BT says improvements to broadband in rural Somerset are on the horizon after one villager branded his internet speed “deplorable”.

Rob Blandford has written to the firm, and also to local and national politicians, to highlight the slow broadband connection in Pawlett.

Mr Blandford said: “Broadband speeds are deplorable in the rural area of Pawlett. Despite constant appeals to the relevant responsible authorities nothing will be done.

“BT tell me that the "exchange" and "street boxes" passing broadband are not scheduled for upgrade despite many complaints.

“This is unacceptable.”

Mr Blandford says upload speeds in Pawlett are less than 0.5 megabytes per second.

He adds: “This particular area has a school, shop, post office, veterinary, a garage, private enterprises and small holdings working from home, a Royal British Legion complex, a social pavilion, sports fields, as well as many elderly people dependent on broadband communication.

“All are suffering from an inadequate service enjoyed by others.”

BT spokesman Jason Mann said the firm had remotely tested a line in Pawlett, though not Mr Blandford's, which found speeds of two to three MBPS should be achievable.

However, Mr Mann added: “There are a variety of factors which can affect broadband speeds, including a customer's own equipment and the distance of a customer from the telephone exchange.

“Pawlett is several kilometres from the exchange, so broadband speeds are unlikely to be particularly high there.

“However, speeds are likely to vary from one customer to a next, even within a village, because of the distance they are to the network, not the distance as the crow flies.

“BT is rolling out fibre optic broadband to nearly 200,000 homes and businesses in Somerset.

“This has already happened in many places and will be happening in many others by the end of the year.

“The Connecting Devon and Somerset project, of which BT is the preferred bidder, will also make a big difference.

“When it is up and running, it will offer a big opportunity for rural areas which are more challenging to connect for commercial reasons.”