Saturday, 29 October 2016

Superfast broadband - latest news


Status update on additional broadband coverage - 19th October 2016

'We had expected to be in receipt of a latest set of proposals from BT, to cover some additional work that they were 'modelling'. Upon receipt, we will analyse what levels of further broadband coverage we might expect to achieve and how this might look from a value for money perspective.'

Update - 'We had expected to be in receipt of a latest set of proposals from BT, to cover some additional work that they were 'modelling'. Upon receipt, we will analyse what levels of further broadband coverage we might expect to achieve and how this might look from a value for money perspective.

We are conscious that we had communicated to a number of people who had been in contact,  that we were waiting for this data and were expecting it on 12th October at the latest.

Unfortunately, BT still hasn't delivered the proposals and we are unable to analyse what is on offer. It is hoped that they can remedy this position quickly and we can continue to examine how we can further extend broadband across the county.

Please accept our apologies for the ongoing delay.'

Project Update - week ending 28th October 2016

'Metheringham 3/2 (Nocton) - Still having issues - we are chasing this to remedy asap.'

Update - 'Issues have been rectified, services should now be available' (see Comments to this blog).

Change Request 22 - Nocton

I am now pleased to report that BT Openreach have completed the work to insert new copper cables between pole DP108 (Main Street) and the new Cabinet 17 (The Green). All consumer lines on that pole were moved over to the new cable yesterday, meaning they are no longer connected to Cabinet 3.

As BT Group has not yet officially signed off the Change Request 22, I must thank two people in particular, Ian McEwan (Senior Project Manager, BDUK / SEP Lincolnshire & Rutland at BT Openreach) and Steve Brookes (OnLincolnshire at Lincolnshire County Council), who have taken a pragmatic approach in solving our 'problem'.  Ian and Steve have gone out on a limb to make sure the work is completed, due to the lengthy delay experienced in obtaining the relevant permissions.

This is a great outcome for those residents of Main Street who wouldn't have otherwise been able to upgrade to superfast broadband, despite a fibre cabinet being literally on their doorstep.

Please note the records still require an update to reflect the alterations; it will take a couple of weeks or so for ISPs to be advised a fibre service is now available for these DP108 consumer lines. When finalised, customers will then be able to apply for an upgrade to BT Infinity, if they so wish.

I have been persistent getting these 'legacy lines' sorted under the BDUK Project, because once the fibre infrastructure is in place, BT are prevented from re-routing consumer lines from one cabinet to another. There is no actual mechanism in place whereby a consumer can request such a transfer.

OFCOM has demanded there are rules in place, called 'Equivalence', which are aimed at stopping BT altering the infrastructure to the financial benefit of their own customers and not their competitors.

Finally, I have yet to receive feedback from those residents who were previously connected via Pillar 3/2 (Post Office) and are now routed to Cabinet 17, with any successes in upgrading to fibre broadband. If you have managed to order BT Infinity from your ISP and are now receiving superfast broadband, please do let me know via the Comments section in my blog. Perhaps you could also let me know the increased speeds [Mbps] you are achieving too, so we can analyse the benefits of the fibre service for the extra costs.

BT sales rocket as EE gives temporary relief to Brexit and regulatory blues

'But telecoms giant remains at deadlock with Ofcom over future of Openreach.'

Want a 330Mbps broadband line from BT? This is how much it will cost

'BT has revealed its initial pilot pricing for broadband.'

UK ISPs now show combined cost of line rental and broadband in ads

The new rules will see ISPs obligated to do the following:
  • Show all-inclusive, upfront, and monthly costs, with no separating out of line rental prices
  • Give greater prominence to the contract length and any post-discount pricing
  • Give greater prominence to upfront costs


  1. I was previously mistaken and actually was on 3/2 and got moved over. I'm connected to 17 and have been for two weeks. Despite the openreach website telling me all that time that I can order fibre I have been checking everyday with both my current provider (Plusnet) and BT themselves but as yet it is unavailable to me. Has anybody else had any joy or is this still stuck in the 'updating records' phase I wonder?

  2. I am on Wellhead Lane, and have been trying to upgrade with Plusnet since openreach website started showing that I can order fibre, but it is not showing on their system.
    They advised me to check on "DSL Checker" website,, which would show if fibre broadband is available on my phone line.

  3. Thanks Andy and Mo for your updates. There seem to be mixed messages currently on this matter.

    On 25th October, Eaton Fallows (Programme Manager, Flexible Resourcing Unit, BT Group) stated: 'Metheringham 17 cabinet was released last week. There is a delay before records are updated and released to ISP's. We allow two weeks for this process to complete'. However, on 26th October Steve Brookes (Lincolnshire Broadband Programme Manager) stated: 'With regards to the comments on Metheringham 17. It was declared 'RFS' on 20th September and the process then allows two weeks before it comes 'CRFS' (available to ISPs). To date, residents still can't order from ISP's'.

    Furthermore, OnLincolnshire stated in their Project Update for week ending 28th October: 'Still having issues - we are chasing this to remedy asap'.

    Yet there was a statement from Ian McEwan (Senior Project Manager - BT Openreach) dated 21st October stating: 'In terms of the wider community served by Metheringham 17; we have had a records issue but this is now resolved, so those customers should now be able to order fibre service'.

    I think we need to demand more information from BT and OnLincolnshire on this.

  4. Just looked on the onlincolnshire website this second and interestingly it now says for week ending 28th October 2016 "Metheringham 3/2 (Nocton) - Issues have been rectified, services should now be available"

  5. Thanks again Andy. I drafted the blog yesterday afternoon ready for publication today, and it seems OnLincolnshire have since updated the entry. It is still showing under the header 'Delayed Cabinets', so I don't understand the implications of this. The bottom line is that people like yourself are checking about a potential upgrade and are being told it is still unavailable. I will also be chasing an upgrade in a couple of weeks (to allow time for our records to be updated) and will see what sort of response I get then. I have checked via dslchecker and it is still showing I am connected to Cabinet 3. This is clearly incorrect as I categorically know I have had my line moved over to Cabinet 17 yesterday.

  6. RFS - 'ready for service': BT's best guess as to when the cabinet should be in service.
    CRFS - 'customer ready for service': when broadband products can be purchased by the customer.
    [Interpretation obtained from various broadband forums]

    A useful glossary for BT Openreach:

  7. Lifted from Openreach website this morning - Sat 29th Oct

    "Great news, you can order a fibre service. Check with one of these service providers to see if they're offering fibre in your area".
    Below that there is a selection button to choose your preferred supplier which returns the answer "not available"

    Make no mistake Openreach still have issues with Nocton 17. ISPs should normally have had this by now. Earlier in the week the geographical map showed the new cabinet position flagged and ready and now its vanished. Still shown on the map, in the bottom right hand corner, it states "BETA IN TESTING" which in comms terms usually means still under software test. I suspect they may still have software issues, either in Metheringham exchange kit or the Fibre Cabinet kit. It might also be the fibre. Records also involve not just the routing of each line but the actual fibre itself as well as collating fibre losses on route (OTDR results) and remote checks. Equipment failure in Cab 17 - the copper connections - was also identified last month as faulty (new type) Installation Displacement Connectors (IDCs) which fortunately has now been remedied.

    Note also from the moment the ISPs are given the green light and you place an order it will then take ANOTHER 2 weeks to actually process and get your fibre service. There will also be an Openreach queue for an engineer to connect through the cabinet. Once you have Superfast expect to see your speed to vary over the first couple of weeks and even disconnects but this is normal.

    Still waiting - If its ready by Monday 31st Oct expect earliest middle end November for orders to be completed by ISPs depending on the queue. Probably a record in terms of the timescale for Openreach to deliver a not to difficult Broadband Fibre Enabled village. Sods law.

    Mick Middleton

  8. Cheers Mick... and yet another waiting game begins...

  9. Can anyone advise if all Nocton lines are now on Cab 17?? As I am on Cab 3 but live on Steamer Point Rd?

  10. Hi Jim. Thanks for your comment. I've not been able to obtain an answer to this question. BT will not release this information due to competition from other providers and confidentiality. However, I would be quite surprised to find you were directly connected to Cab 3 (nr Dunston). It is more likely your line will have been connected to Pillar 3/2 (Post Office), which is now Cab 17. A number properties on the old RAF camp just show 'Metheringham Exchange' on the BT Broadband Availability Checker. However, I do know of someone on Fayid Lane and that line is now showing Cab 17. Regards.

    1. Thinking more about your question - the specific answer is 'No'. Not all lines are via Cabinet 17. I believe many of the new Persimmon Homes and Sowerby Homes are connected to Cab 12 (nr Manor Court), the older properties in Nocton (including the old RAF houses) were (I believe) connected to Pillar 3/2, now Cab 17. There were a few properties in Main Street (12/13 in total) which we do know were attached to Cab 3 (nr Dunston) - these have now been re-routed to Cab 17. When I say I've not been able to obtain that data, what I mean is that BT will not release a summary of all properties in Nocton. If you have access to everybody's telephone number, you could test each one individually via the BT Broadband Availability Checker to reveal the relevant cabinet details... but not very practical! Hope this explains things in more detail.

  11. Fortunately BT can't give any detailed customer routings mainly due to the security of the customers network.

    However the Openreach checker, not the BT checker, will give Jim and others information on whether they are routed via Cab 17. Suggest they cut and paste the link below into their search engine

    Then enter their phone number or postcode, press search and under Fibre Journey they will see a number of box schematics. If the last box is coloured purple and states accepting orders they should see in the comments attached to the box that they are routed on Cab 17. If they don't get any of this then they are not on Cab 17.

    Hope this helps

    1. Thanks again Mick... enjoy the rest of your weekend. We will see what, if anything, unfolds next week.

  12. I decided to email Steve Brookes yesterday about the latest problem with the release of Cab 17:

    "Hi Steve,
    Just to inform you, the sorry saga for Nocton seems to be continuing I’m afraid. I see your Project Update for week ending 28th October indicated the ISPs might accept orders: 'Issues have been rectified, services should now be available'. However, as you can see from the various comments from residents in my last blog update... clearly this is not the case.

    The BT Openreach 'When can I get fibre' tool is showing Cabinet 17 to be still under Beta Testing. I have also tried testing various telephone numbers via this tool, relating to lines known to connect to Cab 17, all with the same outcome. I did note your update was still displayed under ‘Delayed Cabinets’, rather than ‘Completed Cabinet List’. Please will you be so kind to make further enquiries and if there is an ongoing delay, perhaps you could give the reasons.

    Kind regards"

    However, there is rather better news for the properties on Main Street, connected via pole DP108. The amendment to their records seems to have been completed. The BT Broadband Availability Checker: clearly shows these consumer lines as now being connected to Cabinet 17 and no longer linked to Cabinet 3.

    If/when I get a reply from Steve, I will publish in the blog.


  13. I've still no joy on ordering so whatever issues they are having are evidently ongoing no matter what they are saying to the contrary!

  14. Steve has made further enquiries and the details are shown below:

    "Good Morning Geoff,

    I have spoken with Openreach and the ongoing delay is a result of what they term 'Live to Live' changeover. In other words, they are changing circuits on a cabinet that has already been upgraded (Metheringham 3). In order to effect the necessary work, they have to work with all the ISPs to ensure that downtime is agreed.

    They are in the process of sorting this out and we should see a result shortly. As soon as I get the estimated completion I will let you know. Openreach has assured me that this is getting the necessary priority.



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