THE COMPANY behind plans to provide Wi-Fi in Great Malvern could pull the plug on the project.
It comes after town councillors agreed to pilot the idea but only if Resolve carried out a three-month trial – six times the period the firm had originally proposed.
Resolve, based at Enigma Business Park, is able to loan the necessary equipment for a fortnight but would have to shell out thousands of pounds to purchase it in order to carry out a trial for a quarter of the year.
Tim Winstanley from the firm said: “The council wants us to put up a lot of money and take a 100 per cent of the risk.
“We can’t invest a five-figure sum without knowing the parameters of success and failure. If we did we would expect some commitment from the council.
“The key point is that its the council’s Wi-Fi not ours, that’s why they pay for the kit. But we offered a significant buy-back of the hardware.
“We were offering the service massively cheaper than a lot of places, where the start-up costs are astronomical, so it’s frustrating.”
Mr Winstanley added there were no further talks planned with the council although he remained hopeful the project could still go ahead.
He said: “It is effectively in limbo but as it stands it isn’t going to happen.
“Malvern is a special case because of the concentration of space at Belle Vue Terrace, it wouldn’t work in Bromyard or Tenbury.
“My frustration is what is the council for? Surely it is supposed to support local rate payers, the businesses who are residents as well. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Waitrose or one of the numerous independent retailers.
“Hopefully we can look at something more reasonable. There must be a mutual ground where both parties can share the risk and gain something.”
A spokeswoman for the town council, said: “The council agreed at their October meeting that they did not feel able to consider this level of investment unless a three month trial was agreed.
“I can completely understand that this makes the whole project less viable for Resolve but MTC are custodians of public money and I think this was the reason why councillors suggested a three month trial in order that the council could be sure of what their investment will be buying.”
She confirmed councillors would be updated about Resolve’s stance at an upcoming meeting.