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Fibre to the Fifty Per Cent: Digital Voices 29/09/2012

Record levels of torrential rain have again hit the UK, meaning that BT wil be forced to divert its attention to restoring phone lines and helping to repair the damage to phone lines for the second time this year.

Subsequently, our Rollout Roundup features are going to look a little thin on the ground (again) as BT takes a soggy backseat.

This also has a knock on effect into our comments. With less going on in the week vis-a-vis fibre rollouts there’s also a downtick in people complaining that they’ve not got their BT fibre broadband soon enough.

That hasn’t stopped commenter Nigel Webber letting BT have both barrels in the comments for this week’s Digital Voices.

Fibre to the Fifty Per Cent: Digital Voices 29/09/2012

Fibre for 50,000 Broadband Rollout Roundup 21/09/2012

BT has been busy with its £2.5 billion fibre plan, bringing next-gen connections to over 11 million UK homes. Problem is, as we’ve surmised elsewhere, just because your exchange has been given the go-ahead for delicious fibre it doesn’t mean that your nearest street cabinet is going to get fibre.

Right now BT is prioritising street cab upgrades in areas where it’s guaranteed to get a solid return on investment. If you happen to live in an area where BT doesn’t think that it’s going to get much coin back straight away, hard cheese old boy.

Which makes Nigel Webber’s comment on last week’s rollout roundup all the stranger. Referring to BT’s announcement of 50,000 homes and business being given the fibre grennlight, Nigel scoffed:

“This would be good news if it were true. I am on a large estate between Bannockburn and Stirling, connected to the Bannockburn exchange and suffering from 2Mbit ‘Broadband’. Unfortunately, BT has seen fit not to bother upgrading the cabinet local to my area for FTTC [Fibre to the Cabinet]. This despite my delivering over 1000 leaflets off my own back encouraging folks to pre-register such that BT knew that there would be a return on investment for my area! I shall now be looking to move house, since working from home on 2Mbits has become tiresome!”

Having had to suffer sub-1Mbps connections ourselves for some time now, we can totally sympathise with Nigel’s position.

“Apparently, in some area’s, less than 50% of those connected to an exchange gets FTTC after the upgrade. Having plugged in some postcodes around Bannockburn, we look to be one of those area’s. Its a pretty lacklustre performance from BT really. The fact that they only cover a fraction of properties does not stop them quoting the headline figure of number of lines terminating at the exchange in their press releases though!”

We’re trying to find out more information from BT about exactly how it priorities which cabinets get fibre before others.

In the meantime we’d advise those connected to an exchange that’s been upgraded by BT to first check with SamKnows before getting too excited.


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