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UPD BTOpenreach UK Engineer Repair Delays Slow Broadband and Phone Work

Tuesday, Sep 4th, 2012 (2:30 pm) - Score 1,832

Consumers requesting the installation of a new broadband and or phone service from their ISP are in some cases being left to wait for several months after BTOpenreach, which is responsible for managing access to BT’s national UK telecoms network, was hit by a spate of problems over the summer months.

A combination of factors, including disruption from the London 2012 Olympic Games (i.e. a freeze on network development work) and stormy weather, which caused significant flooding across large swathes of the country, is understood to be affecting the response time of Openreach’s engineering team.

On top of this many of BT’s staff have been away on annual leave (well it is summer), which has resulted in Openreach needing to prioritise repair work over new service provisions. The Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (OTA2) similarly confirmed today that the average weekly fault rate was 14% higher in July 2012 than July 2011.

OTA August 2012 Statement (Copper Service Levels)

The record rainfalls experienced throughout June & July have driven repair volumes to a level which has severely stretched Openreach’s resources. The average weekly fault rate was 14% higher in July 2012 than July 2011. Understandably, a higher priority is attached to tackling repair jobs and to getting the overall repair workstack down to a more manageable level.

As a consequence, Openreach are having to re-direct a portion of their provisioning capacity to undertake repair activity and this has had a heavy negative impact on Copper Provisioning performance during this period.”

ISPreview.co.uk’s inbox has received an unusually high number of related complaints about the problems, with many claiming to have experienced delays of up to around 2 months or more for the provision of a new superfast broadband (FTTC) service etc. Interestingly the operator suffered a similar situation last year, although this did eventually get back to normal.

Openreach claims to have a recovery plan in place, although it’s unclear how long this will take to resolve the matter and meanwhile the frozen nights of winter will soon be upon us. In the meantime if you currently have to wait until October to get a new service then take heart, if you can, from the knowledge that you’re not alone.

It’s perhaps little wonder that BT recently announced plans to recruit 400 new engineers into its mobile workforce (here), most of which will assist in the operators roll-out of superfast broadband services. ISPreview.co.uk has attempted to reach BTOpenreach for comment and we are currently awaiting a response.

UPDATE 6th September 2012

BTOpenreach has given us their official response – HERE.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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