Sunday, 18 November 2012

Overall Exchange Status


This is the latest news from BT. To track "history" please see the December 2011 thread. As previously advised all properties in the Capel exchange area will be served by either:

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

* Approximately 160Mbps
* Most properties in the exchange area will get FTTP
* Only properties in Capel and Beare Green will get FTTP

Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)

* Performance will depend on length of copper run from cabinet to property
Some remote properties (about 40) will see little or no uplift
Some remote properties (about 80) will see uplift (up to 14.9Mbps) but will not get Infinity (15Mbps+)
* Some properties in Capel and Beare Green will get FTTC
* Areas served by FTTC include:
** North Capel and parts of Beare Green - live
** North Ockley - live
** Leith Hill (from Anstie Lane) – delayed pending wayleaves - now resolved
** Leith Hill (from additional cabinet in central Coldharbour) – planned

Deployment Issues

The vast majority of fibre feeding the FTTC cabinets and "PON Area" splitters has been laid.

Fibre has been installed for the new Anstie Lane cabinet.  When this cabinet is commissioned most properties connected to it will see an immediate uplift - and those "within range" will be able to get Infinity (15Mbps+). Deployment of the additional cabinet in central Coldharbour has been approved by BT and this is working its way through engineering planning processes. Commissioning of the additional cabinet is not dependent on commissioning of the Anstie Lane cabinet. Some "re-parenting" of copper runs on Leith Hill will take place to exploit the additional cabinet.

FTTP will be delivered using a Passive Optical Network (PON) - see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_optical_network.

This architecture uses optical splitters to reduce the number of fibres required (c.f. an Active Optical Network) and does not require electrical power. The FTTP network will be commissioned “PON area by PON Area”  - where a PON area is equivalent to an area served by a cabinet.

Timescales

BT anticipates (subject to the usual "Health Warnings"):
  1. The first "PON Area" in the Capel exchange to be commissioned will be in the Markham Road area hopefully within the next three weeks or so – there are ducts that need de-silting and the timescales assume that BT can get access and that it goes well. There are 5 PON Areas in total and these will be commissioned sequentially. No timescales WRT subsequent PON Areas are available at present.
  2. BT expects that the Anstie Lane cabinet should be commissioned before the end of the year.
  3. The central Coldharbour cabinet should be commissioned during Q1 2013 – any copper “re-parenting” should take place concurrently. 
BT Speedchecker

The BT speed checker is at:

www.productsandservices.bt.com/consumerProducts/displayTopic.do?topicId=25633.

BT tells me "The speed checker will only provide data on those premises it knows are connected to appropriate cabinets / PON areas  – until the cabinet / PON area has a firm release date, or has been released, no new speeds will show". I think the problem here is that the two Leith Hill FTTC cabinets and all of the PON Areas do not yet have firm release dates in the speed checker database. I have pointed out to BT that its speed checker is "less than helpful".

205 comments:

  1. The following e-mail was sent to Coldharbour residents - consistent with the above:

    If you have been following the "superfast broadband" plot you will know that the new cabinet in Anstie Lane had been held up pending "wayleaves" - i.e. permissions from landowner(s) to site equipment on and / or run cables across their land. I bring you the good news that required wayleaves (WRT equipment and cabling - both telecomms and power) are now in hand with both BT and EDF. I have it on good authority from BT that they will now press on with the installation of the Anstie Lane cabinet without delay - with a target of completing the installation in the next 2-3 weeks. The new cabinet cannot be commissioned without a power supply - so BT must do its work first and then engage EDF.


    To cut to the chase, commissioning should take place before the end of the year if the power supply provisioning is straightforward. Many properties "within range" of the new cabinet will immediately get "BT Infinity" (i.e. 15Mbps+). Many properties "outside range" of the new cabinet will immediately see some uplift - but not quite "BT Infinity". By way of example I (central Coldharbour - next door to the Plough) expect to see an increase from 0.5Mbps to 5.8Mbps.


    As you may know BT agreed (summer-time) to install an additional cabinet in central Coldharbour and run fibre all the way to that - basically to meet the high expectation that it had set WRT coverage and performance. There are no associated "wayleave" issues but this cabinet installation was subject to a statutory consultation process given that it is to be located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I am also pleased to advise that this process has been completed and that BT's current estimate is that the new cabinet will be commissioned during Q1 2013. Again using my property as an example I would see a further jump from 5.8Mbps to well beyond Infinity!


    Both the Anstie Lane and additional central Coldharbour cabinets are "fibre to the cabinet and copper from the cabinet to the property" (FTTC). BT will also be doing some "re-parenting" (simplistically re-routing copper to the closest fibre enabled cabinet) to exploit the new infrastructure.


    Please do bear in mind that this information (from BT) has been provided in good faith and that there are always "unknowns" in complex engineering projects. The laws of physics also apply (e.g. performance degradation over copper) and there will be about 120 properties (out of about 1,750) in the Capel exchange area that may see (some quite decent) improvement but won't get 15Mbps+. This is exactly in line with BT's original commitment.

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  2. Simon,
    Do you know if it is possible to commission cabinets.
    If I wanted to pay for an additional cabinet at Broome Hall for example.

    Do you have an idea of how much this might cost?
    Is it even possible?
    Who could I contact to find out?

    Andrew

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  3. @ Andrew Carne

    Can you please e-mail me at SIMONdotLea @ TheVirtualVillage dot Com?

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  4. I find it extremley surprising that BT can define "Infinity" as being 15Mbps or more connection speed given that my existing sync rate under ADSL2+ (Vivaciti Surfwise using TalkTalk's LLU equipment in the Capel exchange) has synced as high as 19Mbps at times and download speeds from a www.speedtest.net test have been as high as 16Mbps. How can BT Infinity's minimum defined Infinity speed (which presumably comes down to them only offering the more expensive Infinity and not standard copper ADSL ubscription prices if a customer line is forecast to connect at over 16Mbps) actually be slower than the maximum possible speed under ADSL2+? Surely if BT wished to avoid people feeling hard done by they would not define a connection as being Infinity unless it is at 30Mbps or more.

    Speed fall off rates with distance as you move away from the cabinet for FTTC enabled homes are much faster than the old fall off rates with copper as you move away from the exchange. For instance my mother's house in Bucks has just been enabled at her local cabinet. The house next to the Cabinet (which will presumably still have a final copper wire to the house even though it will only be about 60 feet long) has a BT Speechecker forecast 80Mbps speed but my mother's house (only 0.2 miles or 400 yards from the cabinet) is forecast for 38Mbps. By contrast my flat in Grenehurst Park is roughly about 0.65 miles from the Laundry Way exchange but under ADSLMax I synced at 7.5Mbps or even occasionally at the full 8.128Mbps and then with ADSL2+ this became a sync rate between 16Mbps and 19Mbps out of a maximum 24Mbps. So clearly the fall off from the maximum speed with distance was greater under ADSL2+ as would be expected.

    BT has really made something of a rod for their own back with the dictionary definition contradicting choice of the marketing term "Infinity" (rather than the much more sensible SuperFastBroadband) for partial or fully fibre provided connections when there clearly is a finite limit on the current speed available even to FTTP connected homes whilst FTTC homes get speeds that are anything but the fastest possible.

    I will be interested to see how they tackle FTTP connections at the various blocks of flats in the exchange area such as here at my flat at Grenehurst Park (where not only the cabling to the flats but also the final copper connections to the houses are all underground over private land - although they may run in ducts part of the way pretty sure there is no duct in to each final master socket in each property but only a cable inside some plastered wall).

    I would have thought providing FTTP to any home where the current phone service arrives underground in terms of the final copper run will in fact turn out to be rather a challenge. Where the current final run is via an overhead copper wire to a terminal block on the outside of a house then upgrading to a fibre cable should be easy. Whilst I suppose BT has thought all this through given the long hold ups so far in the promised delivery date I am not altogether confident of that.

    Realistically I can't see FTTP service arriving before next summer at the earliest at Grenehurst Park (one of the more difficult places to tackle in the FTTP enabled area due to the final cable runs all being underground) although if its going to be at 160Mbps that could be a strong marketing feature when/if I put my property up for sale. I doubt I will be subscribing myself due to the 12 or 18 month minimum contractual period and the fact that I might not own another home at all in the UK for a little while after I leave here.

    What is not clear to me is whether within the FTTP enabled area of the exchange BT is automatically replacing all final copper connections to the property with fibre even if the home owner is happy with slower but cheaper copper broadband services or if they only do it home by home for homes that actually place an order for a Fibre product?

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  5. infinity is the BT retail product. nothing to do with Openreach as such.

    Telephone services will still be provided over the old copper wires.

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  6. Any news on the Markham Rd PON area?

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  7. Saw the vans in the street again after a long Christmas / New Year break so hopefully something will be happening soon.

    It's four weeks passed the anticipated Markham Rd PON activation - I can only presume there were de-silting problems and hope there aren't further obstacles or unforeseen delays...

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  8. Any news about the commissioning of the Anstie Lane cabinet? No sign of any change in the state of our lines/connection at Broome Hall so far...

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  9. Had a heart attack and then bypass surgery since my last post so I have been off the case for a while. Everything is surely about to happen WRT Fast Capel Broadband from BT. I will take it all up with BT and post here. Nothing will ever satisfy Julian Shersby but I remain convinced that 95% of exchange users will be happy bunnies before too many spring shoots poke through.

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    1. I'm very sorry to hear about your heart attack and hope that you are now slowly recovering. However having had a relative have a heart attack just over a year ago I appreciate that it is a long and slow progress and life is unfortunately never quite the same as before.

      On the issue of delivery of the service the reason at least some people have become slightly impatient is really because of the clearly mistaken strategy of BT's marketing machine in respect of almost all fibre development nationwide of hugely over promising and then heavily under delivering in terms of delivery dates. Of course if we ever one day get connected to 160Mbps or even 300Mbps broadband it will be more than we could have possibly originally expected although I believe that both those service speeds will probably be unaffordable by all but businesses customers or night and day movie watchers for the time being. Infinity 1 speeds of 76Mbps at £20 per month are the last price point that is likely to be affordable for most residents for the time being.

      If BT's general commercial strategy was to always set initially very pessimistic dates and then exceed them then everyone would be much more delighted with progress. I appreciate Capel is new technology and so more difficult than a normal FTTC project but in general BT has failed on delivery of all its initial FTTC cabinet projects on most other exchanges in the South East of England by several quarters and keeps pushing them back at the end of each quarter.

      From the way it looks to me now the main village area may be enabled by mid to late spring but based on a conversation I had with a BT Openreach engineer working in The Street just before xmas for any of us up on the Horsham Road including Grenehurst Park I suspect summer time at the earliest is likely. I still don't see how they will actually deliver FTTP to places like the flats in the mansion house at Grenehurst Park as they would require access to the management company's ducts here and so far they haven't even asked for permission for that. On all the cottages on The Street in the village centre FTTP should be fairly easy to deliver with far fewer obstacles as the wiring is overhead and its simply a question of repacing copper wires to each home with fibre wires.

      If BT had at least put Capel numbers on the normal speed checker estimate system etc rather than just leaving it showing no availability beyond ADSL2+ then I am sure there would have been much less feeling of being left completely in the dark as to progress on delivery.

      Delete
  10. BT says:

    In terms of FTTC, the cabinets in Horsham Rd and Rickwood Park are live and orders are being placed. The cabinet in Anstie Lane is fully built from a network perspective but cannot be progressed until power is connected – we are discussing timescales with your local electricity distribution company. We have agreed the location for the additional DSLAM in Coldharbour and, barring any unforeseen issues, it is scheduled to be stood at the end of January which should mean that service will be available by the end of March.

    The first of the five FTTP PON areas has been built and is being light tested, if successful it will be passed across to be commissioned. The second PON area is also progressing well and should be ready for light testing week within the next week or so.

    Sounds good?

    Simon

    P.S. Julian, please advise.

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  11. Good news Simon, thanks for the updates and hope you are recovering well.

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  12. Thanks Mike! BT explained "light testing":

    The equivalent in a wired network would be continuity checking. Once the fibre network has been built, we need to have a source of light at one end of the network and check that it arrives at every point (e.g. splitter) on the network – i.e. from the exchange to the end of every fibre. We are essentially checking that there are no broken or kinked fibres before we move on to commissioning the network.

    Also sounds good to me.

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  13. Still waiting but hopeful that commissioning is around the corner...

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  14. Me too... I will nag BT again. I'm somewhat disappointed about the apparent lack of progress.

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  15. Further to a regular nag I heard Friday from BT that EDF has agreed to pull forward the date for connecting the power to the "FTTC" cabinet installed in Anstie lane – and that many properties connected to that cabinet should therefore see some sort of improvement by the end of March. BT also told me that the new "FTTC" cabinet planned for central Coldharbour cannot be "stood" where BT had originally intended "due to the presence of other services" and that it is waiting for the "SCC Highways Authority" to agree to a new location - and that if the new location is agreed, BT would have the central Coldharbour cabinet "stood" by late March (with service to connected properties starting early to mid-April).

    Stuart, as parish councillor, has been independently contacted by BT planners about council support for the installation of the central Coldharbour cabinet - which adds credibility to the above.

    It's all a bit later than we had hoped but every day we get closer!

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  16. Also, the first PON Area (i.e. FTTP) in Capel is in commissioning and it should be possible for connected user to place orders in the next couple of weeks.

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  17. Hi Simon, I regularly check the blog to catch the latest update. There are lots of references to PON areas and cabinets on particular roads (Anstie Lane, Markham Road etc). Do you have a list of cabinets and their location? I live near the Beare Green pond which has a green cabinet. Is this one of the 5 FTTP cabinets?

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  18. Hi John,

    Re: "Hi Simon, I regularly check the blog to catch the latest update. There are lots of references to PON areas and cabinets on particular roads (Anstie Lane, Markham Road etc). Do you have a list of cabinets and their location? I live near the Beare Green pond which has a green cabinet. Is this one of the 5 FTTP cabinets?"

    I don't know but I understand why you are asking! There are 9 "cabs" in the exchange. 4 are FTTC (North Capel, North Ockley, Anstie Lane and Central Coldharbour) and the other 5 are FTTP (not actually cabs but "PON Areas"). Only BT has the real info - what "cab" is a phone line connected to.

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  19. John - if it helps, I spoke to a couple of the BT engineers when they were working by the pond, and also when they were at the entrance to Oak Corner (where there's a BT access point to the cable runs).

    On both occasions, they were doing fibre runs; firstly down past the station to the green cabinet by the pond, then on Leith Road up to & beyond Oak Corner, when they confirmed that this would all be FTTP...

    Here's hoping it's all tested & switched on soon!

    Cheers,
    Neil

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  20. Perhaps I can chip in here as well. It will be those connected using fttc who will see a new green cabinet. It contains equipment that converts the light pulses into electrical signals which travel down the normal copper lines into the home.

    FTTP areas will use PONs which are concealed in the undergound pits - so no cabinets. These units are beam splitters where one main fibre is split into many which are then run directly to the home.

    Despite the fact that we have all moaned about the time it is taking it is actually quite an engineering challenge.

    Tim Wombwell

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  21. @Tim - this is exactly as I understand it. FTTC cabs (e.g. the one in Anstie Lane, Leith Hill) contain a "DSLAM" - and this kit requires a power supply. A "PON Area" does not have a visible cabinet as you say.

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  22. Hi

    Just interested to know about roughly when we in Anstiebury Close off of Highland Road will be getting infinity.

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  23. I have to say, despite being suggested otherwise, I am starting to feel that Anstiebury Close may not be receiving fibre.

    Highland Road, as I understand it, has had Infinity as an option for a while now (BT checker suggests 40M), yet Anstiebury Close is still stuck with 2M.

    I fail to see why Highland Road would have Infinity whilst Anstiebury Close wouldn't. I can therefore only assume, that either the BT missed the Close off the database or Anstiebury Close is not going to receive any upgrade (which also wouldn't make sense).

    Any chance of a gentle BT prod?

    Sean

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    1. Hi Sean

      I think you will find that Highland Road is almost certainly using FTTC; this would explain the 40Mb connection rate. It is also a lot quicker and easier fot BT to connect the homes in Highland Road up since the connection to the homes are by the existing copper cables.

      Connection by FTTP is a lot more time consuming as fibre has to be laid to the properties themselves on a house by house basis. BT will only clear the fibre run for connection once the connection to the PON from the exchange has been tested. For Beare Green it is upwards of 1500 households so it is a big job and very time consuming.

      Hope this helps.

      Tim

      Delete
  24. I wish I could give you a definitive answer, Sean - but I can't. I have made it very clear to BT that they have not provided me - or any potential end customer - with suitable "what and when" information.

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  25. I heard from BT today (Friday 22nd March) that the first Capel Exchange PON Area (PON 3) should be "available for orders" from tomorrow. This means that customers in postcodes RH5; 5EH, 5EJ, 5EL, 5EN, 5EP, 5ER, 5JS, 5JT and 5JU should be able to place orders. This is a "fibre to the premises" area (in Capel I think - Markham Park?) so performance should be spectacular. This is a HEADS UP post and please be advised that it may take a few days for the "availability" to flow through to your current ISP. Please note that the work to enable this availability was done by BT Openreach (funded by BT Retail as part of the "Race to Infinity" competition). It's quite possible that even BT Retail call centre operatives may not yet know about this - so be gentle!

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  26. An odd speed increase at my house today (Oak Corner, Beare Green).

    Normally get 3.5 Mb/s, but noticed a particularly fast iTunes download tonight, ran a check and seem to be getting 5.07 Mb/s.

    This is within the parameters of the package I currently pay for, but still unexpected to have a 30%+ speed boost seemingly out of nowhere.

    BT Line checker still saying that I can't get Infinity, even though I watched the cable get pulled through the manhole outside my house. Guess this particular PON hasn't been tested/activated yet. But the speed increase above would suggest that something's going on at the exchange? Perhaps something to do with the switch on for PON3?

    Neil

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  27. Has anyone actually successfully been able to order this yet?

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  28. Heard from PlusNet and they checked with BT Wholesale, fibre will not be available to RH5 (Carterdale Cottages) for the foreseeable time NO orders being taken.

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  29. Tim and Simon,

    Thanks for the reply. I understand the technical differences and complications between FTTC and FTTP. However, the copper for Anstiebury Close is run from Highland Road. All the roads surrounding Anstiebury Close can have 40M Infinity: Highland Road, Leith Road and Woodside Road, yet according to the system Anstiebury Close still can't.

    I also understand how BT are not supplying information for when and where. Yet, we are literally completely surrounded by 40M FTTC properties who could have had this service now for a period of months.

    Even if we have the ability to receive infinity though, this will only show as a possibility once BT adds the information to the database for customer services and the online database.

    I hope now you see why I suggested a gentle prod. Maybe Anstiebury Close could have had infinity as long as the surrounding roads, but possibly the database hasn't been updated to reflect this.

    I still stand by the comment that it seems weird that all of the roads around us can receive Infinity, yet Anstiebury Close apparently does not have this option.

    I would also like to say, that I fully appreciate the entire campaign and am grateful that this is all happening; I wouldn't have gone round in the freezing cold, across snow and ice collecting votes if I wasn't appreciative. I do feel that everyone in the area has been very patient, as there have been long delays. I know BT must get hassled by this constantly and I realise that there have been several issues that have prevented some of the areas from progressing as fast as BT would have liked. It is though, completely frustrating to find all of our surrounding neighbours benefitting from this and still being told we can't receive anything better, when there doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason why this particular road shouldn't be active with the rest of this area.

    Sean

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  30. I live in Anstiebury Close and it is still designated as a "private road" and as the road is brick laid would we have the option if the copper had to come to each household. Surely bt could not carry this work out unless all households were in agreement.

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  31. Fortunately, this isn't a problem. Although Anstiebury Close was never adopted by the council after completion, and yes it is a brick built road, during the build, dedicated piping was laid down for BT, so the road itself doesn't need to be touched; there are access hatches. BT Openreach in fact was checking inside these last summer.

    There is plenty of room inside the pipe such that more cables could be run and BT already have a permanent right of access to the pipe and hatches. Copper is already fed to each house, this is how the current setup works. Fibre would use the same piping.

    Sean

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  32. I think BT has a HUGE problem with the database that drives its speed checker tool @ bt.com - it has often given me duff information. My best guess is that Anstiebury Close residents will be "OK" when Beare Green gets Infinity.

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  33. Just for everyone's awareness, TalkTalk have put their sales people in the area to 'cold call' on households, asking (oddly) if people were aware of the exchange upgrade, and whether we were 'still paying for broadband?'. When I engaged the guy who knocked on my door (Beare Green) this evening, and told him that I was indeed paying BT for my existing broadband, and would soon be happily paying a bit more to BT when they enable our exchange as one of the fastest fibre setups in the UK, he more or less clammed up & didn't try to sell me anything.

    He seemed unaware of the 'Race to Infinity' contest, but I'm sure it's not a coincidence that they have people on the ground trying to sign people up to new contracts (no doubt with fixed terms) when we're about to be switched on. I can only assume that they're hoping to nab people who aren't aware or who are less well informed. He had nothing to challenge me with as soon as he figured I knew vaguely what I was talking about...

    Warn your neighbours...

    Neil

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  34. Is there are news for Bennetts Wood (RH5 5EX) there has been a bit of digging up pathways and there was a big hole at the end of the road??

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  35. Dear Anonymous,

    I will forward your query "Is there any news for Bennetts Wood (RH5 5EX) there has been a bit of digging up pathways and there was a big hole at the end of the road??" to BT.

    Only BT (Openreach) has the information that everybody wants - namely i) phone number (or post code / address), ii) type of connection (i.e. FTTP / FTTC), iii) likely speed of connection and iv) anticipated availability.

    Best,

    Simon

    P.S. Dug up pathways and holes at ends of roads are good - take BT's chaps some teas and bacon sandwiches and ask them what they are doing.



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  36. GOOD NEWS FOR ANSTIE LANE

    BT has advised that the new Anstie Lane cabinet has been enabled and that it is now accepting orders for BT Infinity (for properties that can get it). The speedchecker at bt.com is certainly showing much improved speeds for many numbers. Properties very close by the cabinet (e.g. Old Stone Barn) are showing 80Mbps. "Central Coldharbour" (e.g. me) is coming up with 5.8Mbps - but this should improve when the additional cabinet is installed (don't know when).

    Other properties I checked at random show 15.8Mbps (Al & Donna) and 24.8Mbps (Penny & Stuart). I have no idea what the copper cable routes are around the village but speeds obviously depend upon the cable distance from the new Anstie Lane cabinet to the property. You can check your line at:

    http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/products/broadband/packages

    Please take up product ordering issues directly with BT (or your Internet Service Provider if not BT). I shall continue to press for further information about the additional cabinet.

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  37. I spoke to a BT Openreach engineer this morning on the corner of Anstiebury Close. I asked what he was doing and he said they were laying new fibre for infinity. When I asked if this would go to each house in the Close, he said it would and soon we would have Infinity.

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    1. That's good news! If you see him again ask what "PON Area" you are in and how far that area extends - FTTP will be enabled "PON Area by PON Area".

      Delete
  38. Considering the station side of Beare Green has been relatively 'mobbed' with BT Openreach vans since Christmas (today also), they're certainly taking their time over it. Speed checker is still showing 'no Infinity' for me, despite the fact that I watched the fibre being pulled through the access hatch by my front door (Oak Corner) over 4 months ago....you've got to love the sense of urgency!

    All the while, BT keep sending me their anonymous marketing campaigns in the post, offering a free TV boxes if I sign a new 18 month contract to add TV to my existing plan. I wouldn't mind, but as a customer, I'm paying for their right hand/left hand confusion when they could be informing me of what's really happening (I've heard NOTHING from BT about all the work going on for the Capel exchange), If I hadn't kept in the loop since the initial 'Race' campaign and this very board, I'd have no clue.

    I would imagine the recent door-stepping activity by TalkTalk has already seen customers who aren't aware, jump ship.

    And while the suspense of 'how fast & how soon' is exciting to those of us 'in the know' who are waiting patiently, it's also frankly embarrassing to see a huge COMMUNICATIONS provider acting with no regard to either internal or external communication...

    Neil

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    1. Hi Neil,

      That's a good post - I might forward it to BT! The problem with speedchecker is that it has no sense of the future. It only provides forecast speeds AFTER all work has been completed. I'm sure BT does know what cabinet / PON Area your property (Oak Corner) will be connected to - and surely it must have some planned commissioning dates. I have to agree that BT "could do better" with its communications. A list of PON Areas (FTTP by definition), post codes covered - and approx due date - would be magic.

      Delete
    2. Hi Neil

      You may not have had fibre laid in yet. From what you say what might have happened is the laying of the tubing up to your property. That is only the first stage; the next is to blow the fibre down the tubing and they will only do that when they can get into your house to connect it to the media converter when they have an order.

      The media converter is wired to a router which is connected to your home network. If you have no BT equipment in your house then only the first stage has happened.

      The fibre itself is less than the thickness of a human hair and extremely fragile so it is usuallynever left unconnected to anything.

      Hope this helps.

      Tim

      Delete
  39. Hi

    I have just found this site. I see its about capel generally but I live in south holmwood and have the broadband capacity of a wet piece of string and two tin cans (1.5 mb via BT) Any idea if South Holmwood will get fibre any time ??? or how would I find that out

    Thanks in advance

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tom,

      I think South Holmwood is served by the Dorking exchange. More info is at:

      http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/

      This site will tell you that "Dorking is accepting orders" but it won't tell you about specific cabinets (e.g. South Holmwood).

      Delete
    2. Simon,

      thanks for the reply; so with Dorking and Capel enabled it appears I have fibre to the left of me , fibre to the right but I am stuck in the middle with string :-(

      I guess I need to find out which cabinet I am attached to and then see if that is on a BT rollout plan....

      regards
      Tom

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    3. Simon,

      I found this link which you probably already know about but just in case

      http://www.dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/adslchecker.welcome

      I entered my phone number and it told me I was connected to cabinet 38 in the Dorking Exchange which apparently gets FTTC (up to 14.5 mbps) March 2014

      Regards
      Tom

      Delete
  40. Well, the super fast-openreach site shows Capel as 'accepting orders'; the DSL checker site (thanks Tom) tells me I'm connected to Cabinet 6, but there is no information about FTTP or FTTC...just that 3.5-5.5 is currently available.

    Quite possible that Tim is correct, and it's perhaps only tubing coming past my house for now...but clearly it's been done ultimately for fibre...and if so, BT still haven't officially communicated to me, as a customer, that it's coming. Anyone could quite easily be persuaded to sign over to a 'free' deal with Talk Talk if they didn't know better.

    I'm still frustrated by the obvious presence of BT workers 'on the ground', but a complete lack of interaction with the homeowners and existing customers (who are paying for all of this, after all)...

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Neil

      I have looked at that site as well and I am on cabinet 6. However it only shows broadband which, I have a feeling, the fibre service isn't known as.

      Your figure of 3.5-5.5 is an indication of the adsl speed you might get but I am pretty sure that that is all it is.

      My experience with having fibre installed at my previous employer's three offices is that sometimes there are big problems just getting the initial connection between routers to work so it can take a long time especially when there are a lot of connections to make.

      My guess ie that BT will want to make sure that the exchange can be seen by the PONs and vice versa before they commit to rolling it out to customers.

      I understand from a chat I had with one of the Openreach cablers a little while ago that when the network is complete we will need to order a fibre connection and it is at this point that the fibre is blown to the doorstep so to speak.

      Delete
    2. One of the PON Areas in Capel (Area 3) is "accepting orders". I used a test number (Old Forge Surgery) in speedchecker and that shows 160Mpbs (FTTP by definition) - dslchecker shows 330Mbps. I agree with the above comment BTW.

      Delete
    3. We placed an order with BT for 160Mbps FTTP Infinity on Thursday evening and they carried out installation of the exterior (customer splicing point) on Friday!

      The Openreach engineers confirmed that the exchange is already capable of 330Mbps. They are doing the fibre installation inside the house next week. We live in RH5 5EL.

      Delete
    4. Thanks for posting, "Anonymous of RH5 5EL" (part of "The Street, Capel" in my database). Enjoy!

      Delete
    5. The second part of the installation didn't go according to plan, I think the fibre to the house is lit up, but there is no traffic on it.

      Apparently other FTTP installations in the area have now been put on delay, as they found a large bundle of fibres are not active, and Openreach are looking into it.

      So close!!!

      Pat

      Delete
  41. Sounds like there are a few of us on cabinet 6 (thanks for the link) enquiring as to the "when".

    With only a few houses along Hawksmoor Drive (around the back of the station) hopefully we are included in the upgrade.

    The dls checker shows 2.5-4.5 for our property but I was wondering if anyone had any news on this part of Beare Green?

    Will keep fingers crossed in the mean time and hope it will be with us soon!

    Chris

    ReplyDelete

  42. Hi All

    Cabinet 2 Not Accepting orders (Carterdale Cottages area)
    Cabinet 4 Accepting Orders (Rickwood Park area) up to 80mb

    ReplyDelete
  43. Nothing like hanging around in the dark, is there....

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  44. The phrase "slowly, slowly, catchy monkey" certainly comes to mind with regard to Openreach's ongoing progress in implementation. Up here in the wilds of the western Clarke's Green roundabout area of Capel I'm not really at all hopeful of the service being live before Spring 2014 the way things are going. The only thing one can say is that if it really is this difficult to roll out FTTP in a modestly rural area (i.e. we are not the Scottish Highlands here in southern Surrey a few miles from Gatwick airport and high tech Crawley) then we are lucky to be getting FTTP eventually as there is no way it is going to be affordable for BT to do this in other rural areas on a national scale for many more years to come if this much manpower is involved in delivery.

    I rather suspect that eventually BT will just roll out FTTC in most rural exchanges and that anyone who then very badly needs a fibre connection to their own premises (for business reasons such as being a home video editor for the BBC or whatever and usually this will be people who by bad luck are situated a long way from their nearest cabinet) can pay for a directly cabled line from the cabinet at anything up to £1,000 or more per install depending on the distance.

    Its also not true that the main BT speed checker has no sense of the future for FTTC only projects as with the standard FTTC build they do give estimated connection dates and projected speeds (which are subject to occasional revisions) for the expected FTTC service for up to a year in advance and long before they build the cabinet or upgrade the exchange itself. The only reason that isn't happening in Capel I imagine is because this project is a BT Retail special that also includes a large amount of FTTP and not a standard FTTC build (even for those places that will only be getting an FTTC service from the Capel exchange).

    I am sure that the original planned BT budget for implementation here has way, way exceeded original expectations and that when the BT board looks at the cost of implementing the Race To Infinity exchanges there will be much tut tutting and a general feeling that FTTC can be put on the back burner for anywhere rural as a commercial venture for many more years to come (especially in current economic conditions).

    So we should all be grateful to Simon and his original door knocking team for the fantastic speeds we will get eventually in Capel and the fact that this will be a marketing asset to selling my property (even if I never experience the speeds myself) although rather more so if the speeds were firmly provable to any potential buyer on any of the various BT and Openreach Checkers along with rough expected delivery dates.

    Regards,

    Julian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also without wishing to depress anyone too much about whether or not we were in any way conned by BT in respect of the Race To Infinity I happened to spot that on the map of neighbouring exchanges available after a postcode search at http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/ the neighbouring Newdigate and Oakwoodhill exchanges are both now showing CS or Coming soon for fibre availability with a Forecast live Date of September 2013. This is also confirmed in this 26 February 2013 news item at http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/5729-surrey-and-bt-announce-first-14-exchanges-for-superfast-surrey.html which shows that these are amongst 14 exchanges that will soon be FTTC enabled as part of the Superfast Surrey project (funded by Surrey County Council and others). The exchanges covered by this are Abinger, Betchworth, Bramley, Chobham, Dawes Green, Dunsfold, Elstead, Godstone, Newdigate, Nuffield Ridge, Oakwood Hill, Oxted, South Godstone, Wormley.

      Of course judging by BT's usual deliberate PR con with respect to super fast broadband roll out on live dates I expect that September 2013 will only be when Cabinet 1 right next to the telephone exchange in each of these villages is projected to be enabled and that enabling all the cabs on these exchanges may take another year or two as in Capel. Also I suspect that all of these projected September 2013 dates will go backwards gradually by at least 6 to 12 months from the currently projected dates as is usual with the BT PR machine's over promise and under deliver strategy for fibre.

      One good piece of news for the chap in South Holmwood from the same announcement at thinkbroaadband.com is that "There are some additional areas where extra cabinets will be enabled to supplement the commercial roll-out that is already serving some 360,000 premises across Surrey, they are: Bagshot, Bookham, Cranleigh, Dorking, Godalming, Merstham and Redhill. So fingers crossed that this may include the cabinets served by the Dorking exchange in South Holmwood.

      But if BT can enable all these exchanges for FTTC in just seven months from funding being agreed then one has to wonder why they are still struggling in Capel over two years in to the project!

      Regards,

      Julian

      Delete
  45. Lastly is there any further news with respect to Cabinet 8. This is the one I am connected to and I assume is the one out at the corner of Clarke's Green Roundabout and Horsham Road (A24 south of Clarke's Green).

    Regards,

    Julian

    ReplyDelete
  46. I've never been optimistic when it comes to BT's expected completion dates. My boss lives in Tube Zone 2 in London and his completion date was bumped every 3 months for 2 1/2 years.

    With that knowledge and how this project has gone, I find it extremely hard to believe that any newer announced project will finish anywhere near the current announced time.

    The only thing that really strikes me from this, is that either BT really can't assess how long it takes to do the job (and aren't learning on the way) or they want to lie about timescales to look good (which of course backfires, as it just makes them look bad in the long run, since the project finish time is so far behind the original stated completion date).

    Surely it would really have done them better to just provide more realistic time scales initially. Alternatively, if they had met their initial timescale, then I would have probably been impressed and may have thought to transitioning back to BT once installed. However, I have to say, I am more of the feeling of a complete lack of trust and I'll just order it through my current provider once installed.

    I will remain grateful to receive it whenever it happens. Remember, BT are ploughing in £2.5billion to get 90% of the country enabled. 90% must include a whole bunch of rural areas.

    Sean

    ReplyDelete
  47. Sean,

    I think around 25% of the UK population is in properly rural areas (i.e. real village like Capel rather than rurban sprawl outside towns), while another 25% is semi rural. For the 25% that is properly rural 15% of the 25% (or 60% of that 25%) live on exchanges large enough to eventually be economically viable for commercial enablement (eg Capel with 1900 premises was eventually big enough to qualify for commercial ADSL2+ enablement by TalkTalk last year).

    The Superfast Surrey project seems to contain a mix of exchanges that would have got FTTC from BT within the next 3 years and ones that would not without subsidy such as Newdigate and Oakwoodhill. Poor little Forest Green is going to be stuck with standard ASLSMax for quite some years more.

    At least in the main fibre enabled parts of Capel the Race To Infinity should give us FTTP within the next year and that will make our speeds between two and six times more than with standard FTTC depending on where we live.

    I do however feel very sorry for Simon Lea as the main project organiser since it now appears that under the Superfast Surrey project Coldharbour (where he lives) would have got some kind of FTTC anyway and of course they are not getting FTTP in the foreseeable future.

    Either way it at least makes me feel less bad about moving on from here shortly as although I may still want to live somewhere rural it seems that there should be plenty of rural places with FTTC available in the next two years. And whilst it would have been nice to have a 160Mbps connection speed (no doubt going up to 320Mbps in two or three year's time when the next infinity uplify comes along) as long as I have 30Mbps or so that is more than enough to stream the BBC IPlayer's HD feed or even a 3D HD feed for the foreseeable future.

    160Mbps is really only needed by Torrenters (who are going to be shut down by the copyright theft people in due course) or professional video editors.

    Julian

    ReplyDelete
  48. BT Openreach turned up at my place this afternoon and converted 0.5Mbps into 18.6Mbps (and my monthly charges went down) and I have just streamed HD to my TV, PC and Kindle simultaneously - basically just because I can. Julian (see above) need not feel sorry for me! This is of course before the installation of the additional cabinet that BT has committed for Coldharbour.

    I completely understand the level of frustration felt by many in Beare Green and Capel - who are to receive FTTP and yet have no firm information from BT. I will continue to press on this issue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoy Simon - you have earned it!

      Delete
    2. Thanks Andrew - I think I have too!

      The Openreach engineer who upgraded me was not a "local". Shame, as I was hoping to quiz him about what was happening on the ground in most of Beare Green and Capel (i.e. "FTTP to come" areas) - and be able to reply to your e-mail query of last week. My main contact at BT (Joe) has moved on to pastures new in BT and I have been given a new main contact (Jas). I will summarise where the Capel exchange is at (to Jas) and what the main issues are (information, information and information) and keep all up-to-date here.

      Delete
    3. Thanks Simon, That's much appreciated as ever. Might explain why my emails to Joe have not resulted in any replies.

      Delete
  49. Simon,

    BT Openreach have very few truly "local" engineers left anywhere. Most of them go wherever BT bids them to go anywhere across the whole of the Southern England region. And that is assuming that they are even employees in the first place and not temporary subcontractors.

    When BT cut off an existing secondary phone line at my mother's house in December, whilst installing the very first FTTC customers on her own local cabinet on the Farnham Common exchange even though other cabinets were enabled up to a year earlier, the engineer who came to reconnect and test the line turned out to have been working in Capel clearing ducts etc only a few weeks earlier when I mentioned the special FTTP broadband project ongoing but not so far completed at my home address.

    However this seems to be the main reason the completion date of FTTP in Capel also seems to be on a near Infinity scale. Namely that BT basically has no truly local staff patiently working away on the job day after day but only a few specialist teams of FTTP network construction teams in the whole country. And these seem to get diverted elsewhere at a moment's notice.

    Although I realise that you have clearly always favoured a more conciliatory and positive approach with BT than myself (as over the years I have found that BT rarely gets almost any job right first time and then usually only puts right its mistakes when chased loudly and repeatedly) I really do think someone should be urgently pressing the point on FTTP non delivery in Capel with Johnny McQuoid and co.

    Specifically that it will clearly be very embarrassing indeed for BT if the first cabinets for fibre go live on Newdigate and other neighbouring exchanges in September (their current prediction under the Superfast Surrey project paid for by the County Council and other external non BT funding sources) and the whole of central Capel is still waiting for FTTP connections promised three or more years earlier to be made available. The cynic in me also rather fears that in due course BT will simply turn round and say it has discovered that FTTP is impractical and unaffordable in a rural area and that all we are going to get is an FTTP based service (the same one we would have got anyhow from Superfast Surrey).

    I presume your own FTTC stuff if getting done now because BT finally have plenty of bodies availble for that work. Unfortunately they seem to have almost no bodies at all for their passive optical network stuff.

    I also think it would be foolish to expect that an organisation as large as BT will remember about its original commitments under the Race To Infinity or its failure to deliver on them in a timely fashion unless it is reminded about it in a very active fashion.

    Regarding your own connection in Capel I expect that it would have been likely that a Superfast Surrey funded FTTC upgrading of Capel exchange might not have bothered with connections to Coldharbour at all for the first couple of years and would have concentrated on the largest blocks of customers in Capel, Ockley and Beare Green. So no doubt you have speeded up both the date of local fibre availability in Coldharbour and its eventual speed (due to the extra cabinets and fibre links you have talked them in to laying). You also seem to be winning by actually getting a so called "Infinity" speed whilst BT's own estimate is for less than that so that you only pay for a much cheaper copper broadband connection.

    Regards,

    Julian

    ReplyDelete
  50. I see that Baschurch is facing the same old sorry story of eternal delay on the FTTP connections as Capel. See www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-21470860

    With the summer season now finally well truly upon on us surely now is the moment to chase Johnny McQuoid to ask what BT's latest excuses for the delay in installation are?

    If there is a new lower level man nearer to the implementation project in Capel then I am sure a chasing email to Mr McQuoid (as the head Superfast Broadband Organ Grinder) is more likely to generate action from him than one from a campaigner in Capel.

    Regards,

    Julian

    ReplyDelete
  51. An Openreach engineer was working in Moorhurst Lane yesterday. He explained that, as Julian says, the teams get pulled away at short notice and then new teams have to pick up at some later point.

    He was attaching the various fibres through several junctions from the end point by Burleys back through the end of Moorhurst Lane and then at the cabinet at Merebank. Once completed he said light testing "should" take only 3 or 4 days.

    He was not in a position to discuss availability dates but reckoned all the work on this area (P6) should be completed within 6 weeks with the consequent potential for availability from end-July or early August.

    I have to say that I'm not holding my breath!

    Regards
    Martin

    ReplyDelete
  52. I had an e-mail yesterday from Jasmine at BT to say:

    "The remaining PONs (2, 6 & 8) are not far off being completed. PON 8 will be the next to be released and the build team is looking to hand it over to be commissioned next week - PONs 2 & 6 will follow a couple of weeks later as progress stands now. After commissioning it generally takes a week or so before people can start to place orders. We are awaiting planning approval from MVDC for the additional DSLAM in Coldharbour and we are chasing for an update."

    That seems to more or less tally with what Martin heard from the engineer on the ground (see above BLOG post). By definition "PON 2, 6 & 8" are FTTP and in Beare Green or Capel. I don't have any geodata about PON Areas (e.g. post codes covered) - but I will ask!

    Sure it's all later than we had expected, but isn't 160Mbps (for those who will get FTTP) better than we had expected?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Planning permission for the Coldharbour DSLAM:

      http://www.molevalley.gov.uk/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=MO/2013/0175

      Ref: MO/2013/0175
      Decision made
      Decision: APPROVED
      Decision Date: 26-Apr-2013

      Perhaps someone should tell BT?

      Delete
    2. Our contact at BT has checked this out for me - with the Openreach team - and advises "that application approval is just for the DSLAM, we are still waiting on the new copper cabinet to be approved as we need both to proceed".

      Delete
    3. For those following along at home, the new copper cabinet application is at http://www.molevalley.gov.uk/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=MO/2013/0800

      It was only submitted on the 12th of June, so it's unsurprising that they were "still waiting" two weeks later!

      Delete
  53. Thanks for the update Simon - keeping the faith!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I imagine the PON areas relate to the cabinet numbers eg Merebank is cabinet 6. The other two are at Coles Lane and Clarks Green I believe.

      I have a spreadsheet from 2011 that shows which post codes are connected to which cabinet if anyone is interested.

      Martin

      Delete
    2. Simon, I've sent you a PM with the file - not sure if I could upload to this blog.
      Martin

      Delete
  54. Hi Simon. Just to report that a pocket of FTTP seems to have opened up around 20 - 40 The Street with a confirmed installation at 22, one booked at 32 and a positive availability check at 30. Depressingly for me no availability at 66 and a friend at 10 also showing as no availability. Needless to say after about half an hour on the phone to BT I gave up banging my head against the wall - the availability checker is their only indicator. My friend at 22 did say he had to fight really hard for the installation and be declared a "pilot" for it to happen so perhaps this explains it? My friend at 32 just booked relatively painlessly over the phone. Not sure if your BT contact can shed any light on this specifically or progress with the remaining PON areas generally?

    Thanks as ever.

    Andrew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andrew - BT's "speedchecker" is very poor, IMO. It certainly does not shed any light on the $64,000 question (i.e. what might this number expect and when). The following BT "help page" says everything and nothing!

      http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/13922/c/346

      Delete
    2. Hi Simon. I have found myself at the same rather disappointing page many times! It is clear that BT have no interest in providing any information about what is actually taking place "on the ground", as you say. Cheers, Andrew.

      Delete
  55. I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds BT's behaviour (as a business) over this whole thing VERY odd.

    The engineers in the street (when they're there) are more or less the only reliable source of information...and they're still guessing as to the go-live date of each PON they're working on (esp. since they keep getting pulled away for jobs elsewhere in the south).

    Pick up the phone to BT, and it's a classic case of right hand/left hand.

    Zero publicity or even mail-outs to people on the exchange who may be interested in uptake, and I hear that TalkTalk are still in the area signing people away from BT with their 'free broadband - sign this contract' offer...

    Andrew's recent message isn't too encouraging, when others in his street are fighting to have an installation (don't BT want to start securing some income on this project?).

    It was suggested by the BT engineer I spoke to in Leith Road, Beare Green, last week, that a 'to the house' installation could take a couple of days in each case - can you imagine the crews that would be needed if a reasonably large number of people placed orders simultaneously?

    To compound the potential issue re. installation, I've also been told that many of the properties in Beare Green don't have a tunnelled copper run to the house - instead, many of the installations are simply cable buried in the ground. I'm told that this could mean that what should have been a relatively straightforward process of pushing the fibre up to each property via this tunnel/tube could now require digging up of pavements & gardens to 'correct' this prior slap-dash approach....

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been researching on t'Internet and decided to post at:

      http://www.ilkley-more.com/forum/burley-in-wharfedale/41855-race-to-infinity.html

      Best,

      Simon

      Delete
    2. Hi Simon. Interesting stuff and thanks as ever for your proactive support. On the face of it they seem in a very similar position to us. First time I have read about "Exchange Only" connections. What do you make of these? Andrew.

      Delete
    3. Hi Andrew, My understanding is that "exchange only" is a special case - a direct connection to the exchange - and that we don't have any of those in Capel. See:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0qN5XHuI5Q

      Delete
    4. Hi

      Exchange connections are really for business use and are a direct point to point connection from the user to the exchange and the fibre backbone. They are for the exclusive use of the user and no one shares the line.

      With the fttp we are supposed to be getting the PON splits the fibre from the exchange into 8,16,32,64 or 128 connections for onward connection to the home.

      Where the exchange connection only has the traffic from the one user travelling along it the PON has all the traffic from all of the users on that PON simultaneously.

      Each PON user has an individual code which is attached to the packets sent out from that user; when the packet returns the box that BT installs in the home is hardcoded with that code and only allows those marked packets into your system. All the others (intanded for the other users on the PON are rejected and you don't see them.

      In theory there is nothing to stop you having an exchange connection providing there is fibre in the street. However BT will charge to connect you from the nearest "pit" so if you live in one of the areas in BG where the copper cable has just been buried you will be charged for digging up the road laying the trunking from that "pit" and the fibre connection.

      Someone I know has fttc and asked for an fttp connection (not exchange) and was quoted £1,500 by BT!

      Hope this helps

      Tim

      Delete
  56. Can someone pls comment if we will ever get fibre in Carterdale Cottages area, i spoke to a BT Engineer who said that the delay in installing was due to the fact that BT are training engineers how to install the fibre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, let's ask BT...

      I will need your landline number. If you don't want to post it here, please e-mail it to

      SIMONDOTLEAATTHEVIRTUALVILLAGEDOTCOM

      Delete
    2. You are very close to the Coles Lane cabinet and RH5 5ES is on the 2011 spreadsheet showing as slated to receive FTTP so you're looking as promising as anyone else in that position...
      Martin

      Delete
  57. Hi guys,
    Can someone please tell me if they know where cabinet 6 is near beare green. My postcode is RH5 4SG and on a BT checker website it was showing as me being connected to cabinet 6. I really want to know if this is going to be a cabinet which is going to have FTTC as my current BB speed is really shocking. Put it this way. If I watch a really low quality video clip on YouTube, my partner can't even do a search on Google!!! Cheers guys

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Craig,

      Originally there were 8 cabs. BT's original (excellent) commitment was to upgrade 3 cabs to FTTC and 5 cabs to FTTP. I know for sure that cab 5 is in Anstie Lane (serving lower Coldharbour) and it is live. I think cab 2 serves Ockley (North) and cab 4 serves Capel (North) - e.g. Rickwood Park. I think both cab 2 and cab 4 are also live.

      To slightly confuse the situation, BT agreed (last year) to install cab 9 to serve central Coldharbour). This cab is not yet live but planning consent has been granted.

      By definition, cabs 1, 3, 6, 7 & 8 will be FTTP (fibre to the property). Technically these are "PON Areas" rather than cabs - look it up...

      I have told BT time and time again that the data at their "speedchecker" is atrocious. I had to argue with BT Retail to get a (BT Openreach) engineer out to upgrade me (I'm currently cab 5) and I got 17mbps (even though the BT database said 9.5mbps).

      I know for sure that some people (Capel & Beare Green) are already getting FTTP (160mbps) - but I don't have any data from BT about their roll out plans for cabs 1, 3, 6, 7 & 8. I will ask.

      I think you should be OK, Craig - but I can't tell you when.

      Best,

      Simon

      Delete
    2. Craig - I am also at RH5 4SG. I routinely get a 5 megabit+ download speed (with BT) which is perfectly useable for iPlayer, YouTube etc, at HD resolution, so I wonder if your issue could be your internal equipment, rather than the actual line speed?

      Reason I suggest this is that I recently tried to move my BT Homehub inside the house, to improve upstairs Wi-Fi reception. To do so, I put the hub at the end of a telephone extension cable, and instantly saw the broadband speed drop to a completely unusable 0.5Mbs. I moved the router back to the initial location (where it's plugged, via a short cable, direcly to the master socket in the house), and we're back to 5 Mbs+ again...

      Just a thought...

      Neil

      Delete
  58. Cabinet 6 is the one at the junction of Old Horsham Road and Merebank and is FTTP not FTTC (which is why you don't yet have access to Infinity). The fibre optic cable should have been installed already - it certainly has been along OHR and down Moorhurst Lane as far as Burleys. The last we heard from an Open Reach engineer was that they were light testing and that it should all be switched on by the end of July. That date has come and gone with no sign of availability on BT's website but as ever we wait in hope of imminent developments...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - we replied at the same moment - and consistently!

      Delete
  59. I heard the same story re. cabinet 6 (the fibre has also been installed between the Merebank cabinet and past Oak Corner), specifically about the light testing and likely switch on date in July.

    The frustration for me, while somewhat selfish, is constantly seeing work being done as part of the Super-fast Surrey project...it appears that engineering teams keep getting moved back to that, since I presume BT are being fully council-funded, rather than actually finishing the 'Race To Infinity' project, which was BTs own 'flagship' initiative, now several years overdue. SInce the Capel upgrade appears to be almost complete, it still baffles me that there's no push to finish it & go live (and for BT to actually start making a return on the investment).

    And there has still been absolutely no publicity, advertising, or direct-to-consumer mail to let anyone know it's actually happening...

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could not agree with you more, Neil!

      Delete
    2. The last time I spoke to an engineer who was at the pit near Hawksmoor Drive he told me that we were getting fttp BUT 1) there was a shortage of connectors for the fibre and 2) that the engineers were constantly being pulled off jobe to work elsewhere. His patch was Surrey, Kent and Essex and that the nexst day he was in Kent.

      They really are spread thin which is the problem.

      Tim

      Delete
  60. The other problem is that BT have no competition to deliver the infrastructure - the end user has no ability to vote with his/her feet & take custom elsewhere, and if we want fibre speeds, we simply have to wait until BT see fit to finish it.

    I appreciate that the climate for delivering a fibre service has changed significantly since Capel achieved that Top 10 slot in the 'Race To Infinity', and I'm pleased that Surrey will ultimately be getting a broader, better service than we expected back then.

    At the risk of repeating the same point, though - they were average at best when letting people know about the Race To Infinity competition in the first place; as far as I'm aware, they didn't let customers on the exchange know that we'd qualified; there's been no direct confirmation to consumers that anything is happening at all...

    Ironically, the greek root for the word 'Infinity' means 'endless'...when applied to the wait for this service to go live, the joke practically writes itself, doesn't it?

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  61. Whilst those of you may be continually pushing BT for your fttp, spare a thought for those that still don't have fttc yet. Each engineer working on fttp is an engineer that wont be working on fttc!

    The elusive cabinet 6 is still not live, despite Jasmine at BT suggesting that in the middle of June it should only be a couple of weeks away before testing and then another week or two to go live.

    The following site still shows this cabinet as it was when the compeition started! The houses on this cabinet are in the central hub of Beare Green, the most populated area for the exchange.

    http://www.dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/adslchecker.welcome

    WBC ADSL 2+ Up to 3
    WBC ADSL 2+ Annex M Up to 3
    ADSL Max Up to 3
    WBC Fixed Rate 1
    Fixed Rate 1

    Can we not push BT to get eveyone on a level playing field before actively seeking the next step?

    Sean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sean, I think cab 6 is slated to be FTTP - though I agree 100% that the delays are starting to get massively frustrating. Please e-mail your phone number and address to me at simon dot lea at thevirtualvillage dot com and I will take your case up with BT - as an example.

      Delete
  62. It isn't the case that people are pushing for FTTP as some sort of upgrade from FTTC, you get one or the other. Those due to get FTTC are already enabled and benefiting from very fast connections dependent on their distance from the cabinet. The rest of us, while slated to get FTTP (including cab 6), do not yet have it despite most of the infrastructure being in place for some time now. I believe the only PON actually switched on is in central Capel.

    This situation seems to be mirrored in other Race To Infinity winning villages and is a sad reflection on BT's commitments to us.

    ReplyDelete
  63. IMHO this is BT serving a commercial agreement with Surrey council (i.e. Superfast Surrey), ahead of their own non-commercial 'flagship' competition, Race To Infinity.

    Simon - I'm on Cab 6, and in fact have seen the fibre come through the service hatch outside my property on the corner of Oak Corner, and be tested, several months ago now. Having been one of the original voters in the R-T-I contest, I've watched this since the start, and have still not had any direct contact from BT (other than speaking with engineers in the street) o tell me it's even happening. I'm happy for you to share my details with BT as another example. If there was a viable option, I'd be placing my business elsewhere...I'll send my details to you

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  64. can we not get a petition raised to poke BT, maybe placed in local shops in the Exchange area, just an idea

    ReplyDelete
  65. Well, the time was right to place my order for Infinity and having done so on August 14th I received an activation date of Sept 13th. Unfortunately, I have now been told that they can not do any work towards activation until a surveyor has been out. They have not provided a date for this and say the earliest they can now repond with any more information is Sept 13th. Clearly they won't meet the activation date that is still showing as current when I track progress on 'MyBT'...

    Even when a PON is complete the fun doesn't end!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I didn't mention BT errors and miscommunication regarding the external visit scheduled for 4th September. They have since apologised profusely over the phone but don't seem to be doing anything to resolve the situation...

      Delete
    2. Still waiting to get BT Infinity. Today was supposed to be the long awaited internal installation and yet again another missed appointment by the infamous 'Engineers'...

      Delete
  66. I have to say that I am starting to lose interest in fttp now and may well stay with adsl2+ - it's still quicker than my first 2400Baud modem and my last adsl connection.

    It is difficult to understand how all that time and money could have been spent by BT over the last couple of years to lay the fibre and then just fade away.

    If it comes it comes - whether I have it now is a different matter.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  67. I heard from Jas Holland at BT today as follows "I’ve been told the ready for service date for Cab 6 is the 30th September, so orders will be able to be placed shortly after this".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Simon - news on other cabs would be most welcome, noting my personal interest in cab 1! Thanks as ever...

      Delete
    2. Simon,

      Any news on progress with Cabinet 8. I presume this serves part of the A24 Horsham Road south of Wolves Hill as well as Grenehurst Park and properties on the Clarkes Green roundabout www.dslchecker.bt.com/pls/adsl/ADSLChecker.AddressOutput continues only ADSL2+ and AnnexM as available from my Cabinet.

      Isn't it really time for you and Ian Murdoch to start discussions with Lucie Glenday, who is in charge of the Superfast Surrey project for Surrey County Council (she appears quite easily on Linked In if you Google for that name and superfast broadband or similar) about the situation with BT quite clearly dragging its feet on completing the project in Capel and apparently instead prioritising projects that it is getting paid to complete by Surrey CC ahead of ever completing the PON network on several Capel cabinets. This isn't the fault of the workers on the ground as they have to go where they are told by BT. It is the fault of Johnny Mcquoid and his colleagues who are not honouring their word in terms of delivery to the Race To Infinity winners.

      Quite clearly the work could all be completed at the current stage of rollout by year end (which would still be at least a year late in terms of expectations) if enough bodies are put on the ground here by Mr McQuoid. If that does not happen we might still be waiting in another 18 months time if taking Surrey County Council's money remains a greater priority for BT Openreach.

      Regards,

      Julian

      Delete
  68. Hi Simon, I live in Ockley and am on Cabinet 2 which is said to be live but I can obtain no information regarding progress to actually obtaining connection. Are you able to give me any news? Thank you, Trevor

    ReplyDelete
  69. As far as I can see (and contrary to an earlier suggestion) cabinet 2 (Coles Lane) is not yet enabled. Cabs 1 & 3 (central Capel) are the only FTTP PONs actually live at the moment. The remaining 3 FTTP PONs (2, 6 and 8) are waiting to be enabled although, as Simon has mentioned, PON 6 may go live soon. Cabinets 4, 5 and 7 are FTTC and are already enabled.
    Martin

    ReplyDelete
  70. Hi Simon, I have a fairly basic question. I live at RH5 4QL and I think this means I am waiting for Cab 6 which is supposed to become FTTP. Once the cabinet is enabled I would have to sign up for 'FTTP' in order for the fibre to my house to be laid. If I do not sign up then do I gain any benefit at all from the cabinet being enabled for FTTP?
    What I am asking is do I get the equivalent of FTTC by doing nothing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Afraid not. In fact FTTP does not use the green cabinets but uses a series of optical splitters that are found in various manholes along the streets. Your house would be joined to one of these by a fibre optic cable - either underground or overhead.

      Delete
  71. Early this afternoon (Sunday 22nd September 2013) I saw three largish Luton sized BT Openreach vans working at the end of Coles Lane very near to its junction with the northbound side of the A24 dual carriageway. So it seems like some management person at BT Openreach has finally realised they may end up with sever egg on their face if the whole of Capel's fibre delpoyment is not completed before the first Superfast Surrey funded exchange goes live for FTTC and has finally grudgingly agree to pay for some Sunday working in Capel. Of course I may be wrong and it may be that these Openreach vans were in fact only working on fixing a major fault in the existing copper telephone network (perhaps caused by flooding etc) on the Capel exchange. However Sunday working by Openreach staff is certainly quite unusal on anything other than emergency fault fixing.

    Julian

    ReplyDelete
  72. I suspect they were fixing the issue which is causing my current BT 'what speed can I get' test to report a top speed of 2Mb, when I've been getting - and it's been reporting - 4.5Mb for over a year now.

    Odd, since I'm on cabinet 6, which is rumoured to be going live before the end of the month...

    ...not that BT has ever told me anything about that.

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  73. Replies
    1. Simon,

      The above is obviously spam and needs to be deleted.

      Regards,

      Julian

      Delete
  74. Dear Julian, On the contrary - I think Obat Alami Darah Tinggi has made one of the most sensible posts about the rollout of superfast broadband in Capel that I have seen for a VERY LONG TIME. I couldn't agree with Obat's use of the so-called "grocer's apostrophe" - but apart from that one small lapse his post was short, sharp, to-the-point and informative. Best, Simon

    ReplyDelete
  75. Any word on whether cab 6 went live on Monday as promised? BT still saying no Infinity available here.
    Martin

    ReplyDelete
  76. To be fair to BT I posted (11/09/2013) "I heard from Jas Holland at BT today as follows; I’ve been told the ready for service date for Cab 6 is the 30th September, so orders will be able to be placed SHORTLY AFTER THIS." I think it's down to the most interested (cab 6 ) parties to chase BT about this - if no joy in a week or so then it's time to escalate. There is certainly a lag between Openreach completing the work and the website / call centre knowing that an order can be placed.

    ReplyDelete
  77. I gently nagged BT this week and heard back today as follows: "In terms of the current status we have completed the FTTC and although some FTTP has completed we do have more to complete. The location of the additional DSLAM in Coldharbour (cab 9) has been agreed and we are now planning the copper rearrangement, I am waiting to hear when we hope to have this completed. PON 8 and PON 2 (which is awaiting a road closure) should be complete by the end of November. PON 1 is awaiting civils on the final manifold and we hope that this will be completed in December."

    ReplyDelete
  78. So no absolute confirmation of the activation of cab 6?

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  79. I have invited BT to POST DIRECTLY HERE but I will ask about cab 6 and revert. I cannot tell BT any more CLEARLY or any more FREQUENTLY than I currently do that Capel exchange users are primarily frustrated because they are left uninformed. My best guess is that BT will be taking orders for cab 6 quite soon - but that's no more than my best guess.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Thanks as ever Simon for your efforts. IT would be good to hear something official from BT themselves as we approach the 3rd anniversary of the Race to Infinity competition! I will keep checking the BT website...
    Martin

    ReplyDelete
  81. Just to echo Martin's post - many thanks Simon, it can't be easy for you. Your on-going efforts to do the best for us much appreciated. Andrew.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Yes, many thanks for all your work on this Simon.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  83. FYI - Hi Jas, Could you please advise about cab 6? Best, Simon

    ReplyDelete
  84. Jas replied yesterday "Cab 6 is due to be completed this Friday and we hope customers will be able to place orders the following week."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good news but will be taken with just the smallest pinch of salt!

      Delete
    2. I understand! Please post your order progress here - for the benefit of all...

      Delete
    3. Yay - BT now accepting orders for up to 300 Mb connection from cab 6. I am about to order and will keep you posted.
      Martin

      Delete
  85. Ok - have just place my order for 300 Mb/s...my jaw is still slightly on the floor....external appointment for stage one of installation (which might be no more than a survey, I guess), is 24th October....will keep you updated with progress!

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  86. ...just reviewed the order. Second appointment (internal) and switch on date is due on Monday 4th November...watch this space!

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  87. Delighted to hear this at last...

    ReplyDelete
  88. Similarly I have placed order for 300 Mb service at £50 per month which is a bit scary but since our current unlimited (though actually it is limited) 0.5 Mb service is £35 it looks a bargain.

    So far impressed by rapid availability of surveys although we're away for a couple of weeks so hoping to have everything up and running by mid-November.

    Martin

    ReplyDelete
  89. Placed a order on Sunday with a install date of 25/10/13 for the house install.
    Received a phone call today from BT saying "the order has gone for a Survey by the engineering team. This means the appointment on the 25/10/13 will no longer go ahead.

    So near but so far

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Update
      I received another phone call today my survey has been done.
      BT will fit a fibre junction box on the 22/10/13
      Then return on the 31/10/13 to fit the ONT(optical network termination)box.Which connects the fibre to the router unless you have opted for the BT Home 5 which should do away with the ONT part.
      Fingers crossed
      BT have excellent keeping me informed by txt then backing it up with phone calls.

      Delete
  90. If anyone speaks to an Openreach engineer please ask about the "survey" - and post here. I assume nobody gets past first base (i.e. places an order) unless the BT Openreach database says that the landline can get SFBB (e.g. 300 Mbps for you lucky b******s). My interpretation from the above is that Openreach sometimes does an "external" check (or a "survey") before turning up to do whatever it needs to do "indoors".

    ReplyDelete
  91. The external survey is to be expected - they've got to check how the cable will be routed from the nearest Fibre splitting point to the house, after all. In my case, the old cable just pops out of the ground on the front wall of the house - not sure if there is a conduit between there and the local manhole, or whether it's just been (lazily) buried in the soil.

    As I understand it, the survey *can* affect the external work date, but it's possible it'll happen with no issues at all. I believe mine is due ahead of the 23rd, with the external work happening on the 24th, and internal on 04/11....we'll see, and I'll post an update next week.

    BT have left me 2 automated voicemails so far, and another two calls from the 'welcome' team, who I think just want to be nice!

    Do we know if we're actually one of the first UK exchanges to get 300M/bit? Seems most of the advertising I've seen talks about 76M/bit?

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  92. Hi Neil

    Did you check your number in the broadband checker to see if you could get fibre or did you just call BT? I am Cab 6 and the checker is still telling me I can't get fttp.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  93. Tim - as far as info from BT is concerned, I don't even know that we've entered the Race to Infinity...there's been nothing at all. I checked when I saw Martin's post (above) on 15 October. I placed the order entirely online.

    I know there are a couple of BT pages with an availability checker on - this is the one I used:-

    http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/consumerProducts/displayTopic.do?topicId=25795&s_cid=con_FURL_speedtest

    Having spoken to the engineers as they pulled the fibre out of the manhole on the corner of my road helped my confidence - how far are you from the actual cabinet? Have you seen the engineers laying cable close to your house?

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  94. Hi Neil

    Not far from the cabinet but that doesn't matter as fttp relies solely on connections underground and doesn't utilise the any cab at all.

    I have chatted to the engineers that have already laid the fibre down Old Horsham Rd which Hawksmoor Drive joins just near Holmwood station. So I am surprised that they are not taking orders yet.

    Of course they could be staging it so that things are done on an orderly fashion (ho ho) but it is the frustration it causes.

    I might try an online order just to see what happens.

    Thanks for your reply. I will post the results of my order attempt.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tim,

      Just be aware that all "Capel" service providers use the same base data for "on-line orders" - which comes from a BT Openreach database. By way of example, that database tells me I might get ~6mpbs (when in fact I already get ~20mpbs) but it has NO IDEA that BT has committed to install an additional "cabinet" which might push me up to ~XXmbps - let alone when that might happen.

      BT Retail call-centre staff use exactly the same database (as far as I can see) so in practice you may be MORE informed than they are about what's going on in the Capel exchange (e.g. chats with engineers on the ground and feedback at this BLOG).

      Best,

      Simon

      Delete
  95. It is curious that one person connected to cab 6 (i.e. me) will get a different outcome on the speed checker vs another (ie Tim) - this leads me to believe that the database holds something more than just the cabinet any line is connected to?

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a very database thing...

      Delete
    2. Hi Neil

      I haven't been able to place an order. I realised that I have BT Business because I have a range of static IP addresses and you can't order online for Business connections.

      In any case I contacted the chap who originally sorted out my business connection and he told me that

      "FTTP is not a nationally available product and as yet the sales teams here have not been briefed on the services and are not able to order this. If you are in a trial area where it is starting to be rolled out then there will be a specialist number you contact. As such, I have no way if checking if you can get the service."

      So we shall see.

      I think Neil is correct re the database-it could be that they release areas by postcode which is why Neil's postcode shows that he can order fttp and I can't.

      Tim

      Delete
    3. Certainly a couple of neighbours have had conflicting experiences. One was told by the online checker they could not get FTTP but by speaking to someone they were able to place an order. Conversely, another was told they could not get the service by a human when the online checker allows an order to be placed.

      I was told by the online chat help people (in India) that I could not get FTTP despite having placed an order and, as Neil, received voice mails from a welcome person wanting to discuss what we were planning to use the service for (although these were on our office line rather than the number we are having the new service installed on). He said he would call back once the installation is complete to check it is all working properly so not a bad customer service experience thus far.

      The Infinity website clearly describes the process as requiring an external survey visit followed by an internal visit to install the router etc - you have to be present for the internal visit but not for the external one. There are also a couple of blogs I have read that go through the installation process in some detail - easy to find with a search engine.

      Martin

      Delete
  96. I decided to cancel my order for BT Infinity 2 (FTTP) today. It has been a shambles from when I placed the order back in August to today's missed installation appointment. I don't think I've experienced such a poor standard of service before - completely inept.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Disappointing Mike - did you get any notification that the appt. would be missed?

    Re. the install - my understanding is that there is a 3-stage process after the order is placed. You initially get a confirmation of an external work date (which you don't need to attend), and an internal date (which you need to be present for, fairly obviously). These were both confirmed during the online ordering process. I then received both automated voicemail & 'real person' voicemails - the automated ones confirmed that there would need to be an external survey first (which may or may not delay the external / internal work). My guess is that this is to ensure that the Openreach engineers carrying out the external work can actually run the fibre from the nearest access point, to the house.

    I recall an earlier message (or a chat with an engineer) about parts of Beare Green being cabled in a lazy way back in the day - there should be a conduit from the access point to each property, through which new cabling or fibre should be easy to pass), but in many cases, cables were just buried in the dirt. Certainly, my old copper comes out of the flower bed at the front of the house (only a foot or so), to the external wall on which the master socket is (internally) mounted.

    I imagine the survey covers this type of thing, and will establish how easy it is for an engineer to route new external cable, and whether this involves digging up mine (and my neighbour's) front lawns - which are between me and the access manhole.

    Internally, it's not just setting up the new router - the whole master socket (the only bit of kit in your home which BT are responsible for) will need to be replaced, since both phone & internet services will now be fibre instead of copper.

    While I know the fibre & the access point are only 20 feet from my front door, my general experience is that things rarely go right the first time - so I'm fully expecting that the survey will involve cancellation of the install, pending permission from my neighbour to dig out a cable route. Call me pessimistic, but BT has a track record to uphold.

    The 'real person' phone messages, by the way, were identical to Martin's - they left two (to 'welcome' me to 300m/b broadband, and to see how I intended to use it). Since I wasn't in to take the calls - and they declined to call on my mobile, which I'd provided as a contact number (!) - the final message was that they'd call after the service has been activated, to ensure I was 'getting the most out of the product'.

    Looking at my order online now, there's no mention of the external survey date, or the external install date (which the phone messages suggested would be complete by 24/10) - only the equipment delivery day (31/10) and internal date (4/11), which is also the activation day...any delays, and they'll notify me.

    I'm working at home tomorrow, so if I get a sniff of the external survey taking place, I'll pop out to get details if I'm able.

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  98. Ok - first update. I'm at home today (by chance) - the survey engineer has just been, and I was able to have a quick chat. Sure enough, my old copper is just buried in the front lawn, so the fibre install will require a new conduit to be run from the access point (manhole on the corner of Oak Corner), across my neighbour's lawn, across mine, and will exit the ground by the front door. They will leave a cord in the conduit, to pull the fibre through from the access point.

    Lucky break - my neighbour was also in this morning, and was therefore able (and kind enough) to give permission for BT to bury the new conduit.

    The external install should be completed within the next 3-4 working days, which means the internal appointment & activation date of 4/11 should be met.

    Happy camper so far...!

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the above posts Neil. IMO: i) the general public does not bother to try understand basic engineering issues like "BT needs to run an FTTP conduit under a neighbour's lawn" (which obviously takes time to organise and do) and ii) BT's "communication" with the general public needs to be much improved. IMO you have your install well under control - let me know if anything goes wrong.

      Delete
    2. The initial problem with my order seems to be the fact that the requirement for an external survey was overlooked by BT and only came to light on the original external appointment date.

      There was no communication between 'BT'' and 'Openreach' and all I got was a default response that an engineer would be coming out to me on the original external date. This was until they had to follow it up when the appointment window had closed and no one had arrived. Since then and even after I had insisted I needed to be at home to allow access, engineers had just turned up without any notice whatsoever. The next time I did get notice of an appointment, it was missed!

      For many weeks all BT could say was that they could only give me an update on Friday. Friday would come and I would be told that I needed to wait until Monday for more information. Monday would come and I would be told again that I had to wait until Friday for an update from 'the engineers' and so it went on.

      Monday's missed appointment was the last straw!

      Delete
  99. No notification Neil. I received the text message the day before to make sure I remembered the appointment. On the day and as per the previous missed appointment, I called them in the morning to confirm the appointment was still going ahead. I then called again at 12:00 as there way only an hour left and was told that the engineer was held up on a previous job but it was allocated and I would have someone out to me - they were going to call the engineer and ask them to call me. 13:00 comes around and I have not heard anything further so I call back and, just like the last missed appointment, they apologise and say that I will be contacted in the next 24-48hrs to arrange another appointment.

    Later that day I decided to cancel the whole thing due to all the hassle - originally placed the order in August for activation on Sep 13th. They contacted the engineers whilst I was on the telephone to make sure they were informed of and accepted the cancellation. However, my wife called me at work today to say an engineer had turned up to complete the installation! He acknowledged that there were 'problems' with the paperwork and that the job did not seem to have been processed appropriately from the outset.

    I was reassured on the phone that I wouldn't be charged anything for the cancellation and my billing would continue without change. However, looking at my telephone bill they have already removed our free evening and weekend calls that we had with our Broadband Unlimited package, which means I will have to call Customer Services again to get a refund make sure that everything reverts as it should...

    ReplyDelete
  100. That's lousy Mike...so much so, I'll be embarrassed if mine goes smoothly!

    If you can find the address for a senior manager, it might be worth a letter detailing all the issues. Maybe you'll get an urgent appointment, and some element of discount or a number of free months. Remember this is a flag ship project for them (or at least, it was) - you could let them know that you'll be widely publicising your experience, and they have a long way to go to dissuade you & make it right. It would be a shame to miss out on the technology, since it'll be a while before there's any significant competition - and even then, they'll be leasing the infrastructure from BT...

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Neil - no need to be embarrassed if yours is completed without issue. I hope it does go smoothly for you.

      I may reconsider over time but at the moment I would like my existing broadband contract to run it's course so that I do not have to give them a further penny! It is a shame that there is such a lack of competition...

      Delete
    2. Mike, please e-mail your landline number and address inc post code to simon DOT lea AT thevirtualvillage DOT com and I will take your case up with BT.

      Delete
    3. I've sent you an email Simon. Thanks for your help.

      Delete
  101. Fibre order update - my engineer visit/activation date has been pushed back from 4th November, to 27th November (email & text message calls left today).

    No details as to why, but my best guess is that the survey revealed the need to bury a new conduit to pass the cable through, which is going to involve a 20-30 ft run through the pavement, and my & my neighbour's front gardens...hence a bit more to coordinate than simply passing the cable up an existing conduit. This goes back to a poor installation when Oak Corner was built in the mid 70s, so I'm blaming the GPO!

    No idea when the external work will be done, but assume it wasn't possible to schedule before the 4th, hence the revised date.

    Keeping positive, the HomeHub 5 is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow...

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  102. Further to the above, my BT Home Hub 5 was delivered today, as promised by BT...

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  103. Sounds good, Neil.

    I still have nothing to report. The dslchecker still shows that I cannot get fibre.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  104. Just been on to BT for 30 minutes and eventually told I cannot get infinity yet, despite my finding out I was on cab6 and am connected.
    Beginning to think Anstiebury Close won't be getting infinity. Ann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ann. I have the same problem at Hawksmoor Drive. Also on cab6 but according to dslchecker I cannot get fibre.

      If you are cab6 you won't be connected yet as you should be getting fibre to the property, like us. BT won't lay fibre to a property unless it gets an order and we can't give them an order because their systems tell their sales staff that we don't have access to fibre although works have been done in our road to unblock underground ducts ready for the cabling. Good eh!

      Cabinet 6 is a bit of a red herring as it refers th the cabinet that is used for copper phone lines. So when they say cab 6 is going live what they actually mean is all those people whose copper phone lines are served by cab6.

      I think, and it is merely that, that the system shows who can get fibre only when a batch of postcodes within a cabinet's area is ready to accept orders and that will depend upon how much engineering (digging up roads etc) is required - there is only a certain amount they can do given the number of fibre engineers they have.

      We are victims of BT's awful communication skills and unpreparedness for the big task of connecting everyone up.

      Hope this is of some use.

      Tim

      Delete
  105. Open Reach engineer turned up on time and spent most of the day running fibre through a tube overhead to the house and round to the external box. He's due back tomorrow to finish off external connections with internal work due in 2 weeks.
    Martin

    ReplyDelete
  106. I have to say that my previous experience with BT in the past has resembled Mike Murphy's very closely. When I have previously had a fault on my phone line which lasted for about a week, I spent much time trying to find out when it would be resolved and it seemed they were not interested in me at all. This was the last straw and I left and signed up with adsl24 and they have been brilliant. I was thinking that super fast broadband might have been when I would move back to BT but it appears that they still do not have much regard for their customers. I might be cutting off my nose to spite my face but I don't think I can bring myself to give them my business again.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Hi Simon any news on the Coles Lane cabinet (Carterdale) Cab 2 I think from memory its been a long time :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ISTR an earlier post from Simon saying cab 2 should be live at the end of November

      Delete
  108. I can't possibly sort out every individual enquiry with BT. There are just too many of you and just too many in BT. Tim rather nailed it with his 09/11/2013 comment "We are victims of BT's awful communication skills and unpreparedness for the big task of connecting everyone up". Everybody in BT I have ever dealt with - from the moment we disputed the Race to Infinity result - has been individually fantastic, but that's not enough. BT has to up its game - starting now.

    I own the domain name www.racetoinsanity.com which I bought when I thought that we might not win the "Race to Infinity". I am sorely tempted to use it. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  109. Simon - from my side, I'll let you know! At this point, my engineer (internal) visit, and activation date, is still showing as 27 November (as per the original postponement, following the external survey). What the website doesn't show is the date that BT will dig the new fibre cable across the garden...which I don't need to be at home for, but which I'd still really like to know...They gave me a date for the initial external work, but nothing about when it's been postponed to. I can quite imagine the 27th will roll around, without the external work being done...it just makes me nervous not knowing...

    As soon as anything happens, I'll let you know.

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  110. Jasmine (BT) has created the attached list of “cabinets and PONs”. The “post code served” information should not be taken as “gospel” - because there is a theoretical possibility that a post code could be served by more than one cabinet or PON - but this is a very good a summary of progress. Clearly there will be installation issues at specific properties but this list should help you understand where you (probably) stand.

    A) FTTC (ACCEPTING ORDERS)

    Cabinets are live in Horsham Rd, Rickwood Park & Anstie Lane

    An additional cabinet (cabinet 9) will be located near the junction of Anstie Lane and Coldharbour Lane and planning approval for this has been granted. This cabinet will serve some properties in Coldharbour / Leith Hill which are currently only served by the Anstie Lane cabinet. More detail is not available yet because this new cabinet is yet to go through its “address validation”. Our current estimated completion date is March 2014, we are doing our best to complete this as quickly as possible.

    Apart from cabinet 9, Capel FTTC is complete.

    B) FTTP (ACCEPTING ORDERS)

    PON 1 – Located near Crown Public House, Capel
    SERVING: RH55LE, RH55JX, RH55JZ, RH55LA, RH55LQ, RH55LB, RH56HD, RH55JY, RH55LD.

    PON 6 – Located near junction of Merebank & Horsham Road
    SERVING: RH54SE, RH54SG, RH54LJ, RH54RT, RH54PN, RH54SH, RH54LJ, RH54RF, RH54QL, RH54QY, RH54SG, RH54QL, RH54SE, RH54SG, RH54SH, RH54SJ, RH54RG, RH54QZ, RH54RS, RH54RD, RH54QU, RH54RA, RH54PZ, RH54RB, RH54RE, RH54RR, RH54UZ

    PON 3 - Located in Laundry Way
    SERVING: RH5 5JU, RH55JS, RH55ER, RH55HY, RH55JT, RH55EN, RH55HA, RH55JT, RH55EJ, RH55EP, RH55EH, RH55EL, RH55EP, RH55EN

    C) FTTP (PENDING)

    PON 8 – Located near Corner Cottage, Horsham Road
    SERVING: RH55JL, RH55NT, RH55JJ, RH55NP, RH55JN, RH55JP, RH55GA, RH55JN, RH55NW, RH55NS, RH55JQ, RH55JG, RH55JW, RH55JD, RH5 5JJ, RH55GB, RH55JL, RH55JH, RH55JB, RH55HG, RH124PZ, RH55JN, RH55JA

    Civils are now completed. We estimate that PON 8 will go live by the end of November.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Thanks for this Simon.

    This bears out what Simon says as not taking it for gospel and my previous comment. RH5 4UZ is on the above list but according to the postcode and number checkers I cannot get a fibre connection.

    Tim

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  112. Hi Simon. Thanks as ever! Many lines in RH55LA (middle of PON 1, the 150 yard stretch to south of the Church) that I know of still showing as no availability. Very unlikely to be boundary issues as availability to the north, south and on Mortimer Road (RH55LB). I'm hoping this is a simply a database issue but how best to pursue? Can Jasmine provide general guidance for people in this position? Thanks. Andrew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andrew, I think that BT has a real "communication problem" because it has crap databases. I came to that conclusion years ago when I realised that the individuals I was dealing with in BT were really nice helpful people - who had as much trouble as I did chasing down facts.

      I appreciated the recent relatively detailed data (above) from Jas but I also understand that GEODATA is tough to manage - landline, address, postcode, latitude, longitude, cabinet, pon - etc.

      Best

      Delete
  113. Well the internal appointment was completed within a couple of hours as promised. We now have a 330mb connection as per the spec. The engineer mentioned that this may increase soon to somewhere around 500 mb. I can't believe it has taken almost 3 years since we trudged around in the ice and snow but, hopefully, it will go relatively smoothly for everyone once availability finally arrives for us all.
    Martin

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  114. Herewith some further information from BT about PON2.

    Hi Simon, Sorry we seem to have missed Pon 2. Status is that we expect customers to be able to place orders from the beginning of January if build activities go to plan. These are the postcodes:

    RH5 5LS, RH5 5HT, RH5 5LT, RH5 5HW, RH5 5JA, RH5 5HZ, RH5 5HY, RH5 5HS, RH5 5HU, RH5 5EU, RH5 5ES, RH5 5EG, RH5 5EX, RH5 6HP, RH5 5ET, RH5 5SY, RH5 5TD, RH5 5TD, RH5 5TR, RH5 5SS, RH5 5SX, RH5 5TT, RH5 5TS, RH5 5RS, RH5 4PY, RH5 5ST, RH5 5TB, RH5 5HD, RH5 5HE, RH5 5HF, RH5 5HG, RH5 5JF, RH5 5EY, RH5 5HA, RH5 5HN, RH5 5HR, RH5 5HP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Simon. I just ran all of the postcodes for Cab 6 above through the postcode checker and not one of them came up as having fttp. Jasmine may think that BT is accepting orders for Cab 6 but their own database tells their own people that we are not able to get it!

      Perhaps you could pass this on to her - perhaps we ought to run all of the postcodes through.

      What mystifies me however is that some people on Cab 6 have been connected so there must be postcodes missed off the above list.

      Tim

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  115. Hi Tim.

    I believe many people are in the same position, perhaps the majority of us. It seems - from my limited research - that it is only individual lines that are showing as having fibre available in the BT database. Certainly none of the post codes I have tried have shown availability (I've tried all of PON 1 plus some of the other areas where I know phone numbers) and - as I posted earlier - even within a post code area some lines show availability and others not. I did try the 0800 800 150 route at the weekend and after about 20 minutes of a lady called Ruth being pretty helpful but getting no where was about to be transferred to a "FTTP Team" just before the line went dead. She did say it would have been easier for her to escalate my "challenge" to the Openreach data if I was a BT customer so if anyone out there is, please have a go and post your findings. Of course we can't speak directly with Openreach because of the artificial market that BT has (rightly) had to implement to create a level playing field for ISPs. I'll take a deep breath and have another go and possibly try the same via my ISP. I am even thinking of transferring my current service over to BT as this may give an advantage. Does anyone know of any non-BT customers who have been connected? Time to get that Race to Insanity website ready Simon!

    Andrew.

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  116. Thanks for that, Andrew.

    I am a BT customer and will try the 0800 800 150 number. I will report back whether I get anywhere or not.

    Tim

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  117. Just tried the 0800 800 150 number and from there connected to BT Business as I am a business cutomer. The very helpful lady checked on every system but according to her there is no go live date and are no plans for fibre in the area.

    She did wonder if those that had had fibre installed were actually BT retail customers.

    Just as a matter of interest Who are you with, Martin?

    Ok this is nonsense because we have all seen the tubing being laid and the fibre being blown into it.

    Perhaps Openreach have just forgotten they have done it although someone must have noticed a missing150kms of tubing and fibre!

    I also spoke to Openreach who, not surprisingly, wouldn't tell me if they actually advise BT when they have laid the fibre,

    Anyway, I tried.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  118. Hi Simon
    Please reply to my E/ mail address. Phil.elisha @btinternet .com over the location of you Cab 6 at Capel and it's GPS position.

    Regards. Phil Elisha. Ex BT haslemere area.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Okay - so things have now started to go as expected.

    My original order for 300Mbps was placed on 15 Oct, with a an initial confirmation for external work on 24 Oct, and internal work and activation on 4 Nov.

    By 17 October, BT had confirmed the need to have a survey done. The survey engineer came on 23 October. I was fortunately at home. He stated that (despite the fibre access point being right outside the house), there was no underground conduit in order to pass the cable to the exterior of my property. He got my permission, and that of my neighbour, to have the conduit buried across the garden. He advised that this would delay my internal install date, but that the external work should be completed 'within about 5 days'.

    The online order was updated (BT actually changed my order date to 30 Oct, even though I'd initially placed it on 15 Oct!). The renewed date for the internal work and activation was put back to 27 Nov. No date was given for the completion of the external work (including the work to dig & bury the conduit).

    Last Monday 18 November, I got a call at work, from an Openreach engineer. He'd arrived at my house to pull the fibre through. He informed me that there was no conduit, and would I give permission for my garden to be dug up and buried. I confirmed (somewhat grumpily) that I knew that there was no conduit, and that a survey had been done on 23 Oct which established that fact, and moreover I had already given permission, as had my neighbour, for the gardens to be dug up in order to lay the conduit. I asked whether this would be done soon, as I'd already cancelled time off work for the initial internal appointment on 4 Nov, and had now got time off on 27 Nov due to the reschedule. He told me not to worry, and that in a recent similar example in Beare Green, the dig team completed the work within 3 days.

    I've kept an eye on my online order up until today, and the internal appointment and activation date has remained as 27 November. I was due to be at home for 4 hours tomorrow morning to have the work done, all the while expecting the external digging and work to be carried out by today.

    This morning I got a phone call from Openreach, confirming that my activation date was supposed to have been tomorrow, but that I should be aware that the external work has not yet been carried out. With some frustration, I pointed out that it's now 6 weeks from initial order, and that I've now had to cancel and replan work around the two mornings I had been scheduled to be off work. I asked what the point of the survey had been, if nothing from it had been noted down in order to prevent a wasted trip by a second engineer on 18 Nov, and why the engineer on 18 Nov had asked for me to consent to digging work that I'd already consented to on 23 October. The man on the phone had no answer.

    I asked when I could expect the external work to be completed, and when the internal work would then be planned in (since I'll need to be at home for it). He could not give me a date for either visit, other than to say that the external digging teams are busy, and that someone would be in touch to confirm.

    to be continued...

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  120. ...continued from previous post

    I've just checked online. My activation date is still showing as tomorrow (wonder if I'll be charged for it, and if my billing will change). I have no idea when the external work will happen, and no idea when the internal work will happen. Given that it's Openreach, there's no phone number to call where anyone has a complete picture of the 3 engineering teams (dig team, external fibre install team, internal install team), in order to be able to provide accurate information. It's no wonder the people on the ground are unable to provide anything other than 'best guess' estimates for when things might happen.

    Very disgruntled, thinking back to the fact that this was meant to be a flagship exchange installation, due in 2011...and most annoyed that, if you really want the service, you can't vote with your feet and tell BT where to go...Race To Insanity is about right!

    I feel Tim's frustration in being on an 'enabled' cabinet/PON area, but unable to confirm if he can get the fibre upgrade. Sadly, even if you can touch the fibre point in the manhole outside your own front door, it seems you can't easily get BT/Openreach to hook you up to it....

    Frustrated in Beare Green....will keep you posted.

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  121. Sorry I haven't been around for the past week. We are BT customers although not for broadband - at least until now!

    Our post code is shown in the cab 6 list (RH5 4LJ) but I wonder what you are checking when you check postcodes. It seems that phone numbers have to be entered to get the definitive answer. When I use the post code checker I end up on the Openreach site which simply says Capel exchange is accepting orders.

    It seems we were lucky in them being to come in overhead rather than digging so I sympathise with the delays. Not having an Openreach contact number is especially frustrating.

    Martin

    ReplyDelete
  122. Hi Martin

    Thanks for the post.

    This is what I use to check phone numbers and postcodes

    http://www.dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/ADSLChecker.TelephoneNumberOutput

    Although the URL above is for numbers the page contains a link to a postcode checker as well.

    I just ran your postcode through it and apparently you can't get it either!!

    How did you manage to get connected? Who did you contact?

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi folks, The official BT retail info is at:

      http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/products/broadband/packages?Infinity=yes

      Note this has a "phone number" and a "no phone number" tab. I see that the "no phone number" tab now requests a post code and house no.

      Delete
    2. As Simon says, I think you are using an older checker. I went via the main BT website and onto the Superfast BT Infinity page. (Actually entering a number on the DSL checker site also shows 330 Mb as does entering our address whereas the post code check does not!)

      I simply entered our phone number in the Infinity checker and then ordered on line - couldn't have been easier.

      Delete
    3. Used the Superfast checker and the same response - Cannot get it.

      Weirdly I put in my Mum's address (she lives next door but is not a BT customer) and lo and behold she can get 300Mbps.

      What on earth is going on here. Perhaps they are trying to sell it to non bt customers first!

      It is such c**p service I really am thinking of staying with 4Mbps on adsl2+

      Tim

      Delete
    4. Tim, Please e-mail your and your mum's FULL addresses and phone numbers to simon dot lea at thevirtualvillage dot com if you would like me to take this up with the BT Race to Infinity team. I suspect that BT has a problem with its databases and a real life example like yours would be useful evidence. Simon

      Delete
    5. Thaks Simon. I have sent you an email.

      tim

      Delete
  123. Still no apparent progress towards availability of FTTP for any of the 40 properties up at Grenehurst Park (BT Broadband Checker still shows only ADSL2+ available). I believe we are all connected to Cabinet 8 at Grenehurs Park with our own further local distribution grid on the estate..

    I plan to take this up with the Superfast Surrey Broadband people to ask what they can do to lean on BT to deliver the remaining FTTP rollout on Capel exchange in a timely manner so that they and BT do not end up in the extremely embarrassing situation of large parts of the intended PON area of the Capel exchange only having ADSL2+ whilst the whole of the paid for Surrey Superfast Broadband gets FTTC within only a year of the projectrollout being announced.

    Is Johnny McQuoid still Head of BT Superfast Broadband and if so why isn't he on top of and sorting out this ridiculous situation?

    ReplyDelete
  124. Apparently as the following link suggests Capel will have access end of 2014. http://www.superfastsurrey.org.uk/postcode/

    ReplyDelete
  125. In a nutshell, the Superfast Surrey programme addresses Surrey properties served by exchanges that BT has determined are not commercially viable to upgrade to fibre. Capel joined BT's "commercial" roll-out as a consequence of being one of the Race to Infinity winners.

    The Superfast Surrey programme is an FTTC programme whereas Capel is mostly FTTP. The Surrey programme has an end 2014 completion date - but this is as ever "subject to what BT finds".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So where are we with the Cabinet 8 rollout at RH5 5GA and RH5 5GB. There is definitely a BT duct underground from where their overhead wiring across the Clarke's Green roundabout hits the estate boundary to a distribution frame on the edge of the main drive in front of the old mansion house. However what kind of ducts (if any rather than simple cable burying as may well have been used) run from that distribution frame to the 17 flats in the main house or the 12 detached houses and 11 cottages in the grounds is unclear. BT did definitely lay a fibre cable as far as the distribution frame about a year ago but nothing more has happened since then.

      Surely BT cannot just continue to stonewall forever on their repeated non delivery????

      Regards,

      Julian

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    2. Regarding Superfast Surrey I think it will be extremely embarrassing for both them and BT if many properties in Capel that were meant to have FTTP still only have ADSL2+ when the rest of the FTTC rollout on the other Superfast Surrey exchanges has been completed. Also what will have been the benefits of Capel winning the Race To Infinity if a large part of Capel does not get FTTP, as previously promised by BT, given that the Capel exchange (due to its large size in terms of number of lines compared to most of the other rural exchanges covered by the scheme) clearly would have met all the relevant criteria to be funded by Superfast Surrey for an FTTC rollout across most of the exchange area.

      Delete
  126. Also why are there so many different separate Blog Comment pages on this website, some of which are extremely difficult to navigate to from the home page. Surely it would be much easier to see the whole history of discussions about the supposed BT rollout of Superfast Broadband in Capel if there had only been one discussion forum for the whole site rather than various Blogs that can be commented on that keeping getting abandoned and replaced by more recent Blogs so the old comments cannot then easily be seen???

    Regards,

    Julian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry you find this blog difficult to navigate Julian. Why not create your own at:

      http://www.blogger.com/features

      You will need to choose a name for your blog (e.g. julian.blogspot.co.uk or julianspeaks.blogspot.co.uk). It really is very easy. Feel free to post a link to your blog on this blog.

      Best,

      Simon





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  127. I have consolidated all the blog info in a new website at www.fastcapelbroadband.com. This now shows the post codes covered by each cab. I think there are one or two errors but I found it really helpful to see the coverage graphically.

    ReplyDelete