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Yelsted home owners left without internet after VFast internet repeater turned off by land owner

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Villagers were left offline after internet equipment in the area was turned off.

Yelsted residents were abruptly cut off from their VFast air fibre internet over a week ago and have now been left with either an inadequate Wi-Fi connection or no connection at all.

Phil Woods, chair of Yelsted Parish Council
Phil Woods, chair of Yelsted Parish Council

Phil Woods, chairman of the parish council, has lived in the hamlet for 15 years.

The 63-year-old said: “On June 16, VFast withdrew all service from Yelsted leaving several households with no access to the internet.”

It is understood the service relies on a repeater mounted on private property nearby, which boosts the signal for hard-to-reach areas, but that it has been switched off.

Mr Woods said: “It means the residents of Yelsted are left with problems.”

In an email sent out to the company’s users, VFast stated: “As you are aware, the WIMAX service delivered via Vfast Ltd is currently offline.

Phil Woods hasn't been able to watch catch-up TV since his internet was switched off. Stock Image
Phil Woods hasn't been able to watch catch-up TV since his internet was switched off. Stock Image

“Unfortunately, the repeater equipment that delivers the service to the surrounding area, has been turned off by the new owners of the host building.

“We have been in communication with them over the past week or so, to come to an agreement whereby services remain in place, with no effect to end users such as yourselves, however, we have been advised that the power won’t be turned back on.

“This is something that we don’t often come across and can normally overcome, but on this occasion we have no other option but to terminate any existing contracts in place with our customers and see what alternative services we can offer.”

VFast was unable to disclose which was the host building due to data protection.

Mr Woods added: “We live in a dead zone, there is no 4G, 3G or even 2G, and yes we knew that this was a rural area when we moved here, but in today’s age of working from home it isn’t too much to ask for a decent internet connection.

Yelsted Lane. Picture: Martin Apps
Yelsted Lane. Picture: Martin Apps

“The people who live here range in ages from 30 to 80, my neighbours have young children as well. It isn’t the end of the world but I’ve been unable to watch catch-up TV.”

He added “VFast called me out of the blue to say how sorry they were and how they couldn’t see a negotiation happening.

“Some people have given in and bought 4G which is expensive, and you could perhaps get satellite, but again that is expensive and limited.

“The air fibre was fine, it was reliable but we won’t have that any more.”

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