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Author Topic: Cable location & responsibility  (Read 306 times)


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Cable location & responsibility
« on: July 20, 2021, 09:02:39 AM »

Hi All - After a bit of advice.

My telephone cable from the street and my neighbours cable travel in some conduit under my front garden up to point on our shared wall where they split. Apparently there is a fault in my neighbours cable somewhere under my garden.

I have told my neighbour that Openreach will have to find another way as they are not digging up my garden (to make matters worse I live on a slope so the street front of my garden is approx 5 feet tall going back to the house at around 2 feet).

What rights do I have and what rights does my neighbour have ? - Does anybody know ?       


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Re: Cable location & responsibility
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2021, 09:25:37 AM »

So if Openreach swaps the pairs, your neighbours fault disappears and ...


Black Sheep

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Re: Cable location & responsibility
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2021, 09:33:31 AM »

OR would need you to sign a 'Permission to dig' form to carry out the work. If you don't sign it, they will find an alternative solution.

Shared cable bundles, conduit, O/H wiring ... are a legacy of the infrastructure put down decades ago. OR try to provide a stand-alone separate feed to premises, these days. If it was FTTP you'd have your own separate BFT provided.

Are you sure it's a shared conduit (or duct as we refer to it as) and not a shared bundle (underground armoured cable) ??

If your house was built in the 60/70's I suspect it is likely to be the latter as that was the preferred method back then. It is unusual (although not unheard of), for a fault to appear in a ducted cable ... only had it once myself and it was rats chewing on it.
Conversly, the armoured cables deteriorate badly and end up with all manner of faults on the circuits.

Just my two-penneth .... not a legal bod by any means but believe me when I say OR will always work to secure a solution that fits all parties. Just be polite, there's nothing worse than some so-and-so screaming at you in colourful language that we won't be touching their property.  :no:


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Re: Cable location & responsibility
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2021, 07:30:16 PM »

Perhaps better to let them dig and duct a replacement now if it is direct buried armoured shared at least come FTTP they shouldn't need to excavate again.


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Re: Cable location & responsibility
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2021, 02:21:45 PM »

Defo ducted (grey pipe about 100mm in diameter  - may not even be Openreach)then 2 black cables approx 8mm in diameter.

Cables go direct into houses (no external junction boxes) mine terminates into an NTE5C on a single pair with one pair not terminated. No idea about my neighbours.

As we are not on any roadmap for anything better I dont see any point in digging everything up for what is my neighbours problem, OR will have to provide an alternative that said my neighbours garden is the same as mine so still a major piece of work no matter what.


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Re: Cable location & responsibility
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2021, 04:02:30 PM »

Presumably OR or their sub-contractors have already established that's it's not possible to replace your neighbours cable run from the footway chamber to where it surfaces at your premisis either because the ducting is blocked or does not run the full length.
Either is possible, in my case ducting is visible exiting the footway chamber outside my next door neighbours house with 2 armoured cables visable and a further duct appears at each house where the cables emerge in a shared duct with the power supply cable.
The in-between cable run in my case is DIG.

That's just the way the building contractor carried out the installation, BT at the time (circa 38 years ago) complained about the shared ducting with the power cable but in the end just let it go and was never changed.

As "Starman" has mentioned, when FTTP comes along the issue will have to be addressed anyway to achieve a fibre run to your and/or your neighbours houses assuming that the fibre CBT already is/will be in the same footway chamber, again, in my case the fibre CBT is in the footway chamber directly outside my front garden wall and the POTS DP is in the footway chamber directly outside my neighbours front garden wall.

Things can get complicated and as "Black Sheep" has advised, underground POTS distribution methods in older properties can vary considerably very much dependant on the building contractor at the time.

For the record, I've not yet opted for FTTP which has been available since March, I'am sure it will involve a fibre run across my front lawn, however, that's progress and will have to be done at some stage.
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