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Standard User arthurmauk
(newbie) Thu 12-Mar-15 14:00:20
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[HELP] Need to get broadband for a newly built flat

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I recently bought a flat which is newly built, and because it's newly built, the postcode does not show up on Google Maps. However, I do get letters and bills through my letterbox so I guess the postman does know the postcode.

For over a month now I've been trying to sign up with an Internet Service Provider for broadband internet. However, none of them were recognising the postcode (perhaps because the BT Openreach database wasn't refreshed?) so I couldn't do it via the online application forms. Plusnet accepted then cancelled my order without saying why twice. BT can now recognise my postcode at the online application form stage but it always bugs out before I can complete my order.

I've spoken to someone and they said the problem is because my flat (whether specifically mine or the entire building) is "not registered at the exchange". I suspect that this is similar to not being on the Openreach database? My question is: how do I register my flat at the exchange/Openreach so that I can get internet please? Thank you very much in advance! smile
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 12-Mar-15 14:27:11
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Re: [HELP] Need to get broadband for a newly built flat

[re: arthurmauk] [link to this post]
Talk to the developer.

The knowledge of where you are ripples out from the Post Office database, so it may all be done, and just needs time for the all parties involved to update their databases.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User WWWombat
(knowledge is power) Thu 12-Mar-15 16:26:50
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Re: [HELP] Need to get broadband for a newly built flat

[re: arthurmauk] [link to this post]
Openreach try to keep control of their address list, so perform address matching which restrict what ISPs can do.

If they have ever provided service at the address, this is known as a "Gold key" match; If they haven't provided service, but your address is available in the Post Office Address File (PAF) or a Local Authority, this gives a "Silver key" match; if you are greenfield or unknown, this gives a "bronze key" match.

A bit more on this here:

Provision orders to Openreach will go through a special check if the address is either silver or bronze, adding some extra "survey" time to the order.

My current line went through as a silver-key, from Plusnet, via BTW, into Openreach - so there must be some way to get this through. However, I did this on the phone as an existing subscriber "house move", and (I assume) talked to their specific provisions team.

Perhaps you should phone, and ask if you can talk directly to one of the provisioning team.

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Standard User philippercival
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 12-Mar-15 20:12:19
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Re: [HELP] Need to get broadband for a newly built flat

[re: arthurmauk] [link to this post]
Reading the comments, maybe ordering a phone line first might provoke things.

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Standard User briansaab
(newbie) Fri 13-Mar-15 00:29:28
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Re: [HELP] Need to get broadband for a newly built flat

[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
The Developer is not likely to be much help here and may actually be part of the problem.

MrSaffron is only partially right with his reference to "Post Office Database", otherwise known as Postal Address File or PAF. This is sold out into the market in a number forms but generally with a software interface such as Quick Address or QAS from Experian.

Before an address appears in PAF however it is the Local Authority that have the statutory duty to Name the 'Street' and Number the properties that are accessed off that Street. This process is known as Street Naming & Numbering or SNN for short and conforms to BS7666 Spatial datasets for geographical referencing. The result is a Local Land & Property Gazetteer or LLPG for that authority's administrative area which is then amalgamated via a National Hub, now called GeoPlace.

Under current codes of practice newly created addresses are passed to Royal Mail's Address Management Unit for inclusion within PAF and allocation of a Postcode. Yes folks the Postcode is not controlled by your Local Authority so please don't shout at them if you are having problems, but do seek advice from their SNN Officer / Address Custodian.

Royal Mail allocates and then uses the Postcode to manage its delivery rounds and may change any or all of it to suit its own purposes e.g. some years ago Wirral addresses moved wholesale from L43 / L44 to CH43 / Ch44. Areas of largescale (re)development can also undergo changes to existing postcodes as rounds are reorganised. Royal Mail expose addresses and postcodes via their website as:-

STEP 1 - Go to the website above and see if you can find your address listed. I would search first with the postcode you have been given. If you cannot find it that way then try searching with your 'Street' name. Try both the name of the block of flats and the 'Street' off which they are accessed.

If you find your address, and its correct postcode, and it is the same as you quoted in your calls, then you are victim of the update cycle for that to reach the likes of ISP's and OpenReach's backend databases. Try going back and escalating the call telling them that it does appear in PAF and challenge them as to why they do not already have it.

STEP 2 - If you cannot find your address on the website above DON'T PANIC. Your address may already be in their database but just waiting for a now occupied flag to be set so it appears to members of the public. Follow the link on the right hand of the webpage to:-

What to do if your address isn't found

This will ask you to let them know with a stated aim to respond within 48 hours. If you prefer there are phone contact numbers on the lower left of the webpage, just watch out for the 51p per minute band.

Good luck and please report back on progress.

Oh and I do suspect that Google Maps will be using a product called Code-Point Open. This is one of Ordnance Survey's free to use OS OpenData family of products. Whilst useful this is only updated Quarterly February, May, August and November so may take some time to reflect a recently allocated postcode.

Edit - Just checked and OpenReach delivered an uplift to its External Information Points (EIP) in November 2014. See Here
This included the use of the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) from the LA's LLPG delivered via the efforts of GeoPlace as an Ordnance Survey product called AddressBase Premium

If you cannot find your address on the website above check with your Local Authority SNN Officer / Address Custodian to make sure they know the property is occupied. They send regular, sometimes daily, Change Only Updates (COU) to GeoPlace hence into Address Base Premium hence into OpenReach.

Edited by briansaab (Fri 13-Mar-15 00:55:31)

Standard User brandscill
(committed) Fri 13-Mar-15 13:02:06
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Re: [HELP] Need to get broadband for a newly built flat

[re: arthurmauk] [link to this post]
This happened to me in an old building when the area it was in got reclassified. As he building was unoccupied it was never done!

I ended up getting broadband from the Post Office who, over the phone, managed to wangle it through somehow. BT just wouldn't do it for me.

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Standard User vit0
(member) Fri 13-Mar-15 20:02:57
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Re: [HELP] Need to get broadband for a newly built flat

[re: arthurmauk] [link to this post]
In my experience it depends how conscientious the developer has been. They register the addresses but then have to let the council / planning office / royal mail know when the property is occupied. When I bought my current house the developer didn't do it so I registered on the postcode checker and it all slowly rippled out from there.

Standard User vivaciti
(knowledge is power) Mon 16-Mar-15 17:52:06
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Re: [HELP] Need to get broadband for a newly built flat

[re: arthurmauk] [link to this post]
I am sorry but I think some of the advise you have been given is only partially correct and others way off.
This issue is quite common for a new build, and trying to order DSL with phone line is going to be the biggest issue.
Just order the phone line, and tell the provider it is a new build, and they will need to build a new address on the BT system, it is not difficult or hard we do it all the time.
Once the phone line is installed (and it may take a little longer than normal as a new build property will go out to survey with Open Reach) then you just order the broadband against the phone line regardless of what the postcode is.
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