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FTTP on a private road

NeighbourhoodBus

Casual Member
Hi all,

Apologies if the wrong section (or possibly even the wrong website!).

I have recently purchased a flat on a private road and as a result my internet package has slowed dramatically with the change of address as I have changed from FTTP Renting, to FTTC Owned.

The flat itself is 1 of 77 across 5 buildings on the private road. We are adjacent to a main/council owned road where FTTP is avaliable according to all major ISP checks and the BTWholesale checker.

My questions is, how do/can I get FTTP to the new flat on this private road? Everywhere around us is cabled up, and shortly before moving in I saw some fibre installation vans (however they appeared to be a local company who may have been outsourced - I forget their name).

We have a factor company who care for the buildings/grounds however they are useless and do not respond to email, nor pick up the phone. I think my best route forward is to contact BT/CityFibre and take it from there? Hoping you guys may have some wisdom and insight before I spend the next few months being passed between teams or chasing a ghost.

For reference I am in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Appreciate any replies, happy to provide further information if needed.

-Bus


EDIT:
Please find a copy of BT Wholesaler attached, seems to suggest FTTP (330) is available?
 

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Network operators often run into problems with unadopted roads (i.e. private roads, rather than those maintained by a public authority) and, since you're living in an MDU, then you might also face the dual problem of access there too.

However, new laws now exist that require MDU owners to give network operators access, but I don't think these extend to private roads:


Ofcom are also in the process of updating their related code:


In either case, it's definitely worth asking Openreach and CityFibre where they stand with that particular area. I wouldn't be surprised if one of them has a long-running request for access, or gave up after being unable to reach agreement. The council may also have some insight to offer.

 
Regarding your update about BT Wholesale. The product you've noted is FTTP on Demand, which is not the same thing as native FTTP and would still run into the same issue with private roads:

 
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Hi Mark,

Thanks so much for the reply.

Apologies I didn't mean to gloss over your previous response.

I will give the links a read and contact both companies. In my previously rented flat Openreach turned up one morning with a drill to attach the box to the external wall, no notice given. This was a housing association with a private car park if that matters at all?

I do remember seeing Fibre teams here from a local company shortly before moving, they did spend some time in another block. I might try and gain access to the block purely just to see if a fibre box is visible anywhere.

I imagine a huge issue with FTTP on private roads is that it would require a majority (if not all) members approval, even if the property is very close to the entrance of the road.

-Bus
 
If there are already Openreach phone lines running down the road (either on poles or underground) then there should be no problem with running Openreach fibre(s) along the same route, as I understand things. If consent has been obtained at some time to run phone wires then in general that should cover swapping to fibre.

Depends on the detailed wording of any wayleave agreement, but mine makes it clear that Openreach can replace the cables or add additional cables using the same duct whenever they wish. I had the impression that this was a standard wayleave wording (looks to just be boilerplate text to me).

The issue is then whether any fibre provider other than Openreach can do this. My gut feeling is that they cannot, as other entities can't normally just piggy back on a wayleave agreement made by another. As an example, the two new poles we have on our land are owned by the DNO, but are shared with Openreach. I have two wayleave agreements, one with the DNO the other with Openreach. Same goes for the underground cables crossing our land, both entities have separate wayleaves even though both are using the same trench (albeit with separate ducts with the required separation distance to avoid interference).
 
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Sounds like a frustrating situation. Given that FTTP is available nearby, reaching out to BT/CityFibre is a solid move. They might be able to shed light on the situation or even put you in touch with the local company you saw. Sometimes it takes a bit of persistence, but hopefully, you can get that FTTP connection sorted.
 
We have a factor company who care for the buildings/grounds however they are useless and do not respond to email, nor pick up the phone. I think my best route forward is to contact BT/CityFibre and take it from there?
There’s your blocker. If they won’t pick up the phone to you (effectively you’re their guv…paying for the feckless twats) what hope do the telcos have!? Rhetorically they have zero, even with legislation now in their favour.

Get those fat arsed, lazy useless 💩 to respond and proactively do something, then at least you’ve crossed the first of many hurdles.

Best of luck.
 
Agree with @Pheasant, you absolutely have to get the freeholder / landowner of the private road prepared to engage positively with the prospect of poles or ducts to deliver FTTP, there is no point doing anything else until you have this sorted.
 
Thank you all for the replies.

Have contacted a member of the factor company directly in the hope of a response. I have found Cityfibre surveys from 2022 which show cabling routes into the building and them up around the walls to the top floor, these plans include my block of flats.

I have had a look in a neighbouring building where I saw the fibre vans a few months ago, unable to find anything fibre looking in the communal cupboard where the plans outlined it would be.

Will contact Cityfibre/Openreach throughout the week.
 
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Have received an update from CityFibre (and not my factor company - shocking).

1697533351435.png



After checking out the website I see only Vodafone as a provider. Unsure if other providers can/will use these lines, if Vodafone own or have any kind of exclusivity? Vodafone has an issue with the VPN for my workplace, but this is a different issue.
1697533949731.png
 
Hi all,

Sorry for such a late reply.

Not much progress. Have contacted City Fibre but they seem to no longer be returning my emails. Vodafone seems to be only the only provider for my address. My last question is whether the use of City Fibre's line are exclusive to Vodafone for a set period, or permanently.

I will continue trying to ask City Fibre. I'm unsure if Vodafone would know or disclose this to me. Hoping you guys have some wisdom on whether or not this typically happens or if I am stuck on 30mb until I succumb to Vodafone
 
Yes, Vodafone do have an exclusivity arrangement in quite a lot of CityFibre's locations, which is addresses based. I believe this usually lasts about a year, so you may find that they'll be your only choice for a while.
 
As Mark says, if this is an area with Vodafone exclusivity, it will only be for 12-18 months.

My suggestion would be: take Vodafone for one contract period (18-24 months) then switch. At least you'll have the fibre in place, and although some people have reported problems with outages when switching from one Cityfibre-based ISP to another, it should work - in 2 years they'll have had more time to smooth things out. And you never know, Vodafone might even be OK :)

Keep FTTC in parallel from a different ISP if you're worried about reliability.
 
I used to live in a similar private development of about 125 flats in the center of town. While the rest of the town, at least most of it, got progressively upgraded over the years to FTTC and progressing now to FTTP, that development is still stuck on ADSL2+ and it's quite slow as well, they get about 8-10 Mbps downstream.

I gave up and 7 years ago I moved house to get better Interenet out of desperation. To this day that development is still stuck on ADSL2+.

Now, admittedly, if the residents and management company got together they could install their own leased line and private solution, or community fiber, or something else. But it just goes to highlight that private developments are often overlooked. And perhaps even worse is that for a while, the Ofcom/stats claimed that the development had gigabit Internet. That is definitely not the case.

It also makes me wonder that the stats are padded and the reality is not as rosy as these may claim.
 
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1701357241597.png

That is their situation. And there is no VM either. We talk about rural broadband but things really suck in the middle of large towns like this as well.

VDSL has been "planned" for a decade now, Openreach walked away from it I think due to the fact that the cabinet is on the high street and digging into planning applications 10 years ago, they were refused twice to deploy a VDSL cabinet serving that PCP.
 
Hi all,

Asked on the Plusnet forums and they were able to confirm that they only use Openreach and not CityFibre. So I won't be getting FTTP from them.

The CityFibre website suggests:

Vodafone, who I hear aren't great in the area (and seems to cause issues with my work VPN for over a year now)
TalkTalk, who's own postcode checker fails and I will never go back to
Then a handful of small ISP's I have never heard of, however there are some reviews on here for them. (Zen, Giganet, Brawband, Brillband, Converged)

So the good news if FTTP is available and we haven't been forgotten about (Zaite450's story is a bit concerning). However, I am not spoiled for choice. Hoping by the time my contract expires with Plusnet others will appear. I'd hate to leave the only competent ISP I've had, but looks like Plusnet won't be coming down CityFibre lines anytime soon.

I like the "safety" of a big company but have been looking at the Scottish Brawband and Zen. Zen appears to have fallen off recently and Brawband is hard to find reviews/info on. However, both have Trust Pilot pages.

Might investigate Brawband a bit more, their customer service is somewhat local to myself. After an ordeal at TalkTalk I now realise how important customer service truly is.
 
I've been looking at switching from VM to fttp on Openreach . I have to say I don't think you can take much notice to reviews here when it comes to Vodafone etc. Because most of the reviews for like say Vodafone are older reviews from copper dsl. many dating back before they even offered a fibre line . It really needs updating to reviews for only 100-900 mbps fibre isps or something and older dsl reviews in their own section. Mixing in older copper line isp reviews with proper fibre lines is just not a good source of what a service will be like . Unless you're in a area with bad backhaul problems most fibre lines should be very close to the same . Customer service might be better or worse between them though . I looked out side of reviews here and other places are the same . They all mix copper dsl and fibre . Any way I've made my choice and time will tell .
 
Hi all,

Asked on the Plusnet forums and they were able to confirm that they only use Openreach and not CityFibre. So I won't be getting FTTP from them.

The CityFibre website suggests:

Vodafone, who I hear aren't great in the area (and seems to cause issues with my work VPN for over a year now)
TalkTalk, who's own postcode checker fails and I will never go back to
Then a handful of small ISP's I have never heard of, however there are some reviews on here for them. (Zen, Giganet, Brawband, Brillband, Converged)

So the good news if FTTP is available and we haven't been forgotten about (Zaite450's story is a bit concerning). However, I am not spoiled for choice. Hoping by the time my contract expires with Plusnet others will appear. I'd hate to leave the only competent ISP I've had, but looks like Plusnet won't be coming down CityFibre lines anytime soon.

I like the "safety" of a big company but have been looking at the Scottish Brawband and Zen. Zen appears to have fallen off recently and Brawband is hard to find reviews/info on. However, both have Trust Pilot pages.

Might investigate Brawband a bit more, their customer service is somewhat local to myself. After an ordeal at TalkTalk I now realise how important customer service truly is.
I would highly recommend Converged as a local provider for CF in Aberdeen. Decent guys running it who know their stuff and are passionate about providing connectivity.

Brawband is a sub-brand of Highnet who have recently been taken over by Focus Group and everyone I've spoken to who uses Highnet/Brawband since that takeover have said that the service has gone massively downhill.
 
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