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]


  1. Thanks for the update and whilst you make very clear where/what the problems are it does seem that the individual household has to do much in order to get the upgrade.. This is hardly good customer service. Without your periodic updates I have never received anything directly from BT about the cabinet improvements. I will now make some enquiries. Thanks....

  2. Thanks Vernon. BT Openreach were 'tidying up' fibre cabinet 17 all day yesterday. I have been advised there are three separate records systems. A couple get updated weekly, the other on a three weekly basis. If engineers miss one window, the update rolls over to the next. Openreach seem confident that all customers 'off PCP17' (the fibre cabinet) will be able to order SFBB (superfast broadband) by Xmas. Let me know how you get on. Regards.


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