Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Superfast broadband - curiouser and curiouser

Alice in Wonderland

“Have I gone mad? I'm afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are.” [Lewis Carroll]

You will first need to read my query to OnLincolnshire that was in my email of 11th October 2016 - you may also find the extra information useful too, in the comments to 'Superfast broadband - now live'.

We now have BT's official reply... and whilst it is clearly written in English, I'm damned if I can interpret what it means, hence I have sought further clarification:

Sent: 17 October 2016 15:50
To: Geoff Hall
Subject: Nocton Superfast Broadband

Good afternoon Mr Hall.

With reference to your enquiry to the onLincolnshire Team with regard to the delivery of fibre broadband into the community of Nocton.

The proposals to deliver fibre broadband to Nocton are part of a combined solution to provide fibre broadband to even more premises within Lincolnshire.

We have completed the modelling of the solution and will be presenting this to the onLincolnshire team within the next two weeks. Detailed planning and surveys for the first phase of the solution will commence in July 2017, at this stage the exact timing for each of the structures and hence the relevant postcodes is not yet decided.

We are fully aware of the priorities the onLincolnshire team have placed on getting fibre broadband to the remainder of the residents in Nocton, once we have agreement to proceed with our proposals we will endeavour to place the delivery of services to Nocton as early in the programme as possible.

I will update you further when I have more details.

Eaton Fallows | Programme Manager | Flexible Resourcing Unit | BT Group | Tel: | Mob: 07843294682 | Fax: | E: |

This is how I have responded:

From: Geoff Hall
Sent: 17 October 2016 17:21
Subject: RE: Nocton Superfast Broadband
Importance: High

Hi Eaton,

Thank you for your email, but please forgive me when I say your response does not really give the community a great deal of clarity. It is not exactly clear from your email which aspect of the service you are referring to here.

I am left with the following questions:
  1. With the new fibre cabinet [Metheringham 17] now ‘live’ and subject to ‘beta’ testing, I would like to know when consumers will be able to contact their ISP’s for the upgraded service and know they will be offered a fibre solution?
  2. However, if there is a problem with the records that is delaying matters, please will you say so and let us know a target date when this aspect might be sorted out?
  3. With specific regard to the Change Request 22 which refers to the remaining ‘legacy lines’ in Nocton that are routed directly from Metheringham Cabinet 3, are you now saying this work will definitely be carried out, so that these consumers will also be able to have access to fibre in the not too distant future?
It’s just that the terminology you have used i.e. ‘modelling of the solution’ and detailed planning and surveys’, would seem to indicate new work, not the work that has already been completed to install the new fibre cabinet 17!

It also seems to suggest it will push this additional work into Phase 3 of the BDUK Project for Lincolnshire.

Perhaps you would be so kind to clarify.

Kind regards,
Geoff Hall

From: Stephen Brookes
Sent: 18 October 2016 08:42
To: Geoff Hall
Subject: RE: Nocton Superfast Broadband

Good Morning Geoff,

Thanks very much for taking time to call me yesterday.

Please accept my apologies for the ongoing confusion surrounding Nocton. I am chasing them for specific information re. when residents can order services and when we will see the sign off of CR22.

I will update you as soon as I get something.


Steve Brookes
Lincolnshire Broadband Programme Manager
Tel. 01522 552450
Mob. 07825 043978

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  1. Hi Geoff

    The email from Openreach is clearly confusing, badly worded and wrong.

    Completing the "modelling of the solution" infers to me a desktop solution which may give a rough cost element to the legacy lines however its the "detailed planning and survey" which is the vital element and that I suspect is the cause of the delay. It then goes on to say "Detailed planning and surveys for the first phase of the solution will commence in July 2017". What first phase solution in JULY 2017? Its a simple task to do the detailed planning and survey. Plan it and do it Openreach. Legacy lines involve simple last mile copper cut-over at little cost to manpower and equipment (cables etc) and with no fibre involvement when diverting to Cab17.

    Alan Turing, that great mathematician who cracked the enigma code during World War 2, would find the solution in Nocton even more difficult to crack.

    Ridiculous situation


    Mick Middleton

  2. Is it any wonder the UK is in the state it is, if we have this sort of chaos in our telecommunications business - it is a mad, mad world Mick.

  3. Geoff

    Just read Eatons email once again and if I am correct then his statement "Detailed Planning and Surveys for the first phase of the solution will commence in July 2017" refers to Nocton CR22 legacy lines. If so then that puts Nocton in a very long queue which could mean Autumn 2017 before completion. This may be caused by delayed CR22 sign off as well as low prioritisation of any Change Requests over General FTTC roll-out in the County. Hopefully Steve can resolve Openreach intransigence and get this sorted.



  4. Thanks Mick. That has been my thought too after second guessing what it could mean. Once the Cab 17 is fully accessible to ISPs, I am tempted to seek installation of a second telephone line, with a proviso of it being linked to the new Cab. If the engineer says this cannot be done during his site visit, then I will refuse to have the installation and wait for the CR22 resolution, if and when it is completed.

  5. Interestingly, to me at least, was the delivery by post last week of a leaflet advertising a special discount offer of "Superfast BT Infinity AT £8.00 a month (plus standard BT rental £18.99 a month (12 month contract)). Offer ends 27 October". It doesn't say which year but it seems a waste of resources to offer me something I probably won't be able to get for another year if ever!

    1. Hi Jerry. I too had the leaflet... BT clearly love to rub salt in the wound!


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