Superfast broadband project makes a start on ‘exchange only’ (EO) lines

New fibre-enabled cabinet for exchange only (EO) lines at the junction of Brook Way and Savages Wood Road in Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Work is now under way to bring superfast fibre broadband to hundreds of premises on ‘exchange only’ (EO) telephone lines in Bradley Stoke.

Homes connected via EO lines have, until now, seen no benefit from South Gloucestershire Council’s state-subsidised infrastructure upgrade programme, which has initially focussed on upgrading existing street cabinets using ‘fibre to the cabinet’ (FTTC) technology.

In order to bring superfast broadband to premises served by EO lines, BT Openreach, the council’s contractor, will be rearranging the existing copper network and installing additional fibre-enabled street cabinets.

A council spokesperson told The Journal:

“Excellent progress continues to be made with the EO lines solution in Bradley Stoke. This is a much more complex process than the FTTC upgrades and so takes more time to plan and deliver. We are also one of the first areas to implement the solution for EO lines, so we are leading the way with regards to this solution.”

“Of the five EO cabinets planned from the Almondsbury exchange, four will be in Bradley Stoke: no. 30 is planned to be erected at the top of Bradley Stoke Way [near the Hilton hotel], no. 31 at the junction of Brook Way and Savages Wood Road, no. 36 on Brook Way [close to the junction with Oaktree Crescent] and no. 38 on Brook Way [close to the junction with Dewfalls Drive].”

“There is still a lot of very complicated work to do to connect the EO lines to the new cabinets, but we are hoping that the cabinets will be live and ready for service in the autumn.”

Speaking about concerns that it might not be possible to upgrade all the (approximately 1,700) EO lines in Bradley Stoke, the spokesperson added:

“I’m afraid it is a little too early for me to be able to confirm how many EO lines will be upgraded. We won’t know this until closer to the time, as BT Openreach are constantly working to bring as many EO lines into the new cabinets as possible, in order to push the coverage even further.”

Is fibre broadband available to you? Are you on an EO line? To find out, visit our Superfast Broadband Upgrade Status page.

UPDATE (4th August): The cases for new EO cabinets nos. 30, 31 and 36 are now in position.

Photo: New fibre-enabled cabinet (no. 31) for EO lines at the junction of Brook Way and Savages Wood Road.

This article originally appeared in the August 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,450 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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  1. Good to see this finally happening, I remembering reporting on it back in 2010 just as the early FTTC deployments were kicking off and noting the enthusiasm for superfast broadband in the area. Unfortunately a solution for EOLs didn’t follow until 2012 and then the town didn’t even appear on the local BDUK scheme’s radar until 2013.. so now, four years later, here we are.

  2. As I stated under the “Work starts on bringing faster broadband to central Bradley Stoke” article. I’m happy that something is now being done for EO lines that run from the Almondsbury exchange, however for those running 4 – 5 km EO lines from the Filton exchange are still very much in the dark on what is being done for them – We are central Bradley Stoke.
    To date I’ve not seen any update from South Glos Council around these lines, other than it’s being planned (statement for the last 4 months via email).
    And before anyone says about using Virgin Fibre, this hasn’t been an option for the last 24 years with no planned action for the next 4yr (Read that has never going to happen).
    It would be nice if someone from council could provide a more realistic answer for the Filton Exchange EO lines, that didn’t sound like a fob off answer.
    I think it is time to email them again – I’ll look to provide an answer when I get one.

  3. These other problem scenarios, which are outside the scope of the current SGC/BDUK project, have been drawn to the attention of councillors serving Bradley Stoke:

    * Lack of superfast broadband capacity at Filton cabinet 44 (serving Coriander Drive, Ellan Hay Road, Fennel Drive, Juniper Way, Lavender Way, Palmers Leaze, Rosemary Close and Tarragon Place).

    * EO lines from Filton (some properties in Burden Close, Foxcroft Close, Great Meadow Road, Pursey Drive, Shiels Drive, Somerby Close and Watch Elm Close).

    * Areas outside the SGC/BDUK intervention area that supposedly have access to Virgin Media cable, but actually don’t (Kingfisher Close and part of Pursey Drive).

  4. Yes, I have just been passed the cabinet 31, and they are busy on the EO lines and there is an engineer down in the trench amongst the cables sorting it out…it looks as though it will be ready by Autum…something to look forward too…great stuff.

  5. UPDATE: Superfast broadband is now available to order for those who have been waiting for capacity to be increased at Filton cabinet 44 (serving Coriander Drive, Ellan Hay Road, Fennel Drive, Juniper Way, Lavender Way, Palmers Leaze, Rosemary Close and Tarragon Place).

  6. Cabinet 48 from the Filton exchange seems to be out of scope for the South Glocs works and there is no need from BT. It serves the Bailey’s Court area.

  7. I checked cabinet 44 on the 6th if Aug and it was back to the temporary lack of capacity. Today (the 7th) it now says 3rd of September. Anyone any ideas what the problem is with this cabinet? I spoke to a BT openreach engineer at the cabinet a week or so ago and he said there is fibre and space in the cabinet so he wasn’t sure why ISPs weren’t letting us order. It’s been the same temporary lack of capacity since at least march and nothing shows up on indicating any works planned.

  8. The probable issue is a lack of ports.

    Each FTTC cabinet can support number of cards that host a number of ports. I think BT are using the ECI M41 cabinet. These are deployed by default with ONE 64 port card and can hold four.

  9. Does anyone know when cabinet 23 Bowsland Way/Teal Close is being enabled? I’ve looked on the openreach checker and all it says is the almonds rut exchange is enabled.

  10. I haven’t seen any dates for the EO lines that cover the area
    The Beeches, Courtlands, Cross Tree Grove, The Culvert, Hawkins Crescent, Honeysuckle Close, Kemperleye Way, Oaktree Crescent, Sages Mead, Stanshaws Close, Teasel Mead, The Spinney, Stevens Walk

    Does anyone know when work is due to start?

  11. Has anyone got an update on cabinet No 31 with regards to the EO lines, everything has sort of gone rather quite on this subject a feed back would be great.

  12. I contacted South Glos Council about cabinet 31 – this is the reply:
    “There is still work to be done to connect cabinet 31 to the new fibre network and get it live and ready for service. The cabinet should be completed in November.”

  13. Thanks Will!
    I was wondering how long it would be and have been checking the BT checker almost daily in anticipation!
    All of my friends are now boasting about the speed they get now….. Grrrrr

  14. Yes thanks Will, for that update on cabinet 31…the only problem I have is that I am with TalkTalk, and by checking the BT checker, it states that my line is not recognized when I key it into the checker…also TalkTalk don’t have any positive answers either…but in the mean time they want me to extend my contract with them for a further period of time…I told them that I will wait for upgrade to be running smoothly first.

  15. Possibly not related to EO lines, but an entry on suggests that BT will soon be doing work at Filton cabinet 44 (Baileys Court Road / Ellan Hay Road). Readers have previously reported fibre broadband being “temporarily unavailable” at this cabinet due to a lack of of capacity.

  16. Opposite the roundabout where Cabinet 31 is located 🙂 I thought my house was on cabinet 34 but then found out that I was on EOL – so when I looked yesterday there was still no cabinet number on there – but i did see a van infront of Cabinet 31 yesterday afternoon doing some work – looked this morning on the BT checker and i’m on Cabinet 31 – now to wait for it to go live!!

  17. Good stuff. Let’s hope the work’s not finished and more of us will convert over soon. Have you noticed any difference in speed now you’re on a cabinet – my assumption would be that it may drop.

  18. No difference in speed since moving to the cabinet – same speeds on my line. Just want to know what speed I will get when I order Infinity – only once the cabinet is enabled to become live for it – few weeks & I’m hoping I can order infinity or might swap suppliers.

  19. @Will, As you’re so close to the cabinet, I would expect you to get the maximum speed of 38Mbps or 76Mbps, depending on which product you order.

  20. I am in Kemperleye way and no mention of a cabinet number yet and have been looking most days. Just get this horrible feeling after realising I’m on an EO line when this project started that I will still miss out.

  21. I live in Oaktree Crescent and today the BT Checker showed that my telefphone number is seved by the cabinet 30. So hopefully soon I will able to get a faster connection.

  22. I’m not seeing anything for my EO line yet. Expecting cabinet 31.
    Has anyone else in the Hawkins / Sages area got a cabinet against their number yet?


  23. @DaveP: I learned this yesterday and have asked the council for a statement with regard to BT Broadband Checker results for the new cabinet 31.

  24. Response from a source at SGC: “The BT line checker will be updated over the coming weeks to reflect that the EO lines are now connected via the newly installed cabinets. Openreach and the ISPs need to go through a process of updating their systems, which takes longer with the new EO line cabinets than for the more straight-forward FTTC upgrades, due to the copper network rearrangement. I’m afraid I don’t know exactly when this will happen, as it will depend on Openreach and the individual ISPs.”

  25. I guess some progress is good! I wonder though does it mean that everyone is now through cabinet 31 and they’re just updating their systems, or that their slowly moving people over to 31.

    Also hope that the last ones to move don’t come to order fibre only to find all capacity has been used up and they have to wait for more to be installed (a la cabinet 44).

  26. Great news it should not be too long now, I spoke to a BT engineer a day ago that I saw next to cabinet 31 he said that everything was in place it just has to be tuned in… so to speak…he was busy connecting up some FTTC lines for Hawkins Road… I am not too far away from there on an EO line of course.

    It may be a early Christmas present!!

  27. Simon in Kemperleye Way has emailed to say that his (previously) EO line is now showing up as being served by cabinet 31 in his BT Broadband Availability Checker result. TalkTalk not allowing fibre broadband to be ordered yet though.

  28. Does anyone know what is happening with Linden Drive? I’m on and EO from almondsbury and struggling to find any information anywhere if we are even included in the changes..

  29. @DRBTZ: I would guess that Linden Drive would be served from the new cabinet 31. Have you tried the BT checker recently to see if it is showing up for your number? SGC has said it may take some time for BT Openreach to update their systems (see comment above), so keep checking.

  30. Thanks SH, BT Checker is still coming up as EO from almondsbury. I do keep checking regularly so will bear in mind the comments from SGC about the time it takes to update. We did have some intermittent issues with our line a while back which may have been related to the switch over (I’d like to hope anyway) I’ll just have to keep waiting!

  31. I also live in linden drive so I guess I will just have to keep checking this space,what with not having cable laid here I am a bit nervous

  32. It seemed likely that The Beeches would be served by cabinet 32, as it is replacing former EO lines. But apparently that is not the case. So are some unfortunates going to remain as EO lines?

  33. Anyone on the new EO cabinets 30, 31 or 36 able to order fibre broadband yet? Or even seeing the FTTC service being shown as “available” in the BT Broadband Availability Checker result?

  34. I live in Stanshaws close and just checked on Bt adsl checker and It now says connect to Almondsbury exchange served by cabinet 30. At last something happening

  35. There was a message dated Sunday 21st September that somebody on Kemperleye Way that was on EO but has now changed to cabinet 31. However there is still no change to my EO connection.

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