Broadband Update

As a result of an almost disappeared broadband service in the last couple of weeks, I have this news to pass on to you. I did a snapshot survey and in one hour last weekend I received  these immediate results which are appalling.

  • 6 households with download speeds of 5 or less
  • 4 households with download speeds of 5-6
  • 10 households with download speeds less than 10 ( most nearest to 6)
  • 3 households with speeds of more than 10 (but less than 12)

I would like to redraw your attention to this: and I would urge you all to follow the advice.

The Dulwich Estate is exploring the provision by Community Fibre* of fibre to the home; talks are in progress.  I have also spoken with the Community Fibre reps and the one who is doing the survey work mentioned to me that it is not cost-effective for them to install their services in areas where mainly single dwelling units are present, as some roads have no cabinet, this then leads to requiring extensive trench works with other areas perhaps needing overhead lines. I did point out that our road is straight and has just the one cabinet, the notorious Cabinet 21.  However this news is a bit of a red flag.  I was also told by the rep that  a new cabinet will be required.

 The Estate has promised to keep us up to date with the talks.  Dulwich Estate emailed me this morning: “They are currently surveying your local area to see if there is BT cabling from Cabinet 21 in which case they would be able to push the fibre through the existing infrastructure. We have instructed them to prioritise this location for their services.  Underground BT cables must be in place for this to happen quickly and we will all have a better understanding of that by the beginning of December.”  They will keep me updated.

I contacted Openreach to see if their Cabinet 21 survey has been done yet.  The implication of what my contact there said  is that BT has to upgrade the cabinet first- and we know they want us to pay for that upgrade to hurry that up.  I was told the work is in the early stages, and that the hold up is getting a power supply to the cabinet.  Openreach is waiting to hear from the power company (?) and said “The old copper cabinet which wasn’t fibre enabled wouldn’t have needed one, it’s the fibre part that needs the power to boost the light signals that come down the fibre cable.” 

I have pointed out to both companies that the newer properties served by Cabinet 21 will probably have ducting in place, this should save some of the extreme excavation work.

I’m truly fed up with the broadband service.  I know virtually all of you are too, which is why I have copied in Helen Hayes MP and Philip Jansen CEO of BT.  I have pointed out to him in the past that our small area is surrounded by every single cabinet upgraded; our cabinet is just too fiddly I guess, but that is not what we pay such high charges for – we expect a service at least compliant with the minimum, and to be expected to pay over £48,000 to just be like our neighbours who paid nothing, is inequitable.

I will keep you updated about the Openreach and Community Fibre news.

Please – in the meantime if you have broadband issues take a bit of time to complain to BT if they are your provider, and if they are not able to provide a service you are paying for they will have to compensate you, and also your complaint is actually registered.  Always ask for a diary call back if they come to do work or repairs at your home; this means the person booking the call will have to find out whether you are satisfied with the work and if it has made any difference.

Bridget Furst

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