Hampshire County Council has launched a programme to help residents of new estates such as Abbotswood, near Romsey, who have been bypassed by superfast broadband.

County leader Roy Perry said he had received many letters from residents at Abbotswood who were disappointed that their new house did not come with a high speed broadband connection.

Mr Perry said: “I have been very sympathetic to new residents in my division at Abbotswood who have been very disappointed to discover that this matter was not automatically dealt with by either the developers or the broadband providers.

“Some people on Abbotswood are lucky if they are getting a speed of 0.5 Mbps. For anybody trying to run a business, or even with teenagers trying to do their homework, those speeds are not good enough.”

Mr Perry has written to all county councillors telling them about a new scheme Getting Connected which comes on top of the pledge made by the council in November to work with district and borough councils, developers and broadband suppliers to make access to superfast speeds a requirement from the day one at new properties.

“We always accepted that help was needed to “retrofit” existing houses in rural areas and we are aiming for 96 per cent coverage- but it was very disappointing to discover these new developments often did not have good broadband,” said Mr Perry.

It is believed that as many as 5,000 new houses in the county are unconnected.

Mr Perry said he was in negotiation with BT and developers over the issue.

Romsey’s MP Caroline Nokes and fellow Tory Steve Brine (Winchester) have raised he matter at ministerial level.

“Personally I think we need a change in the law to make good broadband as much a requirement for a new house as water and drainage and electricity.” said Mr Perry.