BT’s 0117 broadband upgrade delayed again

New BT fibre cabinet on Baileys Court Road, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Hopes that people living in one of Bradley Stoke’s broadband ‘slow spots’ might be able to subscribe to new superfast (24Mbps+) services in time for Christmas have been dashed after BT quietly put back the ‘first order’ date to the end of the year.

The telecommunications giant announced in April 2011 that it would be upgrading its Filton telephone exchange (serving 0117 numbers) to provide superfast fibre broadband to thousands more customers “by the end of 2012”, but homes in Bradley Stoke that are not within the coverage area of rival service provider Virgin Media are yet to see any benefit from the investment.

After seeing the projected ‘first order’ date repeatedly slipped by BT, customers in ‘the herbs’ area of south Bradley Stoke were given hope when work to install a new fibre broadband cabinet at the junction of Baileys Court Road and Ellan Hay Road began in early August. At the time, BT’s online broadband availability checker was indicating a ‘first order’ date of 30th September for homes served by the new cabinet (number 44).

Electrical power for the new cabinet was installed by Western Power Distribution at the end of September, but, just days later, the ‘first order’ date was quietly slipped again to 31st October.

Then, when 31st October arrived, the ‘first order’ date disappeared from BT’s website altogether, to be replaced by the following message:

“FTTC [Fibre to the Cabinet] is currently not available on this cabinet due to following reasons:- Sorry it’s taking us longer than planned to get your cabinet ready for service. Please bear with us.”

A day later, the BT checker page was listing a ‘first order’ date of “Nov-Dec 2013”, which was subsequently modified to “31st Dec 2013” on 2nd November.

Customers connected to the Almondsbury telephone exchange (01454 numbers) have even longer to wait to be brought out of the “digital ghetto”. More than 3,500 homes in Bradley Stoke served from that exchange are set to benefit from a state-aided investment programme coordinated by South Gloucestershire Council. It is anticipated that the first homes eligible for upgrade under this programme will be able to order superfast broadband services “from summer 2014”.

Thousands of homes in Bradley Stoke currently receive broadband speeds below the government’s minimum target of 2Mbps at a time when the average speed across the country is in excess of 12Mbps.

Photo: Newly-installed BT fibre cabinet near the junction of Baileys Court Road and Ellan Hay Road.

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  1. As well as quietly slipping the dates, there is also a further change to the information provided by the BT Checker.

    I had a look today and noted that there is now the ability for the checker to provide two ranges for expected speeds. Although for my phone line there is no range detailed, nor any difference between Range A or B (and the info presented matches what was previously provided).

    I suppose this could be part of the reason for the further delay if they’ve found something they weren’t expecting in the local infrastructure.

    Current info from the checker…

    Download Upload Availability
    High Low High Low
    FTTC Range A (Clean) 33.3 33.3 5.9 5.9 — 31-Dec-13
    FTTC Range B (Impacted) 33.3 33.3 5.9 5.9 — 31-Dec-13

    For FTTC Ranges A and B, the term “Clean” relates to a line which is free from any wiring issues (e.g. Bridge Taps) and/or Copper line conditions, and the term “Impacted” relates to a line which may have wiring issues (e.g. Bridge Taps) and/or Copper line conditions.

    Throughput/download speeds will be less than line rates and can be affected by a number of factors within and external to BT’s network, Communication Providers’ networks and within customer premises.

  2. I changed from BT to Virgin about 1 year ago but they are no real alternative. I have a 30mb line but it regularly goes down and is below 1mb 80% of the time….apparently there has been a huge demand for cable and the area has been oversubscribed. Well that’s the excuse I keep getting told. Its always “your lines are being upgraded and will be ready 20 Aug” but the month keeps changing!!

    It seems like there is no ‘real’ alternative in BS32

  3. I also have Virgin and I have a brilliant broadband service 100mb like most of my neighbours in the BS34 area so I feel really sorry for those that can’t get a good service in their area ,Virgin are upgrading their service all the time but it’s a shame they didn’t take over in Bradley stoke they would have made a killing.

  4. I just had a quick look and the dates are still the same but as you can see bt are pretty much saying its down to the council, youd think that they would want quicker broadband in the area.

    When can I get fibre optic BT Infinity?Sorry, fibre optic BT Infinity isn’t currently available at your property.Fibre optic broadband is estimated to be in your areabetween November 2013 and December 2013. Please note that these dates have been provided by our supplier and are estimates. Dates may be subject to change due to factors outside our control such as; delays agreeing cabinet locations with your local council or unforeseen issues encountered during the construction of your street cabinet.More on the fibre optic rollout >Your estimated BT Infinity speeds:54.7Mb * Estimateddownload speed15.7Mb* Estimatedupload speedo

  5. Not surprising. I know when they ran fibre down three brooks lane, there were significant physical infrastructure problems (apparently caused by builders, poor installation, etc) of the physical ducting. Apparently it’s like that all over bradley stoke – so unexpected delays are inevitable, I suppose.

  6. I think BT were back pulling the fibre thru again yesterday. Four Openreach trucks on A38 near Airbus and Gipsy Patch Lane. They looked their usual busy selves …….

  7. Just had a quick look on bts website and this is now what it says,When can I get fibre optic BT Infinity?Sorry, fibre optic BT Infinity isn’t currently available at your property.Fibre optic broadband is estimated to be in your area by the end of December 2013. Please note that these dates have been provided by our supplier and are estimates. Dates may be subject to change due to factors outside our control such as; delays agreeing cabinet locations with your local council or unforeseen issues encountered during the construction of your street cabinet.More on the fibre optic rollout >Your estimated BT Infinity speeds:63Mb * Estimateddownload speed20Mb* Estimatedupload speedRegister your interest and we’ll be in touch when you’re able to receive BT Infinity.

  8. They just keep and moving the estimated dates so I wouldn’t pay too much attention to them. I would be very surprised if we got it this year given people barely do any work in a week or two.

    I emailed the provisioning department and after 3 weeks they replied saying it is most likely mid Jan before we get it.

    As usual they provide no information as to what the problem is, I think people would be more understanding if they kept us in the loop.

  9. Go on Openreach….give us a Christmas present by at least letting us place our orders??!! Well you have just up’ed the estimated speed from 54 to 63Mb so that is a little something!

  10. Ordered this morning from EE Broadband and they estimate 75Mb/s download which is significantly higher than the original estimate in the region of 35Mb/s. Christmas has come early in deed in the ‘Herbs’.

  11. I have today place an order for the super fast broadband on cabinet 44,
    I’ve been checking the site on a regular basis and I couldn’t believe it when it told me the fiber optic broadband is now available, mine is being installed on the 23rd of December , maybe I will be the first to get it, happy days…..!

  12. We’d like to run a piece in the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine about the first households to benefit from this fibre upgrade. Please contact us if you have ordered the service and would be prepared to be interviewed/photographed after you’ve used it for a few days.

  13. Just placed my order today. Not sure on the installation date but hey, looking forward to speed improvements above 0.8mb. Wonder if I’ll be the 1st in Juniper Way to get it? Here’s hoping.

  14. @Will: Just spoken to one of the Openreach guys working on Brook Way, near Courtlands, and he confirmed that they are installing a fibre connection from the Almondsbury exchange (serving 01454 numbers).

  15. @DaveP – Not really, but it looks like good news. We previously reported that first orders for fibre broadband on 01454 numbers would be from “summer 2014” (under the SGC/BDUK/BT state-aided project). Here’s hoping that this is the first step towards meeting that target.

  16. I’ve been a firm backer of faster broadband for Bradley Stoke. Now it is available I went to order and was shocked at the prices. I am currently paying £9pcm for unlimited download and getting about 2.5meg. BT Infinity unlimited is £23pcm. I don’t need up to 38meg; I’d just like faster for the £9pcm I am paying at present. I think I’ll stick with what I have and review in 2014.

  17. Congrats to all those on cab 44 looks like I and many others down in the baileys court area are going to have to wait for a while before we see any sign of fibre especially those of us on exchange only lines! @Richard A I know you know this but for the benefit of others you are not limited to BT you could try another provider! It might be cheaper?

  18. Some time ago a contractor was working on cabinate 44 so I went fishing for some inside information, in our conversation he told me that there was only provision for 96 households to have the new fibre broadband , he showed me in the cabinate where the connections were carried out, if this is the case then I hope that those not quick enough off the mark to place an order aren’t too disappointed. As soon as I get my new connection I will post my speeds here.

  19. Almondsbury exchange ‘high speed fibre spine cable’ will soon be heading into Savages Wood Road and on to Bradley Stoke Way:

    17 December — 19 December
    Delays possible Traffic control (Stop/Go boards)
    Works location: Savages Wood Road, From Junction Brook Way To Junction Of Bradley Stoke Way
    Works description: Openreach Access To Cable Chambers To Install High Speed Fibre Spine Cable. All Works To Take Place Outside Traffic Sensitive Times And Stop And Go Boards Used Where Required
    Responsibility for works: BT
    Current status: Planned work about to start


  20. Can someone tell me what Virgin Media is doing on Brook Way then?

    Description says: Lay 2m Duct in carriage way crossing, lay 13m duck in footway
    and install two boxes in footbal

    18 – 20th Dec

    Reference: NK100/SSEMBU/100009364

  21. Hurrah, finally got fibre installed today! (Coriander Drive, i.e. cabinet 44.)

    Apparently, we’re the second household to be activated at this cabinet; the engineer muttered something about 15-01 already being assigned, and that we should have been assigned 15-02, but somehow got assigned 15-20 instead and he thought there was a typo somewhere…

    Anyway, it’s currently averaging around 16Mbps down, 2Mbps up – according to (tested on wireless, but right next to the router).

    We’ve also been told that, given the close proximity to the cabinet, we should expect 30-36Mbps (our TalkTalk package is limited to 38Mbps) by the end of the 21-day “line optimisation” period, during which… no switching off the Openreach modem!

    So yeah, the cake is definitely not a lie.

  22. I assume I was the first household activated then. I had the engineer around yesterday as well and told him where the cabinet was. He was amused that I actually knew which cabinet I was on but I did explain we’d been awaiting the ability to upgrade from the paltry 0.8Mb service for a long time.

    I was waiting until the end of the week to post speed results to give it some time to settle, however also being on Coriander Drive I can post the current values to support Alans post.

    Tested through, tests completed one directly after the other.

    37.43Mbps down 9.41Mbps up

    26.49Mbps down 9.69Mbps up

    That just shows that the WiFi on my phone is a limiting factor, always worth doing the check with a direct connection.

    These speeds are on the BT Infinity unlimited service who quoted 35Mbps at the time of ordering.

  23. Loads of broadband news.

    According to,

    – vigin are laying ducting in Brook Way outside the doctors surgery.
    – BT are connecting Brook Way to the Fibre Spine at top of Brook Way

    The BT news looks good!, they must have plan, shame no announcement. Not sure what Virgin are doing, unless they are actually thinking of competing.


  24. @Simon – it would be utterly ironic if, after the many years of campaigning, that Virgin filled in the rest of Bradley Stoke. Nothing like a competitor to a monopoly to make a big firm sit up and do something …

    Still no news for cabinet 35 🙁

  25. infinity setup this morning. Openreach engineer said currently 8 users connected but he has another 10 installs to do today!
    73Mb download!!!

  26. Sorry! I have the same problem at work (Aztec West) with adsl via the Almondsbury exchange too. Fingers crossed 2014 will get the rest of BS and Almondsbury upgraded.

  27. Does anyone know when cabinet 34 will be upgraded for those of us who live on the roads off Hawkins Crescent, or where I can find out the rollout plan by street name or cabinet number?


  28. @Richard: If you’re on an 01454 number, you are within the scope of the state-aided upgrade programme being managed by South Gloucestershire Council (but still implemented by BT).

    According to previously released information, the first homes will be able to order superfast broadband “from summer 2014”. The council has also said that the project will be completed by May 2015.

    Note, however, that the council is only guaranteeing to bring superfast broadband to 94% of the district. The remainder will be brought up to a minimum speed of 2Mbps.

    The council does not issue street/cabinet levels plans, so you will need to use the BT Broadband Checker to check the status of your connection.

  29. Open reach are now as I speak in the cabinet, 12.17am, connecting all you lucky people today, I have to wait until Monday, getting a bit nervous as talk talk haven’t delivered my router pack yet, here’s to hoping…! Good luck every body….!

  30. @Editor Thanks for the info, not sure i understand it all, why is not as simple as, “you live in this street, you’re connected to this cabinet, you’ll get proper broadband on this date”

  31. Hey guys so had infinity installed on friday and im one happy guy, my current speed is 45.47mbps, on my tablet, on my ps4 which I trust more its 50.1mbps, either way im very happy.

  32. Update. Fibre broadband installed today coriander drive.
    Upload 26.8 Mbps download 1.8 Mbps .
    I really hope that the fibre broadband comes quickly for everybody in the Bradley stoke especially those on the almondsbury exchange, and we do
    Consider ourselves extremely lucky to get it so soon, thanks to everybody who campaigned to make this happen, very happy with the speeds now…

  33. FBB installed yesterday, only just got around to setting up the router today. Now running at 30mb download and about 8mb upload. Happy, happy days!

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