A York resident lost out on the chance to connect to superfast broadband owing to a council error, it has emerged.
The man, known only as Mr B, has been awarded £300 in compensation from City of York Council.
In his report, the Local Government Ombudsman said the complainant suffered an injustice and said:
“I am concerned the issue appears to be ongoing and could affect other residents in the council area.“
Mr B received a letter from a superfast broadband provider in January 2019. It said he would have to sign a special agreement to receive the service because he lived on a private road.
Mr B replied to say no agreement was necessary because his road was not private – the council adopted the road in 1997.
But council’s systems still recorded the road as unadopted. In the summer of 2019, the council updated its system and requested the update to be sent to Geoplace – the company which maintains the National Address Gazetteer.
That proved too late for Mr B to get his superfast broadband.
Mr B complained to the council in March 2020. It gave its response in November 2020, saying:
- The issues were with a piece of software the council uses. They have worked with the supplier to resolve issues, but it is old software and the council is looking to replace it.
- The council was aware that because of the software issues some of the data sent to Geoplace was not always up to date.
- The council did share the correct information about the street adoption with the contractors. The decision not to work on Mr B’s street was made with the knowledge the street was adopted.
Mr B remained unhappy and complained to the ombudsman.
The ombudsman found fault with City of York Council for “failing to ensure its records were accurate” and failing to correct its street adoption records.
This is what the ombudsman said: “The council did attempt to resolve the issue by confirming the road adoption with the company, but it was too late, and the company had already completed the work in Mr B’s area and moved on.
“This situation could have been avoided if the correct information was on the database.
“This caused Mr B an injustice. He missed the opportunity to have faster broadband. He also experienced the inconvenience of pursuing the matter with the council.
“I am concerned the issue appears to be ongoing and could affect other residents in the council area.”
The council has been asked to apologise to Mr B and pay him £300. Within three months the council must complete a review of its road adoption system, and explain what action it is taking and by when.