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Too many wires on OpenReach phone pole

timf

Casual Member
My daughter lives in London. The street in which she lives is served by OpenReach only; with no VirginMedia nearby. FTTP is available as is ADSL - no FTTC. Her service from BT is awful - <8Mbps down <0.9 up and nothing (no broadband) when it rains. She has pestered BT for FTTP for the last 18 months. Promises, promises but no date for delivery.
I understand that neighbours cannot get new services as "there are too many wires on the phone pole". It seems the pole cannot support more wires.
Looking at Google streetview I can see several houses in the street with as many as 3, 4 or even 5 wires running from the phone pole to houses. Many of the houses are divided into flats so 2 or 3 services (wires) per house might be what's required.

Wyleu pole.jpg


Have any readers heard of a limitation on the number of wires per pole and what suggestions do you have to resolve this? 4G LTE is in use but performance is not good.
Oh yes - there are 4 people in the house - all trying to work from home.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Yes there is a limit, for obvious reasons (both cosmetic and safety), although this usually isn't a problem when correct spacing is used between poles to help spread the distribution capacity. Clearly in this case something is a bit different, perhaps due to all those flats in close proximity stretching the supply.

Can you confirm, Openreach's FTTP is still actively being listed as available for this property but they aren't able to install it? Can you tell us anything more about precisely what "promises" have been made with respect to resolving the issue and how?

Also would you be happy to share the full address with me (you can send it privately via a 'Conversation' my clicking my name on the left), so that I can query this with Openreach? It's an interesting case.
 

timf

Casual Member
BT says:- 'Full Fibre isn’t available where you live just yet You can still get online with our broadband though'.
However, Several neighbours have had FTTP installed.
For example:- No 16b has FTTP (computer says YES) - but for Nos16a and 14 (computer says NO)
https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband
I have sent you the address details.
I can see 30 wires going to 15 houses on just one side of the street.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Thanks timf, I'll raise this on Monday and see what we can find out.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
I've sent the message off, so we'll see what they say.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
So far they've only told me this, which doesn't really add much:

"It transpires that FTTP is available to this customer. However it appears there is currently a waiting list which could point towards there being a possible capacity issue at the CBT. Our Fibre Availability team have a case for this customer. It seems we’re just waiting for some build to increase capacity."

I've asked for some more specific details about how this sort of problem will actually be solved, but they've yet to respond.
 

timf

Casual Member
Neighbouring poles are busy too.
ispreview gab1.jpg

ispreview gab 2.jpg


Mark, Thanks for your efforts to chase Openreach.
Perhaps additional poles and extra CBTs might be needed to resolve the capacity issues.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Yes, that would be the logical guess, although putting new poles into an area where they already exist can become problematic as you'd have to re-wire the adjacent ones too to avoid overlap (not to mention permissions, power delays/issues etc.).

I'm not quite sure how Openreach tackles this specific kind of problem, which is why I will continue to prod them so that we can share the information.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
I should have more for you shortly.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
I'll be running an article with more about this on Saturday, but here's what Openreach have now told me: "Work to install additional drop cables from the pole to connect the customer was being carried out starting Tuesday this week. It will take about two weeks from this time to complete the commissioning, after which the customer should be able to order a Full Fibre service."
 

timf

Casual Member
It seems work might be going on up the pole...
This CBT is about 4m up the pole. We think it's fairly new and looks temporary.

2021-02-19 11.28.20-2.jpg
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
I'm going to run an update on Openreach's approach to pole loading very soon.
 

father_ted

Casual Member
Mark, a subtopic that might be worthy of further discussion is how the transition to FTTP works when other operators are present using PIA in overhead-cabled areas.

Moving from Openreach copper to OR FTTP is fairly straightforward, the copper dropwire can be replaced with either a single fibre (or a fibre with copper pair if a copper service is still active). Net result, no increase in pole loading.

When a customer has had Openreach copper service and is migrating to an altnet using PIA, the situation is far messier. Here are some scenarios, I don't know how any would work.

1. Customer keeps OR copper service (either long-term, or doesn't cancel it until satisfied with altnet). The altnet surely doesn't have combo fibre/copper drop cable, so two drop cables required. Can they share an anchor, or is a second required on the customer premises? Result - increase in pole loading.

2. Customer has already cancelled OR copper service. Is the altnet allowed remove the OR copper dropwire at time of installation? I'd guess not. Result - increase in pole loading.

I think a procedure exists for PIA users to request that Openreach remove redundant dropwires, but my impression that this was to be carried out only when the pole was reaching its loading limit.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
I know Openreach has worked copper retirement into how PIA works, but I'm not sure about the detail at the level you require. I'll ask around if I get a chance, but it's not on my priority list.
 

Badem

Casual Member
Mark, a subtopic that might be worthy of further discussion is how the transition to FTTP works when other operators are present using PIA in overhead-cabled areas.

Moving from Openreach copper to OR FTTP is fairly straightforward, the copper dropwire can be replaced with either a single fibre (or a fibre with copper pair if a copper service is still active). Net result, no increase in pole loading.

When a customer has had Openreach copper service and is migrating to an altnet using PIA, the situation is far messier. Here are some scenarios, I don't know how any would work.

1. Customer keeps OR copper service (either long-term, or doesn't cancel it until satisfied with altnet). The altnet surely doesn't have combo fibre/copper drop cable, so two drop cables required. Can they share an anchor, or is a second required on the customer premises? Result - increase in pole loading.

2. Customer has already cancelled OR copper service. Is the altnet allowed remove the OR copper dropwire at time of installation? I'd guess not. Result - increase in pole loading.

I think a procedure exists for PIA users to request that Openreach remove redundant dropwires, but my impression that this was to be carried out only when the pole was reaching its loading limit.
The method that is employed by most is that the Copper Line will not be removed by anyone but Openreach, so if a property has copper from pole then an FTTP line will be installed from the PMDP to the property, this will incorporate a seperate bracket etc and is subject to not crossing existing line

So yes, for FTTP installs via pole there will always be an increase in pole loading until Openreach remove the (now) unwanted copper between property and pole.
 

father_ted

Casual Member
Thanks Badem.

Mark - no pressure intended, I just thought that with pole loading becoming tight in some areas due to subdivision of houses, this might become a factor that exacerbates the problem. It might even stifle competition - customer can't have an altnet installed as the pole is at capacity, but their FTTC line can be turned on at short notice.

There's an area near me where Community Fibre have had quite decent take-up in overhead served SDU streets, next time I pass I'll see whether many properties now have two drop cables. The CF external splice point is easily identified.

I'd imagine Openreach will be reluctant to remove the copper as it increases the barrier to their service being taken up again at that property. I've lived in MDUs where Hyperoptic or similar has always been available yet come across neighbours complaining about how slow their BT ADSL is. Many aren't aware they need to check other options beyond BT and Virgin.
 

Kinsman

Member
Re Pole loading
Overloading of a pole is usually only an issue when the wires are concentrated on one side of the pole as opposing wires cancel each other out. In an urban terraced street like the pictures above 30 wires (light pole) to 40 wires (medium pole) evenly spread around the pole would be ok.
 
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