Superfast broadband outcome imminent for ‘exchange only’ (EO) subscribers

Recently-installed EO cabinet no. 38 on Brook Way, Bradley Stoke.

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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  1. I’m in Hawkins Crescent and have been checking the Availability Checker on a daily basis but am still showing as exchange only.

    Can anyone advise whether I’m going to be one of the ‘lucky’ ones? How can I find out?

  2. @DW, The only definitive way is to keep using the checker. We are pressing SGC to release more data, but they weren’t able to get back to us in time for this article. Any further information that becomes available will appear here as soon as we get it.

  3. @SH – appreciate your efforts. This has been going on for so long – since so many of us voted in that Race to Infinity thing – that I have the sinking feeling that hopes are being raised only to fall at the final hurdle.

  4. I love the way that since the fiber broadband capabilities have been installed, my non fibre line has lost 20% speed…Nowhere else I’ve lived have I been required to install fibre just to get more than 3mb broadband, when ADSL should be capable of a reasonable 16mb or more.

  5. I am still unsure as to how SGC can justify connecting the majority of tax payers but deem it acceptable that others through no fault of their own will remain on the old copper system. Surely the budget was set taking into account all residents in the town?

  6. @DW – I am in Sages Mead and also have been checking the Availability Checker and am still show EO and not a cabinet.
    I imagine the whole ‘Hawkins’ area is in the same situation, though I understand that there are some in the Spinney that are connected to cabinet 34…
    I’d echo the comments – appreciate the effort and updates from @SH.
    Just keeping fingers crossed too…..

  7. The only thing that has changed for me on the bt checker (EO from Linden drive) is that my “Downstream Line Rate(Mbps)” has dropped from “up to 4mbps” to “up to 1mbps” in the last 2 weeks. I’m no showing nothing but a “-” in the upstream line rate. And the There has also been a noticeable effect on Quality of Service to my property and we are seeing frequent connection drops of serveral minutes at a time. It’s starting to get more than a little frustrating!

  8. According to the Superfast Broadband Upgrade Status page, cabinet 31 is serving houses in Kemperleye Way, however it doesn’t appear to have reached my property yet or friends a little further down the road.

    I also agree with lolololololol that ADSL+ could produce speeds of up to 16 meg which would be more than enough for most people yet most lines will remain on 0.5 – 3meg if fibre isn’t available at their property.

  9. Drtbz – have you tried restarting your router? I had similar problems the other day and a restart resolved it. A near neighbour had similar issues which were resolved by a restart.

  10. Will the presence of the new cabinets improve my plain-ADSL (not Infinity) line speed? I’ve always been told that my poor speed is due to the copper wire stretching all the way back to the exchange – but if it now goes to a cabinet close by, does that mean I’ll be able to get more of the “up to 17Mb” that my current ISP promises?

  11. @James – since my number was put onto cabinet 31 – I live pretty much near it = I’ve seen absolutely no increase in speed on my line – just the same speed i had when being directly on the exchange.

  12. @James I suspect that the limited addtional slot capacity given to the newly installed fiber broadband allows the area to be considered as a super fast region wityhout actually forking out the big bucks and upgrading the entire network. On paper it reads like a success, yet all of us who are stuck paying for standard ADSL still suffer. I am on a 30 day rolling contract for my broadband and I like it that way, there is no way I am sacrificing that luxury as well as forking out extra pennies and installation costs just to satisfy those figures when in reality most of us will be left in the dark ages with these crappy speeds. I am more likely to move home 1 or 2 miles up the road just to get my standard speeds back.

  13. Disturbing discussion with TalkTalk who tell me I’m not in the Hawkins Crescent rollout. Still on EOL on checker.
    Let’s hope I haven’t waited all this time to miss out, particularly as the original plans have HC included. Fingers crossed BT haven’t passed across all their plans.

  14. @GraemeD – I’m in Sages Mead and am worried about the same thing. Still not appearing on a cabinet on the BT checker. Not sure if our stretch is in the next plans to be connected??
    Would be useful if BT / SGC could be a bit more transparent on the plan for the area, rather than leaving us guessing. I have posted a question to SGC this morning, so will update when I get an answer.

  15. I’m in Teasel Mead and have been told by the council that I am included in the current roll out. I’m a bit (actually a lot) skeptical about the ‘systems being updated’ bit. Don’t see how it could take 3 weeks to update a system to show a line being connected to the cabinet. My guess is they connected a few lines so they could show the cabinet as live and put a tick in the box, and then planned to continue to connect in other lines at their leisure. Bizarre bit is that those lines that are showing as connected still don’t seem to be able to order fibre – how can the cabinet be said to be live?

    Fully agree about the lack of information – most of the answers to questions I’ve asked the council have been stock answers which don’t really tell you anything.

  16. It’s now 18 days since SGC tweeted that cabinet 31 is “live and ready for service”.

    According to information on their ‘big build’ webpage, achieving the “ready for service” stage should mean that “fibre broadband services are available to order”, which currently does not seem to be the case.

  17. Just put my postcode in on the Openreach where and when bit & it comes back and says Under Review “We’re in your area but we’re still assessing whether or not we can upgrade your cabinet. This means you can’t order Superfast Fibre” Yet they have put Cabinet 31 in and then South Glos council saying its live and ready – something doesn’t seem right!

  18. As @Iain and @Mrs Perkins have indicated, SGC has just updated its website to show the postcodes served by the new EO cabinet 31:

    BS32 8AB The Culvert
    BS32 8BY Blackthorn Drive
    BS32 8DD Diana Gardens
    BS32 8DL Diana Gardens
    BS32 8DS Fern Grove
    BS32 8DT Linden Drive
    BS32 8EB Kemperleye Way
    BS32 8ED Mautravers Close
    BS32 8EF Willow Brook Centre
    BS32 8EH Hawkins Crescent
    BS32 8EL Hawkins Crescent
    BS32 8EP Kemperleye Way
    BS32 8ER Sages Mead
    BS32 8ES The Spinney
    BS32 8ET Pimpernel Mead
    BS32 8EY Teasel Mead
    BS32 8EZ Poppy Mead
    BS32 8GD Garrett Drive
    BS32 8HH Cross Tree Grove
    BS32 8HJ The Willows
    BS32 8HL Savages Wood Road
    BS32 8JW Jordan Walk
    BS32 8SW Stevens Walk
    BS32 8TB Three Brooks Lane
    BS32 9BS Willow Brook Centre
    BS32 9DS Fern Grove
    BS32 9TA The Beeches
    BS32 9TB The Beeches


  19. How come all other postcodes around my street are all in the cabinet except my street? Been waiting for such a long time but still nothing has been confirmed for BS329BN?!

  20. @Kenny, Merryweather Close? You might find you end up on EO cabinet no. 38, currently being installed further up Brook Way. You’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out.

  21. Does anyone know about Ellicks Close off Bowsland Way (BS32 0ES) if that is included in the intervention area or not an which cabinet would serve it if it is? My number still doesn’t show any cabinet number the BT broadband availability checker so I m assuming its EO line.

  22. Must have been a coincidence that I tweeted SGC for information on cab 31 and they then updated their website.

    Just slight amendment on the list above BS32 9TA is also The Beeches not Meadowbrook School which is BS32 8TA.

  23. I know this isn’t related to the BT EOL stuff but – I decided to contact Virgin Media’s – Cable My Street team this is there reply:

    “As you will understand, we receive a great many requests to extend our cable network to new areas and we focus our network expansion activities on areas where there is greatest demand for our services.

    The company has a programme of activity agreed for 2015 but unfortunately the unserviceable parts of Bradley Stoke is not part of these build plans.

    Clearly there is a need for Virgin Media to consider Bradley Stoke for future network extension activity and we have a clear understanding of the need for digital provision in this area. However there are several other areas that also require our attention and as in all businesses, decisions have had to be made about which of the many opportunities should be tackled in each time period.

    Regrettably, on this occasion, we cannot offer our cable services to Bradley Stoke. I am sorry we have to disappoint you, as we would love to have brought you our services however, I will ensure that your request will be treated as an ongoing priority for the New Build team and considered for future year’s build programmes.”

    Maybe we all should team up and make them more aware that Virgin Media is needed within the whole of Bradley Stoke?!?!?!?!?!?!!?

  24. Thanks @Iain, I have corrected BS32 9TA to show ‘The Beeches’. Finger trouble when typing into the Royal Mail postcode checker!

  25. @Will, We know from experience (Bradley Stoke Examiner campaign) that Virgin Media like to stir up publicity with their Cable my Street slogan, but then they set the bar for success to be unachievably high, asking for more than 50% in a street to sign up. They are more interested in earning extra revenue from their existing customers than digging up entire streets to win a few more.

  26. I have just spoken to a BT customer adviser about broadband fibre optic in our area.

    I am with cabinet 31 (CrossTree).

    BT have said that, yes, cabinet 31 is up and running, however they are only allowed to allocate 50 sockets at a time to the cabinet, which is 50 households. They are only allowed to do as many as 50 at a time, due to the interference it causes with the copper broadband.

    This means that somebody living in the opposite street to you, could have fibre optic, or even a neighbour could have the fibre optic broadband before you do.

    BT told me that it can take several months, for them to complete the cabinet.

    I hope this helps give a little more information to people in our area concerning the slow process with cabinet 31.

  27. @Will – They have already started putting in sockets. It will just be a slow process, because of the amount they are only allowed to fit at one time.

  28. @Flower Power, I am not entirely convinced by the explanation you have been given by a BT customer adviser. I will be checking it with my contacts at SGC/BT next week.

    It is now three weeks since SGC declared cabinet 31 “live and ready for service” and it appears that nobody has yet been able to order the service, yet alone make use of it.

  29. @SH – I welcome the feedback!

    I can only pass on the explanation that I was given by BT.

    I do know of one household, who has the fibre optic broadband, allocated on Savages Wood Road, the new build flats.

    I am sure that, that road is also cabinet 31.

  30. @Flower Power, If it’s Hornbeam Close you’re talking about, the information I have (reader reports and BT checker) is that they’re non-EO lines on cabinet 37, which went live in April.

  31. @SH – Yes you are correct, it is actually Hornbeam Close.

    I look forward to hearing any information you are provided, via your contacts. As the broadband I receive from BT is ridiculously slow.

    I have complained many times, only to be told that there is nothing that they will be able to do about the broadband speed, until the fibre optics are fitted.

    We can only use one computer devise at a time, when using the internet.

    With three children, who all use the internet for school work, this can be much of an annoyance.

    Makes for a fun tea time! 🙂

  32. I have just had an email from SGC, who have confirmed with BT that my property on The Beeches is connected to Cab31. Unfortunately the process for updating Openreachs and ISPs systems for EO lines is a lot more complicated than normal FTTC and will take a few weeks for this to be done.

    So, looks like a few more weeks of checking the line checker.

  33. @Iain – I was told exactly the same thing a month ago for my property in Poppy Mead.

    Some properties which are nearer to the cabinet are already seeing the cab 31 on their bt checker result, so why this delay for ours??

    SGC tells me to speak to my ISP for further updates, but my ISP (talk talk) has no clue about it.

    I am not convinced that updating the system to reflect that your line is connected to cab 31 would take more that couple of weeks (let alone a month). I guess they have stopped working on this cabinet for now.

  34. GK / Iain – I guess there’s also the question as to why the few that are showing as being connected to cabinet 31 don’t show fibre availability.

  35. To be fair I’m guessing it’s quite a manual process swapping over lines/ connections and could see it being a time consuming especially when consider the number of properties. Then Openreach and isp have to exchange info and I’m sure they wouldn’t be throwing staff at it. Probably 1 person doing all of them.

  36. I think it may well be quite a manual process swapping over the lines but the implication of what we’re being told is that that is already done – all that remains is updates to systems to show that cabinet 31 is in place – I don’t see why that should take so long.

  37. Filton EO lines not serviced by current boxes… SGC after many months of questioning have finally stated that a new box Filton 49 is going to be placed outside of the Filton Exchange to service customers in BS34 that already have up to 17 meg speed according to BT own checker… What a waste of money and what about those of us who have Filton EO lines with a speed of 1.5 meg on a good day?

  38. SGC tweeted today, in response to a question from a BSJ reader: “Almondsbury cab 30 currently in installation stage. Should be live in early December.”

    That’s a two month slip from the information previously given to The Journal (as included in the article above).

  39. I had a reply back from SGC, regarding the enquiry for my line in Sages Mead:-

    “Dear Steve,

    Thank you for the information.

    I have spoken with BT and they have advised me that your line has been picked up by Almondsbury cabinet 31, a new fibre-enabled cabinet installed as part of the council’s Superfast Broadband Project. This cabinet is live and ready for service.

    Openreach and the ISPs will be updating their systems 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 ISP. The best thing to do is to keep checking the line checker and once your line is showing as connected to a cabinet, you can then contact the Internet Service Provider of your choice to upgrade to fibre. Alternatively, you can contact your ISP directly to see if they can provide a more accurate timeframe.”

  40. Why has Oaktree crescent been split up to different cabinets? It’s really annoying one house in Oaktree can & another cant! I’m on cabinet 30 and not on can 36! Why is this!?!?

  41. Oaktree Crescent is one of the oldest roads in Bradley Stoke, and was built over several phases.

    Initially the main entrance was opposite Woodlands Lane.

    Quite likely that each phase was connected by BT diferently in each phase.

  42. @Will, Can you confirm you’re on cabinet 31? If so, I think you’re the first to report being able to order on that one.

  43. For those of you who still haven’t successfully managed to order fibre broadband and are perhaps frustrated at the lack of information being provided by SGC/BT, we’d like to publish a selection of your views in the November edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine.

    Ideally, we’re looking to hear from people in all of the following categories:

    1. Unable to order fibre on already-upgraded Filton cabinet no. 44 (serving 0117 numbers in Juniper Way and the herbs).
    2. On an EO line from Almondsbury (01454 numbers), but frustrated at lack of information being provided by SGC/BT.
    3. On an EO line from Filton (0117 numbers), but frustrated at lack of information being provided by SGC/BT.
    4. On an Almondsbury cabinet not currently announced for upgrade (e.g. no. 23 serving Honeysuckle Close and Primrose Close).
    5. Outside the SGC intervention area, but having no access to superfast broadband (e.g. Kingfisher Close).

    If you’re unsure if you fit any of the above categories, please visit for an explanation.

    We will need to know which street you’re in and will publish this, along with an abbreviated form of your name (forename + initial of family name), against your comment.

    e.g Joe B of Sages Mead said: “…”

    Please email comments to by Friday (24th October).

  44. I am on Cabinet 31 in Kemperleye Way. I have just ordered Fibre from TalkTalk ( my current ISP) – as Will stated, the speed estimate for top package is 47 Mbs – so I have gone for the 38Mbs Medium deal. Live date is 7th Nov. Will report speeds after its live.

  45. It is very frustrating that people are ordering fibre on the same road when I haven’t even had any confirmation that I will get it. There is still no cabinet on the BT checker

  46. Where can we sign to petition for ‘Normal speed broadband at normal speed prices’? 5 years in waiting and still 3mb adsl is just silly now.

  47. No, since we were updated several weeks ago that our postcode would be served by cabinet 31, nothing has changed on the Availability Checker….

  48. @sh still no availability showing on cab 31 for me.

    Just reading SGC/BT response and sounds like we need to chase current supplier to update?

  49. Statement from SGC in the November BSJ magazine:

    * Cabinet 30 should be live and ready for service by December 2014
    * Cabinet 36 should be live and ready for service by December 2014
    * Cabinet 38 should be live and ready for service by March 2015

    The council previously said nos. 30 and 36 would become “live and ready for service” during October, with cabinet no. 38 following sometime later, so the programme seems to have slipped.

    The full magazine article will appear on this website on Monday (3rd November).

  50. I’ve was told by SGC that BT have told them that cabinet 31 is “live and able to accept orders” and that customers should “contact their broadband service provider for further information”.

    Having spoken to BT broadband they said that Openreach hadn’t released the lines to them. I took this back to SGC who queried again with BT who this time said “The process for enabling the capability to order is very complex, and involves many systems across BT and the ISP’s. It looks as if some residents can order service and others can’t”.

    I don’t really see how it’s that complex to update a few systems and most ISPs get their information directly from BT’s availability checker so it sounds as if BT either don’t know what they’re doing or more likely they are stonewalling. SGC seem unable to hold them to account despite it being funded by public money.

  51. I have had fibre on order with Sky now for a week (I’m served by cabinet 44). So far they have been unwilling to put an activation date in writing to me. I have had an initial verbal date of the 10th November, however I asked to get this confirmed today and they now tell me the date has slipped to the 25th November. Apparently this is due to a problem caused by Open Reach. I wonder do BT want/have a monopoly on the availability with this cabinet. Has anyone actually ordered, obtained and used fibre from this cabinet?

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