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Standard User SomeUser
(newbie) Wed 06-Feb-19 19:19:34
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How do you get any information out of Openreach ?


[link to this post]
 
Hi All,

Just a bit of starting information, my post code is GU14 7NP which means that I'm connected to cabinet 109 of the Farnborough exchange which has been fibre enabled since 2006. I am in the city centre and Openreach (OR) has upgraded literally every cabinet around us (with one exception) but they refuse to upgrade our cabinet for some unknown reason. I can step to the other side of the road and they have fibre, I can walk 100 metres in most directions and they have fibre and the real kicker is that I'm on the main road which forms a straight line from the exchange to cabinets further away that have fibre. So OR has dragged fibre straight up the road, right past our cabinet (it's literally on the main road curb) and to cabinets which are further away but still won't upgrade our cabinet.

About two years ago I approached the "Hampshire Superfast" county council programme and asked why our cabinet wasn't covered by their programme and their response was that we were covered by OR's commercial roll-out. I've pointed out that it doesn't matter that we're supposedly covered by OR's commercial roll-out because OR has no plan to upgrade our cabinet which means we're in the same situation as any rural cabinet. They threw every random excuse they could at me and when I pointed out int urn why each was invalid. This culminated in them just flat out ignoring me after updating their site to say "you come under OR's roll-out, so we're no helping you" (I'm paraphrasing but you can see for yourself here https://www.hampshiresuperfastbroadband.com/).

I have tried getting some information out of OR and they just directed me to a part of their site where I could lodge a support request which I did, asking for an explanation of why they refuse to upgrade our cabinet. Several days later someone I got a cheerful response back to confirm that OR had no plan to upgrade our cabinet....

So here I am in a city centre surrounded by people that have access to fibre but with zero access to OR fibre, Virgin, Hyperoptic or anything else other than a 2km copper wire between us and the exchange. The local county council programme refuse to help and OR have no plan to upgrade our cabinet despite upgrading everyone around us and despite dragging fibre literally within a few metres of our cabinet. All of that is frustrating enough but what really sends me over the edge is that there's no way for me to get an explanation from OR as to why they refuse to upgrade our cabinet and why this farcical situation exists.

So after that rant, does anyone have any ideas how I can get some useful information out of OR to explain what their actual problem is with upgrading our cabinet ?



Thanks
Standard User gary333
(learned) Wed 06-Feb-19 19:33:12
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Re: How do you get any information out of Openreach ?


[re: SomeUser] [link to this post]
 
It looks like your cabinet only covers at the most 74 properties so I can only imagine they won't want to install fibre due to the cost. I've read that a cabinet costs IRO £55,000. Not sure what Openreach expect the conversion ratio to be but lets be optimistic and say 33% of people take up FTTC. If the delta between ADSL and FTTC for profit is £10 then it would take them 19 years to re-coup the costs and that doesn't include the cost to borrow the money and inflationary differnces / or regularty changes that might lower margin..
Standard User MCM
(knowledge is power) Wed 06-Feb-19 19:33:33
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Re: How do you get any information out of Openreach ?


[re: SomeUser] [link to this post]
 
The most likely reason is that OR consider installing FTTC to be not commercially viable. BT as a commercial company has an obligation to its shareholders who expect to see a return on any investment made by BT. There may well be other reasons as I see that there are 15-20 cabs on the Farnborough exchange that have not been upgraded for FTTC.


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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 06-Feb-19 19:38:12
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Re: How do you get any information out of Openreach ?


[re: SomeUser] [link to this post]
 
No obligation to offer an explanation and real answer is probably

'When planning the commercial roll-out the cabinet failed to meet the financial criteria for an upgrade"
alternatively
"The cabinet was in the plans and fell off the plan after <insert problem> arose and costs exceeded a level we wanted to spend"

Looks to be a small footprint, much smaller than most of those in the commercial roll-out

The handful of Hampshire BDUK cabinets in Farnborough have been via the Phase II project, rather than the original one, so you might want to ask again.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User SomeUser
(newbie) Wed 06-Feb-19 19:49:53
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Re: How do you get any information out of Openreach ?


[re: SomeUser] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the responses all. The idea that our cabinet wasn't commercially viable (not confirmed but it was the most likely explanation) was the first thing I brought up with the Hampshire BDUK project to point out the ridiculousness of saying that they won't cover us because we're part of the commercial roll-out if OR are saying they we're not commercially viable. I've spent a long time speaking to them and they flat out refuse to help on the grounds that we're part of the commercial roll-out. You can see the update they eventually put out by putting the post code into https://www.hampshiresuperfastbroadband.com/

The short version is that we're on our own and OR isn't interested. I understand that we might only have around 74 properties connected to this cabinet but if you look at say cabinet 1 (GU14 8AR) then I'm pretty sure that's got even less properties and yet it's both further away and is fibre enabled.

This is just a really frustrating situation to be in and there doesn't seem to be a way out short of paying for the upgrade ourselves which is just never going to happen.
Standard User MCM
(knowledge is power) Wed 06-Feb-19 20:02:29
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Re: How do you get any information out of Openreach ?


[re: SomeUser] [link to this post]
 
You are not alone there are many in your situation. For example there was little or no BDUK funding for many of the larger cities throughout the UK especially London. In our case, 75 properties all Exchange Only in SW9, and after investigating the various options available to us we chose to "gap fund" the installation of an AIO cabinet by BT/Openreach. That is we paid Openreach the difference between the full cost and the sum that they were prepared to spend in much the same way as BDUK operated. Expensive but meant that we got decent speeds two or three years ago rather than waiting for some funding scheme that would have covered our situation.
Standard User gary333
(learned) Wed 06-Feb-19 20:08:43
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Re: How do you get any information out of Openreach ?


[re: SomeUser] [link to this post]
 
It's certainly rubbish when this happens and you are stuck. With the majority of buildings being flats couldn't you look at seeing if one of the FTTP providers are a possibility?

Here is a link to all of the cabinets and a few of them have as few as 30 or so properties, so looks like it's been possible in the past to get them connected.

https://www.telecom-tariffs.co.uk/codelook.htm?xid=3...

Go all middle class and write to your MP, Councillors, Mayor etc (recorded or secure delivery). Having being involved in due dilligence to take over council services before I know they hate this fom of communication as it forces them to not give you the brush off that you would get from the "customer services" functions.
Standard User Zarjaz
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 06-Feb-19 20:25:18
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Re: How do you get any information out of Openreach ?


[re: SomeUser] [link to this post]
 
Are you in the flats next to the old Thompson Local building ?

Any way to find out if the developers of next door are ordering FTTP for the new flats ? If they go the copper route instead then that will surely be fed from your cab (I believe it originally was) then more users connected means the cab is more financially viable.



(p.s. Have you visited the crypt behind your place ? Not everyone has Napoleon the 3rdís remains as a neighbour !)

Standard User dect
(regular) Wed 06-Feb-19 22:54:42
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Re: How do you get any information out of Openreach ?


[re: SomeUser] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by SomeUser:
About two years ago I approached the "Hampshire Superfast" county council programme and asked why our cabinet wasn't covered by their programme and their response was that we were covered by OR's commercial roll-out.
Hampshire Superfast must be getting data from somewhere that says you're part of a commercial rollout, if this is not correct then I personally would look at getting that data corrected (I believe this is critical) so you are then eligible for investment through Hampshire Superfast. Once the data is corrected I would make a nuisance of myself with Hampshire Superfast
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 07-Feb-19 09:29:02
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Re: How do you get any information out of Openreach ?


[re: dect] [link to this post]
 
The hints are in fact that NO phase I bduk cabs were done in Farnborough, i.e. they avoided the largest urban areas.

So when they answered two years ago, their response which may have been based on data from the Open Market Review a year or two before that may have been correct.

NOTE: Commercial roll-out may be other suppliers than BT/Openreach

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
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