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Potential problems with Openreach infrastructure - Where to turn?

JonesTheSteam
Dabbler
Posts: 21
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎04-02-2019

Potential problems with Openreach infrastructure - Where to turn?

Hi everyone,

I am wondering if somebody is able to offer ANY help or advice on a problem I have had now for years. It feels like a fairly unique issue to me but I am pretty sure others must have suffered in the same way.

I live on a road in North Cardiff which runs directly between two areas. The area to the left has ultrafast broadband via Openreach I believe. The area to the right has ultrafast broadband via Virgin media.

My road splitting the two areas is only serviced by FTTC there is no other option currently available.

Now that wouldn't be such an issue if it wasn't for the fact the FTTC service is for want of a better phrase... a bit rubbish.

Given the ultrafast broadband to the left of me and the ultrafast broadband to the right... I am wondering if my road was just left off an infrastructure upgrading spreadsheet or something.

To cut a very long broadband issue story short, back in the day I was given a minimum line speed guarantee of 32mb which I have never, ever hit.

I have had countless visits from Openreach engineers and nobody has ever got to the bottom of the issue but some engineers have suggested the Openreach infrastructure on the street is at capacity and old (aluminium cabling, not copper). In the end Plusnet offered me a reduction on my monthly bill as the minimum line speed guarantee simply could not be met.

I have been told I could leave Plusnet without penalty but if I did I could only go to another FTTC service provider running over exactly the same problem infrastructure so as options go, that is a non-starter.

Anyway I eventually learned to live with the problem and for a time, my line stabilised and I was getting by on 27-29Mb but recently I have started to have problems again with speed problems and dropouts. I have logged a fault call with Plusnet but I am pretty certain it will just go nowhere just as it has so many times before.

My one neighbour (with BT) is currently getting approx 15mb downloads on a fibre connection and my very real fear is when BT come to look at his issue, it might actually cause me further issues as we are connected to the same utility pole. To make matters worse, due to Covid I now work from home full time so absolutely rely on a working broadband connection.

So my question is:
If this is down to a problem with legacy/faulty infrastructure, what can be done to get Openreach or whoever to investigate the issue properly and replace it if required?

Any help on this matter would be really appreciated.

Kind regards.

6 REPLIES 6
Baldrick1
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 7,398
Thanks: 3,307
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Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: Potential problems with Openreach infrastructure - Where to turn?


@JonesTheSteam wrote:

So my question is:
If this is down to a problem with legacy/faulty infrastructure, what can be done to get Openreach or whoever to investigate the issue properly and replace it if required?


If you have aluminium cabling then this is probably your problem.
You could well be better employed by campaigning for your street to have FTTP installed rather than trying to get this cable changed. Local and county councils plus your MP might be a good starting point.

 

JonesTheSteam
Dabbler
Posts: 21
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎04-02-2019

Re: Potential problems with Openreach infrastructure - Where to turn?

Hi Baldrick1,

Thank you for the prompt response and your suggestion which I am more than happy to try.

My only concern is that sounds more of a campaign route which might work as opposed to a more formal route (which I am actually beginning to think doesn’t actually exist) where a request could be logged and escalated with whoever is ultimately responsible for the infrastructure.

It seems to me that the forward schedule of works for Openreach is generally shrouded in mystery especially as my surrounding area is already peppered with ultrafast broadband.

It feels like I am a contestant on Bullseye constantly being shown “what I could have won” 😢

bmc
Aspiring Champion
Posts: 1,613
Thanks: 394
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Registered: ‎28-02-2017

Re: Potential problems with Openreach infrastructure - Where to turn?

@JonesTheSteam 

Check the following to see if it says anything about FTTP

https://www.openreach.com/

 

I believe you can register an interest on the site for faster broadband.

 

Brian

JonesTheSteam
Dabbler
Posts: 21
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎04-02-2019

Re: Potential problems with Openreach infrastructure - Where to turn?

Hi Brian,

Thanks for the suggestion.

I have registered an interest on the openreach site and unfortunately it always just seems to respond with "there are no current plans to upgrade your area" or words to that effect.

When I was at the height of my frustrations with my broadband back last year, I did actually speak to openreach directly (even though they say they only speak to ISPs) and they were actually quite helpful but obviously not quite enough.

It just seems to me that if you have an outside of norm problem eventually you hit an in penetratable wall and it's hard to know which way to turn. From my experience it also seems Plusnet are powerless to get openreach to rectify serious infrastructure issues.

To my mind the issue on my road clearly needs investment but I couldn't even make a guess a ballpark figure as to how much we would be talking about. When it comes to fibre optics that doesn't ever seem to be cheap.
bmc
Aspiring Champion
Posts: 1,613
Thanks: 394
Fixes: 18
Registered: ‎28-02-2017

Re: Potential problems with Openreach infrastructure - Where to turn?

@JonesTheSteam 

What goes on in OR's mind is any bodies guess!!!!

 

It's possible your street is too small a project to get it high up any action list. Given the fibre roll out program under way one would hope it gets there eventually.

 

Cost wise it might not be too bad given FTTP already exists nearby. They would run fibre between the poles, hanging a Distribution Point on each pole serving houses. At some point the fibre would be taken underground to connect up with the fibre network.

 

Brian

JonesTheSteam
Dabbler
Posts: 21
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎04-02-2019

Re: Potential problems with Openreach infrastructure - Where to turn?

Hi Brian,

I understand what you are saying so I have attached a broadband coverage map of my area to show the existing ultrafast services in my area.

I am the Red dot.
Ultrafast Broadband via Openreach are the grey dots.
Ultrafast Broadband by Virgin is the green dots.

I wanted to attach this earlier but I hope that seeing this map anybody could now fully understand my complete frustration at my road only being able to recive a degraded FTTC service.

Totally surrounded by 300+Mb Ultrafast broadband and today my broadband speed dropped to under 1Mb