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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

Are any BB suppliers any good at getting a grip of Openreach?



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 6th 20, 09:18 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Roger Mills
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 285
Default Are any BB suppliers any good at getting a grip of Openreach?

Rant

PlusNet provides my landline and FTTC broadband, and has usually been
pretty good about fixing faults.

However, my landline went dead on the morning of Tuesday 23rd June, and
is STILL dead 13 days later as of Monday 6th July. Thankfully my
broadband still works.

I used the online reporting system to report the fault as soon as I
discovered it, and the auto line test detected that there was indeed an
external fault, raised a ticket (#203081933 if anyone is interested) and
referred it to Openreach for resolution. The ticket said that such
faults are usually fixed within 1-3 days - so I was hopeful of getting
my line back by Thursday 25th or Friday 26th at the latest.

Thursday came and went, and still no dialtone on Friday afternoon. The
ticket hadn't been updated to tell me what was or wasn't happening - so
I needed to chase PlusNet for an update. Since tickets and tweets seem
to have a response time of a couple of days, and I needed something
sooner than that, I would have opted for an online chat - but that was
not working, so I had to resort to phoning on my mobile and listening to
the diabolical hold 'music' for approaching half an hour. I was told
that Openreach had tried to fix it and had failed because "further work
was required" and that another engineer would be assigned to it within
24 hours - implying Saturday.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday came, and still no dialtone. I phoned again
on Tuesday and was told that it was part of a bigger fault, but should
be fixed by Thursday.

It wasn't! And, to add insult to injury, my broadband also disappeared
on Thursday afternoon. I thought that this may be a good sign,
indicating that someone was actually working on it. When it didn't come
back after a couple of hours, I hot-footed it round to my local cabinets
- and found a bemused Openreach engineer. He said that his tests would
have caused the loss of broadband, but that it was now restored - which
it was when I got home. He also said that he had detected a faulty DSLAM
card in the fibre cabinet, but didn't have a key to open it! He would
try to get someone to fix it the following day. Meanwhile, I could have
dialtone or broadband - but not both. I opted for broadband.

Friday came and went - still no dialtone. I phoned again on Friday
afternoon and was told that because Openreach hadn't fixed it at the
first (and, seemingly, second) attempt, they had assigned a new task
number to it, with a target date of Tuesday 7th July. The CS chap
stressed that this was the worst case scenario and that it would
probably be fixed earlier. He seemed to think that Openreach would be
working on it over the weekend - but I personally doubted that. At any
rate, it's now 9am on Monday, with no progress.

Assuming that it IS fixed by Tuesday, that will be TWO WEEKS without a
landline. My impression is that since PlusNet and Openreach are both in
the BT stable, they have far too cosy a relationship - and are nothing
like as proactive as they ought to be in progressing long-term faults
like this. Every time they hit a snag, the fault goes to the back of the
queue again - and the 3-day clock is reset. Although they didn't do so
yesterday, PlusNet have previously put the ticket on hold during each of
these 3-day windows - but have failed to report back via the ticket when
the fault hasn't been fixed by the end of the window.

/Rant

Has anyone else had any similar experiences? Are there any BB suppliers
who are any better than PlusNet at getting a grip of Openreach?
--
Cheers,
Roger
  #2  
Old July 6th 20, 09:26 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Andy Burns[_5_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 555
Default Are any BB suppliers any good at getting a grip of Openreach?

Roger Mills wrote:

Are there any BB suppliers who are any better than PlusNet at getting a
grip of Openreach?


If you want a real 'terrier' then A&A would be the answer.
  #3  
Old July 6th 20, 10:28 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Graham J[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 356
Default Are any BB suppliers any good at getting a grip of Openreach?

Roger Mills wrote:

[snip]

It wasn't! And, to add insult to injury, my broadband also disappeared
on Thursday afternoon. I thought that this may be a good sign,
indicating that someone was actually working on it. When it didn't come
back after a couple of hours, I hot-footed it round to my local cabinets
- and found a bemused Openreach engineer. He said that his tests would
have caused the loss of broadband, but that it was now restored - which
it was when I got home. He also said that he had detected a faulty DSLAM
card in the fibre cabinet, but didn't have a key to open it! He would
try to get someone to fix it the following day. Meanwhile, I could have
dialtone or broadband - but not both. I opted for broadband.


In my experience of talking to Openreach technicians they have as little
success in talking to their management as the rest of us. And "not
having the correct key" is a well known excuse, as in "the cheque is in
the post"!

Example: When I was Zen Partner I arranged an ADSL to FTTC upgrade to a
neighbour a few weeks after the new green cabinet had been installed in
our village.

The cabinet was placed on the north side of the road, and all the copper
cables run in a duct on the south side. So a contractor digs a trench
across the road and lays in a duct to the cabinet. Some Polish
techicians contracted to Openreach cut some of the copper cables, join
them to more cables running in the duct under the road, and terminate
them in the green cabinet.

In due course whenever a customer wants FTTC the technician finds the
relevant copper pair on the patch frame in the green cabinet, removes
the jumpers and re-jumpers that pair to the DSLAM.

So when my customer's regrade fails for the third time the Openreach
technician (by chance) calls me before starting work, so I go to look
over his shoulder. He can't find the relevant pair in the green
cabinet; but both Zen (from the Openreach database) and the tehnician's
line manager says the pair goes through this cabinet.

Hours of fun while the technician tries to explain to his Indian call
centre that the documentation is wrong and the Polish contractors didn't
actually cut and re-route the correct cables in the first place.

It was resolved about 6 weeks later; I never did find out what they did.

Has anyone else had any similar experiences? Are there any BB suppliers
who are any better than PlusNet at getting a grip of Openreach?


Your experience is entirely representative.

Andrews & Arnold may have more clout with Openreach, but not much. When
whole villages have been cut off (pikeys stealing cable, or storm
damage) the local TV news has got involved with daily updates - but even
this sort of naming and shaming has had no effect.

The same is generally true where farming businesses (necessarily rural)
having a serious need for proper broadband have no chance whatever of
getting FTTC or FTTP because of their remote locations. Newspaper and
TV campaigns are quite ineffective. But arguably these customers could
afford the £50,000 NRE charges to get their own fibre installed.

For you the solution may be to buy from one of the small FTTP businesses
- round here it is https://countybroadband.co.uk/ - and convert your
phone service to VoIP.

But the idea that Openreach could move the whole of their voice service
to VoIP over broadband is quite laughable: there is no way that most
broadband services are anywhere near as reliable as the underlying
copper pair that carries them. Your specific experience is an exception
there, of course.

Meanwhile the government expects us all to "work from home if you can"
while we are at risk of catching Covid-19 if we go out anywhere!

--
Graham J
  #4  
Old July 6th 20, 12:01 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Bob Eager[_5_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 89
Default Are any BB suppliers any good at getting a grip of Openreach?

On Mon, 06 Jul 2020 09:26:52 +0100, Andy Burns wrote:

Roger Mills wrote:

Are there any BB suppliers who are any better than PlusNet at getting a
grip of Openreach?


If you want a real 'terrier' then A&A would be the answer.


+1
  #5  
Old July 6th 20, 12:08 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Java Jive
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 585
Default Are any BB suppliers any good at getting a grip of Openreach?

On 06/07/2020 10:28, Graham J wrote:

The same is generally true where farming businesses (necessarily rural)
having a serious need for proper broadband have no chance whatever of
getting FTTC or FTTP because of their remote locations.* Newspaper and
TV campaigns are quite ineffective.* But arguably these customers could
afford the £50,000 NRE charges to get their own fibre installed.


Not many farmers could afford that, I can assure you! One or two big
estates, maybe, your average farmer, no!
  #6  
Old July 6th 20, 12:08 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Tweed[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 20
Default Are any BB suppliers any good at getting a grip of Openreach?

Has anyone else had any similar experiences? Are there any BB suppliers
who are any better than PlusNet at getting a grip of Openreach?


I'd also recommend Andrews and Arnold. Been with them for 14 years. Joined
them because no other supplier could resolve getting service at the
property. They solved it in a day. Lots of useful automated line quality
monitoring. They even rang me up to say my router appeared to be becoming
unreliable and sent me a replacement. They won't be as cheap as Plusnet
though. On the other hand, they have never increased their prices to me,
except when I have opted for a different grade of service. There is none of
this messing about with renegotiating pricing at the end of a contract, or
mid contract ā€œinflationā€ increases. Zen also have a good reputation, and
also don't raise prices, but I don't have any experience of them dealing
with Open Reach.

A&A seem to take a perverse pleasure in going into battle with OR.



  #7  
Old July 6th 20, 04:52 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
R. Mark Clayton[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 704
Default Are any BB suppliers any good at getting a grip of Openreach?

On Monday, 6 July 2020 09:18:15 UTC+1, Roger Mills wrote:
Rant

PlusNet provides my landline and FTTC broadband, and has usually been
pretty good about fixing faults.

However, my landline went dead on the morning of Tuesday 23rd June, and
is STILL dead 13 days later as of Monday 6th July. Thankfully my
broadband still works.

I used the online reporting system to report the fault as soon as I
discovered it, and the auto line test detected that there was indeed an
external fault, raised a ticket (#203081933 if anyone is interested) and
referred it to Openreach for resolution. The ticket said that such
faults are usually fixed within 1-3 days - so I was hopeful of getting
my line back by Thursday 25th or Friday 26th at the latest.

Thursday came and went, and still no dialtone on Friday afternoon. The
ticket hadn't been updated to tell me what was or wasn't happening - so
I needed to chase PlusNet for an update. Since tickets and tweets seem
to have a response time of a couple of days, and I needed something
sooner than that, I would have opted for an online chat - but that was
not working, so I had to resort to phoning on my mobile and listening to
the diabolical hold 'music' for approaching half an hour. I was told
that Openreach had tried to fix it and had failed because "further work
was required" and that another engineer would be assigned to it within
24 hours - implying Saturday.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday came, and still no dialtone. I phoned again
on Tuesday and was told that it was part of a bigger fault, but should
be fixed by Thursday.

It wasn't! And, to add insult to injury, my broadband also disappeared
on Thursday afternoon. I thought that this may be a good sign,
indicating that someone was actually working on it. When it didn't come
back after a couple of hours, I hot-footed it round to my local cabinets
- and found a bemused Openreach engineer. He said that his tests would
have caused the loss of broadband, but that it was now restored - which
it was when I got home. He also said that he had detected a faulty DSLAM
card in the fibre cabinet, but didn't have a key to open it! He would
try to get someone to fix it the following day. Meanwhile, I could have
dialtone or broadband - but not both. I opted for broadband.

Friday came and went - still no dialtone. I phoned again on Friday
afternoon and was told that because Openreach hadn't fixed it at the
first (and, seemingly, second) attempt, they had assigned a new task
number to it, with a target date of Tuesday 7th July. The CS chap
stressed that this was the worst case scenario and that it would
probably be fixed earlier. He seemed to think that Openreach would be
working on it over the weekend - but I personally doubted that. At any
rate, it's now 9am on Monday, with no progress.

Assuming that it IS fixed by Tuesday, that will be TWO WEEKS without a
landline. My impression is that since PlusNet and Openreach are both in
the BT stable, they have far too cosy a relationship - and are nothing
like as proactive as they ought to be in progressing long-term faults
like this. Every time they hit a snag, the fault goes to the back of the
queue again - and the 3-day clock is reset. Although they didn't do so
yesterday, PlusNet have previously put the ticket on hold during each of
these 3-day windows - but have failed to report back via the ticket when
the fault hasn't been fixed by the end of the window.

/Rant

Has anyone else had any similar experiences? Are there any BB suppliers
who are any better than PlusNet at getting a grip of Openreach?
--
Cheers,
Roger


Seeing how Plusnet is just BT in disguise, one would have hoped so.

Generally speaking BT will fix hardware faults quickly.

OTOH admin cock ups can take weeks to resolve.
  #8  
Old July 6th 20, 09:54 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Vir Campestris
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 281
Default Are any BB suppliers any good at getting a grip of Openreach?

On 06/07/2020 12:08, Java Jive wrote:
On 06/07/2020 10:28, Graham J wrote:

The same is generally true where farming businesses (necessarily
rural) having a serious need for proper broadband have no chance
whatever of getting FTTC or FTTP because of their remote locations.
Newspaper and TV campaigns are quite ineffective.* But arguably these
customers could afford the £50,000 NRE charges to get their own fibre
installed.


Not many farmers could afford that, I can assure you!* One or two big
estates, maybe, your average farmer, no!


https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/847723/fbs-businessincome-infographics-21nov19.pdf

Which has made me realise quite how bad things are for the grazier in
the UK. 50k is four years income. And they have to live off that too.

Andy
  #9  
Old July 9th 20, 01:51 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
MB[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 283
Default Are any BB suppliers any good at getting a grip of Openreach?

On 06/07/2020 10:28, Graham J wrote:
The same is generally true where farming businesses (necessarily rural)
having a serious need for proper broadband have no chance whatever of
getting FTTC or FTTP because of their remote locations.* Newspaper and
TV campaigns are quite ineffective.* But arguably these customers could
afford the £50,000 NRE charges to get their own fibre installed


There seem lots of grants for rural communities.

Councils and other similar organisations also love flashy high tech
solutions making grandiose promises. I remember years ago, a BT
engineer saying that it would be relatively inexpensive them to upgrade
everyone to ADSL in the rural community where he was based. But the
council was throwing lots of money at a wireless system quite probably
with no considerations for the long term maintenance costs.

 




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