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back to article BT's fibre-to-the-premises trials hit duct roadblock

BT has been forced to delay the rollout of its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, after roughly a quarter of its trials found engineers taking two days to blow cables into customers' homes. The telco's "superfast" broadband programme director Johnny McQuoid told The Register that some of the trials were taking twice as …

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Pint

easy!

"about 5 per cent of test customers refused BT's offer to carry out the first stage of the work on the outside of their properties while they were absent from home."

Put them to the back of the (national rollout) list then. Move onto the next people.

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Was a title needed?

To be honest, I wouldn't let BT do any work on my property even if I was there. A few months ago they turned up without warning and put a new line from the telegraph pole to my house, and they made a RIGHT pigs ear of it, and it took me some months to get them to put it right again

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Anonymous Coward

2 days?

Hey I'd happily pay them the 2 days labour to get fibre, heck I'd help them dig-up the ducts too.

Unfortunately in Spain, Telefonica are about a century behind; Can't even get enough fibre into a technology park of 5 space companies and various research and drug companies so that we all get internet!!

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Coat

Duct Problems?

Should call Mr Tuttle - he'll sort it out for them.

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He'll need....

.... to bring a 27B/6 though...

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2 days!

For a decent broadband speed (rather than the 0.5 I am now getting) I would be willing to help dig the entire streets ducts if it came to it!

But my area is not on the list of any increase in speed (due to crappy cables and BT not wanting to touch them) so I will still be wondering what all this "Watch Again" stations are actually like for the next few years at least. - I would be happy with even 2mb and that's not asking much is it lol!

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You and me both...

I suffer a 768Kb/s connection (on a good day). BT have "no plans" to improve the situation :-(

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Happy

No plans?

LTE willl become the norm for difficult access / rural backhauil....see EE and BT Cornish trials

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Happy

Hmmm....

"taking two days to blow cables into customers' homes"

To quote Bart Simpson on this, "This certainly sucks! Sucks and blows at the same time!".

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Anonymous Coward

I didn't think it was physically possible

but this both sucks and blows.

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fair enough

Annoying, but isn't the whole point of a trial to discover problems like this?

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BT's fault, eh?

Given my experiences of BT blowing fibre into commercial properties, I'd take their excuses with a very large pinch of salt.

The customers who refused to let the engineers dig up their gardens and drill into their properties without being on site were probably being very sensible. I bet the engineers turned up on a different day to that scheduled and tried to dig into the wrong building.

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Anonymous Coward

They certainly

disconnected _our_ phone when the neighbours moved house. The fuckers (BT).

In fact, I'll say it again: the fuckers!

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Fibre lol

To bad for BT.

Glad I am with Virgin atleast I don't need fibre in my house to get 100mb.

Maybe if BT did something like what Virgin did all them years ago they wouldn't have half the trouble with crap speed's.

Atleast with cable we can get up to a maximum of 1gb using the current system with a few enhancement's to the equipment before they would, have to look at putting Fibre in to peoples houses, and trust me 1gb is perfectly fine for anything you could think of doing.

Maybe also when Docsis sort out the issue that means you can only get a upload speed of 10% of the download speed Virgin will get even better.

Don't like ADSL and don't see the need for fibre to the home as it is not worth it for the speed's that are able to be given over a coax cable.

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Virgin.

"Maybe if BT did something like what Virgin did all them years ago they wouldn't have half the trouble with crap speed's."

Do you mean buy up the cable TV companies, which had lost enormous amounts of money installing the cables and ducts? Which is what Virgin did.

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Unhappy

BT track record

@Ken Snorker: Not alone there - two years ago I asked for a change of tariff on the office line. Simple enough? Apparently not: the line suddenly went dead a few days later. Technically, the change of tariff was provisioned as a "cease and reprovide" (essentially, starting a 'new' service within BT's systems for billing purposes only) ... and somewhere along the line, the "and reprovide" bit got missed off.

So, a week later a company in the building next door were a bit surprised to have BT turn up to install this "new" line triggered by the botched "and reprovide" bit.

Eventually, it did all get reconnected, along with refunds of all the huge early cancellation fees and months worth of line rental. Not really confidence-inspiring, though, when you can accidentally get cut off completely without warning!

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Same kind of thing

I had to convert one of our business lines to residential.

7 phone calls until I got someone that knew what they were doing. The line had to be cancelled and reprovisioned. But this did not garuntee keeping the number (which was needed). We kept the number because we are in a lol pop area.

Their systems seem to be from a bygone age.

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Unhappy

blocked why

so because BT have not maintained and looked after their inferstructure, they are now having problems !

or am I missing something.

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Anonymous Coward

Erm

I'm not sure how you 'maintain' ducts. It's a tube with a cable in it.

Perhaps you could pull all the cables out, give it a bit of a hoover and polish and put all the cables back again? I'm sure their customers wouldn't mind being out of service while this essential work was undertaken regularly - would every twelve weeks be enough do you think?

It would also solve the UK's unemployment problem - think how many duct cleaners you'd need for hundreds of thousands of miles of duct.

The only potential downside I can see to your plainly brilliant observation is that it *might* make phone calls and phone lines and broadband a teensy bit more expensive. Do you have a lot of experience of working with 'inferstructure'?

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BT's real problem

...is probably coercing their (so-called) engineers to do more than one job per day.

My sister told me of an occasion when BT engineers did some work outside her house. They arrived around 9am, lifted a manhole cover and put one of those little tents over it. Then they got back in their van and buggered off, presumably for breakfast. They returned later, but spent most of the day sitting in the van. In the afternoon, one of them spent about 30 minutes down the hole. At about 4 o'clock, they packed up and left, probably congratulating each other on another good day's work done.

I wonder whether the 7 hours includes breaks?

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Anonymous Coward

Sometimes it's not the engineers fault that nothing happens

As a field service engineer, I've had work flows like the following:

1. Turn up at customers premises, fix fault

2. Phone head office to test the fix has worked

3. Find out that the person who was supposed to be doing the test has buggered off to lunch

4. Wait in van

5. Ring up later and find out the said person has not come back into the office yet

6. Wait in van

7. Ring up again and find out that said person has left for the day and their replacement can't find the account details/notes/etc

8. Wait in van

If you are waiting on someone else in a office to do something, there's nothing you can do except wait.

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Bronze badge

Story sounds realistic

If they turned up, pitched a tent and then left they were most likely going back to the exchange. A day spent in a van by a hole could well be a fibre blowing team.

Doing anything with BT is usually a long drawn out mess with far too many stages and too much paperwork along the way. The engineers, however, usually seem to know what they're doing and are on the whole very good. I often think that rather than having a BT account manager you should be simply given the number of your local BT engineer who generally seems to have far more interest in getting you what you want.

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Anonymous Coward

i wonder....

if they are getting paid per hour?

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Wonder no more Dazza,

They're not.

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