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March 2021 Broadband Update

Not much change since last month, I’m afraid. Can’t get Openreach to phone or return emails…

We do have a final quote for 49 WW3 exchange properties BUT at a cost of @£145,000 which is at/above the current voucher grants available and would require an extremely high level of interest and some contributions to make it feasible. Previous attempts suggest that a scheme of this size and cost will not succeed. However you are welcome to contact me to discuss if you are interested to take it further.

I do have a cautionary tale or two for those which are supposedly able to now connect to FTTP or might be able to in the future. Even after infrastructure has been built things are not straightforward!

We had to change our provider to get FTTP but Openreach failed to connect our property because they turned up without the required equipment, even though previous survey work had been carried out and reminders sent. However BT still took over our telephone line and therefore cut us off from our existing supplier and our broadband service. It took us MANY phonecalls and 2 weeks to get reconnected to FTTC and with no effective mobile signal it was rather tricky in Lockdown working, studying etc from home. One teenager moved out the tent and borrowed a little signal from the neighbours! FTTP connection date is still unknown – perhaps June.

In the meantime another neighbour has had at least 3 no show engineer visits and no FTTP in sight, one also had their landline cut (although FTTP had been connected so at least they had some communication options) and another household are struggling to get their provider to recognise that FTTP is now available to connect and so can’t order a service.

Openreach, in theory, will not be able to collect our voucher monies,@£5,000 until we are connected but there is also a ‘disconnect’ between finance and providers so this seems to be overlooked.

I was also amazed to be contacted not only by other localish community leaders, but now one from North London in need of support and advice.

Currently a little fed up with Openreach and BT although we seem to be enjoying a free FTTC broadband, and perhaps telephone, service! There are now a few more properties in the parish with FTTP so a little progress has been made.

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This month’s real life moment of socially distanced email lockdown laughter…..

After a few weeks of exchanging emails on the topic of FTTP, or lack of, this is one I received on Friday afternoon from our neighbour – you have to laugh or cry!

Openreach arrived a few hours ago without warning and asked to leave a digger and trunking here ready to start Monday. I was of course delighted and showed them where to place the stuff. I took a quick picture on my iPhone of them unloading to send to Ursula as this was very encouraging news for both of us. 15 minutes later I looked again and they cleared off taking everything with them without a word.…

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