BT’s fibre street cabinets now appear in its superfast broadband postcode checker, giving more accurate information on what’s available nearby.
The service previously only provided details about the nearest BT exchange when a user inserted their postcode information, advising whether superfast broadband is available in the general area.
The new BT Openreach postcode checker also includes new status codes for what’s available in your area, indicating whether the cabinet is enabled for superfast broadband, and a range of options about what might happen if it’s not.
BT Openreach’s postcode checker was last updated in September last year — at the time, Rob Lee, Openreach director of marketing and communications said: “Before, the postcode checker would give you the status of all of the exchanges in your area.
“It now narrows that down to the exchange which serves you, giving a much clearer picture of whether you are likely to be able to receive fibre services.”
The upgraded postcode checker will now show if the exchange is is enabled but the cabinet is not, if there’s a high demand for broadband in your area and it’s being investigated, if the area is under review, if superfast broadband is coming in the next six months of 18 months, or if BT is exploring options to provide superfast broadband to the area.
The final option will flag if superfast broadband is in the area but the system can’t work out if it’s available at the nearest cabinet right now.
BT has been urged by MPs and broadband activists to incorporate the street cabinet information into its postcode database since it was already available inside the company, but had claimed there were obstacles to public release such as its contracts to local authorities.
The information could increase the price of your house too. Recent research by the London School of Economics revealed that having superfast broadband capabilities in your area could increase the value of your property by up to eght per cent in London or three per cent nationwide.
BT Openreach’s new postcode checker is currently in beta and we found it to be a little buggy — flagging an alternative cabinet to the one that serves us. However, the interface is clear and will still give you a better idea of the services available to you on BT’s network.
It doesn’t include alternative service providers such as Virgin Media, and you’ll have to head over the SamKnows Broadband Availability Checker, although that’s only exchange-level data for BT at the moment.