Slow internet in East Wickham.

Victory!

 

Good news, after seven years of waiting, the cabinet is ready and everyone can now order a fibre internet connection.

Well done to all who read this blog, signed the petition, posted leaflets, and pestered people for the cabinet to be built.

The new cabinet only has 288 connection ports, once they are full you will be on a waiting list, hopefully they can expand the cabinet (but it took 7 years to get this one!).

The best fibre connection I could find was “Unlimited Fibre extra” at Plus.net.
https://www.plus.net/home-broadband/fibre/

If you do go with plus.net could you refer me and I’ll get a small discount.
My username is jacko0, and my ISP is PlusNet

Enjoy your new faster internet and Happy Christmas!

Steve Jackson

The new cabinet has been installed

8th Dec 2017

I noticed the fibre engineers working on the new cabinet. I couldn’t help myself, so I had to take a look. I had a nice chat with the guys, they explained that cabinet would be handed over to Openreach in the next few days. We still need to wait a few more weeks, but the BT Fibre check site now shows it’s near the end of the install journey!

Fibre cabinet information from
the Bexley council planning site

Fibre cabinet to be built by March 2018

Andrew Campling has sent another update and it’s very good news!

Apologies for the slight delay in responding, I’ve been waiting for a further update from our Openreach team, which I’ve now received.  They undertook a test dig at the proposed site of the new cabinet to ensure that there were no unexpected obstacles.
  
I’m pleased to let you know that this was successful and that we expect that the fibre cabinet should be live no later than the end of March, although we will try to deliver it sooner if possible. 

The technology involved will be VDSL, in the form of fibre to the cabinet.  This is of course a key enabler for G.Fast as the G.Fast “pods” are only installed where FTTC is available, utilise the power and fibre connections that supply the VDSL cabinet; I can’t confirm though whether your cabinet will be included in the G.Fast programme, details of which are available here.  

You will have the option to upgrade to fibre to the premises via the “FTTP on demand” product once the cabinet is live, again taking advantage of fibre being in the locality to supply the cabinet.

I went out for a walk on Sunday and took a picture of the test dig, which has since been filled in with new tarmac. I assume it’s the new fibre cabinet location, if so it’s much closer to the old cabinet than in the original plans.

 


Is Fibre Broadband finally arriving?

Andrew Campling is the Director of BT England.  He recently left a comment on this blog giving the first real information about the problems with the fibre upgrade.

Below is the initial blog post from him and the email exchange that followed.

 

We have been in dispute with Bexley Council concerning permits to undertake streetworks and this was preventing us undertaking any work in the borough to deploy fibre broadband.  I’m pleased to say that the dispute has now been resolved and we have resumed delivery work.

The street cabinet serving your home is one of those that our Openreach team is planning to upgrade, subject to there being no issues being identified when we put forward the proposed site for the new fibre cabinet.  Unfortunately, when we tried to undertake this work previously, there was an objection from at least one resident, although the regulations have since changed so this should not be a problem now.

I hope this helps.  You should see the status change on the Openreach site as work progresses - https://www.homeandbusiness.openreach.co.uk/fibre-broadband/when-can-i-get-fibre .
Hi Andrew,

Firstly, thank you very much for taking the time to look into this issue and contact us about it (via www.wellingfibre.co.uk). I really hope this is resolved soon as we’ve all been suffering for years with slow broadband and I've recently started a petition for this. 

https://www.change.org/p/openreach-bring-fibre-broadband-to-cabinet-2-at-east-wickham-welling


Can you elaborate exactly why Bexley council was in dispute with you regarding the permits to undertake any work within the borough of Bexley.


Also, the problem with residents objecting to the new cabinet seven years ago should not have been a problem from the beginning as it covered under “Permitted development”, basically meaning that the residents have no say in the matter. You mention that regulations have changed, can you tell me what has changed?

Finally, do you have a timescale for this new fibre cabinet to be fitted? We've been told may dates over the seven years, none of which turned out to be true.
Hi Steve,
To cover your points:

The dispute related to the type of permits required to undertake the work and resulted in activity being suspended.  Guidance was recently issued to all highways authorities at the behest of government which the council rapidly implemented and we are now in a position to move forward;

At the time that the objection was raised regulations were different to those that apply today and we were obliged to gain permission from the planning authority (the borough council in this case), which in turn was required to run a public consultation and take note of any objections etc.  This is no longer the case: in most circumstances we now have “deemed consent” and are able to proceed simply by notifying the council of our plans, although we are required to take note of any “reasonable requests” that it may make within 30 days, and do still need a streetworks permit before any work can be undertaken. 

With regards timescales, I believe that we have already issued the required “licence notification” to the council, have to wait for thirty days for any response, after which time we will request the streetworks permit to proceed – assuming of course that the council does not come back to us with a request to amend the proposed work.  So it’s probably best to wait for the notification period to complete before looking at timescales, that said we are trying to complete planned activity as quickly as possible and are being supported in this by the council.  You should see the Openreach website being updated in a few weeks once we have some certainty on our plans – see my original note for the link. 

It seems that in 2010 BT tried to upgrade the street cabinet on Bellegrove Road. As required by the regulations back then, BT asked if anyone objected to the planned new fibre street cabinet, unfortunately at least one local resident objected.

To make matters worse, at some point Bexley council was in a dispute with BT about street works permits. Because of that objection and the council dispute we suffered for seven years with no fibre and slow broadband.

Thankfully, the regulations have changed, the council dispute has been resolved and
the street cabinet can finally be rolled out!

Fingers crossed this time that the new cabinet will be built, only time will tell.

 


Please sign the petition at change.org

 

The Problem:

In Welling, South East London, if you happen to have your BT phone line connected to the Kidbrooke PCP 2 cabinet you will probably have very slow ADSL internet speeds. Mine is about 3-4Mbs down and 0.2Mbs up. The only other provider is Virgin and they are not available.

Way back in 2010, Openreach/BT started the process to enable fibre in the area. This comprises of adding another green telephone cabinet near the current cabinet.  The whole process should only take a few months.

However, every time I checked with Openreach/BT, I was told that fibre was not yet available in the area. (the new cabinet had not been installed). Every few months the install date of the cabinet was pushed back by about 6 months. Then, after a few years Openreach/BT stopped publishing availability dates on the website and now say they don’t know when it will be ready.

I’ve been waiting years for this to be upgraded, slowly realising that nothing is being done. What’s even more annoying is that, (depending where you live) people on the other side of the road can get fibre and also Virgin cable! Also, behind Peters Close is a new housing development that will get a fibre connection of 300Mbps while Peters Close can only get 4Mbps!

 

The cause:

After some investigation I believe I have found two reasons why the cabinet is not ready.

a) As standard practice, the new cabinet was to be located in the street near a residents home. The council asked Openreach/BT to check with the resident, as the they had expressed concerns about it being located outside the property.

b) Because of this, Openreach/BT then tried to locate the cabinet elsewhere and can’t find a suitable location due to underground services (pipes and cables) in the way.

Are you affected by this?

Check your line availability here
https://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/fibre-broadband/superfast-fibre.aspx
https://www.telecom-tariffs.co.uk/codelook.htm    

I have been advised that the Kidbrooke PCP2 cabinet serves the following postcodes. (The list may not be 100% accurate, so check your telephone line and postcode using the links above)

Percentages are the part of that postcode it serves.

DA16 2RE  1- 25 Bellegrove Road
DA16 2RJ  1 – 28C Welling Way
DA16 3QU 1 – 39 Sandringham Drive (3%)
DA16 3RT 202 – 298 Bellegrove Road (42%)
DA16 3RH 261 – 315 Bellegrove Road (53%)
DA16 3NL 168 – 202A Wickham Street, inc Green man Pub. (91%)
DA16 3RL  349 – 379 Bellegrove Road (96%)
DA16 3LQ  1- 56 Lulworth Road (98%)
DA16 3LG  1 – 4 Jubilee Flats, Lulworth Road
DA16 3RB 148 – 156a Bellegrove Road
DA16 3RE 174 Bellegrove Road (Dr Surgery)
DA16 3LW 2 – 37 Baltimore Place
DA16 3NP 1 – 12 Wickham Court, Wickham Street
DA16 3NR 206  – 212 Wickham Street
DA16 3RA 189 – 201 Bellegrove Road, inc Bridge Garage & Welling Methodist Church
DA16 3LH 1 – 56 Newlyn Road
DA16 3RD 164 – 196 Bellegrove Road, inc Mulberry Court
DA16 3AH  Bains Court, 197 Bellegrove Road
DA16 3LL  Peters Close
DA16 3LN 1 – 31 Maryville, Baltimore Place
DA16 3LD 1 – 4 Lulworth Road
DA16 3RG 1 – 18 Bellegrove Close

Current status:

After months of trying to get through to somebody at Openreach/BT to ask what’s going on, the answer is that it may never get upgraded because of the issue above.

I received this email from Virgin indicating if there is enough interest they might connect our area to the fast Virgin network.

September 2017: More of the same excuses.

After contacting Openreach and asking for an update, I received the email below. As suspected, no change. Also, the only way to contact Openreach seems to be with this link below. Please feel free to ask yourself and let me know what excuse you get.

https://www.formwize.com/run/survey3.cfm?idx=505d040e0b080d

Thank you for your email.

I can understand that in this fast paced technological world it’s really annoying to wait for so long just for superfast broadband.

I’ve spent some time looking into your query and found that cabinet- 2 which your circuit is connected to has an ongoing project to upgrade it to be fibre ready.

We can usually give a date for completion of any cabinet upgrade projects, however I’m afraid I won’t be able to offer a date today for your project as it’s currently on hold. We place projects on hold for lots of reasons, but due to the number of variables involved it’s impossible to give a completion date that would be accurate. What we can do though is get in contact with you directly as soon as we know more.

I am sorry for the delay in providing fibre to your property.

Plans do change as the network grows. Please keep an eye on our website for future updates-https://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/when-can-i-get-fibre.aspx Once signed up we’ll get in contact with you as soon as we have further information or when your cabinet upgrade has been completed

Thanks for getting in touch.

Thanks & regards,

Neha

Fibre Enquiries Team

 

August 2017: Some good news?

Thinkbroadband.com posted the following news: Openreach expands G.fast roll-out. That includes Kidbrook exchange!
If this is true, then it could help us. Openreach have problems installing VDSL but G.fast is different (faster) technology. Fingers crossed Openreach can use G.fast as it has even faster download speeds than VDSL (up to 330Mbps.)

April 2017: Something might be happening… not…

It looks like it was a false alarm as nothing has happened apart from some paint on the pavement. It’s worse than I thought, I checked on 15 June 2017 and the BT cabinet build phase has been pushed back from “Build” to “We are exploring options”, I think this could be a major set back. Please can everyone contact James Brokenshire MP and ask him to help. Maybe someone should put a poster on the cabinet to advertise the problems

The more people that write to James Brokenshire MP should convince him to help us!

What can we do?

Use the links below to make it known that you also need fibre internet connection.

Virgin Media

Add your address to the list, the more people added the more chance you get Virgin in your street! https://keepup.virginmedia.com/cablemystreet

BT

Complain to BT

Register your interest for BT Fibre

Send a complaint email to the CEO of BT asking why our cabinet has not been upgraded to [email protected]

I have done this and I even got a reply (not from him) apologising but still the same answer. The more people that complain might make a difference!

Send an email to [email protected] asking why the Kidbrook PCP 2 cabinet has not been built. After I complained I am now on a half price BT ADSL package because the cabinet is not ready.

Update: After one year the BT discount was removed and my monthly cost went back to £41 for phone and internet.  I moved phone and internet to uno.net.uk and pay about £21 a month now while I wait for fibre.

Mayor of London

Check your postcode on this website and register your details

Local council

Contact the local councillor,  email them directly here.

Government

Contact James Brokenshire MP

Extra information:

See the location of the cabinet

Check the council planning website

Read the ThinkBroadband forums