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Complaints Mire Cityfibre’s Peterborough FTTH Broadband Rollout

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 (9:55 am) - Score 2,317
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Cityfibre’s £30m deployment of a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband ISP network in Peterborough (Cambridgeshire) has suffered complaints after the City Councillor for Park ward, John Peach, highlighted some “absolutely atrocious” reinstatement work.

Apparently the councillor had received a number of complaints from residents around Dogsthorpe Road, which are said to reflect the quality of repairs to pavements in that area. John Peach told Peterborough Today (see for picture) that tarmac on the pavement had been left with lots of gaps, holes and was unevenly laid.

Some of the repairs have been found to be like a temporary reinstatement, awaiting a permanent repair,” said Mr Peach. In response the council have pledged to inspect the work, although Cityfibre has already noted that they aren’t yet finished in the area and a full repair is still due to take place. To be fair, it looks from the picture like a standard work-in-progress repair.

Rebecca Stephens, CityFibre’s Local Development Manager, said:

“Working in partnership with Vodafone and Peterborough City Council, we are making real progress with our construction programme. Our contractor is laying the final connections on Dogsthorpe Road, and once this is completed full reinstatement works will be carried out.

While the nature of the project means some disruption is unavoidable, we are doing everything we can to minimise this and will continue to keep residents up-to-date with our plans.”

Deploying new infrastructure is an expensive business and will inevitably create periods of disruption for local residents, which is often true no matter who is doing the noisy civil engineering side of things. Over the years we’ve seen similar gripes being levelled against Openreach, Virgin Media and various others.

The ramp-up in UK FTTP deployment plans and growing possibility of overbuild between rival ISP networks also means that we can probably expect to see a lot more gripes like this in the future. In the long run the ability to access affordable 1Gbps broadband speeds should make it all worthwhile and may even boost the value of local housing, as well as the economy.

Nevertheless operators do still have a clear responsibility to finish the work properly and, for the most part, they do take action when problems are identified.

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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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16 Responses
  1. Avatar Martin Pitt - Aquiss

    Looking at those pictures, that just looks like the tarmac base level and not the final finish. Looks like a bit of a local paper non story to me.

    • Avatar Badem

      I concur, more puzzling is why they are doing full width reinstatement instead of micro trenching? Last I saw this was due to the pavement being so badly maintained it disintegrated under the blade and the council themselves did the full width reinstatement.

      Putting the network in with the level of reinstatement is going to be VERY expensive..

    • Worth considering that we don’t know from the picture whether this is exactly the stage that locals were complaining about or if it’s after a temporary remedy has been applied, post-complaints.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      I must admit that this looks like someone doing the job properly and it is definitely just the rough under-layer of tarmac awaiting the fine dressing tarmac.

      So I don’t see what the fuss is about TBH. It is exactly what I would expect.

      I suspect they are leaving the pavement better than they found it!

      I’d be amazed if the LA said anything other than “Good work, carry on chaps. Please dig up a few more of our crumbling pavements that we can’t be bothered to fix”

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      Probably a bit of history regarding this specific location.

      If they remove the guarding it has to be left safe (trip hazards etc) and the conclusion of the general public, unless notified otherwise, will be that they have finished and that’s how it will stay. So all it needs a little communication and not left too long.

    • Avatar Badem

      Also until they complete a formal ‘Handback’ to the council the site is still under construction so they should be following standard H&S in relation to working practice.

      As noted, probably a local paper ‘Non Event’

    • Avatar CarlT

      What Badem said. Why are they doing full-width reinstatement for that bit? Best guess is a well-to-do person owning the property adjacent, perhaps a former councillor or mayor, having a whinge. Happened here, a former councillor moaning to current ones incessantly about cabinet placements and state of cabinets until they got a full-width reinstatement in front of their property.

      The appropriate answer is, of course, ‘foxtrot oscar’ in an ideal world.

      This looks a mess. If they are having to do any amount of full-width reinstatement or local highways are being obstructive they made a bad decision with Peterborough.

      There were a lot of issues with reinstatement here in Leeds with Virgin Media, however all were based around the regulations laid down for reinstatement, temporary to permanent reinstatements were allowed to be done and all demands for remediation detailed why the reinstatements had failed to comply.

      I draw people’s attention to that VM have nearly finished their 80,000 premises build in Leeds including 11,000 in Middleton, 11,500 in Rothwell, then Garforth, Kippax, Robin Hood, etc. I almost feel left out that Leeds hasn’t made it onto here over reinstatements, unless I missed it of course!

    • Avatar Ed

      Been weeks carrying out this work on our road, still not completed. I live near unadopted newish estate, seems not installing there. So far been told they have damaged gas pipes and sliced through Virgin cable. I was also told some of the workmen have been sacked. Speak to anyone on roads in Peterborough, they all have stories to tell about CityFibre. We had communication that it would take seven day!!!!!! Traffic congestion with more traffic lights down Fulbridge Road haven’t helped the locals. Main access to Peterborough are already becoming no go areas as major road works are taking place on Lincoln Road and traffic diverting down Fulbridge Road.

    • Avatar CarlT

      If they hit gas pipes those weren’t even close to properly installed. They should be way deeper than CF are going.

  2. Avatar Chris

    just leave Peterborough CityFibre rollout and focus on Milton Keynes. In Milton Keynes the City Fibre rollout has no alternative, fixed network infrastructure competition other than BT Openreach. In Peterborough, all of it is covered by Virgin Media in addition.

    More rich picking to be had from punters in Milton Keynes who are stuck with only openreach. (The old analogue cable network in Milton Keynes was installed by BT Cable Services in the 70s, then forcibly leased off to NTL, then Virgin Media. Virgin then cancelled the archaic contract with BT, with the plug finally pulled around 2013.

    • Avatar SimonR

      Hey! I’m waiting for the Peterbrough roll out to hit my area. Tired of the VM upload.

    • Avatar Pikkoz

      Well, I live less than 1mile far from PB City centre and our neighborhood is struggling to achieve 17Mbs with the regular ADSL ,it’s not serviced by VDSL/fttc nor virgin coax ,so yes we need openfibre as much as you MK guys, happy days

  3. Avatar Dave

    CityFibre should not have anything to do with Milton Keynes as they may find themshbeing moved 70 miles north and being renamed

  4. Avatar Gary HILTON

    To be fair, Openreach just ran the new phone cable on the top of the grass for hundreds of meters when they ‘repaired’ it out to us crossing several farm field entrances where it gets driven over, must be close to 7 years ago now that was done, I did ask once and was told it was temporary !

  5. Avatar SimonR

    To clarify, I’m pretty sure James Peach is an ex councillor. The Peterborough Today article is a little ambiguous.

  6. Avatar Salek

    this is a problem i would love to have

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