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one hyde park

Residents in a wealthy suburb of London are having to make do with basic copper-based broadband, despite people in the surrounding area having access to BT's superfast fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology.

The One Hyde Park development opposite Harrods, in Knightsbridge, contains apartments that cost an average of £22 million, with features such as panoramic views, iris recognition in the lifts, and a 24-hour concierge who can supply champagne or charter a jet on request.

However, despite these developments being among the most expensive properties in the country, they still only have from basic copper line broadband, despite the rest of the UK being gradually upgraded to fibre-optic broadband.

It is not a case of the problem being confined to Knightsbridge, as BT is spending around £2.5 billion on providing 19 million homes with faster internet across the entire country, including all areas of London.

Instead, the problem is due to access to fibre cabinets, which are required to benefit from superfast internet connections, and it seems that the issue is one affecting many wealthy apartment owners.

This is because multi-unit dwellings such as council tower blocks and other high-end developments usually have a dedicated line running from the ground floor to the nearest telephone exchange, which are made of copper.

However, for developments such as One Hyde Park, BT's work to upgrade the copper wiring between the exchange and the green cabinets has no bearing, as they are not connected to a cabinet.

Businessman Harvey Wolfinger told the Guardian that downloading advertising videos takes up to 20 minutes, while watching BBC catch-up programmes through iPlayer or a Sky HD box is simply not possible.

He added: "In real terms we were better off in my home in the Highlands of Scotland, in the remote munros, than we were in London."

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