Sunday, 11 December 2016

Parish Council - next meeting

December meeting

The next Parish Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 13th December at 7.00pm.

This is the Agenda for the meeting.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Conservatives win

Conservatives win Sleaford by-election

'The turnout for the by-election was 37.1% according to North Kesteven District Council, down from 70.2% at the general election last year.'

'I will be a strong voice for Lincolnshire' - Tories win Sleaford and Hykeham by-election

Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election: Dr Caroline Johnson holds seat for Tories as Labour finish fourth

'... an embarrassing night for Labour, who slipped into fourth place.'

Thursday, 8 December 2016

British Telecom - force change

Ofcom to go to European Commission to force change at BT's Openreach

'Ofcom, which put forward its plan for a legally separate Openreach in July, said it was disappointed the former state monopoly had not done enough to address its competition concerns.'

BT ordered to spin off Openreach over competition concerns

'Ofcom says it is going to the European commission to force telecoms group to become separate from its network division.'

Ofcom pushes ahead with legal separation of BT from Openreach

'Ofcom said creating a more independent Openreach, which works "in the interest of all providers, not just BT" was vital for improving broadband and telephone services across Britain.'

BT's broadband divorce - what it means for consumers

'Ofcom has now begun the formal process of forcing a legal split.'

Fibre upgrade cost traps Britain in cyber slow lane

'Britons desperate for faster broadband are unlikely to get it from a plan to separate the country's biggest network from BT (BT.L) unless the industry tackles how to pay up to 25 billion pounds ($76 billion) to upgrade to fibre-optic cables.'

Compensation call as thousands suffer BT broadband delays

More than 25,000 people every week were forced to wait longer than they should for broadband repairs and installations because BT Openreach missed appointments, new figures show.

Open lines to rivals, BT is told: Watchdog orders firm to give access to its telegraph poles and tunnels so competitors can offer fibre optic broadband

'At the moment, around half of UK homes get their telephone and broadband services through a copper 'drop wire' from a telegraph pole in the street. The use of a copper wire for the connection slows down the internet speed that families can get.'

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Superfast broadband - records

BT and BT Openreach

I refer to my last blog about our journey to get superfast broadband supplied to the village.

BT have clearly moved on since this article was published in 2012, however there are still glaring similarities with the problems we have encountered along the way, especially with regard to “an exercise in obfuscation and confusion”.

Fibre Availability

BT Openreach have since updated their 'fibre availability map' on the superfast website to show more detail about fibre cabinets, where an exchange has been enabled. This is aimed at giving users a more accurate view of the current status of the cabinet which serves their property.

Openreach sees this as being one of the ways in which they can help to address the many calls for more information to be released as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. It remains to be seen whether the extra data is enough to silence the operators critics.

The work to commission and enable our fibre cabinet [Metheringham Cabinet 17] is now complete, but until the work by engineers is reflected in the records as 'complete, commissioned and published', it seems some people are unable to order a fibre upgrade. My telephone line is one that is adversely affected by the delay in updating the database records.

I believe in the copper world, the BT records database was called ROSE, but there might be an alternative record system in respect of fibre.

BT Records problem

When I interrogate the BT Openreach DSL Checker with my telephone number, my line is correctly shown as being connected to the new fibre cabinet [Metheringham Cabinet 17], so clearly my telephone line is recorded in the database.

DSL Checker - output for my line

 However, when I request an upgrade to fibre from my ISP (which happens to be BT), I discover the availability of the fibre service has not been notified to them.

BT - my ISP results for my line

It now needs all the relevant systems, both for Openreach (OR) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), to update the records information to reflect what is available on the ground.

This screen seems to suggest my property is located too far away from the cabinet to get superfast broadband. It is incorrect, as the cabinet is less than 50 metres away from our cottage!

BT Openreach fibre check - results for my line

I am aware that the records for other lines routed through Metheringham Cabinet 17 have already been updated, as there are reports from residents who have been successful with their orders for fibre, with connection dates confirmed for December 2016.

My thoughts on this are:
  1. I appreciate that records have to be updated and must contain valid, consistent data, but how long do we need to wait before BT manages to sort out the records mismatch for this cabinet?
  2. Perhaps checking the physical reality will need an engineer scheduled, with a valid job number so the 'system' lets him/her spend time on it, so that records can be updated accordingly?
  3. When I requested an engineers visit from my ISP (BT) to investigate the availability of fibre for my line, I was told because there isn't a fault the call-out would cost £130 - why should I have to pay out for an internal records error that BT seem unable to rectify?
  4. I am now beginning to wonder if there are other lines connected to the new fibre cabinet 17 that are also having the same difficulty with incorrect records, or is this problem just related to the 'legacy' lines that were re-routed from pole DP108?

In view of the extensive problems our community has faced throughout the fibre installation, BT Openreach should investigate and rectify this anomoly as a matter of urgency. It is surely in the interests of BT as a whole to ensure customers can upgrade, not only from a financial point of view, but to meet infrastructure targets too.

Nocton residents were really looking forward to a smooth final chapter in the upgrade for fibre to our village, particularly considering the many difficulties encountered along the way, but it seems like it is going to be fraught right until the end.

This is an historical list of issues faced with Nocton's upgrade to fibre. Please let me know if you have been successful with your upgrade through Cabinet 17, or if you are still encountering difficulties.

Suffice to say, I have raised my own issues with the Fibre Enquiries Team and intend escalating this to the BT Chief Executives if it doesn't get sorted soon.

Mr Gavin Patterson [Chief Executive: BT Group]
Mr Clive Selley [Chief Executive: BT Openreach]