. He said they spend 90 minutes doing 30 minutes worth of homework because of the slow connection speeds.

“We’re being held to ransom to fund our own infrastructure, forced to supplement BT’s investment. It’s a monopoly,” he says.

“The service we get is less than adequate. We have a service from BT which I actually don’t know they know how they keep a straight face over, when they charge this much for it. We’re getting less than 1 Megabyte.

"It’s totally stone age.”

He works from home and runs his own business which includes video conferencing.

“It freezes and they can’t hear me and it impacts how I look professionally,” he added.

“It sets me apart. Our life is very different from what you’d expect. A very nice community but we don’t enjoy the amenities that we would expect.”

Another resident, Kym Jobson, added: “The Government wants the best broadband in Europe. The target for coverage in the UK by 2017 is 95 per cent superfast broadband speeds in excess of 24 Megabytes per second.

"My concern is that I will be in the five per cent that by 2017, will still not have the benefit of superfast and still having to rely upon a broadband download speed that on a good day is 2.23Mb/s. Other users have far slower speeds.

“The Culture Secretary has said that ‘fast broadband speeds will totally transform the way we live and work’. I look forward to the day when I can test this out.”

A spokesperson for Hampshire County Council said: “While the provision of broadband is not the responsibility of local authorities, Hampshire County Council is committed to seeing as many premises as possible connected across Hampshire, making superfast services available in areas where commercial provision has not been made by the private sector.

“The programme has to be phased across the whole of Hampshire because a significant amount of infrastructure needs to be installed.

“We cannot confirm exact timing, as much depends on BT Openreach to schedule the work, but we are pressing them all the time to do this as soon as possible.

“To this end, alongside Government funding, Hampshire County Council and its partners are investing more than £28 million which will lift the availability of superfast broadband to at least 95 per cent of homes and businesses in Hampshire by 2018.

“The investment in this countywide rollout is a key part of Hampshire County Council’s long-term economic plan to secure Hampshire’s future by providing access to superfast broadband in areas that the private sector would not otherwise have reached.”

BT were contacted for comment but failed to respond at the time of going to print.