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FTTPoD Order Delays - Cerberus Networks

jagnew

Casual Member
Hey Everyone,
I’m after some advice. Last year (21st July) I started my FTTPoD order through Cerberus Networks, paying £16k. Unfortunately the process so far has been very disappointing. I was aware when placing the order that other people have had issues. I receive regular updates from Cerberus Networks but they don’t contain a lot of detail and have included wrong information before. I don’t want to be bad mouthing a company so it is worth noting that another user on the forum had great experience with them.

We’re two weeks away from 1 year mark and my order has already been moved to high escalation team in Openreach but I’ve finally got the point where I don’t know how to get some common sense answers out of anyone.

The line is pretty much outside my house now. There was about 10 metre gap between the box and pole where the duct to my property is. I only know this as I’ve got friendly with an Openreach engineer who is meant to complete my cabling.

There was civils with TM needed to complete this gap but two times before no on showed to do the work. It typically takes 3 months to get TM. The most recent TM took a lot longer due water company working on the road. Finally someone showed up last week with digger, once they left I rung the Openreach engineer and he said he would visit on Monday to complete the cabling. When he arrived he explained they didn’t do civils correctly. They where meant to drop a box at the base of pole but they didn’t, he said they ran a duct to pole so said in theory you could run the cable through but a metre of it would be exposed and would likely lead to issues. He said he would try raise it internally at Openreach but I should do the same with Cerberus.

So I rung Cerberus but my support person wasn’t available so spoke to someone else. They did there usual the system says civils is still in progress, I explained I know it’s been done wrong, they said that Openreach person won’t know the bigger picture of the install to which I explained he had civils plan in his hand and showed me what they didn’t do. And he has the job for completing my cabling. I demanded proper update on how they expect to get my line live, I got this today:
--------
Hi Jason

Upon your message about Openrach engineer advising you that the civils is incorrect, please confirm exactly what he said was incorrect/ incomplete/ missing so we have all the information on record.

We ask OR about this and they did checks and confirm A55 job submitted to correct duct work, awaiting start dates.(Junction box required). So civils will continue and OR are aware of the issue. Nisha will continue to chase for civils completion date. Once civils complete correctly, then your order will move to jointing.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Thanks
Kim

--------

It feels like they are saying it was intentional that junction box wasn't added. But they have no start date for it and surely it would require another TM which will take 3 months. It just feels like no one really knows what’s going on apart from the Openreach engineer. I'm not sure what to do next, I replied to Cerberus but I worry this going to drag out for ages.

--------
Hi Kim

Thanks for looking into this. As you said they dug a new duct but didn't place a junction box at the base of the pole which is what Openreach engineer (I believe he's my doing jointing job when civils are completed) mentioned. He couldn't tell me if job created for civils had the mistake or if the contractors doing the civils made the mistake. It is worth noting I spoke to the contractors when they arrived and they mentioned they were putting a box in so it's unclear why one wasn't done.

I believe (and so does Openreach engineer) that this junction box should have been added as part of civils work carried out last week. If OR is claiming that was not the case and it is a separate civils job to be carried out, why wouldn't we have a start date for it by now? And wouldn't it require TM which Nisha has claimed previously takes 3 months?

Thanks
Jason

--------

Sorry if my message is little ranty. I guess to summarise, am I being unreasonable? should I just let this play out? or should I be complaining/finding a way to bypass Cerberus and speak to Openreach directly? Any guidance would helpful.

Thanks
Jason
 

Simoli

Regular Member
Doesn't the FTTPoD contract specify some sort of date when it is meant to be live by or is it when ever they can be bothered?
 

NotADog

Casual Member
Cerberus don't specify the work or when it is to happen. They just request the connection on your behalf (via BT wholesale). It is very much up to Openreach what the work is, and who does it (and when !).
In my case all I needed was a CBT to be connected to an existing joint and that took six months. So if you have the complexities of civils then it looks like the expected time to complete.
It's unusual that the Openreach people on the ground know what the whole plan is. I only talked to one who knew the planned the work, and he couldn't understand why things hadn't been completed. When the work was eventually complete it followed his plan though.
 

jagnew

Casual Member
Thanks for the replies.

@Simoli I don't believe they provide contractual date it must be live by. They quote at start that typically delivered between 6-9 months unless traffic management is required this pushes to 12 months.

@NotADog I do get Cerberus don't have a lot control over the situation but I've always seen them as someone who should be helping push the build forward and question Openreach when needed etc. I guess its felt to me that they hinder communication rather help - often don't respond to emails. Credit where it's due the Senior Provisioning Administrator that has started messaging me today has been pretty responsive.


Cerberus replied saying junction box should have been installed last week.
-----
Hi Jason

The Junction box should’ve been completed under that TM. OR believed it was complete hence why they sent a jointing engineer out that was unable to carryout that task. They are working on rectifying the issue and we are pushing for definitive dates.

Kind Regards
Kim

-----
 

Simoli

Regular Member
Thanks for the replies.

@Simoli I don't believe they provide contractual date it must be live by. They quote at start that typically delivered between 6-9 months unless traffic management is required this pushes to 12 months.

@NotADog I do get Cerberus don't have a lot control over the situation but I've always seen them as someone who should be helping push the build forward and question Openreach when needed etc. I guess its felt to me that they hinder communication rather help - often don't respond to emails. Credit where it's due the Senior Provisioning Administrator that has started messaging me today has been pretty responsive.


Cerberus replied saying junction box should have been installed last week.
-----
Hi Jason

The Junction box should’ve been completed under that TM. OR believed it was complete hence why they sent a jointing engineer out that was unable to carryout that task. They are working on rectifying the issue and we are pushing for definitive dates.

Kind Regards
Kim

-----
Have you checked on one.network site for potential work in your area? If you login you can see up to 12 months in future regarding roadworks etc.
 

jagnew

Casual Member
Nothing in one.network. I guess from the latest email it's probably only today that both Cerberus and Openreach can agree the work wasn't carried out to what was needed. I guess it may take OR a bit of time to work out a new timeline to complete the work.

I've probably been a bit grumpy. I think the phone call yesterday with Cerberus just made me worry as they seemed clueless and also doubted me rather than listed to what I had to say. I guess the big issue is if another TM is needed as that will be the main delay - if it does require it then it would be nice if Cerberus/OR could maybe provide a temporary option like the exposed cable route but I doubt they would care enough.
 

Pheasant

ULTIMATE Member
Having done FoD with Cerberus several years ago, I sympathise on the process.

The best advice I can give you is to escalate within Cerberus (up to Bob if necessary) so that a similar escalation can take place within OR.

Unfortunately timescales such as yours are not unheard of especially when there are civils complications.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Sadly one of the biggest problems with FTTPoD is the delivery delays, and then there's this:

 

candlerb

Top Member
I do feel for you: my FTTPoD in 2018-2019 took 17.5 months from start to finish. The first 3.5 months was getting the survey done and quotation back.

After that, there were a series of blockage clearances being done one after the other, instead of in parallel. They wouldn't schedule the next one until the previous one was completed; and each one had a lead time of several weeks.

I also had a single 3 month TM delay. They realised in December that it would be required, but didn't raise the permit request until March after finishing another duct clearance; as a result, there was a completely wasted 3 months until the end of June.

In your case it's even more pointless: simply not turning up for scheduled work, and then having another 3 months delay each time, is terrible!

Unfortunately, with FTTPoD there are no committed timescales, no penalties for late delivery, and no rewards for intelligent scheduling or good project management. (Aside: I never found out whether Openreach receives the money up-front, or it's held by Cerberus until completion)
 

Phil2021

Regular Member
Nothing in one.network. I guess from the latest email it's probably only today that both Cerberus and Openreach can agree the work wasn't carried out to what was needed. I guess it may take OR a bit of time to work out a new timeline to complete the work.

I've probably been a bit grumpy. I think the phone call yesterday with Cerberus just made me worry as they seemed clueless and also doubted me rather than listed to what I had to say. I guess the big issue is if another TM is needed as that will be the main delay - if it does require it then it would be nice if Cerberus/OR could maybe provide a temporary option like the exposed cable route but I doubt they would care enough.
Been through this as well. Cerberus updates always lagged behind what was happening. I knew more about what was going on earlier than Cerberus ever did by having seen what went on on my road, talking to engineers and from Roadworks.org.

I'm not sure Cerberus made anything happen any quicker than what would have been done without them. I also think it is wrong that there is no agreement or contractual leverage to ensure the service will go live in a reasonable time having spent thousands of pounds. Of course we know that at the time, and we just hope we are the lucky ones that get it done in good time.

You haven't been grumpy. The process is slow, seems to get slower the closer the fibre gets, certainly gets more frustrating! It will happen, and sounds like things are close physically, and hopefully close time wise.

I like you had it all stall a few metres from my door so I know your frustrations.

Good luck.
 

Pheasant

ULTIMATE Member
I do feel for you: my FTTPoD in 2018-2019 took 17.5 months from start to finish. The first 3.5 months was getting the survey done and quotation back.

After that, there were a series of blockage clearances being done one after the other, instead of in parallel. They wouldn't schedule the next one until the previous one was completed; and each one had a lead time of several weeks.

I also had a single 3 month TM delay. They realised in December that it would be required, but didn't raise the permit request until March after finishing another duct clearance; as a result, there was a completely wasted 3 months until the end of June.

In your case it's even more pointless: simply not turning up for scheduled work, and then having another 3 months delay each time, is terrible!

Unfortunately, with FTTPoD there are no committed timescales, no penalties for late delivery, and no rewards for intelligent scheduling or good project management. (Aside: I never found out whether Openreach receives the money up-front, or it's held by Cerberus until completion)
I recall we ordered within around a month or so of each other in 2018, I thought mine was bad at around 10-11 months but your delivery went extremely pear shaped!

Do you still hold the (public) record for longest FoD delivery or are there more extreme examples - I can’t recall now?
 

candlerb

Top Member
I recall we ordered within around a month or so of each other in 2018, I thought mine was bad at around 10-11 months but your delivery went extremely pear shaped!

Do you still hold the (public) record for longest FoD delivery or are there more extreme examples - I can’t recall now?
At first it was a race between me and "retron" (on ThinkBroadband forums), but in the end he got his a couple of months before me.

I have a vague idea I might have since seen a longer example, but if so, I can't remember the details.
 

Pheasant

ULTIMATE Member
Doesn't the FTTPoD contract specify some sort of date when it is meant to be live by or is it when ever they can be bothered?
Unfortunately not. It’s all paid up front, without any contractual delivery milestones, LADs etc. other than pleading and grace and favours. There is no stick. That’s FoD!
 
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