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Standard User shure
(learned) Fri 12-Dec-14 23:41:37
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BT Moving Fibre Goalposts


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So up until this month when typing my HACKLETON postcode details into the Where & When checker I got a result saying CS - Coming Soon, and the accompanying file listed my exchange as due to go live by 31/12/14. Now, when I do a search, the result comes up PA - Planned Area, with a general estimate within 18 months.

Now, I appreciate that unforeseen issues may cause delays, but to go from a matter of two or three weeks to a vague 18 months in the future is taking the p*ss somewhat. There's no way that BT suddenly discovered this in the last couple of weeks and must have had an inkling for a while that the target dates would not be met. And to change the dates so heavily when it was so tantalisingly close, without any matter of explanation, is bordering on the cavalier and shows that BT must hold its customers in complete contempt. Such an extreme change should warrant some kind of explanation as a matter of course, if only out of common decency at least.

It would be useful if someone with links to BT could explain why the goalposts have not so much been moved as completely obliterated. For a communications company they seem pretty dire at actually communicating. Very poor.
Standard User WWWombat
(knowledge is power) Sat 13-Dec-14 11:17:34
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Re: BT Moving Fibre Goalposts


[re: shure] [link to this post]
 
Explanation posted over in this thread.
Standard User shure
(learned) Sat 13-Dec-14 13:33:32
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Re: BT Moving Fibre Goalposts


[re: WWWombat] [link to this post]
 
Sorry, I don't really agree with that.

I do have some sympathy for BT in that people may sometimes have unrealistic expectations, but there is a middle ground between giving precise dates and pie in the sky fabrications. My cabinet falls in the latter category.

They could quite easily give a prominent disclaimer that circumstances beyond their control may push back dates, but to go from estimating a matter of days to putting the whole thing back by 18 months just shows that they have chosen to simply make things up, and IMO that is not acceptable. It's treating the customer with contempt.

I don't see the point of publishing dates if they bear no resemblance to reality. If my cabinet was never intended to go live by the end of this year, then why give the customer false expectations? I would much rather they actually applied some thought and let me truthfully know that no action will be taken for x days or months, rather than get my hopes up that I can finally emerge from the digital stoneage into acceptable speeds, all the while knowing that this was never going to happen anyway. It's deceit, no other explanation.

If, within the last week or so, they encountered a massive problem that threw their planning into disarray, there would be no disgrace in admitting this to the public and letting people know the nature of the issue. But the way that they have done it, with the deadline looming within a matter of days, indicates that some pen pusher somewhere just got an automated flag that certain dates were about to become overdue, and simply entered new made up timescales just for the sake of having something in the field. Now that either shows them to be complete amateurs, or it demonstrates a breathtaking contempt for the consumer. Either way it doesn't reflect well on BT at all. They clearly view the customer as an inconvenience.


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Standard User cyberbob187
(newbie) Sat 13-Dec-14 14:09:55
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Re: BT Moving Fibre Goalposts


[re: shure] [link to this post]
 
exactly like me - Wilstead exchange up until 24 hours ago was 'coming soon' 31/12/2014 now 'planned for' within 18 months. I wonder how many more exchanges have changed that were due by the end of the year
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sat 13-Dec-14 14:35:04
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Re: BT Moving Fibre Goalposts


[re: cyberbob187] [link to this post]
 
Perhaps no information until the cabinet is ready to take orders is the way to go.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User MCM
(fountain of knowledge) Sat 13-Dec-14 14:58:02
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Re: BT Moving Fibre Goalposts


[re: shure] [link to this post]
 
Why do you consider the date given as being "pie in the sky"? Do you know everything that has happened relating to your cab? Possible wayleave problems, siting problems, power supply problems, blocked duct problems, etc. etc. and the know on effect of each. Have you ever project managed a really really large scheme such as the roll-out of FTTC nationwide. I suspect not.

I'm sorry but your post smacks more like one from a small child that has lost its sweeties.
Standard User shure
(learned) Sat 13-Dec-14 15:18:08
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Re: BT Moving Fibre Goalposts


[re: MCM] [link to this post]
 
Because unless all the problems you have mentioned have all occurred within the last two weeks, the balance of probability would indicate that the original timeline was never actually intended to be met. Otherwise, BT would not have left it until the last minute to change the dates. It's the cavalier way in which the delays have been handled which is the subject of my ire. Major problems should have been identified months ago and delays calculated then, not just before go-live. And the fact that my cabinet is not unique with this problem strongly supports the notion that the "delay" is more a case of the original dates being fictitious rather than any unforeseen problems causing havoc with planning.

I have managed large scale projects, albeit not in the telecoms sector. And I can tell you that it was not uncommon for there to be delays caused by events beyond my team's control. But I never allowed the project to come within days of the intended deadline only to announce there would be a further delay of 1.5 years. Weeks, maybe. A month or two, possibly. But one and a half years? If I had done I wouldn't have managed many more projects, I can tell you. No project manager worth their salt would be so complacent as to allow such a huge delay to occur within days of the completion date. They should have been picked up much earlier. The final days should be all about quality control and double checking, not uncovering a massive potential problem.

As for your personal comments, I'd say the bigger child was the one hiding behind the anonymity of their keyboard to throw out idiotic insults.
Standard User shure
(learned) Sat 13-Dec-14 15:26:07
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Re: BT Moving Fibre Goalposts


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
If it has to be an extreme then I should agree that no information is better than deception. The whole point of releasing dates is so that people can have a picture of how the rollout might affect them. But if a percentage of dates are clearly fabricated, then it puts the entire website under a question mark, since no-one can possibly tell beforehand whether or not their own dates are one of the real ones or one of the false ones.

I would suggest that anything scheduled within the next 3-6 months could probably be published, as BT should (if they are doing things properly), at least have a better insight on those. But something 18 months away should never have been allowed to have been given a Coming Soon date in the first place. It's just misleading. It can't be that hard to manage that much at least, can it?
Standard User Pendlemac
(learned) Sat 13-Dec-14 16:38:07
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Re: BT Moving Fibre Goalposts


[re: shure] [link to this post]
 
While the projects yoiu managed will have had an end-date fixed in the contract, that is NOT the case for the FTTC / FTTP rollout.

Fibre broadband is simply an additional service that does not yet form part of the USO, therefore all dates are estimates and as long as Openreach can show they are making their best efforts to meet them there is no comeback.

Once it does form part of the USO then Openreach will have to abide by fixed go-live dates to avoid penalties, until that happens all that they could be found guilty of is false advertising and the ASA have already dealt with that.

Demon Internet > O2 Broadband > BT Unlimited ADSL
Connection speed (U/D) [kbps/kbps]: 1024 / 18268
Standard User MCM
(fountain of knowledge) Sat 13-Dec-14 17:00:35
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Re: BT Moving Fibre Goalposts


[re: shure] [link to this post]
 
I'm sorry but you are still coming across as not understanding the many variable and unknowns involved in such a massive project. Yes, BT could have managed the project better and kept you and everyone else informed at every step, both progress and hiccup, along the way. Doing so would however have involved additional cost, and as a result diverted scarce resources which could then have lead to further delays.

As for my comment about sounding like a small child deprived of its sweeties, I stand by that comment given your subsequent posts. Remember that there are many who currently have zero prospect of faster broadband, especially those in areas where there is no BDUK funding such as London. In my case I have helped raise over £18K to allow our development to get an FTTC service. I have to ask what have you done to get yours and how much did it cost you?
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