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FTTP Installation Saga / Rant

Posts: 7
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎10-03-2023

FTTP Installation Saga / Rant

Apologies if this is mostly a rant.

I ordered FTTP when it first became available in our street, which was 2nd January 2023.

Within a couple of days, two chaps from OpenReach came to survey the installation & decided we'd need new ducting installing under our driveway as the existing ducting for the copper phone line is small, congested, and the end is basically buried inside a boxed off cabinet in the house.

2 weeks later, the OR Civils team came and did a lovely job of pulling up the block paving, and laying a new duct.

Unfortunately, at the time, they could not rod all the way down the street, despite trying very hard, so they had to leave it 'un-roped' and raised a report to allow the blockage in the street between my house & the junction box to be cleared.


Fast forward 2 more weeks, and I get given an installation date.  I checked with PlusNet and they confirmed that OR were happy the blockage had been cleared and the rest of the install could go ahead.


But - still no sign of anything in my new ducting (no fibre to the external wall, no blue rope).

So about 2 weeks ago, I raised my concerns, first with PlusNet who messaged OR.  OR replied to say 'all external work completed'.  So I said "no, it isn't - here's a photo of the empty duct !".  OR persisted in saying that all external work was done, and only the internal appointment was needed.


My neighbours (opposite side of the road) were then having their FTTP installed last week, so I asked the OR engineer whether he thought mine would be okay.  He thought it curious, as he said if they'd unblocked the blockage in the street, they'd only know that because they would have had to rod it, and if they'd done that, they'd have roped it also.  So no rope made him suspicious the blockage in the duct hadn't been cleared.

He was kind enough to even try to rod it himself at the time, but couldn't get through.

So he took the OGEA number and raised an A55 to arrange for it to be cleared.


I spoke to PlusNet again, who spoke to OR, who confirmed 'everything was okay for the appointment on 10th March'.



Can you see where this is going yet ?


So, this morning, another really helpful OR engineer comes (this time, officially for me), and immediately looks puzzled as he says "My system says this is just the internal appointment, and your external work is all complete, but there's no fibre in your duct !"  I explain the saga to him, and he sighs - and says "this is happening a lot !"


Again, he tries to rod the new ducting, but can't get through, even to where the new duct the civils team laid under my driveway joins the main duct in the street.


He thinks that the joint is probably not clear, as well as the blockage in the duct in the road that the civils team identified.  So, now two blockages ! <sigh>


He's raising another A55 & has promised to report this to the local manager (though he also said that he noted it was already at a 'level 2 escalation').  The chap couldn't have been better or more apologetic.  He tried for ages, but nothing was going through.


The only saving grace (as I had to take leave today for the 'internal appointment') is that he has kindly done all of the internal work, and fitted the outside box for me - so apparently once the civils team clear the blockages & rope the duct, he or one of his colleagues can just come back any time & pull the external fibre through and join it.


But my sheer frustration is the fact that OR themselves identified the blockage, reported it internally, apparently cleared it (but this obviously didn't happen, as if they had, they'd have roped the duct), and then spent 2 weeks stating that the customer must be wrong as "all external work complete" despite me sending PlusNet photos of empty ducting & an empty wall, which they forwarded on to OR !  Even when their own engineer last week raises an issue, still nothing happens.


I'm just super grateful that today wasn't a total waste & that the internal work is now complete - I have a lovely ONT mounted on the wall, with a sad red PON light - but at least it's ready to go when (IF?) the fibre is ever able to be brought through the ducting !



Phew - rant over - thanks for listening.


Anyone been in the same situation ?  It's 9 weeks since I ordered, and 7 weeks since the civils team dug up the driveway and laid the new duct, before identifying the blockage in the street.  I'm assuming a few more weeks now as presumably they'll need to dig up the street in two places (the original blockage, and outside my house where the ducting they recently laid joins the main duct, and can't be rodded ?)


Thanks in advance.

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Posts: 7
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎10-03-2023

Re: FTTP Installation Saga / Rant

Should add - no issue with PlusNet here - they've been great & really helpful on the phone.  They seemed to fully understand the issue.

And no issue with Openreach engineers - who all seem amazing and super helpful.

This is clearly an issue with the OR systems & the inflexibility / disbelief they seem to have, even at 'second level of escalation' (whatever that means ?)


But I should say a big thanks to PlusNet who have really been trying to sort this out !!

It's just painful when it's taken so long because "the system says it's all sorted" despite overwhemling evidence to the contrary (photos/videos/etc !) Smiley

Posts: 16,977
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Registered: ‎24-02-2012

Re: FTTP Installation Saga / Rant

That's Openreach's 'system' for you, unfortunately.

Posts: 7
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎10-03-2023

Re: FTTP Installation Saga / Rant

Yes, I'm beginning to realise that.

The crazy thing is that the OR engineer who came today (really nice chap) works with, and is friends with, the OR engineer who raised the issue last week (also a really nice chap), when doing my neighbours installation.  He said his mate mentioned this exact job to him last week !

It's beyond frustrating, and they echoed that.  He said it happens commonly, and many customers get quite angry with the engineers as a result.


I'd love to make a complaint in some way if I could, but of course I'm not OR's customer, I'm PlusNet's customer - and they've been fab.  I also wouldn't want to complain about the OR engineers in any way, as they've been great too !  And ultimately I suspect it would be pointless anyway.


But - I do feel better for ranting here - so thanks for listening Smiley Smiley hehe

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Re: FTTP Installation Saga / Rant

Moderators Note

This topic has been moved from Full Fibre to My Order

Customer / Moderator
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Re: FTTP Installation Saga / Rant


There is a direct route to BT Openreach ... you could use this form to report of your delight of the good engineer service received in the face of the rest of the organisation totally letting down the good guys ... Thank an engineer (

Depending on how you bend the light, there is a direct complaints channel - see Complaints policy | Openreach "health and safety concerns, employee behaviour, personal injury, damage to your property, quality of workmanship, wayleaves or planned movement of Openreach equipment"

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.