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Author Topic: The mystery of FTTP availability  (Read 3742 times)

patters

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The mystery of FTTP availability
« on: February 15, 2021, 01:47:11 PM »

Hi all,

I live on a 2013-built housing development in London fed from the Norbury exchange. The developer couldn't be bothered to get BT to install a cabinet despite building 230 new homes, so everyone is connected via a pre-existing local cabinet some distance away. My home is at least 800m or so from the cabinet, possibly more depending on the precise route. As a result, G.Fast offers no improvement over VDSL2. 31Mb is all I can get. Frustratingly, the nearest road outside the housing development has Virgin Media but we don't, even though only the last two letters of our postcode are different.

Two areas close by have apparently had FTTP rolled out (Thornton Heath, and Tooting). I see from web searches that the former was certainly an early OpenReach test rollout. Consulting the latest OpenReach lists, Norbury exchange is not currently expected to be enabled for FTTP.

However, a week ago contractors working on behalf of OpenReach installed the 12-port Fibre distribution connectors into the BT ducting throughout the development, at nearest 50m from my house. The contractor said it's usually around a month from the install date that they would be properly connected to the exchange and that I ought to be able to place an order then.

So far so good, but if I use the BT Wholesale Broadband Availability Checker here, it shows for my address: FTTP 330/30Mb and Availability Date: Available.
FTTP Install Process shows just "--"
Down in the descriptive text underneath it explictly states that "FTTP is not available." From what I could gather, you can't order until that FTTP Install Process is populated with an installation category.

But then I put a previous London address of mine in to this same checker and I see exactly the same status. However, this previous address does offer Fibre 100 when using the BT retail fibre availability checker here, which I understand is an FTTP product. I then tried many different previous addresses, some outside London, and they all seem to offer this same status of 330/30Mb FTTP but also stating that it's not available.

So... can any actual conclusions be drawn about FTTP availability from the BT checker? Is it possible I may get FTTP soon, even if my exchange is not on the latest list (why else would OpenReach install the fibre in the ducting?)? Or do they sometimes install the fibre infrastructure months or years ahead of retail availability?

I did read something about an OpenReach initiative to retro fit some new housing developments, so could this be the reason for the recent installation work? I guess BT is under pressure to deliver to a target number of households, and new developments are the low hanging fruit given that they have ducting to each front door in good condition.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 01:50:09 PM by patters »
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licquorice

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2021, 02:01:29 PM »

Presumably you are seeing FTTPoD which is an extremely expensive product aimed at business rather than WBC FTTP, which is the entirely different domestic product, in the checker results.
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j0hn

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2021, 02:03:56 PM »

BT sell FTTP and G.Fast as Fibre 100.
So Fibre 100 showing on the BT site is of no use.

Check the address on the checker at http://www.openreach.com/

It should tell you what technology is available at an address or if FTTP is coming.
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RealAleMadrid

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2021, 02:05:18 PM »

@Patters I think you may be looking at the wrong line in the checker, just about anywhere with FTTC will say FTTP on Demand (FTTPoD) is available. This is a very expensive custom installation of fibre to your premises costing thousands.

What you should be looking for is WBC FTTP, which is native FTTP with the infrastructure provided by Openreach.
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patters

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2021, 02:15:29 PM »

Ah right, thanks for clearing that up. So if it was in progress - the OpenReach checker ought to tell me? Because it doesn't.

So is there no point in getting excited by contractors installing the fibre in my street then?

As an aside I think it's scandalous that telcos were even allowed to call FTTC 'Fibre' at all. They've caused this utter confusion by doing that.
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Chrysalis

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2021, 02:23:37 PM »

still "At the moment, we don't have any plans to upgrade your area to full fibre"

BT I assume dont care they up against VM offering 100s of mbits/sec and soon also vodafone.
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patters

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2021, 02:25:08 PM »

For me it doesn't say that. It leads to a page where I submit by details so they can let me know when it's available. So, is that an encouraging sign then?

Quote
We're starting to build our ultra-fast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband in your area.

Provide your details below, and we'll keep you up to date with how we're getting on and what this could mean for you and your property.

Would be interested if some of the people finally enjoying 21st century connections could comment on how long they saw this particular status for before they could order. Months, or years?
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 02:28:05 PM by patters »
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bogof

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2021, 02:30:15 PM »

This is a timeline for seeing things happening in the street and stuff being able to be ordered here in Norwich City Centre.  Was 2 weeks from them installing the black CBTs (all 8 port round here) to being able to order.  This was a relatively small installation though.  I guess there maybe be more delays if they are working on a big estate.

Brief diary of FTTP install in my area (Private courtyard off a mixed residential / business street in the heart of Norwich City centre).  I'll add to this as time passes.  If I get a mo I'll link to posts in the thread at various points.

27/07/2020 - Openreach survey, pavement markings appear in our courtyard off street.
31/07/2020 - Evening works in road, pulling stuff off huge drums through the street ducts.
10/12/2020 - Flower beds in front of neighbour's houses have new chambers installed using existing ducts to street.
20/01/2021 - Fibre CBT installed in flowerbed chamber by Openreach contractors RDJ Utilities. 
24/01/2021 - A peek indicates thoughts that I'm on direct buried armoured copper seemingly confirmed.
25/01/2021 - Tails of CBT spliced in a large chamber across the road, in the back of an RDJ Utilities van.
31/01/2021 - Openreach wholesale checker still doesn't offer FTTP, but FTTPoD has been upgraded from 330/30 to 1000/220.
03/02/2021 - Openreach wholesale checker now offers WBC FTTP 1000/220.
04/02/2021 - Ordered 900/115 from Zen over phone.  Status on order tracker "Wait for KCI-2".  No date for install yet, but claimed single visit(!)
05/02/2021 - Noted OR checker says "Single Dwelling Unit Residential UG Pre built to curtilage Hard." - usually 2 (or more) stage install...
08/02/2021 - OR engineer arrived to survey, looks like plan is to intercept duct either in our flower bed or at edge of drive.  Duct proved clear.
09/02/2021 - Email from Zen, 1st stage external install schedule 27/04/2021, 2nd stage internal install appointment 07/05/2021.
14/02/2021 - DIY installed 22mm barrier pipe as conduit from outside wall to inside wall ready for fibre with a couple of draw ropes.
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patters

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2021, 02:51:42 PM »

That certainly is encouraging. I have also found this national map of OpenReach fibre installation works, and it confirms my area (looks like whole of Norbury exchange-fed area) does indeed have status "Works In Progress". Yay!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 02:56:22 PM by patters »
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Black Sheep

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2021, 06:54:56 PM »

I can 101% confirm Norbury is at approximately 70% manually surveyed stage .... which means you will be getting it. Caveat - unless you fall under 'high cost' parameters.

Obviously, i don't know your postcode so can only speak in general terms.
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patters

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2021, 07:18:49 PM »

Wow, that's why I joined this forum: industry insiders :)
I hope my address will be ok - recently built houses and ducting, and every home has a uPVC pipe from the ducting to the front door carrying the existing copper. The fibre connections are now in the ducting (though not the nearest duct cover to my house, but within approx 50-60m), but according to the contractors the missing link is the distribution point at the main road which gets done later.

Question: do they wait for all the fibre installations to be completed to open the floodgates and declare the local exchange 'open for FTTP' or is the connectivity commissioned incrementally?
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 07:23:38 PM by patters »
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Chrysalis

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2021, 09:01:59 PM »

patters nice find, Black Sheep any idea why Truro in cornwall is planned yet the city of Leicester is not? entire county isnt planned, but is odd rural areas are coming ahead of cities?

Caister on sea another one, a lot of planned low populated areas in the middle of nowhere.
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daveesh1

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2021, 11:17:04 PM »

How often is the availability checker updated or is it when new connectivity is available  to order i.e post code is enabled for fttp. Work finished in my street just under two weeks ago just want to get it ordered.
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Black Sheep

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2021, 12:34:51 PM »

Wow, that's why I joined this forum: industry insiders :)
I hope my address will be ok - recently built houses and ducting, and every home has a uPVC pipe from the ducting to the front door carrying the existing copper. The fibre connections are now in the ducting (though not the nearest duct cover to my house, but within approx 50-60m), but according to the contractors the missing link is the distribution point at the main road which gets done later.

Question: do they wait for all the fibre installations to be completed to open the floodgates and declare the local exchange 'open for FTTP' or is the connectivity commissioned incrementally?

It sounds like you're possibly on a retro new-build FTTP programme, as opposed to the other FTTP programmes out there ??.

Either way, once the splitter node is built and commissioned, it then goes into a 'ready for service' state with the ISP's but regarding timescales from that point, I couldn't tell you ? In a nutshell, a splitter will feed a maximum of 120 premises, so you won't be waiting for the rest of the splitters to be built before they 'open the floodgates'.  :)
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Black Sheep

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Re: The mystery of FTTP availability
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2021, 12:37:53 PM »

patters nice find, Black Sheep any idea why Truro in cornwall is planned yet the city of Leicester is not? entire county isnt planned, but is odd rural areas are coming ahead of cities?

Caister on sea another one, a lot of planned low populated areas in the middle of nowhere.

I have no in-roads into the 'What we are building and where', but I do know the rural (final 20%) builds are of course being subsidised by the Government, so my humble guess would be ..... because of the money.  ;) :)

Sorry Chrys.  :(
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