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Grain Installs FTTP Broadband to UK Home in Just 36 Minutes UPDATE

Thursday, May 30th, 2024 (10:41 am) - Score 4,920

Alternative network operator and UK ISP Grain (Grain Connect), which has extended their gigabit-capable full fibre (FTTP) broadband network to cover 220,000 premises (RFS) and 30,000 customers, has revealed that they recently set a new personal record by getting a new customer connected within just 36 minutes.

According to the blurb, the Middlesbrough-based customer, Motunrayo Oyeleye, called Grain at 9.58am to place an order for a Full Fibre broadband service, and by 10.34am their engineer, Salman (pictured), arrived at the property and had completed the installation and the customer was connected to the internet just 36 minutes later.

The feat is fairly impressive, since it normally takes at least a few days, or possibly even weeks, to get a new full fibre connection installed to a property.

Grain CEO, Richard Cameron, said:

“Our customers are at the heart of everything we, so to know we have installed this customer in 36 minutes and delivered a great value contract with no price rises, is fantastic.

There is no better demonstration of the efficient connection process we have built here at Grain, which means that we can connect customers to our service in just minutes in this case.

I am extremely proud of the team for delivering this and for ensuring the efficiency of our processes, which allows us to always offer customers the lowest prices to their home.”

However, in fairness, we don’t know anything more about the context of this installation (e.g. was it for a new build house, where Grain already had some infrastructure?) or what Grain’s typical delivery times are for a new service. In that sense it would be interesting to know precisely what work was performed, since everything from drilling and screwing-in the new kit, to cleaning up, splicing and testing, usually takes a bit longer.

In any case, it’s still a fantastic time to be in and out of a customer’s home.

UPDATE 2:48pm

Grain have kindly provided a bit more detail. Firstly, the installation wasn’t for a new build where they already have kit, which they say “would have taken seconds to install” (often these can be activated remotely). Instead, it was for one of their urban premises (a house, not a flat), where they had no infrastructure already in place inside the customer’s property (only outside in the street).

Openreach or other PIA based providers define a home RFS (Ready for Service) where they have a live service either in a chamber or at the top of the pole somewhere near the premise, which can sometimes be over 100 metres away. At Grain, they define a home RFS when we have a live network to the boundary of the premise. It costs Grain about £200 to connect customers in a property (including the costs of marketing to acquire the customer and the in-home router), which compares with c.£300 for Openreach (excluding marketing and an in-home router).

Otherwise, the 36 minutes included the following:

1. The customer calling into our sales team, selecting their package and completing the order.

2. Creation of a work pack that was issued to an engineer.

3. Engineer attending the customers home and bringing a new fibre line into their home, terminating the fibre in the home and connecting up the router.

4. Connecting the broadband line to a port in our electronics and configuring the broadband service on the router.

5. Engineer testing the customer connection to ensure the service is working.

6. Tidying up and leaving the customer premises with a brand new working full fibre broadband service.

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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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20 Responses
  1. Avatar photo JJ says:

    Wow. Would be good to know if anyone has done it in under 36 minutes.

  2. Avatar photo Zed says:

    Ha. Yes its pretty fast to arrive at the customers premises within 36mins, let alone to connect them up. I suspect the home was already preconnected and just needed a router to be installed. Maybe a newbuild block of flats. Good story though!

  3. Avatar photo Phil says:

    What the average time for Openreach to install full fibre to customer end?

    1. Avatar photo Anuraj says:

      Normally 1 to 2 hours.

    2. Avatar photo Arf says:

      If you’re in Powys, 12 years and still counting…

    3. Avatar photo aled says:

      Whereabouts in Powys Arf?

      I’m near Llanidloes and it’s crazy seeing them roll out fibre here

  4. Avatar photo Anthony says:

    Sorry, I am calling bull-shot on that claim…

    My timeline was their website said their service was available in my street so I ordered in January 2023. After signing up and giving them my direct debit details they then said. Actually, we are not available till June in your street don’t sign up with anyone else in this time. That also was untrue as 15-months later they finally went live in my street (May 2024).

    On it being live in my street I phoned up to get it installed and they needed to do a full site survey to first to see how easy it will be to install it (my house is just a regular semi-detached house nothing special). That had to be the following week. After this site survey was done I needed to phone back up to book the installation. Which was another two days.

    Then when the engineer came he was here for 5 hours installing it to my house. And again nothing special about my house. Most of this was installing the fibre cable into the router and then needing to go going down to the local terminus box to activate my line then test the speed I was receiving and him activating my router and service with Grain.

    1. Avatar photo Tom says:

      I actually wanted to chime in and call bull on that claim too. Only because my install experience was actually the same – first a site survey so they can plan where to get the fibre from the street into the house (again, a terraced simple install) and then a second visit a week later to actually get it installed.

      Mine wasn’t slow by any means but it wasn’t the same day install.

  5. Avatar photo occasionally factual says:

    Shows how few customers Grain have that the engineers are sitting in their vans all day ready to race off like F1 drivers when 1 person orders an install.
    Not efficient at all but a waste of money, paying for staff to do nothing.

    1. Avatar photo Bob says:

      Yea that’s where my mind went as well. How was an engineer free at such short notice. Bit different if he was already working on neighbouring house for example but it doesn’t mention that.

    2. Avatar photo Peach says:

      Was going to say they must have engineers just sitting around doing nothing if they can complete that quick!

  6. Avatar photo Matt says:

    I’m a fibre engineer and it’s not hard to do a full fibre install in that time. I myself have done several in under 30mins and plenty of my colleagues at that. However this was when health and safety regulations were not as strict. So I can guarantee he broke a few rules doing it in that time…

  7. Avatar photo Steve adie says:

    I took out a contract with Grain and set up a direct debit in September 2023 and as of writing may 2024 the streetworks in my street still ain’t been done. Every street around me has fiber cable laid but nothing yet for me. I can only assume I am the only one on my street to take out a contract so leave me till last. I’m contemplating going with openreach as they have already installed full fiber in my street, albeit via the pole.

    1. Avatar photo Martyn says:

      only downside to OR, is that Grain is 1:1 call up and ask for an ETA, explain your looking to order OR and will be locked into a 18 month contract, so will look at cancelling your preorder.

  8. Avatar photo Fibre Scriber says:

    Just checked, apparently April fools day hasn’t moved. That must have been one slick fast talking sales representative, wonder the customer could keep up! …. not to mention the engineer being in warp drive. You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. 🙂 You may be thinking, he doesn’t believe this, (got it in one!) Am i the only one left with a grain of sense? 😉

  9. Avatar photo Pri says:

    When I had Community Fibre installed earlier this year the whole thing took roughly 45 minutes by comparison. Very fast and efficient too 🙂

    I think the key is to be prepared. Make room for the installation, know where you want it, and ensure all the relevant plug sockets are available nearby. My installer was happy we’d thought ahead in these regards and he could get to work immediately.

    1. Avatar photo Clearmind60 says:

      Same here, it took about 45 mins to install CF to my house. Both engineers were friendly and I am so far very happy.

  10. Avatar photo Jason says:

    I cant imagine what the workmanship quality is like for this . Rushing an installation as a consumer isnt impressive

  11. Avatar photo M says:

    they must not have many orders and hardly any customer issues, what else are they doing, the guy was prob sat at home waiting for a job to come in lol.

  12. Avatar photo Ex Telecom Engineer says:

    This has the feel of a scripted install, and the fact it’s being used to market their service underlines my suspicion. Within 36 minutes of receiving a call from a random customer, if that includes travel time, the Engineer arrives on site surveys the premise,runs the fibre, commissions the ONT while liasing with the NOC and completes the install. I wonder if the 36 minutes included photographing the Engineer outside his van.

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