Cabinet 20 Status

The new FTTC cabinet for PCP 20 was installed at the bottom of Shere Road in early September 2012 and the first orders for “fibre” broadband services were accepted from 19th October 2012. Availability was suspended from around 10/12/12 to 18/12/12 while additional capacity was added, and again from around 20/02/13 to 06/04/13. Please read the comments under this post for the full story. For information on checking availability and ordering the upgrade please see our FTTC Guide here.

The BT cabinets, in the vicinity of The Bulls Head, are in the Ewhurst Conservation Area. Initial plans for the additional FTTC cabinet were submitted to Waverley on 17th April, then withdrawn on 17th May following local opposition to the proposed location. A new planning application was submitted on 23rd May, proposing the new cabinet to be placed at the bottom of Shere Road. This application was supported by the Ewhurst Parish Council and local residents and planning permission was granted on 6th July 2012.

Cabinet 20 coverage

Status and coverage for other Ewhurst cabinets

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96 Responses to Cabinet 20 Status

  1. David Nye says:

    From conversations with the workmen here in The Street today, we understand that they are still trying to clear blockages in the ducts towards cabinet 20. As I understand it, first they try to push a rod through, then pull a rope, then use that to pull new tubing through (ready to accommodate the fibre optic cable). If that fails, then new ducting may have to be installed; a much larger job.

  2. Walter says:

    As of Monday 30 April 2012 we understand that a blue rope is installed in the repaired ducts from the school back down towards the Garage. We can confidently expect the tube installers will return shortly.

  3. David Nye says:

    Ewhurst Parish Council joined the list of 17 objectors to the location for this cabinet, following their meeting on Thursday. Ewhurst Parish Council have responded with comments such as “The PC strongly objects to the siting of this new equipment cabinet. Whilst the PC stress the fact that they would not question the principle for such a cabinet, it is the exact location which is of concern.” See http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=2406 and http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=2429 for further details, and here to read the full text with their reasons for objecting.

  4. David Nye says:

    The planning application submitted on 17th April 2012 was withdrawn on 17th May. See http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=2465

  5. Walter says:

    A revised application for the FTTC is now recorded on the Waverley web site

    http://waverweb.waverley.gov.uk/live/wbc/pwl.nsf/(RefNoLU)/TC20120005?OpenDocument

    The FTTC position is shown in Shere Road opposite the Bulls Head.
    Waverley’s target decision date is 17 July 2012

  6. David Nye says:

    Today WBC has approved the Planning Application for the FTTC for Cabinet 20 opposite the Bulls Head.

  7. David Nye says:

    Further works are planned from 22nd August to 5th September.

  8. David Nye says:

    Mark tells us that the DSLAM for cabinet 20 is in place and it looks like they have run all the cables/conduits back past The Bull’s Head.

  9. Walter says:

    Disregarding the lack of a complete fibre cable back to Cranleigh, it now appears that Cabinet 20 might receive a power supply between 15th to 17th October.

    http://www1.surreycc.gov.uk/highways/template3b.cfm?id=-139929&district=&town=EWHURST&roadName=SHERE%20ROAD

    Although the RFS date on the BT wholesale checker must be postponed for the third time to 31st December 2012 we might hopefully expect an earlier completion.

  10. Walter says:

    Power Networks dates now earlier from 2nd to 4th October, presumably at BT’s request. This might suggest that the Cranleigh fibre link could be completed soon.

  11. Walter says:

    Despite the draw rope and 100 pr cables getting entangled with the existent quad fibre tube yesterday, the slightly drier BT team returned today but still without a winch.

    We are disappointed that our BT contacts were unable to influence the planners so we only have cables for 100 services despite the DSLAM unit being equipped with 128 services. Furthermore although the cabinet plinth has two ducts, only a single one has been installed back to the joint pit and thence to the PCP green cabinet.

    This picture shows the joint pit with the yellow striped quad fibre tube installed as well as the single ducts. The two tie cables are yet to be pulled through with the blue rope.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/106914804/PCP-20-Pit-Only-One-Duct-5794

    This picture shows the whole cabinet, equipped with four 32 way DSLAM cables behind the termination pannel and with the tie cables partially installed.

    It is exhausting work for one man pulling the cables well over 50 m through the duct so a rest was called !

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/106914916/PCP-20-FTTC-5794

    This picture shows the cables in a little more detail including the quad tube made off with one tube feeding the white fibre splice box.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/106915086/Pcp-20-Fttc-Cables-5793

  12. Walter says:

    As so much unplanned effort was required yesterday, BT retuned today to connect the tie cables within the FTTCabinet. All that now remains is yet another visit, usually by different subcontractors, to fit a 5 pair telemetry cable and connect one pair. Lets hope that the cable twists in the long duct don’t cause the fourth cable to become entangled. There is no spare duct installed, even in the road crossing.

  13. David Nye says:

    Walter reports that the works to connect power to this cabinet were brought forward and we think will be completed today or tomrrow. He also observed the fibre being “blown” to this cabinet today. See comments on the fibre link page for further details: http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=2846#comment-443

  14. Walter says:

    Please see the comment of 10 October 2012 for cabinet 18 which applies here too. It explains that cabinet 20 still seems to be incomplete.

  15. Walter says:

    We observed Cabinet 20’s fibre cabinet apparently being successfully commissioned by contractors today even though there is no telemetry cable fitted yet. Whether this will delay the RFS date is unknown.

    However we have reason to believe that BT and their planning contractors have blundered yet again mistakenly installing the smaller ECI 128 cabinet (with only 100 services available) in the tie cables instead of the ECI 256 and 200 services.

    Here is a picture of the cabinet today

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/110211821/Commissioning-Cabinet-20-s-FTTC-6065

    and here is a link to some ECI 256 cabinet pictures in Lancashire

    http://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,11701.msg224287.html#msg224287

    Given that PCP 20 serves about 332 Houses with 502 working pairs we hope that BT will rectify the situation rapidly and before we run out of capacity. Whilst there could be some difficulty with local staff awareness, the lamentable activities which brought this debacle about must surely be carefully considered?

  16. Walter says:

    As of Friday 19 October 2012, you will no doubt be very relieved to know that the first 64 consumers wanting a VDSL connection to cabinet 20, at long last, 15 months after the Vtesse Networks date of 14 weeks from order placement, can probably order a service via their chosen ISP**. Another 36 consumers can follow once a second line card is inserted at the FTTC, but that is the full limit of the cabled capacity for each cabinet at present. It is possible that this cabinet was installed by mistake instead of the larger ECI 256 one; we are hoping that BT will rectify that mistake rapidly before matters are complicated by many live services. House installation time is usually around 14 days but can vary, presumably dependent upon Openreach and subcontract staff work load. Another delay hazard has sometimes been observed as the line isn’t always fully tested before the installation day. If found faulty the installation has to be postponed whilst the end user agrees an Openreach repair visit via their current provider. This will be a particular challenge for those outliers with very poor and unreliable lines. We are aware of a number at the extremities who will probably struggle to obtain any VDSL service at all.

    **If you are taking the opportunity to change providers, as you must if your existing provider doesn’t offer VDSL services, you should start by contacting your existing ISP and possibly obtaining a MAC (Migration Authorisation Code) BEFORE you order the new VDSL service.

    May I remind you that we would very much like to hear from all who order a VDSL service so we can compare results. I also have an unlocked replacement Openreach modem or two to investigate the performance data in much more detail.

    The picture here
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/110505019/Cab-20-RFS-now-OK
    is the BT Wholesale Checker result for a bad Cabinet 20 service obtained this Friday morning.

    It remains to be seen if the speed estimate is provided in practice, assuming the end users are prepared to pay premium charges in some cases.

    Could I suggest that those who have a tolerable connection should watch the following 4.5 minute YouTube video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHIwQKWup4Q&list=UUM_SvCkJ-f7dWm_4gIDvwUQ&index=1&feature=plcp
    It leads on to an 18 minute one which only the adventurous will probably want to watch, even though it is highly relevant also.

  17. Walter says:

    I am already aware of VDSL orders placed into double figures. The installation date for an order I placed at 09:20 this morning HAS ALREADY BEEN EXTENDED OUT BY A WHOLE MONTH to 19 November!

  18. I have just placed my order for BT Infinity Option 2. The BT Wholesale Checker shows the following:

    “Our test also indicates that your line currently supports a fibre technology with an estimated WBC FTTC Broadband where consumers have received downstream line speed of 61.4Mbps and upstream line speed of 20Mbps.”

    I live in Downhurst Road and will be connected to cabinet 20. The date that BT have given me for the installation is 7th November 2012 – fingers crossed!

  19. Walter says:

    Although I’m aware of a number of subscribers now well over 25% of the initial capacity, the first installations are not due until the beginning of November with one now into December too. It seems as if the installation teams are overloaded which might cause further delays if remedial works are required. It is posible that the initial channels available could be over-subscribed. If so some later applicants could find their installation dates postponed.

  20. David Nye says:

    New orders for FTTC VDSL services for lines connected to street cabinet PCP 20 have been suspended. The BT Wholesale availability check now states that this “cabinet is planned to have WBC FTTC by 8th January 2013.”

  21. PhilT says:

    64 + 64 = 128 capacity with the second line card ??

  22. David Nye says:

    I am told that the link cable currently installed only has 100 pairs, so BT potentially “waste” the other 28. To use these apparently they will have to break the seals to install another cable, and this will quite likely involve digging up the area again.

  23. Walter says:

    I have just confirmed via the BT Wholesale VDSL checker that Cabinet 20 VDSL services can now be ordered again, but there can only be an additional 36 at present. We are not aware just how or even when BT will go about increasing that capacity.

    The simplest solution, if BT can depart from their standard design, would be to pull in a further pair of 50 pr cables into the existing single duct. That would yield a further 28 channels.

    (The 36 or so unfortunates in Barhatch Lane and above remain without any chance of VDSL services even though cabinet 6 is ready for service.)

  24. Walter says:

    I am not aware if BT have actually installed the second line card and the filter blocks but I do know of two appointments already made for 16th January so BT still have sufficient time to complete their original upgrade plans.

    I am aware of a number of services which have been installed with reasonable results recently. To counter that there are 4 incidents which are of serious concern. Furthermore it is apparent that sub-contractors are not equipped with the required test instrument to monitor the line conditions prior to completing the installation.

    1. A contractor-installed service where two master sockets were left in series each with ring wires attached. The contractor left with a download speed around 9 Mbps even though, unknown to the end user, four further services down the same cable achieve around 20 Mbps. Once rectification works were completed that service obtains around 30 Mbps.

    2. A Monday morning appointment started on time at around 08:00 but the non-local BT engineer could not find the green cabinet so went on to his next appointment even though he was told we knew of its location. He failed to return or call back.

    3. A Contractor attempted to install a VDSL service but discovered a fault so left without restoring either the original broadband or the dial tone. 3 days later a local engineer (who was appalled at the previous workmanship) restored the original services but could not complete the VDSL installation as he wasn’t trained to do so. The third vist completed the VDSL installation but only with a speed of 14.6 Mbps

    4. Another VDSL service required a DACS line sharing unit to be removed before the installation was completed giving a sub- 2 Mbps VDSL service. A special fault investigation visit was booked but upon arrival it was obvious that the BT records require correction as a different DACS service had been disconnected. Three weeks or so later these two faults are yet to be resolved.

  25. David Nye says:

    Zen are offering free installation and a free router for all “Fibre Optic” Broadband services ordered between now and 6th January 2013.

  26. Walter says:

    I have now come across two non-compliant VDSL installations done by BT’s installation subcontractors. This has caused significant degradation of the VDSL service. Matters are made much worse as these engineers do not carry the correct test equipment to do a pair quality test.

    One had left two master sockets in series connecting the correct new faceplate to the second master socket. After rework a 9 Mbps sync speed increased to around 30 Mbps.

    The second installation was done by a Kelly engineer who hadn’t changed the wiring at all and just put the new modem into a slave socket integral fileter faceplate. This resulted in a sync speed of around 20 Mbps which should be at least double that on a short cable route to the cabinet.

    It is imperative that all installations follow BT Openreach’s approved design illustrated here:-

    http://phil.lavin.me.uk/2012/02/bts-uk-fttc-vdsl2-explained/

    Please get in touch if your installation does not include this type of master socket.

  27. Walter says:

    For those who are unaware of the implications of sub-standard installations and for all politicians and public servants, I thought I would add some further explanation to the notes in the article above.

    BT Openreach’s policy of locking down the modem, making it nearly impossible to monitor the quality of the end user’s service, is considered unacceptable by many; particularly as BT won’t accept any speed complaint unless the performance has dropped to very low speeds.

    As soon as an installation has been completed, the Digital Line Management (DLM) software begins to monitor the condition of the line to ensure that stable speeds are maintained. This is quite a complex set of processes. Where there is a significant speed degradation however caused, a permanent maximum speed restriction is set. This is reflected in the downstream IP profile which is included in the BT speed test, but only for those services provided through the BT Wholesale offerings. (Similar limits are probably applied by ISPs who use their own methods.) The maximum speed restriction usually remains in force permanently even if the line conditions improve. The normal method of removing the restriction is to arrange for a BT Openreach Special Faults Investigation (SFI), BUT that can’t be easily achieved if the line is reasonably stable.

    One DLM process employs “Interleaving” at differing levels depending upon the severity of transmission failures. (See  http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/interleaving.htm. ) The end user is usually informed of the synchronising speed but may be disappointed by the throughput speed obtained in real usage and reported by speed tests, as interleaving adds to the total amount of useful data transmitted.

    Yet more speed restrictions are applied by reducing the transmitter powers. This is done to reduce the cross-talk effects of a service upon other VDSL (Very high bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line) and the older weaker ADSL (Asymmetric DSL) services being carried in the same cable.

    If an engineer fails to do a pair quality test or if unacceptable installation practices by subcontractors go unchecked, particularly where an end user is unaware of the correct methods, then this often results in unacceptable sub-optimal services. As the services are sold on an “up to” 40 or 80 Mbps basis the end user is often unable to challenge the end result. However as we have already demonstrated twice, significant improvements are sometimes possible. We have (at least) two others pending although there can be no guarantee of a successful outcome on each occasion.

    It appears that the derelict and redundant lightning arrestor in Moon Hall Road is still connected to most of the twisted pair lines. If so, it will be forming a “bridged tap” reflecting some of the signal and thus damaging the signal quality. Yet there are already at least 6 VDSL installations on this cable. It is hoped that the redundant device will be removed immediately as part of the re-work in Peaslake Road after the July 7 emergency repairs. As BT Openreach were unable to reconnect 12 wires properly, nor even to test them at the Distribution Point, two users themselves had to chase BT for 25 and 28 days respectively just to get a dial tone restored.

    http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=2751

    It must be recognised that it would be entirely uneconomic for BT Openreach to rewire much of the Cranleigh exchange network; so anyone unfortunate to be connected via the original green cabinets** or via under-performing cables may have to accept lower performance services. However it would be prudent to examine the unlocked modem’s actual performance to discover whether there is potential for a faster service.  ** One such example are the older houses at the far end of Horsham Road in Cranleigh which are connected to cabinet 3 in Bridge Road skipping two other intermediate cabinets and increasing the VDSL line length to over 1 km thus reducing the downstream throughput to under 24 Mbps.

    It is becoming increasingly obvious that much of the network is not fit for VDSL broadband purpose for “up to 80 Mbps” services. Line length certainly plays a part, as does the quality of the lines. Even the most expensive services are still only asymmetric, providing at the very best, “up to” only 20 Mbps upload and 80 Mbps download. It follows that any State Aid provided to increase the coverage of asymmetric “Superfast” Broadband services will result in many mediocre services. As this “asset sweating” approach is demonstrably inadequate and incapable of further satisfactory enhancement, it is surely time to call a halt to further subsidies unless they are wholly targeted at replacement of the ageing infrastructure with far more reliable and “future-proofed” point-to-point fibre to the premises. Failure to recognise these facts will result in even more delay and yet more subsidies to do the work yet again at even greater costs. Peter Cochrane’s*** evidence to the House of Lords enquiry that “this is one of the worst mistakes humanity has made” is so well illustrated here that there is an overwhelming argument we should follow his advice:-

    http://www.slideshare.net/PeterCochrane/why-ftth-fibre-to-the-home

    *** Former BT Chief Technical Officer 

  28. Walter says:

    I am sorry to say the unacceptable situation continues. The third sub-standard installation in The Glebe by a Kelly subcontractor for a “morning appointment” started after 16:00 on 4 December 2012 after three telephone conversations with BT.

    His language was uncompromising. He refused to inspect the internal junction box containing star wiring on four cables complete with ring wires. He refused to use the hole drilled in the external wall specifically to help him to provide an optimum connection.

    This is the performance the unfortunate resident has endured since installation:-

    Max: Upstream rate = 5,814 Kbps, Downstream rate = 18,540 Kbps
    Path: Upstream rate = 5,832 Kbps, Downstream rate = 18,190 Kbps

    This is the improved data after cable optimisation:-

    Max: Upstream rate = 6,900 Kbps, Downstream rate = 37,852 Kbps
    Path: Upstream rate = 6,916 Kbps, Downstream rate = 19,998 Kbps

    but note the Line management software caps the service still at 19,998 Kbps even though this service was purchased as BT Option 2 “up to 72 Mbps”.

    We are already involved in the weary process of convincing BT to rectify the havoc caused by the subcontractor.

    In order to help others similarly afflicted in central Ewhurst, ALL VDSL services should exceed a throughput speed test of at least 30 Mbps. However the outliers are in a much worse situation with the lowest performer achieving 1.96 Mbps. Please ask if you would like assistance or further explanation.

  29. Walter says:

    To avoid more repetition I should like to report briefly that I have now dealt with the first part of a FOURTH subcontractor installation this time by Quinn. The usual partial installation was found without a new filter plate and a ring wire was left within the master socket. A 10 m flat RJ11 cable was retained instead of using the much shorter RJ11 cable supplied with the router.

    The synchronisation speed has now doubled but the actual speed is still capped by BT until a site visit allows the BT Control to reset the banded profile.

    (Just to clarify the Jan 6th article: As PCP 19 only covers central Ewhurst and Cranleigh Road the only area falling below 30 Mbps should possibly be in the Slythehurst area.)

  30. David Nye says:

    It appears that postcode availability checks for this area are no longer showing FTTC as available. This seems to mean that if you want to order “fibre” broadband on a new line, for example, you may be told it is not available. However, once the new line is active it will hopefully then show that FTTC is available to order.

  31. Walter says:

    I have done a little research regarding 3 non-VDSL lines connected to PCP 19 which do not mention the possibility of any VDSL service now, whereas they did in the past. We are not informed of the reason for the refusal but it might be that cabinet 19 has also run out of the first 64 connections and awaits a new release date after the second line card with 36 services available is installed. IF this is the case it is disappointing that BT did not initiate the upgrades to both cabinets 19 & 20 simultaneously.

    Cabinets 18 & 20 seem unaffected by this delay.

  32. Walter says:

    I am pleased to report some successful repairs of the sub-standard subcontractor VDSL installations, although we are waiting on two of the three faults to be cleared by BT Openreach with or without a site visit.

    The completed one on the north-eastern corner of the Glebe was not without the usual struggles and obfuscation. We reported the fault on 24 December and provided additional data on the 26 December and 28 December, clearly showing the modem was now capable of a sync speed of 44,628 Kbps but was capped with a banded profile at 25,000 Kbps. We eventually had an appointment booked for 3 January 2013 a.m. slot. We rechecked the data early on the third and were surprised to see the cap had been raised to 30,000 Kbps so we informed PlusNet. BT did not turn up for the appointment nor did they telephone us to say so. We eventually discovered that the new cap was applied at 05:16 on 2 January, in plenty of time for BT to tell us of their intentions. It is quite unacceptable that BT attempt to deceive End Users with a partial adjustment of the wrong parameter, and even worse they don’t bother to tell us not to wait in for the morning. We eventually had a pro-forma reply via PlusNet stating a new appointment had been booked for 9 January 2013, but with a threat that there could be a £60.00 charge to correct the faulty house wiring the subcontract engineer had left. The BT Openreach engineer arrived on 9 January and tested the line which was in an acceptable condition. After BT Openreach control reset the banded profile the modem stabilised at 43.41 Mbps. At this line length and quality, it seems as if we must accept that performance which is just double the speed after the substandard installation on a service ordered as “up to 76 Mbps”. It’s interesting to note a significant degradation from e.g. the Hazlebank area with sync speeds around 69 Mbps, also connected to PCP 19.

  33. Walter says:

    It is encouraging to see that the BT Wholesale Broadband Availability Checker now provides the cabinet connection details. It also provides the estimate for the actual line number entered rather than for others. Cabinet 19 seems to have been enabled now presumably for the further 36 lines available on a second line card. Sadly there is no change for the unfortunate residents up Barhatch Lane & Horseblock Hollow etc. connected to cabinet 6 but without any fibre services (Now called WBC FTTC) being available at all.

    The warnings that achievable throughput speeds will be less than the Line Rates is another welcome change listing the practical limitations of this design.

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

  34. Walter says:

    The text below from BT’s service status page suggests cable theft in the Cranleigh area has disrupted telephone services, though those with a fibre broadband connection from the green cabinets are probably still able to access the internet, e-mail etc.

    ______________________________________________________________________

    Due to suspected Cable Thefts & damage caused by 3rd parties, a small number of our customers in the below areas, may experience a loss of telephone and/or broadband services. We hope to have service restored as quickly as possible and apologise for any inconvenience this may be causing.

    Cressage – 019525 (estimated clear date 18/01/13).
    Albert Dock – 020112, 020113, 020115, 020320, 0207055, 020747, 020751, 020754 (estimated clear date 17/01/13).
    Brentwood – 012772 (estimated clear date 16/01/13).

    Bushmills – 02820730, 02820731, 02820732, 02820733, 02820734 (estimated clear date 17/01/2013).

    Cranleigh – 01483 (estimated clear date 19/01/13).

    Dunamanagh – 0287139 (estimated clear date 17/01/2013).

    Emsworth – 012433 (estimated clear date 17/01/13).
    Hawarden – 012445 (estimated clear date 18/01/13).

    (This list continues)

  35. Walter says:

    Reference the Jan 10th Report, I am sorry to say for the last bad installation that BT Retail this time, very sadly (but true-to-form) obfuscate and have yet to be convinced that a sync speed of 19.99 Mbps clearly demonstrates a 20 Mbps cap is still applied. This is despite a BT Openreach Special Faults Investigation last Thursday 17 Jan. adjusting all the wiring to a very good standard.

    If at first you don’t succeed ….. but stay cool, calm and collected whilst you fire yet another salvo at the Behemoth.

    Incidentally I’ve discovered that one of the best ways of one-way communication is to use the domestic BT e-mail fault reporting mechanism here:-

    https://bt.custhelp.com/app/contact_email/c/5627,5658

    N.B. This is only for those still using BT retail domestic services.

    This is not a very rapid service usually taking over a day to respond but at least you are not repeating yourself endlessly talking to Inda or even the UK sometimes.

    Perhaps somebody within BT might like to note that both Zen Internet and PlusNet were far more efficient at resolving the other three identical problems caused by substandard subcontractor installations.

  36. David Nye says:

    The BT Wholesale checker is now showing that FTTC will be available from 26th February, which suggests that Openreach are having to increase capacity for the second time to meet demand for “fibre” broadband service in the area covered by cabinet 20. We are told that initial capacity was based on the average take-up nationally. One would think it entirely predictable that take-up here would be higher, given the level of interest and publicity.

  37. Walter says:

    The SCC web site now shows that BT are about to include an inspection pit near the FTTC. This remedial work to overcome the “money saving” original installation is thought necessary to introduce more cables into the single 57 m duct to the pit at the PCP Green Cabinet. It is to be hoped that a carefully constructed cable sock is used to pull two 100 pr and two 50 pr cables to almost provide the full ECI 256 capacity this time. Failure to do this will almost certainly result in burying a second duct – something many would see as a significant failing of the original design here and at the other two sites. However further engineering in the FTTC and the PCP are necessary before additional capacity is made available. It is quite regrettable that BT did not pay any attention to our pleas to meet our procurement specification of 500 service capacity at all three sites since the beginning of 2012, long before the FTTC cabinets at PCPs 18 and 20 were installed. The result is more expense for BT and yet further delays in VDSL service provision.

    This is the text from the SCC web site:-
    Waverley
    SHERE ROAD, EWHURST

    From 25 February 2013 to 27 February 2013

    Organisation:
    British Telecommunications plc
    Scale of works:
    MINOR
    Site location:
    OPP THE OLD COTTAGE SHERE ROAD
    Location:
    SHERE ROAD
    Description
    Build 1 concrete chamber 915mm x 445mm x 965mm deep in Footway
    Traffic management
    NONE / SIGNING ONLY

    ________________________________________________

    We also now see that the Peaslake Road final repair date for the July 7 2012 debacle has been postponed yet again to 18 April 2013.

    EWHURST ROAD, EWHURST

    From 18 April 2013 to 19 April 2013

    Organisation:
    British Telecommunications plc
    Scale of works:
    MAJOR
    Site location:
    outside WOOLPIT HATCH PEASLAKE ROAD EWHURST CRANLEIGH GU6 7NR
    Location:
    EWHURST ROAD
    Description
    Overhead cable renewal to Restore Service, cabling vehicle will block road due to width working hours only

    It does appear that BT are still failing to recognise the vital need for the much shorter whole Peaslake Road route for all the broadband sufferers as part of the suggested five figure “commercial” fibre installation at the DoK school. (Whilst BT are accepting significant sums from SCC for other broadband developments.)

  38. James says:

    The postcode availability check for GU6 7NW were showing that FTTC would be available from Cabinet 20 ‘on 26 February’. However, a check this morning now shows that FTTC is not available here at all, with no new target date mentioned. Is that the same for all those using Cabinet 20, or is it only those of us so far away?

  39. David Nye says:

    Hi James, I just checked an example property on cab 20 using the “address checker” and that showed as FTTC being available again now, whereas yesterday it also said 26th. I would guess that the database is in the process of updating, and hopefully your number will show availability again in the next few days. Plusnet (and probably others) seem to use the address checker, so if that works they may accept your order today. If you do order from Plusnet, there is a cashback scheme (see here) or you can quote a referral Plusnet username (to get that user a discount on future bills) on your order (my Plusnet username is davidnye ;-) )

  40. Walter says:

    Hello James,

    I have checked a number of real telephone numbers including your neighbour which all show that VDSL services are available now (26 Feb 2013) but I suspect the few remaining services will be consumed very rapidly. As BT are only just starting an expansion program with the building of the inspection pit at the FTTC we can expect a longer delay before the next capacity expansion is completed.

    I do know that the postcode and address checker demonstrate inconsistent results when compared to acceptable telephone numbers; I suspect your phone number check failed as it is a LLU service.

  41. James says:

    Yes – my number is a talkTalk LLU service, so the telephone number checker will not work. However, I have tried the address checker (full address and post code) again for GU6 7NW and the FTTC option is definitely missing.

  42. James says:

    … also, I have tried both TalkTalk and PlusNet and each tell me that “fibre optic broadband isn’t available in your area yet…”

    Clearly it is, because I have FTTC on my (business) second line with ICUK, with a 4Mbps service – but it seems that I still cannot upgrade my home broadband line.

  43. David Nye says:

    As noted previously, the cabinet 20 availability database is clearly being updated at the moment, so it would be worth trying again in a few days. If you are willing to pay more for better service, then try an ISP more likely to investigate your specific case (see the FTTC Guide page). If all else fails you may have to switch the phone line rental back to BT first, or ask for Openreach to investigate.

  44. Walter says:

    @ James,

    I know there are very few VDSL services remaining at present an d there are several postponements to be completed. Despite warm words, it is quite unrealistic to expect more services to be available without a delay of indeterminate length. Given that the promised pit by the FTTC had not been started by lunchtime today (Tuesday 26) and the concrete has yet to be poured and set, then some cores cut and an additional duct and termination assembly has to be installed in the PCP, as well as small FTTC ductworks must be completed, then a cable gang has to be mobilised and succeed in pulling new cables in**, then fitters for both the FTTC and the PCP must complete the other additions, my best guess would be at least a month. ** BT Openreach staff took two whole days just to get the first two 100 pr cables in as they jammed in the very long ducts.

    In these circumstances if you want a domestic VDSL service soon, I suggest you order a new line from your selected ISP. Once that is installed you can then order a VDSL service. Even assuming there are spare pairs in your cable I would expect this process would require a minimum of three weeks so it’s by no means certain you won’t get caught in the next unavailability slot.

  45. David Nye says:

    That last option sounds expensive Walter?

    Lots of options; take your pick James. Then again, you might be prudent to keep one line on ADSL as I have done, as a backup in case the FTTC cabinet fails, for example. Although 3G can also be used as a backup service; I’m still testing that option here.

  46. James says:

    We are moving a bit off-topic here David, but if it’s of any interest to you, I have a 3g contract with the Three Network on the One Plan, which promises unlimited internet plus tethering, so I can use that to get around 5Mbps, although the service is patchy near the top of Pitch Hill. I do in fact have an external 3g aerial, which has made a difference, but it’s still not perfect.

    I may in fact take your advice and stick with the sub-1Mbps ADSL service as a backup with TalkTalk – although I have a dual WAN router, which works well to combine two connections very well to double download speed on large downloads in most cases, so a second 4Mbps VDSL would be useful.

    Perhaps I should save my cash for the huge amount it will undoubtedly cost for me to get a FTTP link ‘on demand’ along the 1.2 miles from Cabinet 20, to my house!

  47. James says:

    Update – the address checker is now showing availability of FTTC from 12 March 2013. Can any of you explain what is going on – and what might be happening on 12 March?

  48. David Nye says:

    James, please refer to Walter’s comments above on 26th for detailed explanation of why the work will take some time. It looks like the date has been put back because they are doing more work than originally anticipated. Hopefully they will enable sufficient capacity this time!

    Also, re FTTP, the cost is likely to be related to your distance from the “distribution point”, not your cabinet. We think this is near the entrance to Sayers Croft.

  49. Walter says:

    We are disappointed to note that the remedial works in Shere Road have been postponed from February to 7 – 11 March:-

    Waverley
    SHERE ROAD, EWHURST
    From 07 March 2013 to 11 March 2013

    Organisation : British Telecommunications plc

    Scale of works : MINOR

    Site location : OPP THE OLD COTTAGE SHERE ROAD

    Location : SHERE ROAD

    Description : Build 1 concrete chamber 915mm x 445mm x 965mm deep in Footway

    Traffic management : NONE / SIGNING ONLY

    http://www1.surreycc.gov.uk/highways/recordUtility.aspx?worksID=BC005-WP00100500104037602&id=412633&town=EWHURST&roadName=SHERE%20ROAD

    If these works are directly concerned with providing additional VDSL capacity for those already waiting, it seems impossible that the 12 March deadline will be achieved. Thus the BT Wholesale availability checker’s forecast must surely be delayed significantly. However forecast dates often seem to remain until the actual date has been reached before they are revised again.

  50. Walter says:

    I am sorry to say we have yet more evidence of a dysfunctional organisation, but which confirms my suspicion above. A resident who was in process of ordering a VDSL service from cabinet 20 has received the note dated Mon, 4 Mar 2013 18:50:30 copied below from the no-reply address :-BroadbandOrderManagement@bt.com

    However if you enter a telephone number in the BT Wholesale checker today:-

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

    now for either cabinets 19 or 20 the
    data displayed starts :-

    BROADBAND AVAILABILITY CHECKER
    Telephone Number 0148327xxxx on Exchange CRANLEIGH is served by Cabinet 20
    Available Products Downstream Line Rate(Mbps) Upstream Line Rate(Mbps) Downstream Range(Mbps) Availability Date
    Featured Products
    WBC FTTC Up to 3.9 Up to 0.9 – 12-Mar-13
    etc….

    Given that the Ewhurst project should have been straight forward if only senior BT management, public servants and politicians had agreed to provide a like-for-like solution to our grant-approved proposal. Instead we observe procrastination and obfuscation which might perhaps be of some concern within SCC and elsewhere.

    ________________________________________________
    Subject: Broadband Order Management

    Automatic Mailer
    This e-mail has been sent by an automated system, please do not respond to this e-mail.
    —————————————————————————————
    BT here, unfortunately we are unable to provide broadband on your line until after 12/04/13. Please accept our most sincere apologies. We will contact you on 15/04/2013 with a further update. Alternatively, we are available on 0800 124 134 between 9am-5pm. Kind regards, BT.

  51. Walter says:

    Now that the promised order availability date for VDSL Fibre services of 12 March 2013 for both cabinets 19 & 20 has been reached, the WBC FTTC** “featured product” has been removed from the BT Wholesale Broadband Availability checker. However FTTC is still available for those connected to cabinet 18.

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

    It now seems that BT are unable to disclose if or when further VDSL Broadband services will be made available for order.

    ** WBC FTTC = Wholesale Broadband Connect – Fibre To The Cabinet
    I.e. the BT Wholesale product your chosen Internet Service Provider may choose to offer

    The BT retail checker now provides the following words:-

    “Sorry, you’re not currently able to get BT Infinity. This may be because your area has not been enabled yet, or your individual line does not support superfast broadband. However, you can still get BT Broadband. Please choose from one of the packages below.”

    Zen Internet repeat this message more succinctly
    “Fibre Broadband Services
    Line enabled for Fibre Broadband: No”

    Plusnet don’t mention Fibre broadband any more either

  52. Walter says:

    A date of 19 March 2013 is now mentioned but which seems unrelated to actual works underway, starting with the new joint pit by the salt box. It also contradicts the April 12 date mentioned in the postponed order note discussed above.

  53. Mike says:

    At least 2 of us have phone problems on Coneyhurst Lane this morning; can’t ring out and phone rings but we can’t answer. BT engineers are aware and are working on it; not sure if it could be related to the cabinet 20 works.

  54. Walter says:

    I am aware of two similar problems off other 01483 exchanges but only for users hiring their services from TalkTalk. It might still be a more general problem though.

    Here are the words which appear on the TT web site

    http://www.talktalk.co.uk/service-status/

    Customers in the South East of England may be experiencing total loss of phone service.

  55. Mike says:

    The Coneyhurst Lane phone fault has been fixed.

  56. Walter says:

    I am pleased to sat that it is now (Tues 19 March) possible to order VDSL services again for those connected to cabinet 20 according to the BT Wholesale checker.

    It’s interesting to note that the inspection pit works by the FTTC have been postponed yet again, starting today.

    This suggests a 50 pr cable has probably been installed (or is about to be installed) to provide access to the final 28 existing services as there would be significantly more work to install another pair of 100 pr cables together with the FTTC and green cabinet equipment.

  57. Walter says:

    Silly me ! Why did I believe what BT announced yesterday when today we see the RFS date has NOW BEEN POSTPONED TO 02-APR-2013 ?

    If only BT had listened to us in January 2012 they could have saved their shareholders a lot of money and prevented a supply interruption approaching 3 months and still counting. (Weather etc. are reasonable excuses for short term delays but BT could have started this exercise when they announced the original capacity delay last year.)

  58. Walter says:

    I am very sorry to say that the BT Wholesale VDSL Estimator seems to have lost all credibility as it is no longer announcing ANY VDSL “Ready For Service” date, although the additional inspection pit has been completed near the yellow salt box. It remains to be seen if:-
    1. The expansion of the existing FTTC design is not practical
    2. It is no longer financially viable
    3. It is to be linked to an application to use SCC funds
    4. BT has insufficient resources at present perhaps due to their commitments to SCC
    5. Planning application for a second FTTC is being considered, but at present there is no planning application shown on Waverley’s web site.

  59. Walter says:

    I observe today that cabinet 20 is supposed to be ready for service again immediately.
    However, although we have a very patient client who has been waiting since 2 December 2012, but was caught with the initial postponed RFS date of 8 January 2013, he has totally failed to contact any human being within BT who can inform him why he still has to wait until April 15 to be contacted by BroadbandOrderManagement@bt.com to say when it will be convenient for them to complete his order. So much for customer care !

    It also means we are unable to confirm if orders can be placed and, more importantly, when they will be completed. If any new order-placers on cabinet 20 succeed we’d very much like to know.

  60. Walter says:

    Today it is no longer possible to order a VDSL service again for cabinet 20 as a new subscriber ? It should be noted that if you already have a VDSL service from cabinet 20, then the Wholesale checker says VDSL services are available.

  61. Walter says:

    Never a dull moment with Cabinet 20′s RFS dates !
    Today it is now advertising that VDSL services will be available from Tuesday 9 April 2013.

    I happened to be passing PCP 20 today whilst a BT engineer was involved in non VDSL works. Rather strangely there area still at least two bunches of 10 pairs still not in service. This seems to confirm that both the original line cards are operational but that there are difficulties either with the tie cable pairs or the second line card. If the latter perhaps a replacement is to be fitted next Monday ?

    Any reports of BT staff inside the FTTC would be appreciated.

    We can also confirm that there is still only 1 pair of 100 pr tie cables installed. On the assumption that BT are to increase the capacity to 200 services, then the second pair of tie cables are still to be installed and probably also the additional cabinet jumper cables, IDC connector blocks, white filter blocks and line cards inside the FTTC.

  62. Walter says:

    Today Cabinet 20 is available for ordering a VDSL service immediately !!!!

  63. Walter says:

    Given that cabinet 19 requires remedial works (See link below), it seems that BT have probably repaired or replaced the components to allow all the first 100 services to be used. It remains to be seen if some “Shoehorning” can be achieved to install the additional 57 m tie cables necessary to provide 200 services.

  64. Walter says:

    I am astonished to confirm the user mentioned in my April 3rd note above STILL isn’t connected and has had yet another postponement note to 8 May 2103 when BT may be able to inform him when a service might be connected.

    Meanwhile the wholesale estimator is promising that VDSL services for cabinet 20 are still available.

  65. David Nye says:

    Walter reports that once again it is not possible to place new orders for fibre broadband services from cabinet 20, so it probably needs a further upgrade. If so, then apparently this could be quite a big job.

  66. Walter says:

    I had also reported that BT have done a “least-cost fix” by adding a second inspection chamber near the salt box and then running only a 50 pair cable most of the way in the old GPO duct before diverting into the new cabinet. The total capacity is now 150 services but it seems that the first 128 are all consumed only leaving a further 22 services available, should BT sanction significant costs to install an additional line card, IDC connector blocks and the jumper cables, all inside the live operational cabinet. This has not yet been done as there are still unused pairs in the 50 pr cable.

    However I can now report that at least one VDSL service can be ordered again for cabinet 20. Whether it is immediately available perhaps due to an existing service being ceased or whether the cabinet additions are being planned remains to be seen.

  67. Walter says:

    Given this vexed topic has reached a high profile in Ewhurst, as BT were responsible for destroying our far more comprehensive project, and has significant implications** for Surrey and elsewhere in the UK, I am quite astonished that BT continue with their quite unacceptable obfuscatory tactics for Cabinet 20.

    Today, Tuesday 27 August 2013 the BT Wholesale availability checker has POSTPONED YET AGAIN the re-availability date from tomorrow 28 August 2013 to 25 September 2013. This is the third time since the installation in mid October 2012 that the capacity limit has been reached. When will BT’s accountants realise the re-engineering costs on this scale are bound to impact their shareholders ? Perhaps they hope that “Infinity Broadband” can be supported by the taxpayers’ infinite pockets ?

    We had complained many times that BT’s solution was inadequate in terms of quantity of 128 instead of 500 per cabinet (and on many of the outliers on quality too) but those pleas have and seemingly continue to be ignored for all cabinets.

    ** We observe that exactly the same installation blunders continue throughout Surrey. A significant number of cabinets are being installed now with only single ducts, only 100 pair tie cables and with the capacity of fibre cabinets nowhere near matching the number of lines in the original green cabinets. Yet the BT monopoly is warmly applauded and partially financed with taxpayers’ money by Local Authorities; seemingly without hindrance whilst the company speculates with sports coverage leaving the infrastructure inadequately maintained.

    Please note that the availability checker
    https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/main.html
    tells you there is a VDSL service available if you try a number already enabled.

  68. Walter says:

    Today, Sun 15 Sept 2013 Roadworks.org reports that, for the THIRD TIME, yet more duct is to be installed near the FTTC in the Conservation Area between 16 to 18 September 2013. Although not impossible, it seems a tall order for BT and their subcontractors to complete all the works to provide more capacity in the FTTCabinet for the still-reported / promised availability date of 25 Sept 2013. So be prepared for a possible second delayed date, perhaps on 24 Sept 2013 ?

    http://tinyurl.com/qyrbchq

    When clicking on the map you will see that UK Power Networks is to close the road at some time between 30 Sept to 8 Oct, although it is unclear if that is associated works.

    SCC Highways does NOT yet report the BT works, but does the UK Power Networks.

    The Waverley planning site does not report any planning application other than the original in May 2012 for Land Opposite The Old Cottage Shere Road Ewhurst GU6 7PQ .

    http://tinyurl.com/pmhx64e

  69. Walter says:

    Today Tues 17 September with 7 days left to “Ready for Service” date of September 25

    I was passing PCP 20 just as two BT engineers were presumably connecting a new line (it can’t be broadband because that’s not available just now). I saw that a new set of 100 pair cables have been installed; so that cabinet has now reached where it should have been in March 2012. Even that is only half what was in our procurement specification.

    A more worrying situation is that the roadworks notice has disappeared from roadworks.org but there is no sign of the 5 m duct that was supposed to have been installed yesterday or today.

    The fact the FTTCabinet is still unavailable, even though there are presumably still 22 spare pairs in the existing tie cables, suggests that despite the planned 70 day delay, BT have not yet found the required skills to install the extra equipment within the live cabinet.

  70. Walter says:

    Today, 19 September 2013 we can now say with increasing confidence that cabinet 20s “ready for service” date will, quite astonishingly, have to be postponed YET AGAIN ! The roadworks announcement today states that the 5 m of 1 way poly duct is now to be installed between 20 and 24 September presumably by contractors.

    http://tinyurl.com/ol4yxw6

    After that, assuming that the modifications to the live cabinet are still outstanding, they must be completed by a different set of subcontractors before the new 100 pair cable set observed in the PCP are terminated by BT Openreach staff.

  71. Walter says:

    I am pleased to report that there is now evidence that the additional roadworks and presumably the 5 m of duct have now been completed since our first report of 18 JULY 2013. There is no change in the estimated ready-for-service date of 25 Sept 2013.

  72. Walter says:

    Today, Tues 24 September 2013, I am quite appalled, but not surprised to say that BT have POSTPONED now for the THIRD TIME the ready for further service date for Cabinet 20′s FTTC VDSL services to OCTOBER 23 2013. (Coincidentally this is now the anniversary of the significantly postponed original installation date of March 2012 which itself was 9 months behind our planned availability of late Spring 2011.) We await with a forlorn hope that this time BT will actually complete the FTTCabinet expansion well within this timescale.

    When SCC, public servants and all politicians allowed BT to destroy our SEEDA approved project, they obviously didn’t recognise that BT had escaped from any contract with anybody to provide a continuous availability of FTTC VDSL services. What a difference between an obfuscatory monopoly and a new entrant striving to make a success of a new project !

  73. Walter says:

    I am pleased to say that after *** ONLY *** 81 days cabinet 20 is purportedly ready for service for the third time. I hope that at long last BT have now got to half the capacity we had arranged with our suppliers. If that is so, then next time the cabinet goes unavailable, a second ECI 256 cabinet complete with all new ducts will be required in the Conservation area. Very thankfully there is still one spare fibre tube running all the way back to the Sayer’s Croft Aggregation / Distribution point so a new fibre could be blown to a new cabinet. (Similarly for the other two cabinets.)

  74. Walter says:

    I have received reports from a number of people that suggest almost all seem to have lost both VDSL and ADSL broadband.

  75. Andrew says:

    I went out at 9.10pm last evening and passed three Openreach vans camped in the road by Sayers Crosft entrance and also two more opposite the Showground entrance. What a surpirse; when I got back home I found the broadband was down! Anyway it came back on at 10.05pm, which suggests they were doing something in the pit – perhaps readying the service for the Swallow Tiles estate?

  76. Walter says:

    I have to admit that I have not been checking the availability of VDSL services from Cabinet 20 every day. The last record I have was on 4th October when the checker told me that services WERE AVAILABLE then. It beggars belief that today there are no VDSL services available nor are they mentioned even with a future date. The only evidence left is the apology:-

    “FTTC is currently not available on this cabinet due to following reasons:- Sorry your cabinet is temporarily unavailable, capacity will be restored as soon as possible.”

    So we are now back to the July 18th situation ! As there is no forecast date it could mean that BT are unable to justify the costs of expansion.

  77. Walter says:

    Although this cannot be an appropriate excuse for the inordinate delays, at least the BT Wholesale dsl broadband checker web site has now included yet another delay to 6 November 2013 for cabinet 20 users.

  78. Walter says:

    Today, Fri 11 October 2013 the BT Wholesale availability checker announces that VDSL services ARE again available for PCP 20. As usual there is no explanation for the apparent changes this week.

  79. Walter says:

    Problem reported
    Sorry, there’s a problem with broadband services ** SEEMINGLY ONLY AFFECTING PCP 20 AT PRESENT in your area. We’re on to it now and hope to have it fixed soon. Check back later to see how we’re doing.

    Issue Started
    Mon 04/11/2013 at 09:08 AM
    Estimated time to completion

    04/11/2013 at 12:00 AM

    ** Walter’s addition to BT’s statement

  80. David Nye says:

    Mike T just let me know that his (cab 20) connection is down. Mine on cab 18 is fine.

  81. Mike T says:

    It came back on at about 14.00 thank goodness!

  82. Walter says:

    Cabinet 20 VDSL services returned around 13:44 although it took BT until 15:22 to say so. Perhaps they were giving it a chance to fail again. Given that there wasn’t any observed fibre work locally, I’d guess that the fault was within the exchange affecting just the fibre for cabinet 20 (at least in this area). Cabinets 6, 18 & 19 weren’t affected at all.

  83. David Nye says:

    Rob has sent me this request: “Hello all, I am wondering how many people in Ewhurst village and the outskirts are still without telephone lines, since the big blow a couple of weeks ago. The reason I am asking is that at least one premises in Coneyhurst Lane is still without their lines and I have just been told by Openreach that there are hundreds and thousands of people in my area still without telephone services. Please if anyone knows any different, or you also are without phone lines, then let us know.” Please get in touch via Ewhurst Broadband contact page at http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?page_id=75 .

  84. Mike T says:

    Openreach have now repaired the Coneyhurst Lane cable and Rob is now back on, but now, surprise surprise, we have no phone or internet! Not sure how many others are in the same boat.

  85. David Nye says:

    Mike tells me that he is now back online, and it seems no-one else was affected by this fault.

  86. Walter says:

    You will note above that the BT Wholesale checker announced that VDSL services were available again as of 11 October 2103. However we are not aware of any successful installations including one enquiry starting around 16th November.

    I happened to be checking another number at around 22:00 on the 14th December which said VDSL FTTC was still available but by 00:15 on 15 December BT are NO LONGER ANNOUNCING ANY VDSL SERVICES for cabinet 20.

    It appears that no additional services have probably been available since mid July 2013. Whilst we must accept that, as a commercial development, BT are not obliged to increase the woeful capacity they installed originally but the concept of attempting to deceive the residents is quite preposterous. If only BT were a little more open re their engineering difficulties it would at least improve their credibility a little.

    (Cabinet 19 is not affected BUT CABINET 18 IS ALSO WITHOUT VDSL FTTC services.)

  87. Walter says:

    We are receiving reports that the BT availability checker is announcing quite ridiculous results in many places around Guildford and Cranleigh exchanges. We must assume that the database logic has been compromised somehow. Cabinet 18 has now returned to availability again this morning but not cabinet 20 which is still reporting no VDSL services available, even if a service is already installed.

  88. Walter says:

    As of 10:00 on Monday 16 December the BT Wholesale checker has at long last (since mid October) caught up with the real situation and no longer erroneously reports cabinet 20 VDSL availability. I.e. there has probably been no availability at cabinet 20 since mid July 2013. Worse still there is no forecast date for additional VDSL services even though we are aware of residents requiring the service. This is despite additional tie cables being installed so we must presume there are other obstacles preventing the expansion of the ECI cabinet from 128 to 256 services.

    We do know that some VDSL services perform very poorly indeed even down to a sync speed of 0.75 Mbps. For the cognoscenti, it’s interesting to note that some, but not all, of these very poor services now report no VDSL Estimate despite most with a VDSL service still showing a VDSL estimate on the Wholesale checker page. This might suggest that those with such services might be unable to transfer to a different ISP.

  89. Walter says:

    By the 20th December the estimator was yet again falsely reporting availability but I did not have sufficient evidence to state that conclusively. Now read on !

    Some of you have probably read the article on page 2 of the 31 January Cranleigh edition of the Surrey Advertiser by now. Whilst the Advertiser have done well to highlight the totally unacceptable situation for the Sheltons (and everyone else connected to PCP 20 by the Bulls Head) the article has omitted some crucial evidence.

    Darren Rogers from the Chairman & Chief Executive Service Team falsely states:-

    “Although the results show the cabinet has been upgraded for fibre, it does tell us you are too far from the cabinet to maintain a stable fibre service.
    Unfortunately, we wouldn’t be able to transfer the line to a closer cabinet.”

    The estimator at:-

    https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/main.html

    Clearly states the following services are AVAILABLE for the Sheltons:-

    FTTC Range A (Clean) 7.9 4.1 1.2 0.8 — Available
    FTTC Range B (Impacted) 5.7 1.8 1 0.5 — Available

    Furthermore that particular DP (Distribution Point) has two spur lines of nearly identical length. One serving two properties, one with a VDSL sync speed of 15.77 Mbps. The other spur serving three properties has the two FURTHER ones with sync speeds in all probability still over 10 Mbps. Yet the CEO’s team quite falsely claim the CLOSEST one is too far !!

    The CEO’s office have been informed of these facts yet they not favoured us with any explanation to date. We can only deduce that since mid July there are technical or financial reasons which prevent the additional components for the second set of 128 ports to be commissioned within the FTTC cabinet. We believe the total cable capacity is now 250 pairs. Given that there are probably only 128 Cabinet 20 VDSL services connected now it must be of the utmost concern for the rest of the 330 properties. If this is what “having access” to BT’s Superfast broadband means in practice, then SCC are surely obliged to intervene ?

    The inset italics in this article now sadly seem very far removed from reality too

    http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=2572

  90. Walter says:

    The chaotic pantomime continues for the Sheltons.

    The VDSL installation date was booked for Thursday 27 February but the subcontract engineer spent 4 hours and still failed to get the VDSL connection. (He was miffed as he doesn’t get paid if he can’t complete an installation.) A second appointment, after line fault repairs were possibly made, was booked for today 6 March 2014. Quite incredibly the second subcontractor was also unsuccessful after taking about 90 minutes at the green cabinet to wire in the two connections to the two tie pairs.

    A full and frank discussion with the Chairman’s office followed. I had a distasteful argument explaining that subcontract engineers without test equipment were not the same as fully qualified Openreach staff all equipped with the correct (and expensive) JDSU test instrument. We didn’t get a real apology nor even as assurance that we would not have to endure a third subcontractor when eventually another appointment is booked.

    The most likely explanation is that there still remain tie cable wiring faults even though the line card(s) have probably been replaced. If so, it might be necessary to get staff members from Operate (for the FTTC) and Openreach (For the PCP Green Cabinet) to attend site together.

    If others have had similar experiences on cabinet 20 VDSL connections please let us know as it seems we need to tell the story to the next non-local engineer.

  91. Walter says:

    We have now investigated a little further. Despite the BT help website stating the line fault we had discovered was “All fixed” on 3rd March 2014, BT now state that there is STILL a fault on the line which must be repaired (within 3 days, but they won’t say when that will actually happen). After the repair is complete we will have to join the queue to have the VDSL service connected for the third time.

    Meanwhile we can now confirm that both subcontract installation engineers, without any test equipment, failed to notice that the house wiring had been modified (by BT Openreach). The extension slave socket at the cable entry point was replaced with a new integral filter faceplate master socket; BUT the other filtered master socket had been left in situ and unaltered. It is hardly surprising that the new VDSL modem failed to synchronise as it had been connected to the filtered extension line. We have made strong representations to BT’s management that the “Multi-taking” Openreach engineer should continue to do the VDSL installation but we await confirmation this will happen. Many lines in Coneyhurst Lane suffer occasionally from poor and unreliable connections. After this continuing fiasco, we hope that a full VDSL performance test will be completed by a competent engineer equipped with a JDSU or EXFO test instrument.

  92. Walter says:

    I am very concerned to report that BT Wholesale (& Openreach ?) have condemned all lines connected via DP 1040 in Coneyhurst Lane, by the first bend). This follows a torrid time getting line crackle repaired on at least 4 lines. This means that at least 6 lines are no longer able to order VDSL services, even though at least 10 already have VDSL services ranging from sync speeds of around 19 Mbps down to 2.8 Mbps.

    All those that have services will observe that the BT Wholesale checker now estimates a top speed of 1 Mbps. Whilst this might just seem a quite ridiculous situation, it also means there could be considerable difficulties in getting any faults investigated unless the line has lost synchronisation completely.

  93. Mike Turner says:

    Hi Walter,
    When you say that all lines via DP 1040 have been condemned, what does this mean for those of us who are affected? Do we need to kick someone at Openreach to get the matter put right or do we have to wait until the “machine” comes in to action?
    Thanks,
    Mike

  94. Walter says:

    I am only reporting what I observe on the BT Wholesale checker. If you have a phone line without a VDSL service you can no longer order VDSL as the checker doesn’t mention VDSL / FTTC availability. If you already have a BT Wholesale-supported line with a VDSL service you will see that your speed estimate has been reduced to 1 Mbps, but what that means if you have to report a VDSL fault is yet to be tested. Similarly if a line were ceased due to a house move, it would seem unlikely that a newcomer could order a VDSL service; but again that remains to be tested.

    Those with LLU migrated lines usually have their phone numbers rejected by the BT Wholesale checker so only the address checker is active. For those addresses I’ve checked, they all produce an ADSL estimate at 1 Mbps with no mention of VDSL / FTTC services being available. Those above DP1040 do not seem affected, nor are any of the other residents, including outliers, that I’m aware of, except for one resident in lower Horsham Lane who has never been able to order a VDSL service.

    I am not aware of any formal way of communicating directly either with BT Wholesale or BT Openreach. I have confirmed with the ISP Andrews and Arnold that they are no longer able to supply a VDSL service to one affected resident.

    It is just possible that a temporary block has been applied for those affected perhaps until a major refurbishment is completed but I have no information other than the practical observations I have obtained from https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/main.html
    and the associated address checker.

    I have checked that there is available capacity at all three PCPs using numbers where I know ADSL services are in use. (Note that if you have a number with a VDSL service, you are always shown that VDSL is available whether or not additional capacity is available for others.)

    I will check occasionally to see if the situation changes. I would welcome any news gleaned from any source upon this vexed subject.

  95. David Nye says:

    I presume the Horsham Lane case Walter mentions is my neighbour. When cab 18 first went live that phone number was in fact showing FTTC availability, with the same estimate (4.6 Mbps) as mine (same pole/DP), so we assume he could have ordered a service then. There was a cable fault affecting many Horsham Lane services last year, and we think availability may have disappeared after that. On 6th December 2013 I sent the following message to nga.enquiries@openreach.co.uk:
    “I am trying to get my neighbour to upgrade to FTTC, but his ISP tells him it is not available. His line comes from the same pole as mine, but the checker at http://www.dslchecker.bt.com does not show FTTC availability for his number 01483xxxxxx. Lines on the next pole, further away from the cabinet, show FTTC estimates of 1.5 to 6.3 Mbps. I think the availability check for our pole went wrong in the summer, when there was a line fault. Are you able to correct this so my neighbour can order FTTC please?”
    Openreach reply 23/12/13: “After looking into your request for your neighbour, I have found the cabinet has been finished and has been taking customers from 24/12/2012. Your neighbour is connected to Cranleigh Exchange Cabinet 18.”

    My follow up 23/12/13: “Thanks, but I already know that; as I said, I already have FTTC! Why does your availability checker show no FTTC availability for 01483xxxxxx when there is an FTTC service of 6.5Mbps on my line (01483xxxxxx) and these lines are from the same pole and the drop wires the same length?”
    Openreach reply 08/01/14: “Our reply to yourself is based upon the details that our systems hold on the line loss figures for each line in the UK. The tech team have checked and both your lines are currently stating that FTTC broadband is unavailable due to excessive line loss. However, as you report that the system calculations are incorrect, (nothing is infallible) the tech team have amended the figures for your neighbour which should allow the order for fibre broadband to go through. However, please do this as soon as possible as the automatic refresh systems will change this back shortly.”
    Openreach reply 23/01/14 to my follow up requesting more information: “The temporary fix put in place should become permanent once the database re-fresh is invoked. However, I do not know the timescales for this to occur. Please recheck later in the year and if the problem is still in place, please write back.”

    On 08/01/14 the FTTC estimate was 3.4 to 11.7 Mbps and my neighbour placed his order with BT. However, the following week he reports being told “that they are currently unable to sell the package, although Openreach give availability. The person I last spoke to said that should have changed by today, I am expecting a call back today to arrange it.” We assume this was because the cabinet’s capacity was reached at this time, but additional connections should have been quickly provided. Walter reported works and an installation on 22/01/14, but the next evening the checker showed no availability for my neighbour. Meanwhile, he had lost patience with BT and spoke to Zen, who were able to accept his order that morning, but then rejected it on 11/02/14. On 28/03/14 there was availability showing for other numbers, so I sent another request to NGA Enquiries, but as yet have had no reply. Walter also suggested Tweeting BT @BTCare or using the form at https://bt.custhelp.com/app/contact_email/c/4953

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