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Old Dec 25, 2013, 09:44 PM   #1
alexjholland
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UK: Who is responsible for upgrading outdated, slow phone lines?

Hey, I just moved into the centre of Cambridge, to their 'flagship development', CB1.

'Flagship Development' of the UK's home for technology startups and 'maximum of 5mb internet connection' are two mutually exclusive statements. They are non-compatible. One cannot be true, if the other is.

I lived in the middle of the countryside and had 6MB. I moved to a small town and got 30MB. I have now moved to the centre of a city in a brand new development and the maximum I can get is around 5.5MB - that's maybe 10% of what I anticipated.

I'm with Sky, for what it's worth; and Virgin isn't available.

I've troubleshooted everything and this is, literally, as good as it gets. No fibre available. I don't think there is anything else I can do here to improve it - the problem is the infrastructure.

What I have not been able to establish yet though, is who is responsible?

Did the housing developers make a decision not to upgrade? Did the council block it? Is it totally the remit of BT, which cannot be influenced?

Basically, someone, somewhere must be responsible for my terrible internet speed and non-availability of fibre; and I want to give them hell. Who is it?

Thanks
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Old Dec 26, 2013, 03:35 AM   #2
coldsweat
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You are responsible for having a slow connection unfortunately - As you should have thought about that before you moved in and if it's that important, chosen somewhere else!

In all seriousness though BT are responsible are the main phone line, Virgin are responsible for Cable. IF those companies deem it's financially viable to install fibre/cable, they'll do it but not at the request of an individual or single housing developer. You'll probably find though it'll take a few years at the most to be upgraded, so just be patient & you'll get there - at some point there'll be a BT van at a local cabinet & a short while later you'll get fibre.
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Old Dec 26, 2013, 05:00 AM   #3
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... so just be patient & you'll get there - at some point there'll be a BT van at a local cabinet & a short while later you'll get fibre.
Sort of. BT is focused on FTTC (Fibre to the cabinet), so last few yards will generally still be copper and therefore relatively slow compared to FTTH.
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Old Dec 26, 2013, 05:49 AM   #4
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I lived in the middle of the countryside and had 6MB. I moved to a small town and got 30MB. I have now moved to the centre of a city in a brand new development and the maximum I can get is around 5.5MB - that's maybe 10% of what I anticipated.
That is impressive. I live in the middle of the countryside (a small village not too far from Huddersfield) and I'm lucky if I get 256Kbps. 6MB would be a godsend but unfortunately there is probably no profit in upgrading the area speeds since very little people live here.

In short, consider yourself lucky. Many many people in the rural parts of the UK simply cannot even get close to 1Mbps yet.
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Old Dec 27, 2013, 12:07 PM   #5
alexjholland
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But I don't live in the countryside. I live in a city known for tech startups.

I suppose I'm grateful my relatives aren't blown in half or set on fire when they walk home too, but then again, I don't live in Damascus.
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Old Dec 27, 2013, 02:13 PM   #6
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But I don't live in the countryside. I live in a city known for tech startups.
But you aren't a tech startup and I gather you don't live on the business/science park?

Business/Commercial internet access is a completely different kettle of fish compared to consumer broadband. Businesses can afford to pay for the internet access they need whereas consumers have to wait for it to be commercially viable to the providers (which is rarely is).

I live in Cambridgeshire, in a small market town, and get 20Mbps. Most likely due to the fact that I live near the exchange in the town and that it was unbundled pretty early on. The Government is putting money into improving broadband access for all but it's a minimum of 2Mbps with the hope that 90% would get 20Mbps, you should check out Connecting Cambridgeshire for more information.

Looks like you just need to wait it out for Fibre to become available or move house
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 04:39 AM   #7
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Maybe look into 4G mobile broadband?

http://shop.ee.co.uk/alcatel-l800-us...details/#plans
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 05:32 AM   #8
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Obviously your ISP is responsible. The one who takes your money.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 07:40 AM   #9
fat jez
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Obviously your ISP is responsible. The one who takes your money.
No, they have little influence. The ISPs effectively rent or lease capacity from BT Openreach until it gets to the ISPs own network. So from the socket in the wall of your home, back to the exchange and over BT's core network to the ISP's interconnect (unless your ISP has installed it's own kit in the exchange, known as unbundling), it is all BT supplied. It's Openreach who are responsible for what is in the ground. They generally don't rush to put in fibre anywhere if there is no competition (i.e. from Virgin Media). Essentially, when it comes to providing broadband, BT have a monopoly in the UK and your broadband speeds are governed by what they have provided. As this is mostly over old, long copper cable runs, it's often pretty poor.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 12:51 PM   #10
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No, they have little influence. The ISPs effectively rent or lease capacity from BT Openreach until it gets to the ISPs own network. So from the socket in the wall of your home, back to the exchange and over BT's core network to the ISP's interconnect (unless your ISP has installed it's own kit in the exchange, known as unbundling), it is all BT supplied. It's Openreach who are responsible for what is in the ground. They generally don't rush to put in fibre anywhere if there is no competition (i.e. from Virgin Media). Essentially, when it comes to providing broadband, BT have a monopoly in the UK and your broadband speeds are governed by what they have provided. As this is mostly over old, long copper cable runs, it's often pretty poor.
That's not what I'm talking about. The ISP is the only one that _you_ have a contract with and the only one that has one responsibility towards _you_.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 01:25 PM   #11
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Generally it's quite normal to find small blocks of flats on roads with fiber but there not on it. Purely due to the fact bt won't waste time pulling new lines to each flat as there prewired (buried in the walls). Legally the don't have to either.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 01:27 PM   #12
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That's not what I'm talking about. The ISP is the only one that _you_ have a contract with and the only one that has one responsibility towards _you_.
Yes, but they have no influence over BT and what they have supplied, unless it develops a fault. They can't change what connects you to the exchange from copper to fibre. That's purely at the whim of BT who decide when it will happen.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 05:43 PM   #13
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That's not what I'm talking about. The ISP is the only one that _you_ have a contract with and the only one that has one responsibility towards _you_.
Not sure that's what the OP is asking though, it seems more of a "why the hell is superfast internet not available in my new-build apartment I just paid a stack of cash for?" rant.

Ultimately the ISP is responsible for service issues on the line you have but they can't be responsible for a line they don't own. I'm pretty sure the copper line installed between your house and the exchange remains the sole property of BT Openreach and that cannot change. In this instance it would most likely be a combination of BT and the site developers at fault, for not running fibre cable and instead opting for the cheaper and quicker option of connecting the buildings to the existing copper cabinet.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 06:04 PM   #14
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It's a 2 year old article, but I thought it worth posting. It's quite possible that the scrap value of BT's copper cables would pay for the rollout of fibre to the cabinet for pretty much every home.

note the footnote.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/...-copper-assets
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 12:40 AM   #15
irnchriz
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Originally Posted by alexjholland View Post
Hey, I just moved into the centre of Cambridge, to their 'flagship development', CB1.

'Flagship Development' of the UK's home for technology startups and 'maximum of 5mb internet connection' are two mutually exclusive statements. They are non-compatible. One cannot be true, if the other is.

I lived in the middle of the countryside and had 6MB. I moved to a small town and got 30MB. I have now moved to the centre of a city in a brand new development and the maximum I can get is around 5.5MB - that's maybe 10% of what I anticipated.

I'm with Sky, for what it's worth; and Virgin isn't available.

I've troubleshooted everything and this is, literally, as good as it gets. No fibre available. I don't think there is anything else I can do here to improve it - the problem is the infrastructure.

What I have not been able to establish yet though, is who is responsible?

Did the housing developers make a decision not to upgrade? Did the council block it? Is it totally the remit of BT, which cannot be influenced?

Basically, someone, somewhere must be responsible for my terrible internet speed and non-availability of fibre; and I want to give them hell. Who is it?

Thanks
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Hi, check out samknows.com from here you can check your local exchange and see what sort of internet speeds to expect and all of the services available to you. You can also see proposed dates for FTTC etc.

If it reports that you should be on much higher speeds then report this to your provider as a low speed fault.

Last edited by irnchriz; Dec 29, 2013 at 05:52 AM.
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 12:05 PM   #16
gnasher729
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Ultimately the ISP is responsible for service issues on the line you have but they can't be responsible for a line they don't own.
What you say is contrary to any legal theory and contrary to any life experience. For example, I often go on a holiday, paying good money to a travel company, and end up in a hotel that the travel company doesn't own. They are fully responsible towards me for anything the hotel does.

Likewise, the ISP is fully responsible for the line that they have rented and don't own towards their customer.
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 12:13 PM   #17
fat jez
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What you say is contrary to any legal theory and contrary to any life experience. For example, I often go on a holiday, paying good money to a travel company, and end up in a hotel that the travel company doesn't own. They are fully responsible towards me for anything the hotel does.

Likewise, the ISP is fully responsible for the line that they have rented and don't own towards their customer.
BT State a line speed. Only when the customer's broadband speeds fall below a percentage of that line speed can the customer complain to the ISP, who in turn can raise a fault with BT. If BT have stated your line will go no faster than 5Mbps, then no amount of complaining to the ISP will change that, sadly.

I'm guessing you're not in the UK?
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 01:03 PM   #18
Ap0ks
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What you say is contrary to any legal theory and contrary to any life experience. For example, I often go on a holiday, paying good money to a travel company, and end up in a hotel that the travel company doesn't own. They are fully responsible towards me for anything the hotel does.

Likewise, the ISP is fully responsible for the line that they have rented and don't own towards their customer.
Well I'm not a lawyer so I'm glad you are here to clear up these legal issues.

Of course the ISP has a responsibility to the customer to provide the service a customer is paying for, but if you read the rest of my post it would seem that isn't the OP's query. In the UK ISPs do not install the infrastructure to new housing developments that is down to BT Openreach or Virgin Media in combination with the housing developers.
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 01:06 PM   #19
fat jez
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down to BT Openreach or Virgin Media in combination with the housing developers.
It still baffles me that when a development is being built, neither Virgin Media or BT are interested in putting in modern infrastructure and you still get BT putting down copper from the exchange to the home. There's no roads, for crying out loud, it's the perfect time to do it, but they won't.

I move into a new build next August and all I have to look forward to is ADSL. Fortunately I'm reasonably close to the exchange and forecast speeds are around 15Mbps.
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 01:50 PM   #20
Ap0ks
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It still baffles me that when a development is being built, neither Virgin Media or BT are interested in putting in modern infrastructure and you still get BT putting down copper from the exchange to the home. There's no roads, for crying out loud, it's the perfect time to do it, but they won't.

I move into a new build next August and all I have to look forward to is ADSL. Fortunately I'm reasonably close to the exchange and forecast speeds are around 15Mbps.
Yep very puzzling, you would have thought these days new developments would be provisioned with fibre to the home before handing over roads and footpaths to the authorities saving no end of red-tape and paperwork.
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 02:09 PM   #21
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Yep very puzzling, you would have thought these days new developments would be provisioned with fibre to the home before handing over roads and footpaths to the authorities saving no end of red-tape and paperwork.
Or at the very least, put down empty trunking everywhere to allow them to blow fibre later.
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 02:15 PM   #22
ItWasNotMe
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Hey, I just moved into the centre of Cambridge, to their 'flagship development', CB1...
Depends which exchange you are served by, try http://superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/
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