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Author Topic: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem  (Read 2989 times)

bbnovice

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Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« on: September 07, 2020, 06:41:36 PM »

Hi everybody

FTTP has now arrived in our area at last, and I have ordered it as the FTTC service has seriously deteriorated over recent years. When I first signed up the download speed was a reliable 75 Mbs, but now (on a good day) the speed varies between 49-55 Mbs. I put this down to more interference on the line (I think a lot more end-users have signed up for FTTC since it first became available), and the fact there are aluminium sections between the house and the cabinet. BT swears there are no problem. So FTTP would be a godsend as I need it for working from home.

However I have reservations regarding the feasibility of actually installing FTTP to my house.

Firstly I should explain that the property is notionally a 4 bedroom detached house, but it is built on the side of a hill and so is of a peculiar design. From the front it looks like a 3 storey house, but from the rear it looks like a single storey bungalow. I wonít describe it any further Ė letís just say itís complicated!

The house is connected via BT ducting installed about 25 years ago (a long time after the house was first built) as part of an upgrade which covered the whole neighborhood. The duct to my house follows a very odd path which I discovered about 10 years ago. From the point of entry to the house, it travels about 2 meters due north, then turns due west and travels a further 1.5 metres. It then deviates again and travels about 15 metres due north to join the duct in the pavement. This zig zag route is necessary because of the design of the house coupled to some immovable objects in the garden. There seems to be lot of 90 degree bends.

The point where the cable exits the duct and enters the house may also present a difficulty. The cable runs 1.2 metres from the duct up the outside of the exterior wall and then enters the house where it is is directly connected into the rear of the NTE. The damp course of the house is 1 metres up the wall at this point due to the odd design of the property.
I forsee two problems: Firstly, the existing BT ducts may not be suitable for fibre (too many bends?); and secondly, the distance from the end of the duct to the highest allowable entry point into the house is in excess of the 770 mm permittted in the BT specifications for installation of a CSP.

I have tried to explain this to BT when I made the order, but they donít seem to have any mechanisms for a dialogue with consumers who potentially may have a non standard installation. I was told there will be a 2 stage installation with the first stage on 16 September with a survey when apparently I do not have to be present. Well good luck with that as all the problem areas are behind a locked set of security gates.

Iím resigned to the second stage visit scheduled for 25th September (installation day) being a washout because the first stage visit will probably not identify the relevant issues. I just hope Iím proved wrong as I do need FTTP.
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j0hn

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2020, 06:45:02 PM »

It shouldn't be a problem as long as the duct is clear.
The bends can be negotiated quite easily.

They also don't need to install a CSP.

My FTTP (installed less than 4 weeks ago) comes straight up my duct on the exterior of the house, in through the entry point and in to the rear of my master socket.

Stage 1 will be pulling the fibre through and leaving it coiled up where the duct exits the ground, with stage 2 pulling it in the house and installing the ONT.

If they are fitting a CSP it will be done on stage 1 if it can be fitted. They aren't necessary though so if 1 isn't suitable it won't be used.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 06:47:03 PM by j0hn »
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bbnovice

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2020, 06:52:45 PM »

Hi John

Thanks for the quick reply and I hope my install goes as smoothly as yours. Maybe I'm overthinking this and looking for problems where none exisits.

The reassurance is welcome - I'm really keen to have FTTP as my current FTTC connection is on course to be no longer fit for purpose.
 
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 06:55:18 PM by bbnovice »
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burakkucat

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2020, 10:28:55 PM »

On reading through your description I could not see anything that would cause a problem with the installation. Assuming that the ducting is in good condition then the two bends should not be a problem.
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bbnovice

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2020, 08:34:25 PM »

An update. An Openreach engineer unexpectedly turned up today to carry out a preliminary survey for FTTP. This was the visit where BT told me I did not have to be present and was  scheduled for 16 September (according to the details on my order).

He needed to access the rear of the property but could not gain access due to the security gates Ė I did warn BT about this when I placed the order but they just ignored my warning. Luckily I was at home today so could unlock the gates.

The first problem was that initially the probe through the duct could only travel about 50% of the distance to the footpath. His first thought was that the duct might end prematurely and thereafter the cable could be buried in the front lawn. He was suspicious about why heavy duty armoured cable had been used if the run was ducted all the way. Also the end of the probe was a muddy mess when it was withdrawn.

Fortunately I know some of the history of the area. Originally the cables were DIG but about 30 years ago BT upgraded over 300 properties in the neighbourhood, and installed duct to the footpath for all of them. I do not know why, and the records the engineer had to day did not appear to provide any help. With my information in mind he proceeded to access several BT footpath chamber in the local area. This indicated that ducting from the premise was pretty universal and that armoured cable was used in the majority of the consumer connections. This corroborated what I had told him.

So he returned to my duct and tried to rod it again. He did forewarn me in advance that there was a risk that the cable could be damaged because of the force needed to push it through. This time he managed to get the probe through to the duct in the footpath. He then tried to probe the main duct from the nearest access point in the footpath towards my junction point but progress was halted about 1 metre short by a possible obstruction.

So the good news is that the ducting from my house to the footpath is probably serviceable and there is no need to dig on my property. However there seems to be an obstruction in the main ducting in the footpath about 1 metre short of the junction with my duct. This will require a dig in the footpath, but first another engineer will have to attend to definitely trace and mark where the copper runs. This will inevitably delay my currently planned installation date of 25 September.

The Openreach engineer was very helpful and did a thorough job today - and probably spent considerably more time on the task than was allotted.
However this begs the question about what would have happened if I had not been at home? Openreach would have been unable to gain access (despite my previous warnings) and would have had to abort the survey until such time I was present. Their procedure does not make much sense to me.
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j0hn

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2020, 08:57:26 PM »

They usually turn up to do stage 1 at a random unappointed time. It's usually before the advisory date they give for external works.

If you weren't there then the engineer would have tried to call you on the contact number they have or come back another time.

They turned up well ahead of the install date so there was plenty time for them to return if access could not be made today.

With him coming so early it gets the ball rolling early on any digging that needs done which is a nice positive.
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bbnovice

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2020, 08:04:53 PM »

My order seems to have been cancelled because of the suspected blocked duct in the pavement.  As my house is the first property in the road it implies OR will be unable install FTTP anywhere in the whole street until this is fixed. Surprise, surprise I cannot get any further information out of BT regarding what is happening. No dates, nothing, nada is forthcoming.

So hopes dashed and I remain on a deteriorating VDSL service. 
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2020, 09:52:01 PM »

Maybe try firing an e-mail to clive.selley@openreach.co.uk and see if they can give any details?
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bbnovice

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2020, 08:24:34 PM »

Hi

My FTTP installation journey with Openreach took a new twist today.

The story so far is that a regrade from FTTC to FTTP was ordered from BT on 4th September. An Openreach engineer turned up to conduct the initial survey on the 8th (8 days earlier than originally planned).

He detected a suspected blockage along a short length of duct in the footpath. He told me that some minor civils work was probably required to clear the blockage, and notified his office about this. I know that he actually did that as my wife turned up whilst he was standing on my drive and she actually overheard him on his mobile telling the office about the issue.

Today another OR engineer turned up apparently to carry out exactly the same inspection task (5 days later than originally planned). He was surprised when I told him about the previous visit (and the problems encountered), and he said that OR had no record of the previous visit. He satisfied himself by marking the duct run on the footpath back to the access chamber.

He told me that the planned installation date (25 September) would almost certainly be missed as the third party companies subcontracted to undertake the civils in the area were way behind with their work. With the change in the weather I could now be looking at a date later in November if Iím lucky.

Luckily I am getting a fairly good speed from my current FTTC connection so this delay is not a big deal. Its just frustrating.

However whilst the individual OR engineers have been very helpful and polite, the OR back office systems supporting them appear shambolic. Even their network records are wrong. The whole area (about 300+ premises) was upgraded from DIGG to duct about 35 years ago but the OR records do not appear to recognize that.

So will now await the next stage in the story.   
     
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Black Sheep

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2020, 11:51:43 AM »

As you can imagine, our databases are many and massively huge beasts .... it isn't beyond the realms of human error that an area or two may have been missed when uploading to our main network records system (a proper old, clunky thing), which then re-writes this info onto our other various, user-friendly databases.

If you want to pop a postcode on here I can look and see, more out of curiosity as to what the records actually do show ?. If not, no bother.
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bbnovice

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2020, 05:55:21 PM »

As you can imagine, our databases are many and massively huge beasts .... it isn't beyond the realms of human error that an area or two may have been missed when uploading to our main network records system (a proper old, clunky thing), which then re-writes this info onto our other various, user-friendly databases.

If you want to pop a postcode on here I can look and see, more out of curiosity as to what the records actually do show ?. If not, no bother.
Balck Sheep -  Postcode is TN13 2SJ. Cabinet 32 on FTTC. In the olden days I used to work for one of the cable companies that got swallowed up by Virgin so I know all about the accuracy of the network records - or lack of it!  The OR engineers seemed to have some sort of work instructions on their mobiles so I don't know if they were actually accessing the network database or just their job instructions from the back office. The one yesterday was certainly grumbling about the brevity of the information he had been given. Both of them were certainly surprised to see heavily armoured cabling to the house.   

But another day, another problem. I don't know what marker paint the OR guy was using yesterday, but we had lots of rain overnight and this morning all the marks on the footpath have disappeared as if by magic!

I bet the next problem will be when the civils guys turn up (contractors called NPS?) who will refuse to dig because there are no markings to guide them.

Just as well that I'm in no hurry for the regrade, but any premise upstream of me who has put an order in for fibre is going to be in for a long wait I suspect.     

They are scheduled to pull fibre tomorrow (Friday) and connect it up in my house that afternoon. Of course that is never going to happen but the appointement is still at a CONFIRMED status today. 




 
« Last Edit: September 24, 2020, 05:59:56 PM by bbnovice »
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Black Sheep

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2020, 07:17:04 PM »

Hi mate .... quick reply.

Your whole estate is showing as ducted on our Geo-Hub network records, the user friendly preferred system for engineers.

Don't worry about the paint washing away, the contractors should have an A55 (drawn version) showing the route to be taken, the paint is just belt & braces.
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thesmileyone

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2020, 03:39:52 PM »

I don't know why you are concerned that they showed up early, I would be elated as usually when I book such a service they either don't show up or show up a few months late!

I wish you luck on the build.

All of the providers (Like Zen) show FTTC only for me but the BT checker says FTTPoD is available. Unfortunately it looks expensive so have not bothered for now.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2020, 03:46:37 PM by thesmileyone »
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bbnovice

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2020, 05:41:07 PM »

Well as expected no OR engineer arrived today at the appointed time despite it being confirmed weeks ago. I note on the order tracking system that the appointment has within the last hour been moved from "confirmed" to "confirmed.na". Note sure what that .na actually means, but I can guess.

As I also suspected would be the case, there has been no contact from either BT or OR today. If I had taken a day off specifically for this appointment I would not be a happy bunny.

Next stage will be to lodge a formal complaint with BT.



 
 
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Black Sheep

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Re: Ordered FTTP but forsee a problem
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2020, 06:54:41 PM »

The only NA I know within my 35yrs with the business .... is No Access. You do indeed need to progress this.
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