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Openreach Fault – No Broadband for Weeks in Parts of Lowestoft

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018 (8:48 am) - Score 1,592

Spare a thought today for the residents and businesses in parts of Lowestoft (Suffolk) that have been left without working broadband and phone services for nearly a month. The situation began after a one of Openreach’s underground cables developed a fault, which has apparently been complicated to fix.

The majority of network faults, including plenty of major cable breaks, tend to be fixed within a couple of working days at most. Naturally exceptions can occur, such as in remote rural areas where local resources may be limited or where delays with access, planning or power may become unexpected obstacles.

Unfortunately premises around St Aubyn’s Road, St Peter’s Road, Carlton Road, Lorne Road and Richmond Place have this week informed The Lowestoft Journal that they’ve now been without access to broadband and phone connectivity since the very end of May 2018. Locals were initially told that the problem would be resolved within a couple of days but clearly all has not gone according to plan.

A Spokesman for Openreach said:

“A faulty underground cable has affected service in some areas of Lowestoft.

The repair work is complex and time consuming, and engineers have now completed the repair of underground ductwork.

We’re sorry for the inconvenience, however engineers are working as quickly as they can to replace 55 metres of underground cabling and to complete the work as quickly as possible.”

Going nearly a month without broadband and phone is considerably worse than a mere “inconvenience,” particularly for small local businesses and home workers where an alternative leased line would generally be too expensive to justify. Meanwhile Virgin Media doesn’t cover many of those affected, although most mobile operators should at least be able to provide a reasonable 4G based Mobile Broadband signal as a backup.

In theory the major ISPs should also be providing affected customers with compensation (upon request), although this won’t become an automatic requirement until 2019 when Ofcom’s new compensation scheme is formally introduced (here).

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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.
Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Meadmodj says:

    Sounds like damaged, collapsed or silted duct but what I can’t understand is why Openreach do not provide an expedient solution if it becomes clear there will be protracted delay.

    1. Fastman says:

      Openreach is a network operator not a provider

    2. un4h731x0rp3r0m says:

      Except when they are not operating anything for an entire month eh 😉

    3. Meadmodj says:

      @Fastman

      I understood the ISPs pay Openreach not BT. Openreach are responsible for the maintenance of plant and the service provided. I come from a time when the word contingency was still in the dictionary and service trumped cost. At least two times during my short period of apprenticeship on external I remember we laid temporary reinforced cable in the gutter while civils were undertaken following third party damage.

    4. Clifford says:

      “Fastman
      June 26, 2018 at 1:48 pm
      Openreach is a network operator not a provider”

      “un4h731x0rp3r0m
      June 26, 2018 at 3:36 pm
      Except when they are not operating anything for an entire month eh ”

      Just laughed silly and almost choked on my tea after a long nights work at that statement and reply, thxs 🙂

  2. themanstan says:

    Isn’t Lowestoft subject to recurrring flooding events?

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