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My FTTP story - so far

livinginhope
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 24-11-2010

My FTTP story - so far

Its Day 1. The work really consists of two bits. The easiest bit is getting a fibre from outside the house inside, then into the ONT. IMHO this should be the bit done on the day - its about an hours work.
The tricky bit is getting the fibre from the "backbone" - typically in the road somewhere near the premises - to the premises. This requires some serious hardware and physical effort. The hardware being numerous 2.5cm diameter rods that can be pushed through from the backbone location to the premises if you are really lucky - or to a sunken box nearer to the premises. Depending on where that box is, how full it is of other stuff, how deep it is, how full of water it is, how much non-BT stuff is in there...that part of the job is the one that can take hours. Given that the fibre cable is quite delicate and cannot be bent too much or kinked, its quite a job. If I was project managing this job in total I would have the routing of the fibre done from the backbone to the premises by dedicated people well before the day of the fibre installation. The people who do this work have different skills and tools and they would be best utilised as 2 man gangs doing 2 to 4 a day of these. The installer is much more technical, has finer skills and could do 4-6 installs a day if he was just doing the connection work.
As it is, one guy came, ran into problems outside, got help, succeeded in getting the fibre to the house but has been beaten by failing light - so after 7.5 hours he has to finish, the job will continue tomorrow as he already knows the main junction box back at the main road has been mislabelled, so that will have to be sorted out.
I'm perfectly happy about all this as I work from home, this is really just a feedback memo.
20 REPLIES
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: My FTTP story - so far

Hi,
Thanks for the feedback. Getting the fibre from the street to property is definitely proving to be the hardest point. We've had quite a few with similar stories, blocked ducts and bushes in the way. We have trialled a 2 step install with a couple of customers where they do all the external work on 1 day then come back on a second day to do the internal work. This may become more widely used, same with doing pre-site surveys to see what needs to be done or how easy it will be. Hopefully it will get completed tomorrow.
youngsyp
Grafter
Posts: 104
Registered: 01-11-2010

Re: My FTTP story - so far

Interesting post and thanks for sharing. Looking forward to hearing part 2!  Smiley
I'm hoping the engineer who comes out to do mine next week (provisionally) has an easier time as the manhole is literally at the top of my drive. And the distance between the manhole and the phone connection cabinet on/ in my wall is around 12 metres or so. Last time I saw the interior of the manhole, it was pretty clean and tidy too, apart from 6" of water in the bottom.
Fingers crossed I guess.
Paul
hmarshy
Grafter
Posts: 135
Registered: 09-08-2010

Re: My FTTP story - so far

Hi
I am one of the 2 day installation triallists that Dave mentioned above and as I stated in my post:
http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,91047.0.html
I'm really glad I went for the 2 day installation.
The BT footway box is at the end of my drive and when the engineer had a quick look he thought the job was going to be a breeze. Then it all went wrong! The engineer had to construct a frame inside the box to support the optical fibre connection which took a lot of time. There were also three of the old bulky TV cable network connectors which the engineer had to manoeuvre and the obligatory pool of water in the bottom!
Finally he struggled to push the fibre through because he couldn't see my house from the access point. He told me he had to continually take measurements along the street to check his progress - definitely sounds like a two man job to me.
Cheers
Howard

livinginhope
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 24-11-2010

Re: My FTTP story - so far

Day 2 was a bit of a let-down.  Nothing all morning so I got in touch with Mr T (Dave) and he managed to chivvy along BT/Openreach and they came to the house at 15.45. They put a light source on the fibre cable and went off to sort out the splitter box - shining a light down the cable means that they can quickly see at the splitter box which of the fibres is from my house. OK so back they came, switched on the ONT and then..... Apparently the job "had to be done by phone" as the normal way - signing on to a laptop , entering the serial number and ensuring the connection was ok to the internet. There was something wrong with the way this job was set up which meant that they had to call someone , give the serial number and wait for the connection to be made. Good news was that the light at the left end of the ONT was flashing - which meant that the fibre connection was through to the exchange.
Anyway. It didnt work, they left at 16.45 and said that "people were working on it in the systems" and there was nothing more to be done at or near my house. So off they went. That was Friday. Its Monday and its 8.57 now...still flashing, not solid, so not connected yet. Quite disappointed, so I'm going to call plusnet now and get a message through to Dave T.
More later.
livinginhope
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 24-11-2010

Re: My FTTP story - so far

The thing that irritates is that the only way to "chase" whats happening is via Plusnet - hoping that Dave is in and can help (he isnt in yet) . There is no reference or BT phone number I can call to find out whats happening. It would be far more satisfactory if a person could check status and next action more directly, rather than 08451400200. Now, plusnest are good, very communicative, but for fibre installs its a bit out of the standard comfort zone - or at least thats what I perceive. So, I'm waiting for Dave and hope a) he will be in today and b) can get BT to get my connection working. So its day 3, (not counting the weekend) lets hope I can report more positively on day 4.
livinginhope
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 24-11-2010

Re: My FTTP story - so far

I wont be updating until Wednesday - day 5 - as BT thinks that either the ONT is faulty or not configured properly - next available slot is Wednesday. Oh well, ho hum.
youngsyp
Grafter
Posts: 104
Registered: 01-11-2010

Re: My FTTP story - so far

Bad luck mate. Hopefully they'll get it sorted on/ by Wendesday for you.
I spoke to soon re my install too. Apparently, Openreach need to dig up the road now so, it's looking doubtful for now for the 20th.  Sad
Keep us updated.  Smiley
Paul
mudstuff
Grafter
Posts: 44
Registered: 17-08-2010

Re: My FTTP story - so far

Thanks for sharing, hope you get it sorted. Waiting for mine to be done today, I really had expected them to have arrived by now (arrival is 08:00-13:00, getting anxious now) since it seems clear that most installs take all day and they've probably only got 4 hours of good light left today.........
livinginhope
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 24-11-2010

Re: My FTTP story - so far

Good luck, youngsyp and mustuff.
One thing the 1st Openreach guy said is that on average only 3 installs out of 10 go smoothly in his experience - so this really is a trial situation. I am trying not to get too wound up about this - after all this is a trial and we are not paying for it - but still, getting superfast internet is something worth waiting for, I'm sure!
youngsyp
Grafter
Posts: 104
Registered: 01-11-2010

Re: My FTTP story - so far

Quote from: livinginhope
I am trying not to get too wound up about this - after all this is a trial and we are not paying for it - but still, getting superfast internet is something worth waiting for, I'm sure!
Agreed although, it can be very frustrating.
Fingers crossed we'll all be up and running soon.  Smiley
Paul
jayp
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: 07-09-2010

Re: My FTTP story - so far

Quote from: livinginhope
...
One thing the 1st Openreach guy said is that on average only 3 installs out of 10 go smoothly in his experience - so this really is a trial situation. I am trying not to get too wound up about this - after all this is a trial and we are not paying for it - but still, getting superfast internet is something worth waiting for, I'm sure!

Hi livinginhope
I'm sorry to see the trouble you have had, whilst i cannot speak of others i was connected on the 2 step trial process which is definitely the way forward, once the physical connections were made it only took about 3-5 mins for the ONT to make the connection after the engineer updated the details online using his own systems. The engineer was really good and also left his number for contact just in case if things went wrong.
Yes there is a certain amount of issues associated with the connection, but considering i could not receive even a stable 2MB download speed and i would have been very happy with a stable 10Mb download speed, I am more than pleased. Other than the connection dropping once on a daily basis between 8.00pm and 9.00pm the line has been stable, and i have only had one occasion where i needed to reboot the ONT and it immediately reconnected.
So i hope your issues get resolved as soon as possible.
livinginhope
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 24-11-2010

Re: My FTTP story - so far

Its the end of day 3 with Openreach - day 7 in realtime.
I have had a day where zero progress appears to have been made. I started with a flashing green light - and its still flashing.
A guy came at 0900, being unaware of any of the previous work, thinking he was doing an install from scratch.
He spent time sorting out what he was supposed to do, then spent a bit of time on his laptop, then he spent the whole of the rest of the day either talking to colleagues on the phone, getting advise, waiting for phonebacks, and waiting and waiting. I can only imagine how he must feel.
Mid afternoon another guy came, checked the fibre and went.
My first guy has gone now, saying several people are trying to figure out whats wrong - it could be the plusnett kit at the exchange, or software - he doesnt know. He said some would probably be in touch, or would turn up. He didnt know when.
OK - this is now, sorry to say, pretty unacceptable. The lack of communication and support not only to me but apparently to the guys that are trying to fix the problem is frankly awefull. If I had been a paying customer I would be climbing the walls by now. I simply do not know what is happening or when it will happen - and even more scary I dont think BT knows either. I have left a message for Dave T to call me. I dont know where we go from here.
youngsyp
Grafter
Posts: 104
Registered: 01-11-2010

Re: My FTTP story - so far

Quote from: livinginhope
A guy came at 0900, being unaware of any of the previous work, thinking he was doing an install from scratch.
He spent time sorting out what he was supposed to do, then spent a bit of time on his laptop, then he spent the whole of the rest of the day either talking to colleagues on the phone, getting advise, waiting for phonebacks, and waiting and waiting. I can only imagine how he must feel.
He said some would probably be in touch, or would turn up. He didnt know when.
And BT call themselves a communications company? How ironic!!
I really feel for you mate, best of luck with getting it sorted soon.
Paul
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,411
Thanks: 4
Registered: 29-01-2009

Re: My FTTP story - so far

Quote from: livinginhope
and even more scary I dont think BT knows either.

Remember that the trial isn't only for the technology - it is also for the admin & procedures that go on behind the scenes, including ordering & installation. Its as much to help BT understand how to roll-out their work - and work out how to deal with the difficult cases or to identify anything they've forgotten.
But I understand the frustration. Has this knocked out your existing broadband, or is that still in place?
Plusnet Customer
Using FTTC since 2011. Currently on 80/20 Unlimited Fibre Extra.