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Finding out what Openreach are going to do

gunsmoke
Grafter
Posts: 71
Registered: 02-05-2012

Finding out what Openreach are going to do

Hi
Openreach did a site survey for my FTTP at the beginning of the week.  I wasnt there, so they left a 'permission required to dig' type form.
I'm pretty sure I have no ducts, so I'm not at all surprised.
I filled in the form and emailed it back to them, but then started wondering about what they are going to do.
I think I know where they will lay a duct, but that doesnt mean I am right!  There is no particular reason for them to follow the wires, and even then, I dont know 100% where the wires go.
Also, I ticked the bit that says I dont need to be there for them to excavate, but there is no where to ask for them to tell me when they are coming.
Could someone chase this up and find out what their excavation plan is, so I dont start putting sockets where they are not going to end up near!
and perhaps find out when they are coming?
Thanks
GunSmoke
19 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

BT won't do the digging work, it will be their contractors.
How does your BT line get into your house at the moment? Do you have overhead cables?
gunsmoke
Grafter
Posts: 71
Registered: 02-05-2012

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

I'm not worried about who actually works the spade/digger/mole etc, it is still Openreach that are getting it done.
I'm fed underground and I know where my master socket is.  What I dont know, is exactly where the wires come in from.  I can make a pretty good guess, but in reality, I dont know.
Not only that, I'm pretty sure there are no ducts.  The wires are just buried.  There is no certanty that the fibre ducting will follow the wires - indeed, if there is no ducting for the wires, then digging near the wires may well chop them up!
Would Openreach repace the wires with ones in ducting at the same time as laying ducting and fibre?  I suspect not.
I'm also not sure where the fibre is going to come from.  The geography of the road means it could come down the road from either end.  Which it is, might indicate whether they lay a duct from the front or the side of my property.
Presumably, after the Openreach survey last week, someone must have a description or drawing to say what is going to happen. 
Does Plusnet get a copy of this plan, or can they pass it to me please?
Gunsmoke
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

How old is your property?
I would think it's highly unlikely that you have buried cables. What colour is the cable coming into you master socket? Is there a grey junction box on the outside of your property anywhere?
Finding where the fibre comes from is relatively easy. If you go outside you house onto the street and look for and look for something like this (). It can be on the pavement or grass verge (as mine was and covered with a think layer of leaves etc.) This is where the cables will go from the street into your property. The fibre will go through here, alongside you normal copper line.
Depending on whether anyone else on your street has fibre, or whether BT have already put the tubing in place, determines what work they need to do.
What the BT engineer probably did was tried to rod the manhole cover in the street to your property. With a beeping scanner, he can see the route and map out where it runs. I would imagine he's hit a blockage or cannot get access to where the current cable comes up from underground into your property. Builders are normally responsible for this - they have a habit of capping of or concreting in ducting, which is visually great until you have problems. In my case, the BT engineer marked the path out with some spray paint ready for the contractors.
The contractors will normally put in a blue pull rope from where the cabling comes into your property and out to your manhole cover in the street ready for the OpenReach fibre guys. They use this rope to pull in the fibre tubing, ready for the fibre to be blown.
Finding out what needs to be done can be a little tricky. BT were not very good at passing information to Plus Net in my case. I only knew what needed to be done because I was around when everyone came. My ducting terminated on the inside of my property and had been completely concreted in.
gunsmoke
Grafter
Posts: 71
Registered: 02-05-2012

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

Hi
An engineer earlier this year mentioned that there were no ducts in our road.  Ducts are also not there on several other roads, also all built around the early 70's. (also all of the same cabinet as me - the fibre roll out at our exchange has been released in cabinet area shaped groups)
There is no box on the outside of the house, no indication where the wires come in, no duct openings at all, they just poke out the inside of the wall by the front door.  I saw them when the master socket was replaced 6 months ago.  Cant rememeber the colour, sorry.
There are two of the BT manhole covers near me.  One at the front, one at the side. I think the wires come from the manhole at the front, but I dont know if  I dont believe fiber has come into the road yet, but it is just outside the (closed) end of the road.  I can see it on the pole (that feeds other roads), and I have seen them playing with the big rack of splicing trays in the manhole alonside that pole.
There is no-one else on the PON active yet. (well I hope there isnt, I put my order in the very day it went to 'available'!)

The Openreach note said they wouldnt need access to the inside, so I think they are just going to lay a new duct and if thats the case, I'd like to know where!
GunSmoke
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,894
Thanks: 3
Registered: 20-10-2012

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

When I built my last house in 1981 the man from BT connected us through the side of the manhole in the pavement outside the house. He then 'dug in' the armoured cable from there to the house wall, punched a hole through to the sub floor, continued a little further and then installed the socket.
As I remember he didn't dig too deep - about 12 to 15 inches!
Geoff,
York.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

Quote from: gunsmoke

The Openreach note said they wouldnt need access to the inside, so I think they are just going to lay a new duct and if thats the case, I'd like to know where!
GunSmoke

Whichever manhole cover your line connects into - and then as straight as possible (the fibre doesn't like too many kinks or bends when it's blown). I think each manhole cover serves 2-3 homes normally from what my engineer said.
Should look like this inside:

The black/yellow cables carry the fibre - and the ones in this pic will serve a lot of houses. Mine was virtually full to the top of water. Apparently all the equipment is watertight!
I'm surprised though that BT would offer FTTP in an area where there is no ducting in place already. The cost of digging up and putting it in is fairly costly.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

Quote from: AndyH
I'm surprised though that BT would offer FTTP in an area where there is no ducting in place already. The cost of digging up and putting it in is fairly costly.

In hindsight yes but at the time when the houses were built who would have thought 20 years or so later additional feeds to the house will be needed. So why go to the cost of laying ducting? Also in most cases it would have been the builders that laid the cables from the house to the path/road.
gunsmoke
Grafter
Posts: 71
Registered: 02-05-2012

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

Our exchange was one of the Race to Infinity winners, so all the hard work we put in 2 years ago gathering support for fibre is paying off eventually, rather than having to wait years more for the smaller exchanges, like ours, to be upgraded.
That picture from AndyH looks like the larger splitter that's underneath the pole on the main road, probably going to feed all the local manifolds.  I've been trying to keep up with the fibre work (for 2 years! actually only about 1 year, the first cabinet went in at the top of the village just before christmas last year and went active in April)
I've not noticed any manifolds go in round us - but that doesn't mean they haven't though.
GunSmoke
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

Quote from: itsme

In hindsight yes but at the time when the houses were built who would have thought 20 years or so later additional feeds to the house will be needed. So why go to the cost of laying ducting? Also in most cases it would have been the builders that laid the cables from the house to the path/road.

Our house was built 20 years ago this year and everything was put in ducting - I remember BT even putting in the TV and telephone cables. However this was in Milton Keynes which was always regarded as the city of the future.
I thought that as soon as the telephone pylons were on their way out, BT made more of an effort to put everything in ducting. It makes things easier when new houses need lines, acts as a barrier to help stop people digging through lines and it makes fault finding easier to resolve.
These days BT are pretty big on new housing areas and installs. FTTP will be the standard and Openreach work closely with a lot of the big housing companies. I know there is a new estate in Northampton which is going to be FTTP only with no copper. I suppose this makes economic sense to do it now rather in the years to come and the housing companies will probably contribute towards the costs.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

Quote from: gunsmoke
Our exchange was one of the Race to Infinity winners, so all the hard work we put in 2 years ago gathering support for fibre is paying off eventually, rather than having to wait years more for the smaller exchanges, like ours, to be upgraded.
That picture from AndyH looks like the larger splitter that's underneath the pole on the main road, probably going to feed all the local manifolds.  I've been trying to keep up with the fibre work (for 2 years! actually only about 1 year, the first cabinet went in at the top of the village just before christmas last year and went active in April)
I've not noticed any manifolds go in round us - but that doesn't mean they haven't though.
GunSmoke

It's taken many years for me to finally get a decent broadband.
I remember the early days of ADSL and being 6.8km from my local exchange. The line was very unstable, but still a big improvement on a 56k modem. We lived closer to another exchange but were routed to a bigger exchange. After pestering away for weeks at the provisioning team, they eventually put in a new line routed to the closer exchange (something BT never normally do, even today.). The speeds increased 4-5x overnight.
I feel sorry for the people on the same exchange as me, but too far out or "not cost effective" as BT put it for fibre. My fibre install guy was telling me some wealthy London guy bought a local house in the countryside (and middle of nowhere)  recently. When buying the house, he asked about the broadband speeds and the guy selling said they get really fast broadband. He bought the place and then found out he lives just over 2km from his FTTC enabled cabinet and can barely get 700k. He was on Virgin Media's 100mb service in London. BT have been out there weekly to see if they can do anything but short of moving his house, there is little that can be done.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

Quote from: AndyH
I know there is a new estate in Northampton which is going to be FTTP only with no copper. I suppose this makes economic sense to do it now rather in the years to come and the housing companies will probably contribute towards the costs.

Telephones on fibre to the premises? That's a very interesting technical problem to the householder and will either add to their electricity bill or have no phone during power cuts.
gunsmoke
Grafter
Posts: 71
Registered: 02-05-2012

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

Quote
Telephones on fibre to the premises? That's a very interesting technical problem to the householder and will either add to their electricity bill or have no phone during power cuts.

The pictures I've seen from a neighbouring exchange that is also FTTP showed the ONT modem thing being powered through a battery pack, just so that there was power during a power cut.  It ment there were 3 boxes - the ONT modem thing, the battery backup pack and the wall wart, before you get to routers
might be able to see it here:
http://www.cambourneforum.net/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=3004&start=1230
GunSmoke
jim:green quote fixed mod:end
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

I put a pic on my ONT on another forum 
The battery backup is destined to kick in if there is a power outage (would be a problem if you couldn't make 999 calls in an emergency!). The next version of the ONT will have the power backup built in as a lot of customers have moaned about the ONT+backup being too bulky.
An engineer needs to come out and put a new faceplate on the existing NT5E master socket in order for it to work over fibre. Not sure if PN even offer this at the moment.
joncooper
Grafter
Posts: 314
Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Finding out what Openreach are going to do

Quote from: AndyH
I'm surprised though that BT would offer FTTP in an area where there is no ducting in place already. The cost of digging up and putting it in is fairly costly.

I'm concerned about this - I have been told my CAB is to be FTTP, my current line is suspended from a pole about 3 gardens away
do OR do suspended fibre installations or will they have to dig up the road?
(I know there is underground cabling to about 10 houses away from me, but I suspect it's a different CAB, there are 3x for this postcode)