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The Curious Case of a Muddled FTTP on Demand Installation

Saturday, June 6th, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 13,910

Sometimes getting a new broadband service installed can involve significantly more hassle than usual. At least that seems to have been the case after Lewis Roberts shelled out £9,600 to have Openreach (BT) install a 330Mbps FTTP on Demand (FTTPoD / FoD) broadband line in March 2019, and so begins our story.

As usual we need to start by clarifying that FoD is a different service from a normal native FTTP deployment. In a native FTTP deployment Openreach foots the bill from its own pocket to install optical fibre down your street, but in a FoD installation it’s the customer who chooses to pay for the expensive civil engineering side of that build (often because there would be no other prospect for FTTP without doing so).

NOTE: According to one ISP, the lead time to deployment for FoD is an average of 180 working days. All that pre-planning and civil engineering takes time.

The FoD product itself is thus typically aimed more at small businesses, although home owners with very deep pockets (and an awful lot of patience) or groups of premises can also apply. Normally the deployment takes place, the fibre goes to your property and an Optical Network Terminal (ONT – pictured top) is then installed on your inside wall. The service should then go live fairly quickly, but in practice.. sometimes odd things happen.

The problems for Lewis began after his fibre and ONT had been installed on 6th April 2020, which occurred roughly 13 long months after first ordering FoD from his ISP (Amvia). We have heard of even longer waits but this is still quite a long time.

Lewis told ISPreview.co.uk:

“My months of waiting and spotting the occasional Openreach van outside my home and in the estate culminated in the appearance of a couple of Openreach engineers on Monday 6th April (during lockdown I should add), who announced they were here to provide me with an ONT and splice in the fibre and needed a hole drilled in the house.

I was gobsmacked they were here given this was during lockdown but they advised they couldn’t enter and asked if I would be OK with drilling the hole. I was, and did. Fibre was run, the engineer spliced the fibre and after telling me that there was a little more work to do upstream before I had a flashing green PON light (LOS was red at this point), they went on their way.”

A couple of days later Lewis spotted the same engineer nearby, who promptly shouted out that the work was done and he should now have a flashing green PON light on his ONT (the POWER LED was also lit). “He was right, I did. He mentioned it’d be about 24 hours after that before the circuit would likely come live, [but] admitted it could be longer with [this] being an FTTPoD order,” added Lewis.

At this point Lewis contacted his ISP to inform them of the development, which surprised even them, but after a few days the service still hadn’t gone live. Instead the ISP found that it was struggling to have Openreach recognise that the ONT had actually been installed, with the network giant insisting that an Audit & Commission event had to take place before he could get one (even though he clearly already had a fibre connected ONT).

Three weeks passed and at the start of May 2020 Openreach were continuing to insist that they were “waiting” for the audit and commission to happen, otherwise Lewis wouldn’t get the ONT (i.e. waiting for something that has already happened can be problematic). “I’m at my wits end and the provider is doing everything they can,” said Lewis.

On 4th May ISPreview.co.uk contacted Openreach to raise the issue and was told that it would be investigated. Later that same day the operator responded to say that they were just waiting for more information from the business about when this order will be fulfilled, but this was promptly recalled. Instead we were informed that the issue was still being investigated (i.e. more clarity was being sought from the ECRT team).

A few more days passed and Lewis reported that a promised visit by one of Openreach’s engineers had not materialised. In response we chased Openreach again for an update, but received no response. Sadly the problem continued for several more weeks until, on 28th May 2020, the ISP received a promising update (forwarded from Openreach).

Status Update from Openreach

“The field manager says openreach have encountered an issue with the cable-link which they are now trying to resolve. This is not something the customer will have a view of (not local work) as the issue is located further down the route.

They have said they will chase the field manager again to ensure that he is pushing this fix through with the relevant team. Once this is resolved they will be in the position to arrange the final site visit. As soon as we have an update this will be shared with you.”

On 1st June Lewis was finally given a date for one of Openreach’s engineers to visit in order to verify that he does indeed have an ONT installed (apparently photographs aren’t considered acceptable proof). “Sure enough, yesterday came and the very helpful and chatty engineer was taken by surprise that the CSP was in, more surprised that the ONT was also in and boggled by the fact that the PON light was flashing!,” said Lewis.

The engineer promptly advised that they needed to “build the circuit” and this would take about 10 minutes. Success! The flashing green PON light was now, finally, a solid green. “I was left to wait 50+ days for this 10 minute resolution,” complained Lewis. Unfortunately it would then take several more days for Lewis’s connection to go live as some final configuration issues remained.

We had to nudge Openreach a couple of times but they did eventually furnish our inbox with a brief explanation.

A Spokesperson for Openreach said:

“We’re really sorry for the delay on this. We’re building huge amounts of full fibre broadband at the moment and, most of the time, the work causes minimal disruption and gets completed on time. In this case though, we had to apply for permission to close two roads from the local authority, and we had an error in our systems which meant it took longer than it should have to get the service live.

We always want to provide customers with the best service possible, so we’re reviewing what happened here to see if we can improve any processes in the future.”

Suffice to say that somebody spending close to £10k for an ultrafast broadband service might rightly expect a smoother experience than this, but all’s well that ends well.

Leave a Comment
94 Responses
  1. Avatar Saltire

    I only have Virgin Media and struggling to even get an Openreach line installed

  2. Avatar Tim

    Yay. His neighbours can now order native FTTH at his expense. Top bloke.

    • Avatar Lewis Roberts

      You’re right, they can, but not the whole estate by any means. I looked at addresses in the cul-de-sac I live at the entrance to and they can get it, but those on the other side of a single lane road can’t. Five properties in total can benefit but it’s noteworthy that I didn’t receive any additional contribution from DCMS on the gigabit voucher scheme despite the additional houses benefitting. In fact I was told that I wasn’t eligible as “only my property was passed” which is obviously codswallop.

      Admittedly though, I don’t think any of the neighbours will be bothered for getting FTTP even now they can.

    • Avatar Ray

      Wait they can?! So if I were to get FTTPoD people are allowed to share my line?!

    • Avatar CarlT

      The FoD build is a shared one – it’s a bespoke version of the standard FTTP build. The cost is, similar to BDUK FTTC, basically bringing FTTP to the area earlier than it would’ve been by throwing a few quid at Openreach.

      Were you expecting Openreach to give you all the 2.4 Gbit capacity to yourself if you order FoD?

      Dedicated fibre = dedicated fibre. The FTTPoD infrastructure built for customers will be expanded to deliver FTTP to more and more neighbours as time goes on, no question.

  3. Avatar MattWood

    I’ve just had FTTP installed, and the open reach engineer spent a hour on the phone trying to find out which team a miss signal needed to escalated. In the end I’ve been left with a flashing green light that should be solid, and once it does become solid green light I have to have another visit to finish of the job. How this type of work is not tested as they go along is disappointing. Now I have no Internet while I wait.

  4. Avatar James

    I ordered FTTP from BT a few weeks ago with an activation date of the 4th June.
    Things initially started happening quickly and a team came next day to install the fibre. They thought there was a blocked duct so went away and referred to dig team.
    Activation was then pushed back all the way to September 8th.
    A dig team came and found no blocked duct and therefore within 5mins had it roped.
    The next day the fibre team came back and installed the fibre to my house.
    There’s now a fibre sitting there but am told the 8th September appointment still stands and openreach *may* contact me to bring it forward.
    It’s really frustrating that appointment was pushed back that far which turned out to be unnecessary.
    Do openreach actually bring appointments forward on other people’s experience? Or is that just BT trying to give me some hope?

    • Avatar Retford

      Best call in to your ISP who will contact Openreach to bring the appointment forward if they are able to.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      My experience of “the duct is blocked” is that it is very often an excuse to bail on something a little tricky – as in this case.

      Whilst they do genuinely get blocked by tree roots or roadworks / crossover damage it is less common than it is made out to be.

    • Avatar James

      I’ve spoken to BT and all I get is “we can’t chase openreach” “they may bring the appointment forward” it’s just so frustrating. The stupid thing is my neighbor across the road has now ordered and has an install date of 2 weeks so doesn’t seem to be engineer availability that’s the problem more the inflexible processes in place

    • Avatar Curious

      Why don’t you cancel your order, and then place a new order? This should get around having to wait until either OR change the sate, or September.

  5. Avatar A_Builder

    Whilst there is no way that you would want field engineers to be able to change lots parameters, other than OLT identifiers, they should be able to see, at traffic light level, the statuses upstream.

    My suspicion would be that the ID of the OLT was entered incorrectly so the handshake was not recognised and once that was sorted the whole thing sprang into life.

    Anyway I hope he is getting joy & value from his investment.

  6. Avatar Guy Cashmore

    Having recently been through the pain of an Openreach FTTPoD order (placed via FluidOne) to my business premises in Cornwall, stories of Openreach incompetence come as no surprise. From placing the order to receiving a working service took 23.5 months, I lost count of how many times engineers would turn up, only to quickly leave again saying the work instructions were wrong or that other work needed to be completed before they could do what they had been sent to do.

    It wasn’t until Clive Selley himself finally responded personally to one of my many complaining emails and letters that things finally started to get done, from that point it still took over 3 months to finish the installation.

    Quite frankly, Openreach are a national disgrace.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      That is quite interesting combined with the original story here.

      Sounds like there isn’t a streamlined workflow in place.

      Obvious efficiency savings to be made – could reduce real costs of FTTPoD and make it a more generalisable product.

      I won’t have to wait long before someone pops up to say FTTPoD doesn’t fit with Fibre First. Actually it perfectly well does as once the phone pole or chamber is live anyone else on the chamber or pole can order the product. It is just a different approach to rollout that is certainly less efficient when executed with the Ealing Comedy touch.

    • Avatar joe

      Sounds familiar, I’ve seen the range of Ppl turned up to find work they thought was done wasn’t or turned up with the wrong equipment. Or they sent an engineer to do work he wasn’t trained for 🙁 The most depressing one was one lot who added plastic covers to the fib cables on poles in field hedges that were flailed. Despite being told that. Apparently it was too far to go back to their depot for metal ones :-/

  7. Avatar Chris Sayers

    My flabber is gasted, what how long, there ought to be a legal limit, then dail penalties, otherwise OR can just put there feet up.

    • Avatar Guy Cashmore

      It appears so. I personally paid BT/OR £9k in January for a CFP scheme to connect my community in West Devon (unrelated to my business above) and 6 months on nothing, not a pole, not a cable, not a roadworks notification. Deja vu..

  8. Avatar joe

    ” (apparently photographs aren’t considered acceptable proof). ”

    Um. Wtf. Setting aside they must have a job # for the original work what do they think ppl are doing faking photos for fttpod!

    I hope they waived part of their contract fee for this shambles.

  9. Avatar Tabs

    Me: Oh we are building the fiber network around this area. (Is he a 5G foe?!)

    Bilwidered Local: Is this for the neighbours?!

    Me: No..no..no its for everybody here. Its the fiber roll out scheme.

    Him: But we/I already have fiber installed. I paid for it 6mnths ago.

    Me: Oh ok. But yeah this is free to everybody within distribution distance.

    (Him, flashed a recall moment bilwildered smile.
    I changed topic to the landscapes beauty(Peak District).
    Him is in hospitality indstry….

    10mins later

    Finally we ok now to hang new cables on his backyard.
    Him smiled, waved and drove off.

    The end.

    NB.
    Social distancing rule was maintained the whole time.
    Me, in a South Pacific accent.

  10. Avatar Jonathan

    Given you pay the money up front there should be some rebate if it takes too long say over six months. Say a 2% a week, that would give them some incentive to pull their socks up a get on with things. As it stands given they have your money there is no incentive to sort anything out in a timely fashion

  11. Avatar Mike Hughes

    This mirrors every one of the FTTP/FOD installs I have been involved with on behalf of my clients. If it wasn’t so utterly depressing I could write a book on the bewildering inefficiency of OR. Dare I say it, this example wouldn’t even make the top ten of my worst examples. I make these remarks fully aware of the significant challenges that OR face, but they really don’t make it easy to be less critical of their performance.

    • Avatar Steve Blake

      Yet my FoD install was done in approx 4 months without any dramas.I bet for every botched up install there many like mine which go smoothly. But of course you won’t hear about these…

    • Avatar Jonathan

      The issue is Openreach get the money up front so there is no incentive to sort things out. That’s why I think after say six months they have to start refunding 2% of the cost a week keep going past a full refund and still install it. That would give them some incentive to deal with things in a timely manner.

    • Avatar Steve Blake

      “The issue is Openreach get the money up front so there is no incentive to sort things out.”

      So you’re saying the bean counters at Openreach run off with punters money? Perhaps they’re all sat on a nice beach somewhere in Bora Bora, courtesy of their FTTPoD customers? lol

  12. Avatar Polish Economic Migrant

    “with the network giant insisting that an Audit & Commission event had to take place before he could get one (even though he clearly already had a fibre connected ONT).
    Three weeks passed and at the start of May 2020 Openreach were continuing to insist that they were “waiting” for the audit and commission to happen”

    I felt like in Poland in 90s. Audits, tons of paperwork, commissions, tons of paperworks, visitations, tons of paperworks.

  13. Avatar Tony Jones

    For balance, it sometimes goes smoothly. In Feb 2019 fibre ports appeared on the pole outside my house, to my surprise Zen Internet said yes, they could take an order for FTTP. Two weeks later BT arrived, stuck a box on tbe wall and bar a couple of hours on installation to fix a fibre coupling it’s worked brilliantly since.

    This is in rural South Cheshire and the best I could get before was around 8Mb/s FTTC, often slowed for weeks when DLM had a sulk, the solid 80/20 is much better and very welcome during lockdown and wfh. I’ve no idea why FTTP appeared unannounced here in the middle of nowhere but very pleased it did.

    • Avatar joe

      Its all a much simpler process when you are able to order regular fttp – though problems still happen. Just having to run it from the pole by your house is a best case for an easy install.

      fttpOd and some rural fttp under bduk can involve a lot of civils..

    • Avatar A_Builder

      It **might** just be a byproduct of an FTTPoD deployment enabling the pole.

      Anyway enjoy your decent connection.

  14. Avatar Rahul

    I have a curious question to ask. What happens after a customer pays close to £10K for FTTPoD and then soon later Openreach deploy native FTTP for free as part of Fibre First programme? Then that customer won’t get refunded the £10K he/she paid, will they?

    I can imagine how depressing that would equally be, even more so than the delay itself! If Openreach can’t provide the customer with an FTTPoD service in a timely manner then they must refund the cost or at least partially refund back some of the money that was paid.

    Also I wonder how Openreach will still gain wayleave permission to get the Fibre installed to the customers premises if that customer lived in a block of flats where the management team is still unwilling to be cooperative to allow the installation to go ahead. This will potentially lead to some serious conflict between the leaseholder and the private building management team!

    • Avatar Sunil Sood

      Openreach won’t accept FTTPoD orders from MDUs

    • Avatar Fastman

      Rahul

      this is dejavu again

      your building and aother MDSU cannot be fibre enabled (if its underground fed to a a central DP until the management company (of that or any other building) agrees to a wayleave (which is why you do not your preferred choice of hyper optic) which you think is somehow openreach’s fault to fix

    • Avatar Rahul

      @Fastman: I knew you will respond to my comment!! 😀
      Actually I now have FTTC last 4 months with TalkTalk and have 80 Mbps Download and 20 Mbps Upload, very good compared to 12 Mbps previously. You said I wasn’t going to get upgraded to FTTC well at least I got that! 😉

      My question regarding FTTPoD was more of a general curiosity. I wasn’t aware that FTTPoD wouldn’t work on MDUs. But I’m guessing Openreach are aware of the wayleave issue. So paying Openreach £10K still won’t guarantee FTTP due to wayleave barrier.

      So I’m guessing bribing the management company of the building would be more helpful theoretically which, I find that hilarious. Openreach once again can’t assist in getting FTTP even if we were to pay them £10K. This defeats the whole point of even considering FTTPoD as an option once again.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Openreach won’t accept your money. They won’t take an FTTPoD order on an MDU. They might be able to agree a community fibre partnership but you wouldn’t pay until wayleave was in place.

      Not sure what’s tricky or controversial about this.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Confused as to what you are expecting Openreach to do if the building owner refuses wayleave.

      Openreach aren’t the mafia and aren’t going to kick the door of the management company down and threaten their kids until they provide wayleave.

      Your frustrations are far better directed at the management company or government.

      The obvious last resort is moving to a better enabled property on the open market rather than one that’s apparently part of the family property empire.

      This news article gives a whole bunch of disasters from Openreach and you’re on here banging on about your MDU again and blaming a private company for not having control of the law or private property not belonging to them.

      Predictable as it was that this news article would open the floodgates they must be really stretched here.

    • Avatar Boo Hoo

      Rahul, why do you always blame the telecom companies for not bringing FTTP to your flat when its your building management to blame for refusing wayleave access? You can pay £10 million to Openreach but they’ll do diddly squat. On the other hand, why not move into a different property if your father is a property mogul?

    • Avatar Fastman

      even more amusing is that his preferred provider is Hypoeroptic – but its all openreach fault

      a communications provider / network Operator cannot install something in a building you don’t have a wayleave for – if you don’t have a wayleave it never going to happen (10k 20k 30, you choose the amount – the answer is the same – until you get a wayleave) regardless on hw its provided or funded

    • Avatar Rahul

      The confusion comes from the fact that FTTPoD shows as available now since my Fibre Cabinet went live for my postcode in October 2019 having previously been on EO Line.
      https://www.broadbandchecker.btwholesale.com/#/ADSL/AddressFeatureProduct
      Featured Products Downstream Line Rate(Mbps) Upstream Line Rate (Mbps) Downstream Range (Mbps) Availability Date FTTP Install Process
      FTTP on Demand 330 30 — Available —

      This is somewhat deceiving because the checker doesn’t take into consideration that I live in an MDU and that hasn’t been updated. Checker should say FTTPoD not Available for MDUs.

      @BooHoo: There are a few problems that I’d like to touch on. The Altnet communication providers such as CommunityFibre, G.Network, Hyperoptic tell the customer to register their interest and if enough people register interests from their residential block, hand in leaflets, letters, etc to introduce them to FTTP and how beneficial it is, etc, etc then the service will be installed.

      So you do all the hard work, like in my case, I’m a registered Hyperoptic Champion for my building. I managed to get in touch with over 30 residents of my building and handed them print copies of the register interest webpage. They all did it successfully and the survey was complete.

      Building has been assessed ✓

      Your building survey is complete ✓

      Step 3 Awaiting building permission

      In my case I was naturally more adamant to go with Hyperoptic because as a Hyperoptic Champion I will get 1 year free 1Gbps should all go successful as planned. This is what the Hyperoptic Business Development Manager promised via email.

      Now nobody from these telecommunication providers tell you that getting registered interests is not enough. They tell you right in the end after all the registered interests were made! So all that hard work went to waste these past 5 years. This is the frustrating aspect of being a Hyperoptic Champion. Instead I should’ve ignored the registering interest phase and simply went on with giving pressure to the building management team, but I didn’t do that because I wasn’t informed at that time that this was part of my job to get the management team to contact the Hyperoptic Business Development Manager.

      Like I said before, if Openreach concentrated on FTTP in the first place instead of 96% of the country being upgraded to FTTC the wayleave barriers will have been resolved by now like in most Eastern European countries. Because of this alone we are behind other countries in FTTP coverage.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      @Rahul

      There are a lot of MDU around that do have Community Fibre, Hyperoptic or similar connected up. And to a lesser extend OR as they were very slow onto the MDU bandwagon.

      I really don’t think you can blame OR or Hyper for your building management company’s ineptitude or intransigence. All they can do is ask for permission and as they have no legal handles to pull there are in a weaker position that you are. You, presumably, have a contract (lease) with the Freeholders and this will contain specific rights and remedies.

      Do you not have a services and alterations provision clause in your lease – in most standard leases there is a clause along the lines of “will not unreasonably be withheld”? Refusing to deal with something is by definition unreasonable and the landlord would then be in breach and have to compensate you if you could demonstrate a loss due to their actions or inactions. Potentially there is a loss of value claim due to the digital blight you say they have inflicted on you and your fellow tenants. It is now well accepted that connectivity is part of the valuation equation.

      Sometimes it knowing how to kick the dust up a bit – without then getting caught up in the ensuing dust storm!!

    • Avatar Sunil Sood

      @Rahul

      The checker will result will be based purely on the fact that your PCP now has a FTTC twin. That’s why they carry out a building survey at the start of a FTTPoD order to work out the cost and any potential issues.

    • Avatar Fastman

      the FOD is nothing to do with the FTTC or anything else – the FOD availability wont know your a MDU tyill you get a survey – and it will be back to square one

      unbelievable don’t get want you want and there blame someone else for your buildings issues

      no wayleave no FTTP

    • Avatar CarlT

      Rahul – Openreach will have had better things to do with resources than go back through their entire database to locate MDUs so that they can exclude them from a product that will, during its entire lifetime, probably sell less than 10,000 units.

      Regrettably none of us are entitled to these services for right now and you have hit a brick wall.

      As with another thread on this same article speak with politicians rather than the comments section on here, or even liquidate some of the property empire, assuming you’re an owner of it rather than a ‘tenant’ and buy a new build with multiple gigabit options.

      Many MDUs and SDUs now go up with Openreach FTTP + Hyperoptic, Virgin Media or another option.

    • Avatar Rahul

      Obviously no wayleave= no FTTP. I said that myself before, this is why I am unable to do anything even if I paid the provider money. This is why even FTTPoD doesn’t work.

      If FTTPoD only qualifies on the basis of passing the wayleave agreement, then I think it would be a waste of money to pay (even if theoretically it was possible) because eventually there will be an Altnet provider that will come forward and propose an installation without costing money to the residents.

      I know I have vented my frustrations many times in the past few years. But I didn’t even have FTTC available until only 8 months ago when my cabinet finally went live!

      I signed TalkTalk 24 month contract for £21.95 for 80/20 Mbps FTTC in February which is a good deal and definitely a ton times better than 12Mbps Download /1Mbps Upload and much more reliable!

      If I didn’t have FTTP in the next 2 years I won’t be unhappy. But I would’ve been unhappy if I still stayed on ADSL! In fact, I know for 95% certainty that FTTP won’t be installed next 2 years.
      But if I had wayleave agreement passed in the next 2 years I will be very pleased and that is what I want as a first step!

      I am pretty sure the politicians are well aware of the wayleave issues or there wouldn’t be talks on trying to ease legislation’s. I also think that they do read this site from time to time.

      It is my management team EastendHomes that are problematic because they have several offices making it difficulty getting hold of the technical services manager. I know there are plenty of MDUs in central London with Hyperoptic, etc, I check their map regularly out of curiosity.

      Recently 2 of our other properties just passed wayleave agreement and they are under Tower Hamlets Homes along with all their other residential buildings.

  15. Avatar Christos Pollatos

    I had a similar case with virgin broadband – although I didn’t have to pay.
    I was told I’d be connected in 10 days. This got rescheduled by 2 months each time, for 10 months(always at last minute’s notice). After countless calls (they would always say its looking good for the installation until the evening prior to it) they agreed to send an engineer to see if there is any work needed to be done. He came and confirmed it was all OK. 5 days later they rescheduled again due to work needed to be done on the road again.
    They wouldn’t believe me when I was telling them that their own engineer visited a few days previously and found it to be ready.
    It felt great cancelling my application.

  16. Avatar Stephen Amos

    BT/Openreach accidentally ceased our charity’s leased line in April and its still down.

    During a pandemic when every charity worker is working remote.

    Top that.

  17. Avatar Mike

    Seems like he didn’t bribe the first engineers with enough tea/biscuits.

    • Avatar Lewis Roberts

      Ha, I wish that were the case. I would have offered apart from the lockdown side of things. As you might imagine, offering the engineers a cup of tea from my own house around that time would be like offering uranium.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Engineer visited me last week. As he packed up told him I was sorry I couldn’t give him tea and gave him a couple of New England IPAs instead.

      He was content with the swap. 🙂

  18. Avatar John Holmes

    Reminds me of my ISDN line install which took 24 months, I can’t remember the details now but it was a farce but at least I did not pay a penny until it was in place. That was in the 90’s and BT/Openreach or whatever they are called now have never improved in all that time. The ex-nationalised industry attitudes are still in play.

    • Avatar GNewton

      “The ex-nationalised industry attitudes are still in play.”

      Very true, it’s the reason for the long-standing Can’t Do culture of BT/Openreach.

      Notice the absence of all the hardcore BT fans on this forum thread!

    • Avatar CarlT

      You forgot to talk about Trustpilot, Mr Newton. Believe that’s also part of your script. The blame for the ‘can’t do’ attitude seems to alternate between BT’s privatisation and previous state ownership so please do try and fix that inconsistency so that you can save yourself some time and just copy/paste one paragraph. Can’t be any more fun for you writing this repetitive, pointless nonsense than it is for those unfortunate enough to read it.

      You’re also undermining yourself. ‘Hardcore’ fans would be looking to defend such errors, however in my experience there are far fewer people here who feel the need to try and defend companies of all types relative to those looking to take a pop for any and all reasons.

      I’m not sure what comments you’re expecting to read. I’ve nothing to add to what’s clear in the article and been emphasised in the other comments.

      No company can be defended over a catalogue of errors like this. Strangely enough those you think are biased fanboys haven’t. Anyone would think they weren’t the ones with the bias.

    • Avatar GNewton

      CarlT: Funny that, coming from someone who had to run local campaigns and FoI requests in the past just to get a proper broadband service. Under normal circumstance you’d expect a telecom company just to do its job and not to bury its head in the sand. Whether the telecom company is publicly owned or a private company is irrelevant here.

    • Avatar Openleach

      CarlT were you not the person in the Leeds vicinity that had to campaign to get an additional cabinet/cards installed, which also from memory took months upon months?

    • Avatar Fastman

      openleach

      you clearly know nothing about that cab – ive forgotten more about that particular sctructure than you will ever learn in your life time

    • Avatar Fastman

      the average build structure fro a new cabinet in FTTC world was circa 12 months from date of order (assuming you can get siting and permissions, and highways and everything else agreed

    • Avatar Openleach

      “openleach

      you clearly know nothing about that cab – ive forgotten more about that particular sctructure than you will ever learn in your life time”

      Clearly i do not remember everything about the situation which is why i asked Carl about the situation. Why you again decided to poke your ore in is interesting.

      Why you would had forgotten more about the situation is also interesting, do you work for BT/Openreach and had a part in the Middleton cabinet and its later situation of it becoming full?

    • Avatar anon.

      Where are those who tell us how wonderful the altnets are and are faster and cheaper then the incumbent?

    • Avatar CarlT

      See early comments.

      That cabinet was an error on Openreach’s part due to out of date records. Once that error was fixed they did what they said they would when they said they would.

      The only FoI requests I have made regarding broadband availability related to road adoption.

      So, yes, I’ve had some entertainment with Openreach. Had some more very recently. The manner in which they resolved it, once progress was made, was exemplary.

      Still if accusing anyone not eternally down on each and every thing this company ever does of being a fanboy makes people happy that’s all good.

      If carrying some bizarre grudge for years on end works for people: fine.

      I prefer seeing things with more subtlety, giving credit where due and the reverse where appropriate.

      They’re a telco, not a football team.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Lastly:

      ‘Under normal circumstance you’d expect a telecom company just to do its job and not to bury its head in the sand. Whether the telecom company is publicly owned or a private company is irrelevant here.’

      BT Group’s job is to make money for its shareholders. When the Hunslet stuff happened the requirements on them set by the government were minimal.

      They aren’t a charity. They are a publicly traded company. They exist to deliver shareholder value, within the obligations set by their regulatory environment.

      The sooner you get your head around this incredibly simple, if harsh, concept, the better. However given how many times it’s been repeated and the utter failure of this extremely simple idea to sink in I’m not optimistic.

      Hunslet 82 wasn’t enabled then upgraded out of the goodness of BT’s heart, it was done because a business case was made.

      That cabinet area has gone in less than 7 years from 1.3 Mb ADSL to FTTC, G.fast, FTTP and Virgin Media.

      Virgin were reluctant to enable the cabinet area, too, but again the business case was made.

      If you don’t like that Openreach and BT Group are privatised businesses in business to generate cash by profitably delivering telecoms services petition politicians to nationalise it and turn it into a non-profit organisation.

      Still: you carry on whinging on here. Thanks for reminding me that thanks to my approaching things with a combination of publicity, some carefully placed whinging, realism and a distinct lack of entitlement we had that success in our community.

      I’ll raise a glass next weekend to the many good people I’ve met who are doing great things working for Openreach and BT Group, more than one of which I consider friends. You carry on screaming into the ether.

      Night night. 🙂

    • Avatar GNewton

      I think the majority of users/customers would expect a company which claims to offer telecom services to do just that. The very fact that users had to organize campaigns shows that this system is broken. While commendable if a local campaign succeeds, it is still an abnormal situation, and for the vast majority of users not an acceptable situation!

      There are multiple reasons for this absurd situation: Lack of proper regulation, poor business decisions on the part of BT in the past, too many obstacles like way-leaves, fibre tax, etc., up to a plain deception, like ASA making people believe they already got fibre when its not.

      As this forum thread has high-lighted, FTTPoD is not a solution for the vast majority of users or businesses. BT/Openreach either has to support a genuine FTTPoD product, or abandon it, if this company wants to keep at least a little bit of credibility.

      Under normal circumstances there wouldn’t even be a need for a FTTPoD product in the first place!

    • Avatar CarlT

      ‘I think the majority of users/customers would expect a company which claims to offer telecom services to do just that.’

      Which they do. You just happen to disagree with the definition of ‘telecom services’ the regulatory environment and, hence, the constraints Openreach are under, provide.

      You are welcome to feel entitled to a certain level of service. Whether either law or the fiduciary duty of BT to their shareholders agree is a different matter.

      Again, a stark, harsh, but brutally simple concept. If you don’t like it politicians are the ones you need to speak to, not the ISPR comments section.

      I’m in a relatively chilled mood today but a couple of words do keep coming to mind. I’ll save them for now, it’s only Monday afternoon.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @CarlT: With regards to the subject of FTTPoD: BT/Openreach claims to offer this product and even says for most areas on its own online checker that it is “available”.

      However, as the posts here on this forum thread illustrate, this is far cry from the truth. Delivery times of 6 to 12 or more months, and a limitation of only accepting 2 orders from an ISP per month, and only something like 30 orders per month for the whole country, certainly tells a different story. This product was even suspended for a while in the past. This farce surely has contributed even more to the already tarnished reputation of this company. It would have been better for them not to offer this product in the first place.

      As regards your local campaign: While it is commendable what your local campaign has achieved, it is also an example of an abnormal situation! Customers should not have to organize campaigns or put up with extremely long waiting times just to get a fibre telecom service! Many of its field engineers are doing a good job, we had to deal with them, too, on behalf on customers. But the customer service, and it’s management is a disgrace.

      I know you hate reviews, but take a look at ISPReview Reviews for e.g. BT. Or this one for Openreach: https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.openreach.co.uk where 83% gave it a 1 of 5 stars bad rating! Or do you want to brush them all off as fake news?

    • Avatar Openleach

      Oh my… Just to confirm this is the area this conversation is about…
      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/07/the-curious-case-of-hunslet-82-g-fast-pod-waits-3-years-to-go-live.html

      A bit confused after the comment “I’ll raise a glass next weekend to the many good people I’ve met who are doing great things working for Openreach and BT Group, more than one of which I consider friends.”

      What exactly was good about that half decade in total running saga? If it takes that long for them to do anything and with a campaign i wonder how long it would had taken without.

      Is the FTTC cab or the G.Fast cab/s full or near full again yet Carl? If they are you may want to get a head start this time and start campaigning again.

      Another 10 years campaigning and with your “friends” at openreach you might even squeeze some FTTP out of them this time around for what appears to be a pretty new housing estate.

      Or you could this time just wait until Cityfibre and god knows who else has done Leeds and Openreach and your “friends” suddenly deem things are commercially viable again, in fact that wait may be quicker.

      You must of had an patience of a saint to keep chasing this mob for progress which seems slower and more confused as the years went on.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Mr Openleach – as I said in earlier comments ‘That cabinet area has gone in less than 7 years from 1.3 Mb ADSL to FTTC, G.fast, FTTP and Virgin Media.’ The two FTTC cabinets are not full. The G.fast pod isn’t full. There is Virgin Media and FTTP coverage – FTTP was built out earlier this year as an overbuild to G.fast where the G.fast isn’t hitting 300+.

      This was done as part of a wider programme of new site retrofitting by Openreach which is ongoing. Do feel free to have a look at, say, LS10 4GT – #98 should do.

      The second cabinet was added in a pretty timely fashion – it was built within 5-6 months of the first cabinet being completely full which was pretty good.

      Nothing to do with patience – incremental changes. Stomping feet and throwing tantrums doesn’t really achieve much.

      I’m not sure what’s so confusing about the concept that human beings work for Openreach. While it’s easy to dehumanise people, write trash about them online, etc, when you’ve spoken with and met people it helps put things into perspective. It really shouldn’t be confusing not tarring every employee working for a company with whatever your opinion of the company is as a whole. It’s not an amorphous blob. Mistakes are made. Sometimes egregious ones. None of us are perfect.

      Mr Newton – I don’t see the relevance of BT Retail ISP reviews to Openreach. I don’t see how many people can realistically review Openreach in an educated way given very few of us deal with them directly.

      I appreciate you fixate on those reviews but really couldn’t care less about them as far as this goes. I’d expect bad reviews for Openreach as, simply, we only really see them when issues happen. I can’t really see many people popping onto a review site to compliment their telco for providing a service that works.

      We dragged them over the coals in each and every way imaginable. We did it again later on. We compliment them when they get it right, work with them when they get it wrong, try and show them how they’ve gotten it wrong to get the right outcome.

      It works quite a lot better than whining about ‘can’t do’ attitudes, running a script quoting reviews for an irrelevant separate business unit and having some bizarre vendetta.

      Deal professionally with companies and professionalism tends to arrive in return. Tends as, of course, sometimes horrendous errors are made and keep being made. In those cases it’s time to get medieval 🙂

      Before we moved here we dragged Openreach over the coals over ECI FTTP on a couple of media. That was just late last year and early this one. Following that I’ve had to deal with a couple of other issues with Openreach, BT Wholesale and actually the developer relating to how they deployed the FTTP. They’re sorted.

      Please resume your ranting, screaming at the screen, trantrums and vendetta. I’ll carry on constructive engagement, saving the tantrums when absolutely necessary to shine light and focus minds alongside leveraging contacts in the media. Guess which of the two achieves the best results?

    • Avatar CarlT

      As I’m sure you’re concerned by such things, Openleach, I can confirm from speaking to a local resident that the FTTP build to the estate is ongoing. Openreach did some duct clearance a few weeks ago and are continuing to rod, rope and build out.

      The entire New Forest Village estate is planned to be covered by FTTP once they’re done, all 4 cabinet areas.

      In addition Openreach have picked up some areas on their way to New Forest Village. Premises near the aggregation node serving New Forest Village have had FTTP deployed.

      More to come as the build goes on. Hunslet isn’t a Fibre First exchange however Openreach have new site retrofit programmes running with estates like New Forest Village being obvious candidates when the resources are available.

      So all good. You rest easy that the estate I used to live in is going to be far better provided for than my current property 🙂

    • Avatar GNewton

      CartT: Glad to hear about the positive results you achieved in your past local area. Will you have to organise another campaign or get in touch with your BT/Openreach friends again to get fibre into your new property? Are you a telecom engineer of some sorts? Or and user? If the latter, doesn’t it strike you as strange having to rely on a local campaign just to get a fibre telecom service in a timely manner?

      This is a weird country!

      Contrary to your claim, customers do have encounters with Openreach engineers frequently when ordering a new line, or when a line has to be repaired, and they publish real world experiences they have had with Openreach. It’s interesting to see, had you cared about looking into the Openreach reviews, the split between very positive reviews and very negative reviews, with nothing much in between these 2 extremes, with the positive ones more often now in recent months. Perhaps a light at the end of a long tunnel?

      We had to deal with BT/Openreach engineers more than once, and by and large, given the restrictions and the poor management, they did a good job under these circumstances.

      But the bottom line is, that this country is hopelessly behind, and even with all the regulatory restrictions placed on BT in the past, it could have done a much better job for both its customers and shareholders. It still has a very tarnished reputation. Just look at the recent FTTPoD farce!

    • Avatar CarlT

      ‘Will you have to organise another campaign or get in touch with your BT/Openreach friends again to get fibre into your new property? Are you a telecom engineer of some sorts? Or and user? If the latter, doesn’t it strike you as strange having to rely on a local campaign just to get a fibre telecom service in a timely manner?’

      The new build has FTTP though there were issues.

      I am broadly a network engineer that has worked for a couple of telcos – I have a specialism that isn’t directly related to this stuff but is pretty close.

      If you’d care to read some of my writing you’d be welcome to.

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1496qcpYCGyi6N3mWXn7LmmKTYXza26AA/view?usp=sharing
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1afE8IEonr8tIWae_VIQQSMEtA2ODrVsv/view?usp=sharing
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ILPWLpi_5X5mVaRKSdo88MVpE-ED0lO7/view?usp=sharing

      It does not seem strange having to rely on a local campaign. Unfortunate however once the facts became clear it made perfect sense why the service was not made available sooner.

      Due to a lack of information from the developer consortium to BT/Openreach during construction of the estate the cabinet arrangement wasn’t the greatest – the developers screwed up so badly that months had to be spent retrofitting – both augmenting e-sides to deliver services of any description and d-sides where the developer had epically failed.

      Openreach were informed our cabinet would have 150-ish premises connected to it. It has 650 – more than the other 3 cabinets serving the estate combined. Once this was made clear and records corrected the cabinet was built.

      This had to take a while due to waiting on a road adoption, obtaining a wayleave and deploying full-width reinstatement on a proportion of the pavement to obtain power.

      There was also the matter of a blocked duct that had to be worked around as, again, at the time the road wasn’t adopted.

      It couldn’t realistically have happened much sooner than it did. I do not hold anything against Openreach other than that they didn’t deploy FTTP from the start. That said I can understand why they did that, it just wasn’t their focus at the time and they weren’t in the right place.

      As I said: bear grudges, hold vendettas, whatever. Late to the game for sure but they’re doing what they can now and that is to be saluted. I’m not going to keep on at them over past mistakes.

      I don’t blame people for mistakes and certainly don’t blame individual staff for company-level mistakes, I ask that they make reparations and resolve the issues.

      Regarding your reviews – note how many of them are complaining about Openreach not being able to take phone calls from randoms. These are what service providers are for.

    • Avatar Openleach

      I still think you had the patience of a saint. Also after reading you google links, (thanks they are interesting to read) given what appears to be your background in networking, this in a manner makes the situation worse. You actually have knowledge of how things work, you still had to campaign for years and it seems from all the news items with regards to this location, this website also had to nag/contact Openreach on numerous occasions.

      The typical ordinary person i personally believe would not have your employment/education background and most folk certainly would not have half a decade of their live to deal with Openreach or anyone else regularly. Even those that do have more knowledge and a background similar to yours i would argue after reading about your situation that they would just give up before they even start.

      I can see it from both sides in part, yes i can understand installs do not happen over night, yes i can understand mistakes can happen.

      What i can not understand is how an organisation argues to begin with an area is not viable, has a resident of that area with a background come along and show it would be viable, that resident campaigns to get a service which takes around 3 years, finally gets an install for his local residents, its popular, so much so the cabinet becomes full, the residents then again have to wait for them to expand that cabinet… Again it ends up being popular, so they then add a G.Fast pod, but rather than go ‘oh the people there really like our products’, they then leave that G.Fast pod doing nothing for several more years. And you and this site have to get on their case AGAIN… It is utter madness.

      I would personally rather yank my nails out than have to deal with things like that. I actually admire you continued as you did in your campaign, you are a more determined man than me. To also now basically congratulate them on the whole situation i applaud you on. If that was me id never want to see, hear or deal with them ever again.

      I own a small business which lays flooring, carpet and tiles, which i did not really want at the time (it was inherited from my father). Obviously it is nothing the size of Openreach or anything to do with telecomms… but, if i ever told a customer i will be back to finish your half done floor in a few years, you just need to campaign lots, id expect a smack in the mouth rather than a pat on the back whether they had already paid or not. My father even with his aches and ills would also at his ripe old age kick my backside if i ever treated a customer or anyone in general like that.

      Even ignoring your situation entirely… Its a shame given this story and other comments about FTTPod Openreach do not have the same principals. At the very least they should only be taking payment when the job is complete, or for the love of god if it is going to take a year or longer to provide a product (and i mean this in just about any business transaction not just people paying for FTTPod) take part of the payment upfront and the rest when done. To take sums like £9,600 in this case from someone all in one go and then have a site like this also have to chase them not once but twice from reading is shocking. It bears mighty similar to your situation where you campaigned for year but also had this site contact Openreach on multiple occasions. Some time incompetence is just that and MY OPINION and only that obviously, Openreach are just that.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Carl T.. the BT Capital Deferral arising from the subsidised work is now £788m in BT’s most recent annual statement.

      If you were BT, what would you suggest to Government in order that these funds were invested to complete the rural upgrades?

    • Avatar CarlT

      Even if I were remotely qualified to offer an opinion on that, NGA, I wouldn’t.

      I do not share your level of interest in this topic as I think has been made clear many times in the past.

  19. Avatar Alb

    As an example of what can be achieved with the right attitude, Virgin Media’s Lightning Team did an unplanned FTTP installation in my village last year (circa 200 properties).
    It took them a grand total of 3 months from our first approach to work completion and first customers live!

  20. Avatar Openleach

    Openreach FTTP, its lightning fast, unfortunately sounds like the chances of getting it are about the same as getting stuck by actual lightening. All whilst also paying and waiting for the privilege.

    • Avatar Fastman

      really

      same person who was ranting the other week under a different name

      I assume

    • Avatar Openleach

      I rarely post on here at all never mind last week. Any posts i have ever made on here are typically a couple of line jokes, just like this one was. For whatever the reason you, your delicate feelings and pants got in a right little bunch over.

  21. Avatar Anthony Martin

    We too are having issues with a FTTP install. Was meant to be ready last year, we are still waiting. The local council paid for the village connection. Openreach have been incredibly poor with incorrect information. Thankfully I’ve been speaking with someone internally at BT in the UK and progress is being made, slowly.

    • Avatar Tim Procter

      Exactly the same here. Almost word for word.

    • Avatar Fastman

      local council paid for the connection – interesting what sort of connection is that as you cannot you public money to fund infrastructure – unless it part of BDUK

      most intrigued

    • Avatar A_Builder

      @Fastman

      Councils can ‘pay’ for connections to schools, doctors surgeries, village halls etc that can then be leveraged to spread connectivity.

      OP says ‘we’ so it is not clear if it is domestic, commercial or the other cases I have identified above.

  22. Avatar Jonathan

    Native fttp has recently been installed on my street and orders are now bieng taken by my neighbours but for some bizarre reason when I choose my address on the availability checker it informs me that fttp is not available but yet if I use the address’s of my neibours it is available, the main pole with the fibre terminal that feeds all houses is in the middle of my garden, spoken to bt who suspect its a database issue and are currently waiting for openreach to come back with an explanation or fix.

  23. Avatar Mike

    @Lewis > Glad you have finally got your connection working. I have a question about the DCMS voucher which are valid for 12 months from beiung issued. Given your installation took longer than this, did Openreach apply for an extension to the DCMS voucher until the installation was completed so it could still be redeemed? Openreach have told me this is the normal process so keen to know if it works in practice.

  24. Avatar Vince

    This sort of tomfoolery is surprisingly common at Openreach. We’ve had much the same experience with Fibre Ethernet and FTTP orders ourselves. There is a broken approach at Openreach which is always that they rely on the computer processes and when there’s any form of issue, getting humans to interact is quite difficult even when the problem is bleedingly obvious.

    It is a regular source of pain for those of us dealing with Openreach on a regular basis.

    • Avatar gerarda

      And they always assume their records are correct even when photographic evidence proves otherwise.

  25. Avatar Sunil Sood

    This is no doubt why Openreach only accept up to 100 such orders per month and prefer to work on mass rollouts/Fibre First projects.

  26. Avatar Tom M

    I placed my £7,000 FTTPoD order on the 11th of February 2019 and I’ve recently received my final installation date of the 18th of June. 16 months.

    However, it was made very clear to me when ordering that there is a large backlog and BT are only accepting 2 orders from my ISP per month, and only something like 30 orders per month for the whole country.

    So, it’s not unexpected and I’m not unhappy about the delay. What’s interesting, though, is that I already had a fibre leased line so the infrastructure was already available – but apparently they encountered blocked ducts and jammed manhole covers which delayed the order.

    Looking forward to see how the service works after installation, so I can finally cancel my leased line.

  27. Avatar Mr A N Other

    Openreach, enough said.

  28. Avatar Pezza

    Wish I had 10 grand to get FTTP fitted.
    And it does take a long time for road closures to be authorised by the council. Not an Open Reach problem really. But good for the guy to finally have it installed.

  29. Avatar Joe

    This is disgraceful, its baffling to me that a company which is bigger than Virgin can provide such a dismal service. Clearly a lack of communication here and priorities focused elsewhere is to blame here. Meanwhile Virgin is quickly rolling out 1gig services across the UK.

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