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Is it possible to speak to a human being at BT regarding fibre?

Community Veteran
Posts: 2,322
Registered: 01-08-2007

Is it possible to speak to a human being at BT regarding fibre?

Rather than go into a convoluted story - heres a problem that I wonder if anyone could have a solution to.
The street cabinet serving our office building is "under review" - it probably serves 50 or less lines, so its not going to be enabled for fibre any time soon.
The building that we own used to be rented by the NHS.  They had their own fibre line put into the building that was connected to their T3 network.
As I understand it, the NHS network is a private network that just happens to reside in BT exchanges.
Although we already have a fibre line to the building, the installation and monthly charges for this are astronomical and not commercially viable if we want a 100mb connection (we already get 9mb on standard broadband, so the 10mb lease line option is pointless).
Does anybody have any idea whether there is a human being at BT able to deal with the concept of lifting and shifting the fibre line that is probably now disconnecetd from the NHS network, off the floor and into the public network in order to provide us with a fibre connection at this building and let us pay more money to PN for a business fibre connection instead of the basic broadband we currently have.
I find it difficult to comprehend that although there is a physical fibre connection to our comms room, it is impossible for BT to make this live for us without going down the ridiculously expensive lease line installation route.  Its already installed.
I dont even mind if they want to use the fibre line in our property as a base for setting up a new fibre cabinet.  Ill have the fibre cabinet in our car park if it makes it easier to provide fibre to our street cabinet (which is some 15/20 meters away).
6 REPLIES
Andrue
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 775
Thanks: 89
Fixes: 1
Registered: 12-01-2015

Re: Is it possible to speak to a human being at BT regarding fibre?

Simple answer: No Sad
First off end users can hardly ever talk to BT Openreach - they much prefer to go through a third party be that a totally independent ISP or BT Retail. Secondly I doubt there is such a thing as a simple lift and shift of a cable. The cable will need to be tested and inspected. If BT are going to run a service over it they will want to know that it is up to their standards. Another factor may be the 'head end' at the exchange. The cable probably plugged into a different part of the exchange and would need to be moved elsewhere. That's assuming there is such an elsewhere to plug it in. If your exchange is set up for residential FTTP you might be in with a chance. You're still going to have to pay for them to test the cable and perhaps do some rearranging in the exchange but it might only be a few hundred pounds. But if your exchange is not currently offering residential FTTP you're probably out of luck.
I think you should try and find a small, independent, local ISP who is willing to take this on as a challenge. It certainly is a shame to be 'so close yet so far'. Unfortunately my previous employer was in a similar position recently. They had some fibre which had been used to provide an ISDN connection many years previously. The ISDN link was still running so our ISP had the performance figures and knew it could provide the 40Mb/s we wanted. Unfortunately openreach flat out refused to use it because they said all new installations had to be 1Gb/s capable. So we had to pay them to blow new fibre down the ducting from the exchange. As it happens it wasn't all that expensive (still a couple of k though)  because we got a brownfield site discount but it took three months to get it done.
b1ggles
Grafter
Posts: 34
Registered: 03-08-2015

Re: Is it possible to speak to a human being at BT regarding fibre?

If you do get through to anyone at OpenReach they only come back with a massively patronising response containing less information than you already have and don't bother to reply as they won't say anymore.
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,322
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Is it possible to speak to a human being at BT regarding fibre?

I would imagine the cable was up to standards, it was being used by the NHS.
The local exchange is enabled for FTTC.
The cabinet serving the office building down the street is enabled.
For the Money BT want to charge (and they want to charge installation - even though the physical connection is here), it would be more cost effective to rent an office 200 yards down the road, have a basic line and 80mb fibre installed and set up a wireless point to point link to our site.
So instead of coming up with a solution to make money from this cable already installed, BT would rather receive ZERO income for this fibre, and a pittance for a basic telephone connection that we have.  Oh I hope I live to see their monopoly broken down even further, they really are a shower.
Andrue
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 12-01-2015

Re: Is it possible to speak to a human being at BT regarding fibre?

Quote from: chesterfield
The local exchange is enabled for FTTC.
Yes but I asked about FTTP.
The problem I can see is that they might not want to stick your cable into the same box in the exchange that the FTTC backhauls go into because then you'd have unfair access to the network. Everyone else has to (potentially at least) contend with other users on that cabinet whereas you wouldn't. There may also be an accountancy issue in that each port on that box may be costed as serving a couple of hundred people. Worst case scenario it might be 'shall we plug Chesterfield's cable in or the cable that will be coming from cabinet 123 on that new housing estate that will probably serve two hundred people?'.
It's more likely they'd want to plug your fibre into a manifold the way that FTTPoD works. That way your connection is aggregated with other customers outside of the exchange instead of getting special treatment. BT aren't keen on residential users plugging directly into the telephone exchange and I can understand why. There's only so much space instead the exchange so they'd rather deal with aggregated data streams unless the customer is paying them extra to avoid that (leased line).
Quote
Oh I hope I live to see their monopoly broken down even further, they really are a shower.
Or just maybe operating, maintaining and upgrading one of the world's most advanced national telecommunications networks means they know something you don't Wink
Their customer management and scheduling sucks but when it comes to actual hardware, cabling and network design I think they know what they are doing.
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,322
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Is it possible to speak to a human being at BT regarding fibre?

Sorry - missed the C/P bit.  No it is not enabled for FTTP.
I see your point about the contention, though I have no issue with the physical fibre link to our premises which has already been installed, being given back to BT so they can use it to provide fibre to thelocal cabinet if they wish (though it still only servers about 20-30 business premises I believe).
Or, indeed paying for a leased line just for us, but without the inflated prices to cover installations, because, well , its already been installed.
Our business postcode is in an area eligible for the £3,000 installation grants for superfast installation, so Im now exploring that route too.  I dont condone of wasting government money, but if thats the only way I dont have to pay to install a line that is already installed, Thats what I'll have to do.
Andrue
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 775
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Registered: 12-01-2015

Re: Is it possible to speak to a human being at BT regarding fibre?

When we had ours done there was a deal on brownfield sites that capped installation at £1,000 but I think that's gone now. They also waived some of the fibre blow costs because it was classed as extending the reach of their local loop.
Their current price list is here:
https://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/products/ethernetservices/pricereductions/pricereductions/down...
At first I thought the bottom price list implied that installation is now a piece meal process but on more careful reading that seems to just be for excess charges. You shouldn't have any of those anyway if they use your cable. So it seems like a four figure sum just to activate existing fibre on a leased line. When we were looking several of the independent providers offered free installation on three year contracts so that's worthy of thought. But the real cost of a leased line is the rental anyway. That 1:1 contention and SLA bumps the price up a lot.
It'd certainly be nice if they could use your fibre to upgrade a cabinet but as a none-standard process I don't think they'd go for it unless you could find the right person as you initially asked. Sadly I think BT's large business mentality would have crushed the spirit of that kind of person.