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Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

Mathias
Grafter
Posts: 242
Registered: ‎21-08-2008

Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

Hi Plusnet,
I've been waiting (patiently i may add) for fibre brodband to be available at my cabinet, which connects to Acomb exchange in York, for nearly 6 months after the exchange changed it status to "accepting orders". The current dates are listed as 31st March 2014, but call me skeptical as i well envisage that come the end of March the dates will be revised once again and yet another 3 month window provided. Nothing will be done and no further information as to why work was not completed is provided.
Can you please contact them (as they refuse to speak to customers) and ask them what is causing the current delay with providing fibre given that the expected dates provided are extended each time they are surpassed? Can they also provide me with a better estimate of when i can expect fibre to be installed given that the dates they are providing are simply not reliable?
Below is the email i sent to nga.enquiries@openreach.co.uk (as i'd heard some people have managed to get a response via this method), but i received an automated reply telling me that Openreach will not respond and i should contact my service provider.
Thanks,
Matt

Dear Openreach,
I live in York and am very keen to get fibre optic broadband as i'm a heavy internet user.
Unfortunately whilst the exchange (Acomb) is accepting fibre orders, the cabinet (3Cool has not been upgraded.
According to the information for your's and BT's sites the cabinet is due to be upgraded between now and the end of March.
I have been monitoring this information for some time now. The sites initially stated an upgrade date of between September 2013 and October 2013, so nearly 6 months ago and these dates have simply been revised each passing month since then.
Call me skeptical, but i well envisage that come the end of March the dates will be revised once again and another 3 month window provided.
Can you please provide me with specific information as to what is causing the hold up on delivering fibre broadband in my area?
Additionally please provide me with information as to when i can realistically expect the work to be completed as i do not trust the information you are currently providing given that it constantly keeps being put back with no other information?
e.g. is it a hold up with the council, or are you too busy, or do you not have the money or staff?
I'm sure you've experienced the situation when waiting for a train, that the monitor tells you the train is going to be on time, despite it being stuck at a signal 20 minutes away. They never update the monitor to say it's going to be at least 20 minutes, instead just update that's it is currently x minutes late for each passing minute. This is what it currently feels like. 
More details are below if needed.
Kind regards,

Telephone Number 01904------ on Exchange ACOMB is served by Cabinet 38
Featured Products
Downstream Line Rate(Mbps)
Upstream Line Rate(Mbps)
Downstream Range(Mbps)
Availability Date
High Low High Low
FTTC Range A (Clean) 80 79.9 20 20 -- 31-Mar-14
FTTC Range B (Impacted) 80 73.9 20 19 -- 31-Mar-14

WBC ADSL 2+ Up to 16 -- 12 to 19.5 Available
WBC ADSL 2+ Annex M Up to 16 Up to 1 12 to 19.5 Available
ADSL Max Up to 6.5 -- 5.5 to 8 Available
WBC Fixed Rate 2 -- -- Available
Fixed Rate 2 -- -- Available
Other Offerings
Fibre Multicast -- -- -- 31-Mar-14
Copper Multicast -- -- -- Available
15 REPLIES
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-11-2011

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

Hi Mathias,
The reason provision can from time to time to be delayed is generally down to MBORC's (Matters Beyond Our Reasonable Control). Different parts of the country have suffered poor weather which has had a negative impact on different customers lines. Our suppliers find the importance of fixing faults ahead of Provisioning new customers with newer technologies.
If BT don't or haven't had the resource to carry out the work, that's another reason for the further delays too. The dates that are provided by BT are best effort and are not guaranteed. When FTTC is available in your area, and as long as you're opted in for notifications from us, we'll pop you an e-mail across so you can place your order.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
Mathias
Grafter
Posts: 242
Registered: ‎21-08-2008

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

Hi Chris,
Thanks for your quick reply. I can appreacite the reasons you have listed as to why in general work gets delayed. However i would like to know from Openreach themselves as to what is specifically causing the delay in this case.
The weather has been relatively ok and that it has been 6 months, which i consider to be an unreasonable amount of time to wait. It resource is an issue then i want to hear from them that they are doing something about it, such as hiring more engineers to attempt to help. I don't mind having to wait, but i do expect that if dates are not met, reasons should be provided to customers and more information provided on when it can be fixed and what dependencies this relies upon.
I don't think this is too much to expect from an otherwise unreachable company, when we are reliant upon and paying them for a service.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-11-2011

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

I appreciate what you're saying and where you are coming from, however, the dates that have been provided have never been guaranteed.
On 2014-01-22 10:37:25 we posted a Service Status ( http://portal.plus.net/supportpages.html?a=2&support_action=archive ) with regards to an MBORC across the country which won't have helped with the delay, so the weather might not have affected you or people immediately around you, but it has hit other areas, which is where resource will be applied to resolve faults quicker.
I agree that you pay for a service, but you're not paying for the FTTC service until it's been rolled out. I'll send a few e-mails off to see if I can get some information on the delays but I can't promise I'll get an answer immediately.
If/When I get a response I'll post a further update on this thread.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
Mathias
Grafter
Posts: 242
Registered: ‎21-08-2008

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

Thanks Chris, i appreciate you sending emails to get more information on my behalf as this is what i'm lacking at the moment. I look forward to their response.
I hope that you can understand that it is so frustrating being tantalised by something and not being able to find out why you can't get it. whilst i know that the dates aren't guaranteed, they are meant to be a resonable estimate and therefore create expectation. Additionally, if the dates were so uncertain, then they could have simply put an estimate of "sometime in the 5 years, whenever we get round to it...".
From the information on http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/the-big-build/, it implies that as status of the exchange is already at the "accepting orders" phase, then we are already in the months 10-15 bracket, hence there should not be such large delays at this stage (other than the MBORC issue, which has only occurred in the last month).
When you read on that page that "By the end of spring 2014 we'll have rolled out superfast fibre to around two-thirds of UK premises", it's hard to understand why it isn't available in such a large affluent City.
With regards to paying for a service, it is the line rental i was referring to (given that this is the part that goes to BT rather than you) and i believe the line rental does not change when you get upgarded to fibre, merely the cost of the product. The distinction may not be as clear in practice to what i'm inferring, in which case they should do away with line rental and just bundle it as one fee to make it clearer.

Thanks, Mathias
Scottishlad79
Grafter
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎09-04-2013

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

Mathias,
As chris has stated openreach currently have MBORC declared in alot of the regions down south and on the highlands and islands justnow, while the weather in your exchange area may have been generaly ok, problems in other areas have knock on affect with the ability to complete the work, ie, engineers being sent to neighboring areas to help out due to floods/storms. This is one reason for the delay.
Id suspect having had a look tho your cab is in place at the moment and the fact that the date keeps slipping could be due more to issues in the provisioning of either power or the actual fibre back to the exchange.
The easy part of proviging a FTTC cab is actually placing the cab, openreach then have to arrange with the local power company to have this cab attached to the national grid, which on some occasions can be troublesome and cause dates to slip as outwith control of openreach.
Secondly a fibre has to be provided from the cab to the local exchange, again things such as blocked ducts hinder the provision of this fibre and the ducts again need to be repaired on behalf of openreach
The very same thing happend with the cab im connected to and the date slipped by 9 months before the cab was ready for service.
I appreciate your eagerness to get connected and frustrations at lack of information tho it is a more complicated procedure than it may seem. And to keep every customer informed of the specific reason for every delay in every cab that has a delay across the country would be a huge undertaking for openreach, and probably further delay the work, so i think like the rest of us your going to have to make do with the holding date given to you by bt wholesale broaband checker. And to give a little bit of hope this is only a holding date, your cab could go live tomorrow. My date slipped from 9 months to 12 months , and a week later was active.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,894
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎20-10-2012

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

Mathias - is there cable in Acomb?
If there is, then that may explain BT's reasoning. I've had fibre in Wigginton for over a year now, but we haven't cable.
Geoff,
York.
Mathias
Grafter
Posts: 242
Registered: ‎21-08-2008

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

Yeah there is cable from Virgin. Bit reluctant to sign up with them given the restriction on upload speed, caps on download speed when you exceed a certain amount in a period of time and also heard of unstable and jittery lines (which ain't going to be good for my gaming).
Although if BT don't get their act together, they are going to force my hand...
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,894
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎20-10-2012

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

I suspect your area may be one of the last in York due to Virgin!  Sad
Geoff,
York.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-11-2011

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

I've been in touch with Openreach and it's getting looked into.
I'm awaiting their response so please do bear with me and I'll relay what information I can get, when I get it.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
Devonian
Grafter
Posts: 1,854
Registered: ‎01-05-2011

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

MAthias I am in the same situation, except I have been waiting for 18 months.
I'm on Cab 21 off the Paignton Exchange. Angry
OpenReach initially said it was due to a problem getting power to the cab.. a few months later and they told me there was no space for the cab, which is/was nonsense.
A few weeks later and the new cab was fitted (I can see it from my lounge window).  The date then changed to available sept 2013, and gave my line speeds etc.
September came and the date went back to December.
Myself and 2 neighbours emailed OpenReach, to be told the council refused planning permission... which considering the cab is there is wrong.
Anyway my neighbour contacted the council, who said there was no planning needed.
December came, and the date changed to March, which is where it is still at.
I emailed OpenReach again, and so far I have had no reply.
So I can imagine lots of people being in the same situation.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-11-2011

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

Right, I've managed to get some information from Openreach on this for you.
As it stands, the cabinet isn't quite in the correct location, this needs and will be moved. Openreach are awaiting work to be carried out by Northern Power Grid at the location where the cabinet will be located - this is what is causing the delays unfortunately.
Once Northern Power Grid complete the necessary work, moving the cabinet is a pretty simple task and from there on should be straight forward. Some of the FTTC underground cabling work needs to be re-worked as part of the move process which may cause a few delays but as soon as Northern Power Grid do their work, it shouldn't be too long after that things get moving and ready for you.
There are no timescales for Northern Power Grid to complete their side of the work, it'll be done I am sure within their own set time frame. The date that is set and that keeps changing on the BT Availability Checker may change again, but it's just very much dependent on Northern Power Grid.
I hope this helps.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
Mathias
Grafter
Posts: 242
Registered: ‎21-08-2008

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

Hi Chris,
Thanks very much for the detailed information and quick response. Exactly what i was wanting to know, at least now i understand what is causing the delay and who next to direct my frustration at. Unfortunately as you say it's not really in OpenReach's hands, but at least know what's causing the problem helps.
Going to google Nothern Power Grid for contact details or ask the council and try to chase them on when they are getting it done.
Thanks once again.
Mathias
Grafter
Posts: 242
Registered: ‎21-08-2008

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

Quote from: Chris
Right, I've managed to get some information from Openreach on this for you.
As it stands, the cabinet isn't quite in the correct location, this needs and will be moved. Openreach are awaiting work to be carried out by Northern Power Grid at the location where the cabinet will be located - this is what is causing the delays unfortunately.
Once Northern Power Grid complete the necessary work, moving the cabinet is a pretty simple task and from there on should be straight forward. Some of the FTTC underground cabling work needs to be re-worked as part of the move process which may cause a few delays but as soon as Northern Power Grid do their work, it shouldn't be too long after that things get moving and ready for you.
There are no timescales for Northern Power Grid to complete their side of the work, it'll be done I am sure within their own set time frame. The date that is set and that keeps changing on the BT Availability Checker may change again, but it's just very much dependent on Northern Power Grid.
I hope this helps.

Hi Chris,
I managed to get in touch with Northern Power Grid to find out what the hold up is at their end. Here is the reply to my email to them:
"So sorry for the delay but I have been waiting to hear back from the department that would deal with this type of thing. We have checked our records and have nothing for this area. Is it possible you can get a name from BT as to who they have been dealing with at NPG."
Are you able to provide me with the name of the person or department you have been speaking to or give direct contact details to assist them further?
Thanks.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-11-2011

Re: Contacting Openreach, when can i expect Fibre in York?

I'm afraid I'm not able to give out such details I'm afraid.
The team I managed to get the details from are no longer accepted requests for such information - this appears to have been a one-off. The information they provided us with at the time of providing will have been correct though as this came directly from Openreach, for whom, I do not hold contact details for.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer