The occupiers of around 1,700 homes in Bradley Stoke that are served by exchange only (EO) telephone lines from Almondsbury (01454 numbers) are expected to find out within the next few weeks whether they will be given the opportunity to order superfast broadband as a result of the state-subsidised infrastructure upgrade programme being carried out by BT on behalf of South Gloucestershire Council (SGC).
As previously reported in The Journal, four new fibre-enabled street cabinets specifically for EO lines are being installed in the town, and all of these are now in position, with one, no. 31 (corner of Brook Way and Savages Wood Road), already announced as being “live and ready for service”.
The council reports that “good progress” is being made with cabinet nos. 30 (at the top end of Bradley Stoke Way, near the Hilton Hotel) and 36 (corner of Bradley Stoke Way and Brook Way, near Oaktree Crescent). The fourth, no. 38, has recently been “stood” on Brook Way, opposite the junction with Dewfalls Drive.
SGC is currently predicting that cabinet nos. 30 and 36 will become “live and ready for service” during October, with cabinet no. 38 following sometime later.
A number of readers who know that they were previously on EO lines have reported on The Journal’s website that they are now seeing cabinets 30, 31 or 36 appearing in their BT Broadband Availability Checker result. However, at the time of writing, none of these readers have the ‘fibre to the cabinet’ (FTTC) service showing as being available on their lines, which is a prerequisite for ordering superfast broadband from any internet service provider.
Other readers, mindful of SGC’s previous statement that “not all EO lines connected to the Almondsbury exchange will be upgraded as part of the council’s project,” have expressed concern that they are still not seeing a cabinet number showing up in their checker result. These include residents of Kemperleye Way and Linden Drive, whose closest EO cabinet is the now “ready for service” no. 31.
Elsewhere in the town, it is now looking increasingly unlikely that consumers in Honeysuckle Close and Primrose Close will benefit from the current SGC project, despite being within the defined ‘intervention area’. Cabinet no. 23 (on Bowsland Way), which serves these two roads, is “not currently in the plans to be upgraded,“ according to the postcode checker on the SGC website.
Kingfisher Close, also served by cabinet no. 23, is another road that looks likely to miss out, although it is doubtful whether it would have been eligible for upgrade anyway, as SGC’s maps show it as being outside the ‘intervention area’, which is thought to be the result of incorrect coverage data being supplied by Virgin Media.
A small number of Bradley Stoke properties connected to the Filton telephone exchange (0117 numbers), which was upgraded as part of BT’s commercial rollout programme, are still unable to order superfast broadband. These include those connected to fibre-enabled cabinet no. 44 (corner of Baileys Court Road and Ellan Hay Road), which has been “out of capacity” for months, and those on EO lines (readers have reported such cases in Shiels Drive and Pursey Drive).
Is fibre broadband available to you? Are you on an EO line? To find out, visit our Superfast Broadband Upgrade Status page.
Photo: Recently-installed EO cabinet no. 38 on Brook Way (opposite Dewfalls Drive).
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