OLLERTON residents have rallied together to get functioning internet in the village after being in the two per cent of properties across Cheshire lacking up-to-date services.

Residents, and a handful of businesses in the village are clubbing together to pay the £35,000 fees to get fibre broadband to the village after missing out BT’s broadband roll out across the country.

BT has not been able to complete the project in Ollerton as it is not ‘commercially viable’ and the village has not yet benefitted from the Connecting Cheshire broadband scheme, a joint-authority scheme to help rural communities without broadband, despite its 98 per cent success rate.

The current internet provision is run through an ageing copper wire, which runs 3km from Parkfield in Knutsford, causing very weak broadband signal.

David Malkinson, a resident of School Lane, has been working with other villagers and businesses in the area to raise awareness of the campaign and provide Ollerton with ‘acceptable’ internet connection.

“We can either sit and wait and see if we get internet, or grab the bull by the horns,” he said. “And that is what we have elected to do.

“I started leaflet dropping in December and it got a great reaction, so now it is full steam ahead. Not having satisfactory internet is a massive deal. There are businesses in the village, including a web design company, and a lot of people work from home.

“All the things people take for granted like watching Netflix or iPlayer, even backing up photographs- that’s a distant dream for us.

“We are way behind and it’s getting worse and worse. The internet is a utility nowadays. What we are doing is a positive thing, we know what we need to do and we are just getting on with it.”

The community scheme, which has received the support of nearby businesses including Marthall Tree Products, Oakwood Nurseries, Uber Interiors, Warburton Landscapes and Bartlett Tree Experts, will see people make contributions to the scheme across three stages.

Kevin Rutterford, BT’s Next Generation access director, attended a meeting with David and 45 other residents to discuss what will happen next.

Speaking to the Guardian, said: “BT has pledged never to say no to communities who want high speed fibre broadband but who have fallen outside the existing commercial and Government programmes.

“The businesses and residents of Ollerton have taken on this challenge with gusto, gathering their resources and we are working closely with them to make sure they get the best technological solution.

“Ollerton knows how important fast broadband is for their businesses, their families and to their connected community. We will do everything we can to help them realise those hopes.”

For more information about Ollerton's campaign visit connectingollerton.com