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BTOpenreach Add Phone Number and Address Check for “Fibre Broadband”

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 (1:09 pm) - Score 3,392
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BTOpenreach has updated the “fibre availability checker” on their Superfast Openreach website with some new options, which helps to identify whether the area where you live has been upgraded to support the operators latest ‘up to’ 80Mbps capable NGA Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) or 330Mbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) service.

In short, the checker now accepts a more refined phone number search (previously it only worked off postcodes) and they’ve also updated their postcode checker so that it can provide visitors with a result based on your specific home or business address. The changes should give a more accurate result for your specific line, as opposed to focusing on the general area.

Unfortunately the actual details that Openreach’s system returns are still incredibly vague, which is why it’s often best when used in combination with your ISPs own checker or the BT Wholesale ADSL Availability Checker (despite the confusing name, this also returns data for FTTC/P lines).

Sadly one problem with both checkers is that they often struggle to return a result if your phone line has been installed as part of a fully unbundled (LLU) service (e.g. Sky Broadband and TalkTalk) or if you’re on a completely separate platform. On top of that there’s often still a time lag between when a service goes live and it being added to the checkers database, although experiences do seem to vary.

On the negative side it seems as if Openreach has removed their ‘Future Exchanges’ spreadsheet and only left one for ‘Accepting Orders’. It’s a move that seems counterproductive and will no doubt have some cynics questioning whether Openreach have done it to avoid questions about perceived delays from what is admittedly still a tentative roll-out plan.

Ironically Ofcom has been pushing Openreach to publish more data, not less.

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Mark Jackson
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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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22 Responses
  1. Avatar adslmax

    still useless openreach site (unknown address) big wow!

    • Avatar adslmax

      It only say cabinet is enabled but no metion of how fast the speed will be. Time to get Ofcom telling BT Openreach off for not telling extra data of cabinet speed from the property. Shamed on u BT.

  2. Avatar adslmax

    This one is far better now than openreach checker as it will tell u the speed from cabinet to property: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/when-and-where/

  3. Avatar DTMark

    For this postcode: coming within 18 months, though it fails to mention the fact that it won’t be super-fast broadband (line length/quality) so raises a false expectation.

    For a nearby one – says the same, which is odd, since it’s not in the commercial or BDUK plans. Unless they have changed.

    That appears to be because both refer to the enablement of the exchange and fail to take into account that those two postcodes are served by different cabinets.

  4. /me must follow all links in article before replying…

  5. Avatar gerarda

    I discovered that according to the adsl checker my business line is quoted at between 1 to 3.5mb using FTTC , compared to the 0.5 I am getting now – so I placed an order on the basis that they have to guarantee the 1mb and there was an offer which means I will pay less than I would otherwise do for 9 months. Installation is planned for early January and we will find out then whether or not the line is suddenly capable of supporting FTTC or whether it is recording as doing so simply so Ofcom can record it their NGA coverage stats.

  6. Avatar GNewton

    Just for fun I checked an address in a nearby town, both on the BT Wholesale checker, and the other one, with 3 different, totally conflicting results:

    1) Wholesale Checker says: No fibre, no VDSL

    2) Superfast Openreach checker with postcode:
    Great news. Superfast Fibre is in your area and your cabinet is enabled and accepting orders. Contact your preferred communications provider for your home or business to order.
    (probably talking about VDSL, not fibre!)

    3) Superfast Openreach checker with line number:
    Superfast Fibre is in your area but we can’t tell by your postcode/number if you can get it right now.
    (probably talking about VDSL, not fibre!)

    So who in their right mind would order from a company like BT who doesn’t even know what kind of products they can offer?

    BTW.: We happen to know that the address checked above has neither fibre nor VDSL available, all lines in that postcode area are copper exchange only lines, there isn’t even a VDSL cabinet in the town. So don’t get fooled by BT, use your own eyes to check things out, or better, make use of the Freedom of Information Act to enquire for correct information when it is a taxpayer-funded BDUK area!

    • Avatar 3G Infinity

      ….. have exactly the same. With postcode checker BT says,

      Exchange name: xxxxxxxx

      Status: Exploring Solutions

      We’re keen to bring Superfast Fibre to your area and are exploring how best to achieve that. We may deliver it as part of our commercial programme, or by working in partnership with your local authority. At the moment you can’t order Superfast Fibre.

      and with the phone line checker BT says,

      Exchange name: xxxxxxx

      Superfast Fibre is in your area but we can’t tell by your postcode/number if you can get it right now. Please contact your communications provider, who can check using your phone number.

      and from Kitz (http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/adslchecker.php) it says,

      PhoneNo and PostCode Exchanges don’t match and,

      21CN WBC (Broadband) Not available
      21CN due : (PSTN) info N/A
      FTTC Not available

      as its a exchange only area without cabinets I know which one I’ll believe.

    • Avatar No Clue

      This is commonly called communication of data in the world of BT 😀

  7. Avatar David

    still useless like BT 🙂

  8. Does not acknowledge the FTTP here when given an address…but does acknowledge that FTTC speeds might not be quite infinityyyyyy for both address and postcode.

    • Avatar DTMark

      I wonder what determines that.

      The shortest line length at this postcode is 1280m. Our one. So that would be the address looked up when I choose it.

      It says we’re not able to order “superfast fibre” at the moment, but fails to mention, if the intention is VDSL, that we will never be able to order it. Yet the page is titled “Are you in a superfast area”.

      Does it just go off the straight line distance between the cab and the property like the ThinkBroadband maps seem to? (They can’t be taking line length into account and have blobs where there are no properties, and no blobs where there are properties – it looks very flattering, since it’s all green)

      Maybe this means we’re getting FTTP here. Somehow I doubt it though.

    • DTMark-On one of the dslchecker things I did inadvertently in your area, FTTPoD was listed, so there maybe things happening.

    • Avatar DTMark

      If you imagine a diamond shape with the exchange at the left point, our house at the right point, and the two cabinets top and bottom (it’s roughly that “shape”)..

      If the aggregation node aggregates the two cabinets, the logical place for it would be near to the exchange.

      Which is a distance of about 3km from this location. So if it *is* somewhere near there, I don’t think “Fibre on demand” is going to get many orders 😉

  9. Avatar Jonny

    Still useless for me in Cwmaman.

  10. Avatar Bob

    BT ought to be able to do a lot better. They must have a roll out schedule and project plan and there should not be many variables as they should have been sorted out at the site survey stage. The nearer the date the more accurate it should be as well. The biggest unknown variable is likely to be block ducts

  11. Avatar Andy

    “Your area is enabled for Superfast Fibre but your cabinet is not ready yet so you can’t place an order today. It is in our plans to be upgraded and we update this info weekly, so please check back later.”

    Which is basically the tale I have been told for the last 12 months.

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