December finally brought some good news for scores of residents in central Bradley Stoke who had been waiting for months to be able to place an order for superfast broadband after their lines were re-routed into a new fibre-enabled street cabinet back in September.
As reported in our December magazine, frustrated customers within the postcode areas said by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) to be served by cabinet no. 31 (located on the corner of Brook Way and Savages Wood Road) had complained that they were still not seeing the elusive Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) service in their BT Broadband Availability Checker result, which is a prerequisite for ordering superfast broadband from any internet service provider (ISP).
In an attempt to spur SGC and BT into action, The Journal asked residents affected by the issue to supply their landline numbers so that they could be forwarded to SGC for investigation and details of five customers unable to order superfast broadband were duly passed on to the council officer overseeing the SGC broadband project on 15th December, with a copy of the email also being sent to the council’s chief executive, Amanda Deeks.
Ordering at cabinet no. 31 now possible for all?
Remarkably, within less than 12 hours of sending the email, all five customers confirmed to The Journal that the FTTC service had suddenly become available for them and they had been able to order superfast broadband from the ISP of their choice.
Other readers who had also been unable to order also reported on the BSJ website that they had now been able to do so, with installation dates promised for the first week of January.
Journal editor Stephen Horton commented: “I’d like to think The Journal deserves some credit for this breakthrough (which comes almost three months after the cabinet was declared “live and ready for service” by SGC), but it may, of course, be just a random coincidence that BT finally corrected its database hours after we sent the email.”
A day later, a BT spokesperson provided the following statement: “The number of homes that are served off this cabinet has been increased and as a result our records needed to be updated.”
“There are occasions when a delay can occur between the time that a premises is recorded as being served off a specific cabinet to when it shows up on the system as being ‘ready to place an order’. This delay explains why the premises that were brought to our attention were unable to place an order.”
“We would like to apologise for this delay and assure residents that this matter has now been resolved. Residents being served off cabinet no. 31 should now be able to contact their communication provider and place an order.”
In other developments, the first customers on new cabinet no. 30 (at the top end of Bradley Stoke Way, near the Hilton Hotel) reported being able to place orders on 15th December, although SGC is yet to officially declare this cabinet “live and ready for service”.
Orders being taken again at cabinet no. 44
There has also been some good news for customers on cabinet no. 44 (junction of Ellan Hay Road and Baileys Court Road), which is part of BT’s commercial rollout programme. Town councillor Ben Randles, who lives in Juniper Way, reported on Twitter on 16th December that he had finally managed to get superfast broadband installed via this cabinet. Cllr Randles and a number of other residents in the area had previously reported that they were unable to order because BT was saying the cabinet was “temporarily out of capacity”.
Enquiring on behalf of another customer on cabinet no. 44, located in Tarragon Place, The Journal was initially told by a BT spokesperson that it was not possible to order superfast broadband because the property “is over 11km from the cabinet and FTTC won’t work properly”.
After being shown evidence that the property is only about 500m from cabinet no. 44, the spokesperson said: “On further investigation we can confirm the location of this particular premises had been incorrectly recorded on our internal system that was consequently causing problems when the resident was attempting to place an order for fibre.”
“We have now updated our records and would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this has caused.”
Comments from Journal readers
Hisham (Hawkins Crescent):
Following my note to the Bradley Stoke Journal I checked the ADSL checker again today after work and found that I can also order fibre broadband. The order has gone in with BT infinity and the projected install date 6th January.
Finally got somewhere! I would recommend anyone who still can’t order fibre, and is connected to cabinet no. 31, to contact the Bradley Stoke Journal and ask for help.
I am confident that without the BSJ’s support I would still be waiting! Thanks for all your help. Roll on finally joining the 21st century!
Drtbz (Linden Drive):
Just ordered from cabinet no. 31 via EE on the 76Mbps package as the BT checker is saying I should be able to get approx 70Mbps. My router is quoted to arrive in the next two weeks and the (self) install to be completed shortly after when connection is made live.
The end is in sight for me, and I would like to extend my sincerest thanks and some Christmas cheer to the BSJ and everyone else who has kept the pressure on the council and BT to get this sorted.
This article originally appeared in the January 2015 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.
Postscript #1: On 25th December 2014, SGC declared cabinet no. 36 (corner of Bradley Stoke Way and Brook Way, near Oaktree Crescent) “live and ready for service”.
Postscript #2: On 26th December 2014, SGC declared cabinet no. 30 (at the top end of Bradley Stoke Way, near the Hilton Hotel) “live and ready for service”.
Both announcements stated that lists of postcodes served by the cabinet were available on the ‘Where and when‘ page of the council’s website. They weren’t – and two weeks later they still aren’t, despite council staff being informed of the error on 26th December 2014.
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