Mixed news on broadband front – hundreds still waiting for fibre

BT Openreach: Fibre broadband is here.

The month of November brought mixed news for the hundreds of Bradley Stoke residents who are still waiting to benefit from the rollout of superfast broadband, whether through BT’s commercial programme (Filton exchange, 0117 numbers) or the state-aided upgrade programme being managed by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC, affecting mostly 01454 numbers).

Frustrated customers within the postcode areas said by SGC to be served by cabinet no. 31 (located on the corner of Brook Way and Savages Wood Road) saw a glimmer of hope on 6th November when many of them reported that the cabinet was finally showing up in their BT Broadband Availability Checker result. However, many of them were not yet seeing the elusive Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) service as being ‘available’ on their lines.

Of those that were now able to order fibre broadband from the internet service provider (ISP) of their choice, several reported later on the Journal website that their installation appointments were subsequently cancelled or that the installation engineer had been unable to successfully install the service because of problems with the wiring in the cabinet.

The first report of a successful fibre broadband installation came on 17th November, more than two months after cabinet no. 31 had officially been declared “live and ready for service” by SGC.

There have also been reports from some readers of the BT checker result regressing to show the FTTC service as ‘unavailable’ when it had previously been ‘available’, in some cases after they had managed to place an order.

As we went to press, there were plenty of readers on cabinet no. 31 reporting that they were still waiting for the FTTC service become ‘available’ in their checker result. These reports came from residents living in Kemperleye Way, Hawkins Crescent, Linden Drive and The Culvert.

One Journal reader on cabinet no. 31, Hisham from Hawkins Crescent commented:

“It is very clear that the upgrade project has failed in communicating progress and updating the residents on what is happening and when.”

“The broadband checker tells us we are connected to cabinet no. 31 but there is no sign of FTTC and this has been ongoing for a number of months. Our neighbours opposite and only a few doors down are able to order fibre, however we are not.”

“This leads me to think that the work that has been completed on cabinet no. 31 is insufficient to meet demand or has not actually been completed. If this is a sign of the service we expect to receive, then only disappointment awaits us.”

Residents on 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) will be hoping that they don’t have to endure the same saga of confusion and setbacks once their cabinets are (hopefully) declared “live and ready for service” in December.

The  Editor comments

I would urge anyone frustrated by the poor communications surrounding this project to write to their SGC ward councillor(s) and MP. Here’s how: www.writetothem.com

More information:

This article originally appeared in the December 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. Comment received from James W by email on 7th December:

    I saw in your Journal today that a lot of people are having issues with getting fibre broadband installed. I thought I would let you know of at least one success story (although it did take it’s time).

    I sent a mail to you before (on 6th October) [that showed my line was now connected to cabinet no. 36, but no FTTC available].

    I ordered the service with Talk Talk not long after and was given a go live date of the 18th of November(!). Everything was going to plan until the switch over date when I noticed no change. I called Talk Talk and they said they had to arrange for an engineer to come out.

    This took an additional weeks but the Open Reach guy that came out was very helpful and knowledgeable and got me going with no problems (I was not actually switched over).

    I am now getting 37.5meg (previously I was getting 6.5meg) download speeds (according to speedtest.net) and have noticed things like gaming online a lot smoother and downloads in general are a lot faster.

    Everything is working as it should be so there is hope for all your readers as I am sure I am not an isolated case.

  2. Comment received from John M (Wheatfield Drive) by email on 8th December:

    Well, having previously had the opportunity to take fibre broadband as without we have a painfully slow connection, when i called this morning to discuss i was told that fibre isn’t available in my area! Having checked myself, screen shot attached, it appears confirmed. Having previously had the opportunity for fibre broadband, its now been snatched from under me!

    It does say temporarily unavailable, how long is a piece of string springs to mind and interestingly, if i did have fibre service would that mean i cannot currently connect?

    From screenshot of checker result: “FTTC is currently not available on this cabinet due to the following reasons:- Sorry your cabinet is temporarily unavailable, capacity will be restored as soon as possible”

    [Ed: John’s checker result shows that he is on cabinet no. 22, declared “live and ready for service” by SGC on 1st April.]

    UPDATE (11th December): Checker result for cabinet no. 22 now showing predicted FTTC availability date of 15th January.

  3. Comment from source at SGC on 8th December in response to query about customers on cabinet no. 31 not seeing FFTC as being available in checker result:

    “I’ve spoken with BT and they have advised me that this appears to have been an issue with records – this has now been resolved and therefore residents should be able to go ahead and order the service.”

    If you’re on cabinet no. 31 and still not seeing FTTC as available, please email broadband@bradleystokejournal.co.uk with your details and we will investigate.

  4. This whole Bradley Stoke internet upgrade has been a PR sham and has completely neglected those who do not or can not have fibre installed and struggled to even cater for those who have had the luxury of both having access to and affording fibre.

    There should never have been a major drive toward only upgrading the cabinets to receive fibre access, there should have been an upgrade to the entire local network to allow for perfectly normal broadband speeds of up to 16 meg. 5 years ago people were saying how ‘everyone will be at fibre speeds next year anyway as it’s a countrywide standard’ etc etc. 5 years later and the vast majority are still receiving 3 meg speeds.

  5. I’m in Kemperleye way and the BT checker has been showing Cabinet 31 since the 19th November but has never shown FTTC as being available. Checked again tonight as per SH comments but still nothing.

  6. @lololololol: You’re living in a dream world if you think copper-based ADSL technology can deliver 16Mbps to the whole of Bradley Stoke, given the distance to the two telephone exchanges that serve the town (Almondsbury and Filton).

    Take a look at this chart: http://bit.ly/1urcwEq

    The distance from Almondsbury exchange to the centre of Bradley Stoke is 3.5km; to south Bradley Stoke 5.1km. So you’re talking a theoretical max of 6Mbps and less than 2Mbps respectively. That’s before any consideration of non-optimal cable routing is taken into account.

  7. My suspicion would be that active work on Cabinet 31 is currently on hold pending a final mop up at the end of the project. I suspect they wired a lot of it in and then due to pressure from consumers questioning why they still couldn’t connect did a mass update to show everyone as fibre available. Some people then ordered and got it, some others ordered only to find they weren’t wired in yet. So instead of sorting it out properly they’ve probably just done a mass roll back so that no-one is showing as fibre enabled – even those like myself who were fortunate to order and get it. Now that some people are connected they can put a tick in the box for Cabinet 31 and move on and the Council who have shown a complete lack of oversight with this whole project won’t pressure them to sort it out.

    I’d suggest those that still don’t have it keep the pressure on the Council.

  8. I’ve been chasing BT and open reach for a few days now seeking clarification on cabinet 30 (I currently live on Oaktree). The first response from open reach was they do not currently support broadband in rural areas and that this area isn’t covered by them (clearly someone hasn’t done a google map check..)

    Then spoke to BT who seem to have everything confused as their staff seem to think cabinet 30 doesn’t exist and everyone is still on EO lines from Almondsbury. Haven’t tried the local authority yet but those two response so far have left me less than convinced that fibre will go live this side of the year.

  9. @Ed, I will be chasing SGC for an update on cabinet no. 30 over the next few days. In the absence of any further information, we can only assume it is still on track to go live sometime this month. You’re probably wasting your time contacting ISPs before (a) the cabinet is declared live and (b) you see FTTC as being available in your checker result.

  10. @Ed, I too live in Oaktree Crescent and been chasing on cabinet 30, and found ISP agents very useless, they just guess most of the time. I’ve even been told I lived too far from the cabinet to even get fibre, 4km!! WHATTTTTT 4km!! That’s 2.5 miles… And the cabinet is only by the Hilton Hotel… Either the project manager was high on drugs at the time or I’ve been giving the wrong advice.

    I’ve written to Jack Lopresti around the long fibre issue with also questioning why it’s been so quiet since the pass live date with cabinet 30 and someone called Mike Cobb who is a Constituency caseworker responded back to me saying he’ll find out.

    I’ve also spoken to South Glous Council who also looked into the long fibre issue and they told me that BT ISP provided the wrong information… But with the South Glous Council being so unreliable with the rollout so far especially being so quiet with cabinet 30 after passing their so called live date December, I’m just not confident enough to believe their answer… So I’m just awaiting for Mike Cobb answer before I get too confident.

  11. @SH. I saw your note above regarding cabinet 31. I am afraid to report that I am still in the same position as last time and our ADSL checker is still showing that we are on Cabinet 31 but no sign of FTTC.

    I have now written to the council per your advice in the last article.

    A lot of time seems to be going by with no progress from openreach or accurate communication from the council.

    still waiting impatiently.

  12. Quite a few people have already got in touch to say they can’t order fibre broadband despite being connected to a cabinet that SGC says is “live and ready for service”.

    Here’s a list of postcodes said by SGC to be served by fibre-enabled cabinets:

    Cabinet 9 (The Common, jnc Gloucestershire Road): BS324AJ, BS324AN, BS324AS, BS324AT, BS324AX, BS324AY, BS324AZ, BS324BA, BS346AR, BS346AU, BS346AW, BS346AY, BS346AZ, BS346BA, BS346BH, BS346BL, BS346NR

    Cabinet 22 (Brook Way): BS329BE, BS329BF, BS329BG, BS329BT, BS329BU, BS329BW, BS329BX, BS329DB, BS329DD, BS329DE, BS329DP, BS329DQ

    Cabinet 28 (Gloucester Road): BS329BA, BS329BB, BS329BN, BS329BP

    Cabinet 31 (Savages Wood Rd): BS328EF, BS328HH, BS328EB, BS328BY, BS329DS, BS328HL, BS328HJ, BS328GD, BS328EH, BS328DT, BS328DS, BS328EP, BS328JW, BS328ED, BS328ES, BS328ER, BS329BS, BS329TA, BS329TB, BS328AB, BS328TB, BS328SW, BS328EL, BS328EZ, BS328EY, BS328ET, BS328DD, BS328DL, BS361RY

    Cabinet 32 (Brook Way): BS320HN, BS320HW, BS329AR, BS329AS, BS329DA, BS329DN, BS329DR, BS329DS, BS329DT

    Cabinet 34 (Savages Wood Rd): BS328DD, BS328DL, BS328EB, BS328EE, BS328EL, BS328EN, BS328EP, BS328EQ, BS328ES, BS328GA, BS328GB, BS328TA, BS328TD, BS329AW, BS329AX, BS329AY, BS329AZ, BS329BD, BS329BH, BS329DU, BS329DW, BS329DX

    Cabinet 35 (Webbs Wood Rd): BS320DQ, BS320DS, BS320ED, BS320EJ

    Cabinet 37 (Bradley Stoke Way junction Fiddlers Wood Lane): BS328EF, BS328FD, BS328FE, BS329BJ, BS329BL, BS329BS, BS329BY, BS329BZ

    Cabinet E4 (Ash Ridge Road): BS324AG, BS324AH, BS324AN, BS324AS, BS324AT, BS324AU, BS324AX, BS324AY, BS324AZ, BS324BA, BS324EU, BS324JU, BS324JX, BS324QA, BS324SS, BS346AW, BS346AY, BS346AZ

    Source: Where and When (SGC)

    If you find you can’t order, please send details to broadband@bradleystokejournal.co.uk and we’ll investigate.

  13. Comment from Ed Burrows (on the BSJ Facebook page):

    Just an update, I’m currently on cabinet 30 which serves Oaktree crescent etc I came home from work to an email from open reach about some emails I’ve sent them, they have confirmed that we can now place orders for fibre optic. I’m just about to finish my BT order for infinity as I type this.

    [32 minutes later] And thats my order placed, engineer with any luck will be out in 2nd week of January.

  14. I should point out – the speeds I gave either on were via WIFI, just done a speedtest via ethernet – Download = 69.39mbps, upload was 15mbps.

    I am certainly happy with the results now 🙂 Hopefully everyone gets there soon 🙂

  15. I have a tear in my eye……Fibre available on the BT checker and have just ordered the 76meg package. Install date is 7th January 2015. I’m nearly there!!!! 🙂

  16. Further to the ongoing problems reported by readers on cabinet no. 31 who were unable to order fibre broadband, I would like to thank the five readers who gave permission for their landline numbers to be forwarded to SGC for investigation.

    An email was sent to the officer responsible at 10am this morning, copied to the chief executive. By 3pm, the checker results for all five numbers were showing that the FTTC service (i.e. fibre broadband) could now be ordered.

    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.

    Time to visit the checker if you’re on cabinet no. 31 and haven’t yet been able to order. See: https://www.bradleystokejournal.co.uk/superfast

  17. Glad to hear it’s starting to come through for everyone. Have had similar results to Will on CAB31 for almost 3 weeks now. BT Infinity 2 as well.

    Bizarrely, even though I’d had my install done, the checker was still saying that I couldn’t have it!

    Have to admit that the information and dialogue on this forum was a godsend during the whole waiting period.

  18. Noticed today that I am able to order fibre broadband which I have just done (Linden Drive) told it will take about 2 weeks. Fantastic, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Bradley Stoke journal for their most helpful campaign

  19. YES…I have also just ordered Fibre Broadband with my Talk Talk provider today (in Linden Drive as well) and I have been given the 24/12/2014 as the connection date…roll on…I am a very happy bunny!!

    And yes, may I also say a big thank you to the Bradley Stoke Journal for a fantastic campaign in bringing this broadband to a good conclusion, and I hope that all the rest of you get connected soon.

  20. 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 is the 6th January.
    Finally got somewhere. I would recommend anyone who still can’t order fibre, and is connected to cabinet 31, to contact the Bradley stoke journal and ask for help.
    I am confident that without the BSJ support I would still be waiting! Thanks for all your help @SH.

    Hopefully we will have the service installed on the 6th. Roll on finally joining the 21st century!

    Thanks Hisham @ Hawkins Crescent

  21. @Ed Burrows (earlier comment at 3.02pm today), Congratulations, I believe you are the first customer to report a successful order on cabinet no. 30. I hope everything goes to plan with the installation.

  22. Just ordered from CAB31(linden drive) via EE on the 76mbps package as the BT checker in saying I should be able to get approx 70Mbps. My router is quoted to arrive in the next 2 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 SH, BSJ and everyone else who has kept the pressure on the council and BT to get this sorted.

  23. Correction on my earlier post, there happened to be a glitch on my connection date for some reason, and it will not be on Christmas eve as previously stated but instead on the 5th of January, which seems to match up with the others in some of their posts…I think it will be a busy week at cabinet 31 !!!

  24. I’m on Cabinet 30, and the checker is still reporting it as not available for FTTC, and as a result my ISP won’t take an order.

    Surely this is anti-competitive behaviour by BT, giving preferential treatment to BT broadband customers at the expense of other ISPs? Why is public money being given to support this monopoly?

  25. Well I live in Oaktree Crescent served by cabined 30 but when I check it still says that no Infinity is available for me….how come part of the street can receive this service but the other part no?

  26. @David, @Woj, SGC has not yet declared cabinet no. 30 “live and ready for service”. Last projected date was “December 2014”, which I guess can mean any time up to 31st December.

    I suspect they are being cautious in order to avoid a repeat of the fiasco surrounding cabinet no. 31, where very few people were able to order for the first two months after it had been declared “live and ready for service”.

    Hopefully, you will see the FTTC service become available before the end of the month. If not, please report back here and we will ask SGC for a statement.

  27. Well this is strange! I was able to order Fibre on the 13th Dec for cabinet 30 in which i did with BT Infinity.

    I thought i’ll have a look again to order after Woj advising they cannot order for Oaktree Crescent and to my shock its saying i can’t order now! Woah! I hope nothing goes from come live date 5th Jan.

  28. Disappointing to have to report that we are starting to get reports of cabinets upgraded in the summer now being “out of capacity”.

    A reader in Wheatfield Drive reports that his checker result is showing cabinet no. 22 “temporarily out of capacity” with a projected availability date of 7th Jan 2015.

    A reader in Snowberry Close reports that his checker result is showing cabinet no. 34 “temporarily out of capacity” with NO projected availability date.

    An enquiry has been sent to SGC.

  29. I received my Router this afternoon…I wasn’t expecting it until after Christmas, enclosed was a letter confirming my connection date to go live on 05/01/2014…I have it all connected up and running at the same speed as my old router…I AM NOW WAITING FOR THE BIG DAY !!!!!

  30. Previously Merryweather Close was all over the place in terms of cabinet numbers, we’re now cabinet 38 and guess what? Just ordered BT infinity and it’s ready as of January 12th

  31. My switch on to live Fibre broadband for Linden Drive from Cabinet 31 as promised will be on Monday the 5th of January. so not much longer to wait now !!

  32. Hi, can you help with clearing something up?
    I live in Juniper Way and went to upgrade with sky to fibre and they have told me there is none available?
    I do not understand if available why they cannot connect?

  33. Just for the record I now have my FIBRE broadband with Talk Talk at last for Linden Drive from Cabinet 31…Download is 37.63 and upload 1.83 it has only been live for an hour or so…and I am really a happy bunny…it is really great on seeing how fast web sites load up…welcome to the 21st century.

    Good luck for those still waiting, and also once again thanks to SH (Editor) and BSJ for the campaign.

  34. It seems Sky are doing a mass migration to Sky Broadband for those who could only previously receive Sky Connect.

    I only became aware when I received a message to say “my order couldn’t be completed” and to call them! A view of my Sky account showed an order for BB and cancellation of connect – neither of which I requested! After speaking to them, they said it is as a result of BT upgrading the lines and that it is “cheaper and better” than what I am on now.

    Whilst happy to be moving, the communications were poor to say the least – and I still have to call them to confirm the go ahead. A bit of a shambles, imho.

    Have any other Sky Connect customers experienced this too?

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