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Major UK ISPs Pause Orders for Ultrafast Broadband Services

Friday, Mar 27th, 2020 (10:44 am) - Score 4,321
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Openreach’s decision to significantly limit their engineering work this week (here) has naturally caused somewhat of a cascade effect among UK ISPs. As a result providers, such as BT and Sky Broadband, have paused new orders for ultrafast broadband services and limited other activity.

Providers are reacting to Openreach’s decision at different paces and it would be absurd to write a story for each, so we’re just going to illustrate what you can expect from the main providers. At present BT already appears to have responded by removing their G.fast and FTTP packages from display, while those running an availability check in FTTP areas are being greeted with mildly confusing messages like “Full Fibre isn’t available where you live just yet” (translation – it’s available but due to COVID-19 they aren’t taking new orders).

Similarly Sky Broadband has stopped all “non-essential” broadband and phone installs, which primarily includes their “Ultrafast” (G.fast) based packages and anybody who needs a new line installed from scratch (predicted to impact 30-40% of consumers). Essentially any service that would require an engineer to enter your property, such as the ones above, have been almost completely stopped (exceptions exist for vulnerable customers and some existing orders).

Customers trying to order a Sky TV service will also be affected since the operator states that an engineer is required on 100% of visits to help install Sky Q, which may be largely down to the Satellite dish side of things. Existing Sky TV customers can of course continue to upgrade as no engineer is require to enter your property for most of those.

The change isn’t having much impact on slower standard (ADSL) and superfast (FTTC) based broadband installations / switches or upgrades since those are self-install and do not require an engineer to enter your property. New product launches are also being put on hold by a lot of providers.

Obviously people should try to avoid venting their frustration at ISPs or engineers (some operators are still doing limited home visits) about all this since they, much like the rest of us, are all being significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and related restrictions on movement. The fact that KCOM’s engineers have recently suffered some abuse is a case in point.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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4 Responses
  1. Avatar photo BillyBob says:

    Nooooooooooooo I wanted to buy a backup link since i’m now working at home constantly.

    1. Avatar photo David says:

      I know – BT have taken the option off their website – can now only get FTTC (never been able to get more than 25 – but can now get 80/20 so they are still using the lines ) but 910/115 is not on the list

  2. Avatar photo Stewart B says:

    I’ve been checking Openreach weekly for the past few years crossing my fingers that one day I’d see those beautiful words,
    “Faster and more reliable fibre is coming to your area soon.”

    Which I got on 22nd March ITYOOL 2020. Then came the apocalypse and suspended my hopes and dreams. And I, a grown manly man, wept.

  3. Avatar photo Chipmunk77 says:

    Seem to have suspended FTTP regrades too – mine just missed the cutoff 2 weeks back and has been sitting there not progressing since πŸ™‚

Comments are closed

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