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No Broadband for Two Months at New Social Flats in Hastings

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 (9:37 am) - Score 1,592
bohemy-fields-development

Residents at a new block of flats on the Bohemy Fields development in Hastings (East Sussex, UK) have become deeply despondent after finding that their homes, which began being occupied during May 2018, have yet to even be connected to Openreach’s (BT) national broadband ISP network.

The property developer, Optivo (note: the actual build was done by Trinity Homes), describes Bohemy Fields as offering “a selection of 16 contemporary homes through shared ownership: 10 three-bedroom houses, and 6 two-bed apartments situated near to the sea front in lovely St Leonards-on-Sea.” Sounds nice but what they don’t tell you is that nobody has bothered to connect the block of flats up for broadband before tenants moved in.

Apparently the flats on this development already have all of the internal cables and infrastructure necessary to connect into Openreach’s “fibre” network (it’s unclear if this means FTTC or FTTP). A spokesperson for Optivo told the Hastings Observer that, “We left all homes ready for BT fibre internet, meaning all residents had to do was contact BT to get their lines up and running.”

Sadly this has proven not to be the case because no ISPs have been able to connect residents, which is largely because of an unspecified delay with connecting the building into Openreach’s network.

A Spokesperson for Openreach said:

“We’re really sorry for the delay in connecting up the properties at Bohemia Road. Our engineers have carried (out) some work already, and will be returning to complete the job as soon as possible. We’re treating this as a priority and will be getting people connected at the earliest opportunity.”

Residents have also been complaining that nobody can recognise their address, which is a common problem. One of the most notorious issues with buying a new home is the fact that the address you receive is so new that it isn’t widely recognised (i.e. has yet to propagate to various databases). Problems like this usually fix themselves, but it can often take several months and meanwhile getting any new services ordered will require extra effort.

In these cases it’s often best to call a provider and speak with somebody directly because the ISP’s online ordering systems may struggle if they can’t identify your address. Similarly you may have trouble confirming whether or not your property can even get a connection, which adds an extra layer of difficulty.

As a rule it’s always wise to discuss these things with the property developer BEFORE you buy and if they do promise a “fibre” based service then try to get it confirmed in writing. We’d also recommend confirming which services will be available and how long they may take to install. Some developments may also have their own unique fibre optic (FTTH/P) solution, which won’t show up in any checkers.

Generally speaking it’s the property developer’s responsibility to ensure that a building is completely ready on the day you move in, although in this case it appears as if the delay may be stemming more from Openreach’s side of the fence.

In any case the current rules don’t strictly require developers to deliver the service itself, only that they cater for the necessary infrastructure (cable ducts etc.). The government’s new proposals under their Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) may soon improve things (here).

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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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24 Responses
  1. Avatar un4h731x0rp3r0m

    What is the postcode for this new development?

    Do people living on this development have already or are able to order a working phone service?

    I wonder how the regular you know who’s will spin try to spin this as being the developers fault again?

    • Avatar Tom

      The best I can find is “TN34 1DP”

    • Avatar Tom

      Looks like Flat 2 has managed to get phone line and possibly internet. Then the door entry and lift plant has lines.. no other addresses exist within the BT database. Which would prevent (or at least make very difficult unless the ISP isn’t moronic) all the other flats placing orders.

    • Avatar Whosfaultisit

      You better get this sorted quickly, find who is at fault and make them suffer. Report back ASAP please.

    • Avatar Clifford

      According to the developers (Optivo) own website one of the postcodes is…
      TN37 6RP
      https://www.optivo.org.uk/Property-home/News-developments/bohemy-fields.aspx

      TN34 1DP from what i can find is conflicting info, many postcode checking sites say it is defunct, one saying since 1991. From what i found the location of that postcode in hastings is/was much nearer the see (basically right alongside it)

      Either way if they have phone lines on any of the development i guess the developer ordered things correctly, especially as BT have apologised for the delay but refuse to say when they are going to do the job they were paid to do.

  2. Avatar Scoobs

    Haha aw what a shame
    No broadband for you lot how will you ever live?
    Loooooool

  3. Avatar Guy Cashmore

    Storm in a teacup, life without a phone line is perfectly possible, ours was disconnected 18 months ago, been 4G only ever since, OK we can’t do too much streaming but it doesn’t kill you..

  4. Avatar Phil

    My new build Home couldn’t get a line installed for 6 months even though the houses directly opposite had both BTO lines and Virgin Media installed so I just got a 4G WiFi box and connected my laptop and iPad to that. Wasn’t an issue, I had broadband.

  5. Avatar Carl T

    Yikes, 6 whole units!

    • Avatar un4h731x0rp3r0m

      I think it is 32 premises in total, pretty poor of BT. Obviously Openreach have charged the developer to hook things up and have not only failed to do that but do not even give a date when they will do it by.

      If this was a builder that took money and scarpered they could be facing prison, BT seem to think a sorry a we will do it when we feel like it attitude is ok though.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      How do you know they’ve already charged the developer?

      Weekend come early for BT Bashers 🙂

    • Avatar un4h731x0rp3r0m

      “How do you know they’ve already charged the developer?”

      Are BT supplying new developments for free now then?

    • I believe they do it free for FTTP on developments of a certain size (30 homes+), otherwise it would cost them more later.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      No I didn’t say free.

      I said how do you know they have “already” charged?

    • Avatar dean

      Is it common for BT to apologise for not doing work they were not paid or contacted to do then?
      I can not even get them to apologise when one of their lazy ass engineers fails to turn up… They sure as hell keep billing me each month though.

    • Avatar un4h731x0rp3r0m

      “I said how do you know they have “already” charged?”

      Why would Openreach apologise if they have not been paid?

    • Avatar FibreFred

      So you don’t know and you were grandstanding again.

    • Avatar Clifford

      I think you will find for social housing which is what much of this is from Optivo that they have various contracts with various suppliers to install services (gas, electric, phone, broadband etc) to properties and all that will likely be signed before building even starts.

      And before that is questioned Optivo have collaborated on other projects with BT in the past so the likely hood it was not a contract awarded to OPenreach is highly unlikely.
      https://www.btplc.com/Innovation/HowBTinnovates/index.htm

      A developer would not had gone to the extent of even bothering to install ALL the required infrastructure in the first place, especially in social housing. If the building was going to be all electric rather than gas for example they would not install gas lines to the homes internally or externally.

      Furthermore the scrutiny involved in new build social housing is far greater than it is in regular new build homes. The often government involved housing authority will not even allow people to move in if something is not working/dangerous/not up to standard or installed first. Its not like a regular landlord agreement to fix stuff which he/she never bothers to do.

      BT Openreach in this case was clearly with almost 100% certainty the chosen supplier for phone and broadband and BT paid or not are thus likely in violation of contract for failing to supply contracted services. That is why they are apologising because, like anyone that says sorry they know they have done something wrong. It highly likely they have also been paid as again being social housing they tend to dot the i’s and cross the t’s far more.

      Its more than likely all the internal cabling, faceplates, and other infrastructure mentioned in the story (any ducting in the properties or external poles on site) were all done by BT or a BT approved contractor (even more so given their past collaboration). The fact it has then not been connected at cabinet or exchange end has nothing to do with the developer and is purely down to Openreach not living up to the contract.

      Whether BT have been paid or not is irrelevant. Openreach are to blame, pure and simple in this case, though im not shocked BT staff (or i assume they are staff otherwise why persistently defend them) on here try to paint it as it has to be everybodys fault except their own.

      Typical BT Group, grab all the money you can, even go after people for it, but when it comes to their end of the deal they think they can do as they please. IE Nothing new from the company which has the worst impression on this site.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      I’m not defending anyone. Just questioning a statement you, sorry… another user made.

      Amazes me who many names the resident troll has gone through over the years. Yet people still know who he is 🙂

    • Avatar un4h731x0rp3r0m

      Oh on the contrary i would not have bothered and did not bother with such a nicely detailed and lengthy response to your stupidity. Talking of which i wonder if that one that one that also liked to called people trolls is still about. You remember that chap with the ability to see IP addresses here? We have not heard anything from that idiot pseudonym for a while…. where has he been?

    • Avatar dean

      As i asked earlier. Is it common for BT to apologise for not doing work they were not paid or contacted to do then?

      Thank you to Clifford for the info on social housing developments and the prior Optivo involvement with BT. Ironic even when you previously colab with BT and partners on ideas then Openreach fail you when it comes to the actual deploying. Highly likely this was contracted work which BT have not fulfilled, given the apology and the prior involvement. Pretty pathetic of them really. Hopefully they were not paid.

    • Avatar Clifford

      So im Called a troll for posting detailed information WTF!

    • Avatar un4h731x0rp3r0m

      He does it to everyone at some point, do not let him bother you.

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