Ewhurst Work Resumes

Walter reports that BT terminated the Ewhurst end of their fibre cable from the Cranleigh exchange this week. However, there were still substantial duct blockages on the Ewhurst Road in Cranleigh. Consequently the Ewhurst fibre stopped outside the Cranleigh Show Ground when last observed. Openreach have given us a provisional (and probably over-optimistic) date of 16th July for completion of this fibre “spine” (to cabinet 19).  Meanwhile, in Cranleigh village, we know of one new FTTC connection reporting 73 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream on a premium service (following a long and harrowing installation debacle).

BT works were planned in The Street for 28th June to 2nd July and 5th to 9th July, but we have not yet received any report of what was or is actually being done. It may be that recent storm damage has taken priority over this work.

BT Openreach have pushed back the official planned RFS (Ready For Service) date for (probably) all remaining Cranleigh cabinets to 30th September. These dates, as shown on the availability checkers, seem pretty meaningless. It appears to me that, a few days before the end of each quarter, someone remotely checks if any planned FTTC work is outstanding for the whole exchange. If so, then I suspect the date is automatically incremented by three months for all outstanding cabinets.

Mike Turner has given us the following status report, although the bad weather may now have scuppered that optimistic go-live date.

The latest date for cabinet 19 to go live is now mid-July but could be brought forward if the fibre from Cranleigh is completed earlier.

I also have been told that the work in bringing the fibre to the other 2 existing cabinets will continue so that when the new ones get permission there will be no extra delay.

Cabinet 6 is still a mystery, as no applications have been received by Waverley, so any wayleave must be a private one. I am still awaiting further info on this.

BT are still very optimistic that by early 2013 every outlier should have close to 15 Mbps (or more) and their line problems solved.

Waverley Borough Council have today notified Harlequin that their planning application for cabinet 20 has been approved. Hopefully approval for cabinet 18 will follow very shortly, bearing in mind it had an earlier target date than 20.

Following his guided tour of Ewhurst on 26th June, and Diane’s question to the Executive, Waverley Councillor Stephen O’Grady is forming a SIG (Special Interest Group) on the issue of rural SFBB (superfast broadband). Ewhurst Councillor Diane James has been invited to become a member. The remit of the SIG will be decided at the first meeting of the group.

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10 Responses to Ewhurst Work Resumes

  1. Walter says:

    firstly two minor clarifications re paragraphs 1 & 2:-

    The “Fibre Spine” has been terminated in the end node near the Sayers croft entrance and a smaller set of tubes ending in a quad core tube is terminated in Cabinet 19′s FTTC.

    I have not observed any work, nor any subsequent evidence of work, on the dates and locations mentioned. I have observed yet another small hole on the green at Barhatch Road with at least two more broken ducts together with a blue pulling rope loose on the ground at that point.

  2. Walter says:

    Re paragraph 4:-

    Even though 15 Mbps downstream is half the minimum speed defined as “Superfast” we would all be very pleased if Colin’s hopes were to be fulfilled, at least as an interim solution. However Colin seems to be under the same misapprehensions that BT’s Group Strategy Director expressed to the House of Lords Communications Enquiry which David Nye questioned here:-

    http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=2579

    Using BT’s own estimator we believe over 100 properties will not be capable of achieving any VDSL service at all. Furthermore over several months, Colin has not been able to confirm an installation target date for the Cabinet 6 FTTC nor has any mini-DSLAM been announced nor are there any signs of a sufficient local fibre distribution infrastructure, nor has there been any new ductwork** and aluminium alloy cable replacement for the outliers, nor is a wireless network possible in the area with both AONB & Conservation areas involved.

    (** One short section of new ducts were installed on the route for the main fibre spine below Sayer’s Croft as the existing ones were of asbestos.)

    In these circumstances it seems that the optimism expressed in those highly laudable warm words will not be achieved and certainly not in the suggested timescale. It also seems that any SCC and Waverley initiatives will founder for the same reasons if the existing infrastructure is retained. If Ewhurstians are sufficiently interested in a much better ultra-fast symmetric network, now is perhaps the time to explore a solution similar to the B4RN project.
    http://b4rn.org.uk/

  3. David Nye says:

    Diane adds: “This came about via my request that Waverley take a more direct involvement in the matter as well as the Ewhurst visit – this 2 pronged ‘attack’ really brought home to the local authority how delayed the project is and it’s implications for rural community and economic growth.”

  4. Walter says:

    Our observations seem to be more accurate than Colin’s forecasts for Ewhurst.
    It is now clear that it is quite impossible to achieve the RFS date of July 16 for Cabinet 19’s FTTC enablement.

    Today (Wed 11 July 2012) I observed another 200 m section of sub duct being pulled from Barhatch Road towards Cranleigh. However, in all probability, some significant civil engineering is still required. This will include about 380 m of new ducting, with two road crossings and running over the major culvert there.

    Only when the sub-duct is complete can the fibre bundle be blown and then spliced. Given that there is no sign of any highways planning permission it would seem that there is at least a further month’s delay.

    I did however note two fibre splicing vans at work in Cranleigh so perhaps a few more FTTCs will be enabled shortly there.

  5. Walter says:

    I am pleased to say that Waverley have now approved the planning application for theFTTC beside PCP 18, subject to BT obtaining a licence authority from the Highway Authority Local Transportation Service.

    It is to be hoped that a detailed inspection of the existing infrastructure is made rapidly to verify precisely what works are required so that the licence application can proceed as rapidly as possible.

  6. Walter says:

    Those using the road to Cranleigh will have observed that sections of a new duct have been laid mainly in the grass verge outside The Little Park Hatch Pub on Bookhurst Road. Although there are low impact BT works planned up to mid August in Barhatch Road and Bookhurst Road there is no mention yet of the two high impact roadworks required for the two road crossings. Until all these activities are complete there remains no prospect of any VDSL services even for the one FTTC for PCP 19 installed last December in Ewhurst.

    I also observe that the FTTCs at least for PCPs 4 & 5 off the Ewhurst Road in Cranleigh have just become RFS (Ready For Service). As there is usually at least a two week delay (assuming your line does not have a latent fault), I doubt if any services are yet operational. We would like to hear from anyone who is in the process of obtaining a VDSL service in Cranleigh.

  7. Walter says:

    We have been told of two new connections along Horsham Road in Cranleigh yesterday which illustrate the limitations of longer lines and their routing.

    The first connection is near-perfect as it is almost opposite PCP 3 achieving a throughput speed of around 36 Mbps.

    The second house is located beyond PCP 14 and the adjacent phone box on the far end of Horsham Road in Cranleigh. PCP 14 isn’t to be provided with a FTTC, no doubt due to the perceived commercial conditions there. However the line even passes PCP 11 and is also connected to PCP 3 resulting in a line length of around 700m. The BT Sync speed estimator gave a download value of 35.9 Mbps but the actual sync speed was only 30.5 Mbps resulting in throughput speeds of around 27 Mbps. This value is below the 30 Mbps minimum stipulated by the EC, even though it’s a lot better than the previous speeds. The difficulties are due to the line quality as it will pass through many joints similar to this one near Rawlings the Butchers.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/101026604/Cu-Birdsnest-Fibre-Cables-Sub-duct-Nr-PO

    Significant difficulties will become apparent over time as the first connection could be upgraded to 76 Mbps throughput speed if the resident is prepared to pay the premium rates but the second service is already at its maximum so can’t be improved.

  8. Walter says:

    Further difficulties continue both in Cranleigh and Ewhurst. A third relatively short VDSL service has not recovered properly after valiant attempts by BT Openreach staff. Two other standard ADSL2 services in Ewhurst are causing problems; one has been missing since 7 July 2012 the other has suffered a half-speed service which has still not fully recovered.

    The better news for Park Mead residents in Cranleigh is that their PCP 8 FTTC is now ready for service.

  9. Walter says:

    Looking at the Roadworks site today (Sunday 12 August) I note a rather disturbing new entry which states a Wanborough Lane Road crossing is scheduled for 9 and 10 DECEMBER 2012. We are not usually informed by our BT contacts, but perhaps they might be prepared to comment on this occasion? This activity could well be the completion of the duct run for the Ewhurst fibre so a few days afterwards it would allow cabinet 19 (as well as cabinets 18 and 20 assuming they are also complete by this time) to be enabled. If so there is perhaps a little irony that the services will be provided almost exactly one year after the initial FTTC by cabinet 19 was installed last year !

    For completeness I’ve also listed below all the other works which are still pending but not started:-

    Works Start: 09 Nov
    End: 10 Dec

    Medium impact, delays possible
    Location: Fm jcn of WANBOROUGH LANE to opp Springfields, BOOKHURST ROAD…
    Current status: Advanced planning
    Traffic lights, etc: Traffic control (two-way signals)
    Queries should be addressed to BT quoting reference BC005WP00100500083195501
    Work info last modified 12:00 on 09/08/2012
    Last updated on roadworks.org 23:47 on 11/08/2012
    Data source Surrey County Council
    (Springfields is just above the Showgrounf entrance.)

    Cranleigh Road, Ewhurst, Cranleigh, Surrey
    Works Start: 15 Aug
    End: 17 Aug

    Medium impact, delays possible
    Location: near “sunnyside” Cranleigh Road Ewhurst Cranleigh Surrey GU6 7SB…
    Current status: Advanced planning
    Traffic lights, etc: Traffic control (two-way signals)
    Queries should be addressed to BT quoting reference BC005CB18W0000TH9BCW41A1
    Work info last modified 16:00 on 10/08/2012
    Last updated on roadworks.org 23:47 on 11/08/2012
    Data source Surrey County Council
    (Sunnyside is almost opposite the Gadbridge Lane junction)

    The Street, Ewhurst, Cranleigh, Surrey
    Works Start: 22 Aug
    End: 05 Sep

    Low impact, delays unlikely
    Location: NGA RELATED WORKS ,,OPPOSITE WYKEHURST LANE ACROSS CARRIAGE WAY OPPOSITE THE OLD COTTAGE THE STREET…
    Current status: Advanced planning
    Traffic lights, etc: None/signing only
    Queries should be addressed to BT quoting reference BC005WP00100500075687403
    Work info last modified 10:21 on 08/08/2012
    Last updated on roadworks.org 23:47 on 11/08/2012
    Data source Surrey County Council
    Multiple roadworks. Click to view…

    Shere Road, Ewhurst, Cranleigh, Surrey
    Works Start: 22 Aug
    End: 05 Sep

    Low impact, delays unlikely
    Location: NGA RELATED WORKS ,OPPOSITE THE OLD COTTAGE SHERE ROAD…
    Current status: Advanced planning
    Traffic lights, etc: None/signing only
    Queries should be addressed to BT quoting reference BC005WP00100500075687402
    Work info last modified 10:21 on 08/08/2012
    Last updated on roadworks.org 23:47 on 11/08/2012
    Data source Surrey County Council
    Multiple roadworks. Click to view…

  10. Walter says:

    As the main pavement works look complete it seems as if that Elgin / SCC entry had the wrong dates entered. We still await the road crossings, tube pulling and fibre blowing notifications.

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