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BT Retrains Engineers Following UK FTTC Broadband ISP Install Gaff

Posted: 08th Feb, 2010 By: MarkJ
bt openreach logoBT Openreach, which is responsible for ensuring that all rival operators have equality of access to BT's local network, has apologised after one of its engineers mistakenly refused to install a new 'up to' 40Mbps FTTC fibre optic broadband connection because the customer wasn't a BT Retail or TalkTalk user and didn't have a HomeHub router.

Presently we only know of two UK ISPs - BT Retail + Andrews and Arnold Ltd. ( AAISP ) - that actively sell BT Wholesale's commercial Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) product, which launched at the end of last month. Most other providers are not expected to follow suit until later this year when coverage has improved.

Suffice to say, FTTC is a new technology and it's probably no surprise that BT' engineers might suffer a few teething problems. This appears to have been what happened when one of AAISP's subscribers ordered FTTC only for the engineer to turn up and refuse because of some very bizarre reasons.

"Only BT Retail and Carphone Warehouse were capable of doing FTTC," insisted BT Openreach's engineer to AAISP's obviously bemused subscriber (note: Carphone/TalkTalk doesn’t even have a commercial FTTC package yet), before incorrectly insisting that he also had to have one of BT Retails' HomeHub broadband routers too.

AAISP's Customer said:

"After I insisted - strongly - that he was wrong about the need for a HomeHub he tried to blame the whole thing on AAISP who, apparently, were lying to me. He said he'd have to pass the job 'back to BT retail sales'"

As if not suffering enough, BT's engineer promptly left the customer with a malfunctioning ADSL broadband connection and returned to base. Mercifully he came back the following day and did finally complete the installation, despite still insisting that a HomeHub was required.

An Openreach Spokesperson told ISPreview:

"Openreach apologises for this isolated misunderstanding; we are speaking to the engineer in question and have identified a need for further training on the new procedures surrounding FTTC installation."

As we said earlier, teething problems would not be unexpected given that the bulk of initial installations are likely to be for BT Retail. The vast majority of UK ISPs have yet to even launch FTTC products.
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