RESIDENTS will have to put their hands in their pocket in order to get high-quality broadband.

Two decades ago, residents in Welshwood Park turned down the chance to have cables laid in the area to boost internet speed.

But now, 20 years later, fresh efforts are being made by residents amid fears low broadband speeds are affecting their property prices.

Peter Halliday, chairman of the Welshwood Park Residents Association, said: “I get the impression they didn’t want the street dug up 20 years ago, but they didn’t realise how important broadband would be.

“Now we are having to look at other options.

He added: “I believe the national trend is 20 per cent of a house price is down to its broadband speed these days. We get a very low speed.”

Welshwood residents can get a maximum of 2.1mb/sec, while parts of the borough boast up to 20mb/sec.

Residents have asked Essex County Council if it would fund or part-fund the work needed to boost speeds, but it has indicated it would not be able to.

They have now spoken to BT and rural broadband provider County Broadband and options, such as wireless internet, have been put forward.

Any work would have to be funded by homeowners, who are also exploring having for the roads dug up and having a special booster box laid.

It is not known how much it could cost each person.