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Posted on June 13th, 2012 by Barry Collins

Why doesn’t BT come clean over fibre cabinet notspots?


For months I’ve been rubbing my hands in anticipation of getting fibre broadband. My local exchange was enabled in March, and posters started popping up around the neighbourhood claiming that “BT Infinity is now available in your area”. I’d turned into a one-man denial-of-service attack on BT’s fibre broadband checker, punching in my telephone number repeatedly to see if I could place my order and be rid of my tumbleweed-speed ADSL line.

As the weeks and then months passed, my heart began to sink. As the fibre broadband feature in this month’s PC Pro explains (it’s your last chance to buy a copy today, by the way), even if your exchange has been upgraded for fibre, it doesn’t mean your local cabinet will be. It appeared my cabinet had been left off the list, just as Jon Honeyball’s office in Huntingdon had been, as readers of his PC Pro column will know.

So I did what anyone with a petty grievance in 2012 does: I whinged about it on Twitter. Jon and I were bemoaning the fact that BT leaves customers completely in the dark over the status of their local cabinet, when our conversation was suddenly hijacked by the @BTCare account. After a little to-and-fro, I was invited to fill out a web form and promised an answer on whether my cabinet would be upgraded for fibre within 24 hours.

48 hours later an email arrived with the spirit-crushing news that my local cabinet “fails to meet the commercial criteria”. “This is because the cabinet is too small to provide a return on the investment based on the costs for the construction and on-going running costs of providing a new FTTC cabinet,” BT explained, as if I lived down a country lane with only the livestock for company, instead of here, in the middle of a densely populated, modern estate with a business park just around the corner. A business park that, as Jon pointed out, BT couldn’t sell vastly more expensive Ethernet connections to if they suddenly had cheaper fibre on tap.

Burgess Hill

Conspiracy theories aside, what annoys me most is that BT clearly knows which cabinets will and won’t get fibre in each area, so why doesn’t it tell us? Why does it take a BT customer services staffer to eavesdrop on my Twitter conversations and the completion of a web form for BT to volunteer this information? Why can’t that data be shared using that fibre checker on its website?

BT’s promised to get back to me with the reasons why it’s not possible to share this data freely. But it’s hard to disagree with Jon’s conclusion that it’s merely “an exercise in obfuscation and confusion”.

Update: BT has sent over the following statement:

“Customers who want to check whether their cabinet will be enabled with fibre can do so via the BT retail line checker (or similar checkers from other CPs). These checkers are updated on a regular basis and are based on our most recent evaluation of the economics and technical practicality of enabling your cabinet.

“ However, it is important to note that our deployment is an evolving programme; we are working hard to make fibre available to as many premises as possible within the limitations of what is commercially and technically viable, and actively seeking to work with communities, local and regional government to find additional funding for those areas which are more challenging.

“As a result of this, and the fact we are constantly learning from the rollout we have delivered to date and adapting our commercial model accordingly, the economics can, and frequently do, evolve and we revisit  and review each area on a regular basis. We make every effort to represent the latest assessment of each cabinet via CPs’ line checkers.”

With respect, I think BT has rather missed the point: the checker merely shows if your line is enabled, not the status of your cabinet. If I check my phone number, it merely reports that fibre isn’t available “yet” on my line, but fails to mention that there’s (currently) no hope of my cabinet being upgraded. However, BT assures me it’s looking at ways to improve communication about the upgrade status of cabinets.

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128 Responses to “ Why doesn’t BT come clean over fibre cabinet notspots? ”

  1. Doug Manton Says:
    June 13th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    By keeping their cabinet-level plans a secret, BT discourage competition and BT Wholesale/Openreach continue to earn revenue from service providers offering ADSL over the legacy BT infrastructure.

    Here in Basingstoke a local entrepreneur set-up a fixed-wireless service (hiwifi) to fill the gaps left by BT/Virgin: offering a choice of 4, 8 or 16Mbps to users stuck in the slow lane. The problem he faces is that BT can show-up unannounced to install new infrastructure and sell 80Mbps Infinity at below his cost. It’s a high risk that very few are willing to take.

    Given BT’s effective monopoly on the infrastructure, they should be required to open-up their cabinet-level plans. The competition could then target the areas skipped by BT and provide alternative solutions.

  2. JohnAHind Says:
    June 13th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I’m pleased that PC Pro is finally waking up to this BT con having reprinted their disingenuous map of “fibre enabled exchanges” in last months magazine.

    BT need to be pressed to come clean and quote figures for the proportion of premises for which it will currently accept fibre orders. When BT boasts that such-and-such percentage of premises will be “fibre enabled” by such and such a date does this include those whose cabinets “do not meet BTs commercial criteria”? I cannot see how BT can expect to get to the 95% targets it is quoting with these commercial exclusions. That is, if these targets are honest.

  3. TS Says:
    June 13th, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    This is even worse for those of us that are not using BT. I have my Broadband with Sky and have had satisfactory service for several years. So was extremely excited when I did a check on BTs web site in March and found I could get BT Infinity and 80Mb Broadband. So contacted SKY. They said it is not available for them at my exchange and could not give me a date when SKY would have access at the exchange.
    This real brings home the way BT is still monopolising their infrastructure. It would be interesting to know how many other non BT Broadband customers are affected because they are not with BT.

  4. Kevin Feasey Says:
    June 13th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve experienced similar to TS. What’s confusing me is that BT’s Fibre checked showed (and still does) that I can have fibre – but the order “can’t be processed”. Sky states that fibre is not available due to lack of available ports!
    Thought I could simply upgrade through BT – but no. It’s not available – even though the checker says it is!

  5. James Says:
    June 13th, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    If they’re not careful 4G could end up leaving them behind.

  6. Mark Says:
    June 13th, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    There is an BT document called the PCP list I believe which lists exchanges and cabinets and which phase they are deployed within which may help.

    There is a copy available from here – it says December 2012 and I suspect this is a typo and it really means 2011 and so it wont be fully up to date.

    Its a lot of data obviously and someone has kindly turned it into a searchable website at

  7. tom Says:
    June 13th, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    The other thing will be the length of the local loop – I’ve had to get fibre just to get half decent speeds as my cabinet is 1.5km away in south london and I’m on the furthest of the four closest exchanges.

  8. Paul Robins Says:
    June 13th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I found the same out by going via my MP to BT. Quote from BT Executive Complaints as follows: “…at present it has been deemed not economically viable to upgrade this cabinet. In simple terms, it means that the costs to upgrade the cabinet are considered higher than the cost threshold that has been set.”
    Although I too wonder about the profit made from fibre to the premises going through that cabinet versus BT Infinity, there would be far more residential addresses able to take one BT infinity line than companies on an estate willing to do the same.
    What really gets to me though is whilst I can surf at home at over 60 meg, the same download speed at my office would cost many thousands per year to achieve.
    It would be far cheaper to fit a laser link between home and office in order to get decent internet speed at the office. If only I had line of sight…

  9. Phil Hadfield Says:
    June 13th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Can you post the link that they gave you so we can get submit are cabinet boxes.

  10. Stew Says:
    June 14th, 2012 at 1:15 am

    People here are using the term BT to loosly. Bt is a group of companies. bt opereach. Bt wholesale and bt retail. Openreach are the providers of the fibre service and there network is open to any provider. Unlike virgin. When a customer calls Bt, they speak with the retail arm who can’t see or control what Bt Openreach provide. There are very strict rules in place to ensure Bt retail do not have any advantage compared to other phone and broadband companies. Although we like to slag Bt. They are investing billions into the fibre network which will be the best in Europe and will be open to any provider

  11. John Maiden Says:
    June 14th, 2012 at 6:54 am

    I went with BT Infinity on its launch in York and was promised speeds up to 40meg. (was getting 2.5 before) When installed the Openreach engineer was “seeing” 50meg. When I went live on Infinity the best speeds I got were betwwen 20 and 25meg. BT had capped it. My point is ifth avertise up to 40meg and the line is capable of 50, why didn’t I receive 40? I went to Sky and received 8.5 meg on ordinary ADSL line and have now upgraded to fibre optic with them and am getting 40meg exactly.

  12. JohnAHind Says:
    June 14th, 2012 at 8:56 am

    The problem is that these “Chinese Walls” do not work when the wholesale side of the wall is acting to avoid a low cost wholesale product being available as a substitute for a high cost wholesale product.
    The regulator needs to police BT Wholesale’s “commercial criteria”. As long as these criteria are opaque there will be grounds for suspicion that they include considerations of lost revenue from wholesale product substitution. This cannot be acceptable given the monopoly situation in most areas.

  13. JB Says:
    June 14th, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I’m with James, when 4G finally reaches those of us in Basingstoke with half meg lines their will be a mass exodus to 4G and then their monopoly will be over. There are 4 exchanges covering the Basingstoke area and there is one that is consistently ignored when they decide which exchanges they next upgrade. I think I’ve finally worked out the threshold for upgrade is around 2000 premises, we are at 1400, so no chance of Infinity, period. Something to consider when thinking about turning down a new housing development, you may have more homes near you you might not want but you may also get your broadband updated in the bargain but theres no guarantee of that, not with the glacial speed BT move at. The sad thing is I have better broadband over mobile than I do over land line so the infrastructure is there somewhere. Lets face it, look at where you can get Infinity 2 it’s generally near where Virgin can provide the same service so no Virgin no Infinity.

  14. Phil Davies Says:
    June 14th, 2012 at 9:49 am

    My local exchange is apparently being switched on for fibre at the end of this month, but I suspected some time ago that I would not be one of those able to get Infinity. So I posed a question on the thinkbroadband site and had it confirmed (against a BT supplied list, available to ISPs apparently) that my local cabinet would not be upgraded to FTTC level until next spring! If you look at my area, whilst the townsfolk of Elland will be able to get BT Infinity, I would have thought the majority of people won’t be that bothered as there is already Virgin fibre based broadband in town and those users will be enjoying greater speeds than those offered by Infinity already. Maybe BT need to think outside of the box and realise that those of us on the outskirts of town that have no option but to use BT based products are those most likely to be signing up so they can recoup the investment of putting in FTTC. I know of businesses which are in this area screaming out for good strong connections to be able to run VOIP for example which they just cannot do well on a 1MB ADSL line…

  15. Diana Says:
    June 14th, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I live near to Canary Wharf and the Poplar Exchange has been enabled for a while. The problem is that we do not have the famous green box out copper wires are under ground and BT have been claiming for a few years now to install fibre – as you can probably guess these claims have yielded nothing. We now have a major opportunity on the horizon with Hyperoptic if our management company can resist being mislead by BT! Fingers crossed!

  16. Steve Says:
    June 14th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    It’s no surprise is it? It was the same with ADSL (I lived in the sticks a bit, had ISDN, and was told time and time again that ISDN costs were rising, why didn’t I take up ADSL – despite it not being available!)… BT have always told us that whatever whizzo product that’s available to a select few is available ‘everywhere’, and it never is… My own line now is listed as FTTC available in June 2012, in the list published above, and on SAMKnows, but Eclipse (my ISP) say there are ‘no plans’ to enable my line. It’s the same old story, and that’s why I refer to the vilains as ‘BT Openjoke’.

  17. Nick Clarke Says:
    June 14th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Fibre to the cab it’s a pipe dream for us, I’m right next door to a major business park, close to the exchange and can only muster 1.5meg ADSL circuit for our business. my exchange has been deemed unfit for an ADSL2 upgrade for whatever reasons that are quite frankly not good enough. I heard that if you get a handful of businesses together and get local council involved BT take more notice and in one case got an exchange upgraded in less than 6 weeks where previously it hadn’t been earmarked for upgrade. Not what you know it’s who you know!

  18. Greg Says:
    June 14th, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I live in an urban area of Sheffield and I was always perplexed, since I knew my exchange supported fibre but I could not get it on my line. After contacting BT I discovered that my cabinet had not been upgraded but it was due before the end of the year! I only live about 400m from the exchange, so if I don’t have it I wonder who does??

  19. Paul C Says:
    June 14th, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    “an exercise in obfuscation and confusion”

    Obfuscation and confusion is why I switched from BT to Virgin Media. I have never had reason to look back.

  20. colin Says:
    June 14th, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Around my area it’s easy to know if the cabinet will be upgraded, just find out if Virgin cable is availible, if so then cabinet will be upgraded, if not, hard luck.
    Using the link provided by mark has confirmed this.

  21. David Says:
    June 15th, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Hardly surprising. I manage IT and telecoms for a charity with various offices dotted around Yorkshire, and BT are without doubt by far the worst of the companies I have to deal with. If anyone’s going to cock something up, give you wrong information (or give you no information at all), or take months to do something, it will be BT! Being a communications company, they are completely unable to communicate properly and their failure to provide relevant information is the norm rather than the exception!

  22. Philippa Says:
    June 15th, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    My experience is slightly different. I can get BT FFTC, and am intending to get this via PlusNet, who can do me a phone/FTTC broadband deal on terms not that dissimilar to BT’s, but with the advantage of their hugely superior customer service.

    My beef is with Virgin. They keep putting stuff through my door telling me that I can get amazing broadband speeds, since fibre is “enabled in my area”.

    A check with Virgin shows that whatever “my area” can get, my property cannot get fibre. In fact nowhere within a quarter-mile radius can get fibre. When you ring up, they confirm that I can’t have fibre to the premises now and they have no intention of extending it. Then they try to sell me ADSL. I’m seriously considering complaints to Advertising Standards or OFCOM.

  23. john Says:
    June 15th, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    The simple answer to this is that BT has no obligation to provide you with fibre broadband. The fact is is not commercially viable to do so in your area (yet) is the reason. I could understand your point if the BT checker said ‘yes’. But it say no you can’t receive it… BT have never said that the fact your exchange is enabled means you can receive the service. That is what the checker it there for.

    Why don’t you write a whiny article about how you cant get Virgin? Exactly the same problem.

  24. jontym123 Says:
    June 16th, 2012 at 7:14 am


    You miss the point which is that BT are less than forthcoming in clearly stating that in telephone exchange “W” only X% of the cabinets have been enabled, meaning Y customers can obtain the service and Z subscribers cannot. Simples!!

  25. Philippa Says:
    June 16th, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    My “whiny” note about Virgin was not (in this instance) that I can’t get Virgin. It’s that Virgin keep bombarding me with advertising about the wonders of a cable connection, with a splash saying “Now available in your area,” when it isn’t.

  26. chris Says:
    June 16th, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    “find out if Virgin cable is availible, if so then cabinet will be upgraded, if not, hard luck.”
    spot on.

  27. John Towers Says:
    June 16th, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I ordered BT Infinity as soon as BT announced that it was available in my area. BT fixed a date for the engineer to call, half way through the day I received a phone call to say that they were short of parts for the BT box at the end of my road.
    Three months later I received an e-mail specifying a date on which an engineer would call to instal the infinity connections in my house. At 9:30a.m. on the day the engineer was due to call I received a phone call from BT to say that there was a problem with parts for the BT box and they did not know when the parts would be available.
    I appreciate that they might have component problems but I feel that they should have ensured that the parts were available before arranging a visit. Luckily I am retired otherwise I would have taken two days off work for no reason.
    As soon as Virgin is available in my area I will be switching as I am totally dissatisfied with the customer service provided by BT.

  28. Nick Gilbert Says:
    June 18th, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I’m not sure why people seem to think 4G is a threat to FTTC? I think the 1 or 2GB monthly download limit on phone mast based networks such as 3G/4G will be nothing like enough for most people. It will be great for smartphones etc, but it’s not like you’ll ever be watching TV or downloading films over a 4G connection as you’ll hit your limit within an hour or two if you start to use it for things like iPlayer or downloading movies. You can’t change the laws of physics and unlike cable and fibre, radio-based broadband will always have comparatively very low usage limits.

  29. Paul Says:
    June 18th, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Our local exchange was enabled in April last year. We live quite centrally in the town and not very far from the exchange (0.5km). There are businesses all along the road at the bottom of our street, but they still haven’t made FTTC available. I register my interest on the BT site every few weeks but I have never received any kind of response. There is a Virgin cable in the street but I am reluctant to get internet from them based on the frustration I experienced with VPN connections when I used them a few years ago – it always looks like it’s not possible just to buy a straight internet service from them too. I actually use Plusnet but as they are reliant on BT I feel a bit stuck in a corner.

  30. Gavin Westwood Says:
    June 18th, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I’m very frustrated with BT. At the moment we get 0.8 Mbps on ADSL 2(+) and our upstream speed regularly drops from 448 kbps to ~192 kbps, making using the Internet feel like we’re back in the 90’s until we reboot the router.

    When we moved to our house in mid 2010, the BT checker had been saying for several months that our cabinet was due to get FTTC in September 2010 (Milton Keynes was one of the places that was trialling it and FTTP). Shortly before then the date was changed to December 2010. Since then, about 2-3 weeks before the ‘due’ date, the date keeps getting set back 3 months. The current due date is the end of this month. After nearly 2 years of disappointment, I’m expecting that date to change again any day now.

  31. Paul Francis Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 9:28 am

    One issue I have is that we are STILL forced to have a landline with BT broadband. I never use the damn thing so why pay money for something I don’t use? As far as I know Virgin are the only ones not to force you to have a landline?

  32. Peter Jennings Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Even if you are lucky enough to have FTC, you won’t necessarily get anything like the advertised speed, even without throttling. In nearby Oxford, I’ve heard tell of one BT customer who upgraded from ADSL to Infinity only to find the speed was little improved because he was some half a mile from the cabinet and the intervening wet string effectively ruined the potential performance. A point that BT conveniently forgot to tell him before they installed.

    Because our village doesn’t even appear on the fttc-check site it has arranged for Gigaclear to install FTTP in the next two months.

    Each house gets a share of the 1Gb fiber trunk which guarantees us 10Mb symmetrical if everyone is on line at the same time and “all you can eat” bandwidth (typically 60-80Mb) normally.

    The cost will be £37.50 per month with no cap or artificial throttling.

    As soon as it’s up and working we can switch to VoIP (for example Vonage for around £5 per month retaining our existing numbers) and ditch BT completely.

    Maybe this would be the way to go for the business parks who are being ripped off at the moment?

  33. RB Says:
    June 21st, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Just an observation, I note from the absence of any attributable responses that BT are not monitoring PC Pro.

    Perhaps Barry you should forward this blog to your BT contact …

  34. Warren Buckley: Managing Director, Customer Services @ BT Says:
    June 24th, 2012 at 2:28 am


    I endeavour to answer all queries pertaining to all our customer’s issues, and I strive to do so in a timely manner. On this occasion, I was not on the ball.

    BT is striving hard to ensure it meets its obligations set in our desire to make the UK a leader in the use of state-of-the-art xDSL technology, so that businesses and consumers alike will have access to the fastest broadband available anywhere in the World.

    Our vision for internet-enabled Britain’s future lies with Infinity and FTTC. The pace of FTTC-enabled exchanges has gathered considerable momentum in 2012 and the pace shall continue over next couple of years.

    BT is a leader in the telecommunications industry that has high ambitions for boosting the UK’s digital economy, and BT is leading this change that will bring immense benefit to all.

  35. RG Says:
    June 24th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    My cabinet was updated a month or so ago. According to the checker I was going to get 22M, so I signed up but the best they got was 0.1M, currently at 2.5M ADSL2.
    I am 3KM from the cabinet so no chance of fibre. Not sure why this particular cabinet was updated as there are only about 20 houses within 1.5KM so they will probably be lucky if there are 5 or 10 people sign up.

  36. Jon Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I have similarly found it frustrating that I cannot get a straight answer regarding whether or not fiber-optic will be rolled out. I live on a new-build development that is still being built and will be 1500 homes and includes a business centre. Unbelievably, the first phase of homes (where I live) had no fibre-optic installed, but the remainder were then tied into a contract between the builder and a smaller company (seethelight) who are providing the infrastructure in return for some kind of exclusivity. This short sighted approach means that the first phase, some 250 homes, is deemed not commercially viable and is left isolated.

  37. jontym123 Says:
    June 26th, 2012 at 6:04 am

    @Warren Buckley

    If you are reading this blog then why not answer the basic question which, for your convenience, I re-iterate here:-

    “…..BT are less than forthcoming in clearly stating that in telephone exchange “W” only X% of the cabinets have been enabled, meaning Y customers can obtain the service and Z subscribers cannot. Simples!!”

    Read more: Why doesn’t BT come clean over fibre cabinet notspots? on

  38. Abdel Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I have been waiting since 2010 and left BT for talktalk but quickly return to Bt after they promised back in 2011 that we would have infinity in sept 11. up 2 last week we were told we would go live in Jun 12 and now it got again postponed till sept 12. I complained to BT and told then openreach said that my cabinet P21 is live and my line is fine for FTC but according to BT we are not and my complaint was shelved.I think it is a disgrace because by keep pretending they were upgrading it gives people false hope. but this time I am 100% leaving BT.

  39. bt complaints forum Says:
    June 30th, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Same old from BT with their truly awful complaints departments. I was so unhappy and frustrated with BT that I setup which is a forum for unhappy customers like myself to submit and share complaints so we could help each other out resolving BT issues. Shocking really that it came down to this but since setting it up we’ve received hundreds of complaints. You would have thought by now that BT would have bucked their ideas up, BT Vision recently (June 2012) topped the complaints table. But ironically, the BT Infinity service is an excellent product and service so maybe BT have turned a corner. Lets hope so!

  40. RG Says:
    July 10th, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I can understand why you did that. BT have got to be the worst company I have ever dealt with. There seems to be so many departments with none knowing what the other is doing. When I tried to get Infinity they were next to useless and when my brother-in-law was setting up his business the only department that contacted him was the billing department, thankfully neither of us have any BT products and I am gradually moving my friends and family, who rely on my I.T. advice, away from them.

  41. brian macauley Says:
    July 15th, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I cannot get BT Infinity in my exchange area(Dundonald), even tho the exchange has been upgraded.
    They have not upgraded the cabinet and will not give dates on when this cabinet will be upgraded. What makes this more annoying, is the fact that they have upgraded a cabinet close by(400m away!) that feeds a business park on the orther side of my road!

    In the first rollout of DSL broadband in the UK, the SamKnows website ( provided access to all the exchange information, by putting pressure on BT by providing detailed information to press, action groups etc. Unfortunately in this 2nd rollout of faster broadband, it hasn’t risen to the challenge of providing the required cabinet information.

    Surely a ‘SamKnows 2′ type website that provided accurate cabinet information would be the way to put pressure on BT?

  42. Justin Says:
    July 26th, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I’m pretty annoyed with BT. They only seem to have put the new Infinity cabinets where Virgin have access. My estate has no virgin access so guess what???? no infinity. bloody monopolising cowboys.

  43. MARK Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 12:38 am

    i am very disapointed indeed with bt i have been in contact with them at the highest level about fibre broadband our exchange isenabled but there telling me i can not have but the guy round the corner from me has it and when the engineer came to my property he told me i could have it he was saying the week previous he enabled 4 people not far from me on fiber who come through the same cabinet as me here is what bt had to say I’m genuinely sorry for the problems you’ve had with us.

    I’ve contacted our supplier, Openreach, to find out if the information given to you by their engineers was correct. It seems that the information you were given was not completely accurate. The engineer probably thought he was trying to be helpful, but it seems the service did not work as he had expected and possibly made it worse. And this is what led to your complaint. I can assure you that Openreach will follow up this matter up with the engineer concerned.

    Fibre Provision

    Your exchange has been included in the fibre roll out. And many residents and businesses are already benefitting.

    After an exchange is upgraded, the roll out of street cabinets is done on a strictly commercial l basis. I should clarify that the provision of a super-fast broadband cabinet doesn’t bring users who are currently too far away any nearer.

    The fibre cabinet has strict technical limitations on where it can be positioned so as not to affect the super-fast fibre service that it helps provide. It needs to be located close to the existing cabinet as they are linked by underground cables.

    Unfortunately, due to the current network topography and the economics of deployment, we haven’t been able to include the street cabinet serving Theaker Avenue in the upgrade.

    We’ve always been clear in our communications that there may be instances where not everyone in an enabled area will be able to get the fibre service.

    I can confirm that Openreach are keeping such cabinets under review and they’ll be considered in future deployment plans should circumstances change.the weird thing is my cabinet that serves my house is a 2 minute walk from here bt moan about the investment from the government , but what they fail to tell people is there sat on a mountain of old remover copper line that is worth in excess of fifty million which they deny of course they will deny to keep getting funds from the powers that be the days of bt monoply will soon be over then we will se what happens

  44. MARK Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 12:39 am

    just to add our exchange was upgraded months ago for fiber

  45. Solstice Says:
    August 8th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    It’s ironic to read some of the comments about BT, stating that lack of cable provision in an area means BT will NOT install fibre. I was told by Openreach they could not upgrade my cabinet (on the Purley exchange which was fibre enabled for over a year ago) as there were CATV ducts dotting the area in places where they would ordinarily install a fibre cabinet. No one in my particular part of my town (within the M25) can get cable and I confirmed with Virgin that the ducts are there, but they cannot provision cable as to anyone around my area as, quote, “there’s nothing in them”. Seems like Openreach are not even doing a minimum amount of investigation and / or they’re not being entirely truthful about why they cannot install the cabinet.

  46. andrew Says:
    August 15th, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Has anyone actually got anywhere with this? BT seem great at saying ‘things might change’ and all that BS. I’ve written to my MP but so far nothing apart from a few letters saying he had a meetign scheduled with a director at BT (although it’s been cancelled a few times).

  47. Peter Says:
    August 17th, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    i spoke to a BT engineer installing the fibre optics in the new cabinet and he tells me that it will not improve speed on broadband but it will eliminate connection/corrosions problems, he says that all broadband problems are betweem the cabinet and the premises and unless you supplt FTTP fibre all the way into your home it does not improve speeds at all.

  48. Chris Gknow Says:
    August 21st, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Can we get a link to the form please ? I would like to subit it as i’m sure so would others.

  49. Cris Says:
    September 13th, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    we have finally got a date for adsl2 on our exchange of 10k lines, Fibre? only in my breakfast cereal. I resent being forced to pay for voice service on a line that is performing less than adequately and having BT flannel me about there being no guarantee for ADSL service on my line, despite all of my neighbours being able to get a decent service.

    The cabinet enabling pantomime is another example of Bts abuse of its significant market power which should see it stripped of control of the core network.

    Voice requirement for adsl should be dropped. I only need the line to the DSLAM at the exchange – MY ISP takes the fees for the DSLAM connection etc so WHY am I forced to pay for voice network equipment I have no need for? Without broadband BT would lose around 50% of domestic landlines as people have bundled mobile minutes – and BT know this,

    The con is protected by OFCOM who are serial failures as a regulatory body

  50. pete Says:
    September 16th, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I’ve just complained to ofcom

    “I find it deplorable that BT have a monopoly over the fibre broadband rollout. I am beyond frustrated to learn that there are no plans to upgrade my exchange for commercial reasons… the reasons being nobody in my local area can get Virgin so we all tied to a BT line to access any broadband supply. This is not fair business especially when I am constantly unable to even browse the internet on my often less than 1mb connection.

    This is unfair to myself and the thousands of others in England with this issue. BT should not be allowed to control the rollout based on their own profits. If the idea of getting Britain working on faster broadband were being taken seriously by the powers that be people like myself would be top of the list, but as it stands BT know they can make money from me regardless and have no incentive to improve my awful service.

    Meanwhile 2 miles down the road, my parents switched from Virgin to BT’s 50mb offering and have now been upgraded to 80mb to keep them with BT… yet here I am with almost unusable internet. The system is broken.”

  51. Yujyh Says:
    September 24th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    1. I live in Canary Wharf, we are all working from home at some stage and needing high speeds; and we cannot get Fibre and there is no plan for this Poplar exchange to be upgraded by for all the high rises in the area (according to BT’s website). This is a serious loss of business for BT, the only thing they did was rolling out an Open Reach trial last year but this still has not pushed the rollout to all the new developments.
    Can you believe that an area such as Canary Wharf, a symbol of modernity and futuristic Britain, does not have speeds over 8Mps and Virgin is not widely available neither…
    (Hyperoptic are too small and young to be trusted by the leaseholders btw, unfortunately, so we are stuck)
    2. I have an office in Stratford next to the Olympic park. You would think that the Stratford exchange would be as modern as the Olympic site and Westfield, but not, it is even worse than Poplar! And no open reach trials there… No rollout dates on the BT website neither for the area.


  52. Chris Says:
    September 26th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Having read the previous contributions, BT’s day of reckoning must come. It’s surely only a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’.

    You can’t survive indefinitely if you behave like BT. All big companies become history sooner or later, particularly if they treat their customers with such contempt and disdain. It’s like a rotting pear waiting to fall from the tree.

    I have my own issues with broken sound on my voice telephone, courtesy of BT Openreach. It’s expertise at stonewalling is breathtaking.

    I like to imagine that the obstructive fat man who featured in the Nationwide Building Society TV adverts of a few years ago is now working for BT.

  53. Will Walton Says:
    September 29th, 2012 at 9:22 am

    BT Openreach have a lot to answer for! I live on a new build estate just 3 miles from Leeds City centre.. We’ve had meetings with BT, Virgin and our local MP Hilary Benn all to no avail! The current average adsl speed on our estate is approx 1mb. some residents actually get 0.3mb due to the distance from our exchange. Our FTTC roll-out is supposed to start this month but we’ve discovered that three of the 10 cabinets that serve our area are not being upgraded (we’ve only managed to get this from an internal source at BT not through official channels)… bear in mind that our estate is approx 2000 new build homes and you will understand our frustration… BT Openreach have told us that non commercially viable cabinets won’t be upgraded.. but we’ve got hold of the number of houses attached to the cabs, and there are actually more houses attached to non commercially viable cabs to those on the cabs they are going to upgrade! It makes me so mad.. it’s BT Openreach’s fault that the cabinets were installed the way they were. They are now expecting BDUK funding to be the answer.. So frustrating that the roll-out does not account for people who suffer with the lowers broadband speeds. Loads of users with 10mb+ ADSL can now get FTTC at upto 80mb. How many customers will really benefit from a speed boost this provides? Give it to the poor suckers who are stuck on speeds less than 1mb! We can’t stream films, watch iplayer, work from home etc… We actually went door to door on our estate and over 80% of residents are desperate for FTTC. Come on BT rethink your plans!

  54. infinity Says:
    October 1st, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    margaret thatcher privatised bt so why should they lay a cable to an area that will not make profit for them. the shareholder is in charge now. you need to increase the price of line rental and then perhaps more area will be profitable. telecoms is the cheapest utility by a mile but why should it be? it must be the most expensive to upgrade and maintain.
    renationalise would sort all this out.

  55. Tim Says:
    October 2nd, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Our case is possibly the most frustrating. There are 2 cabinets in my village, and BT ran fibre underneath one cabinet, all the way to the second, and enabled the second cabinet.
    The first cabinet (and of course the one that I am connected to) will never be enabled, because, “the cost of providing power to the cabinet is not financially viable”.
    In summary, they’ve put in 3 miles of fibre all the way to the cabinet, but refuse to enable it for the cost of a power supply. I honestly can’t believe it. And like most people here I’m stuck on 1MB on a good day, with no possible alternatives. Meanwhile I see BT advertising even faster infinity for those who already have fast internet! Grrrrrr.

  56. Jim Says:
    October 3rd, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Sadly, I’m a “me too”. Perth exchange (ESPER) was upgraded on Sunday, and of the 6 Perth premises in which I have a vested interest (family IT support!) only two of the connected cabinets have been FTTC enabled. And yes, the ones which have not been enabled are the ones where there is no Virgin Media presence. Coincidence? I think not.

    BT, if you’re still with us – PLEASE upgrade cabinet P34 in Perth – Inveralmond Trade park. We’re limping along on 1Mb, yet the green cabinet is 26 FEET from our fence (yes I’ve measured it).

  57. Simon Says:
    October 8th, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    BT gets worse and worse. The Malvern exchanged has been FTTC enabled for a while now. I received a letter and an email about two months ago from BT telling me the following, “we will be transferring your BT Business Total Broadband service on over to the new network on 17/09/2012. You will experience a brief interruption to both your broadband and telephone services when we make the change. This should only last a few minutes and you do not need to take any further action. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

    I was amazed, and looked forward to that day since finally I would get a decent broadband connection. I had seen local BT engineers hanging around the cabinet for a few weeks prior so I assumed that they were getting ready to upgrade it.

    The day came and went. No interruption to my service, and not surprisingly no upgrade to the cabinet!! BT have done absolutely nothing! Why are they sending out these letters getting peoples hopes up and then dashing them by not actually carrying out the upgrades? I mean they had set a date to do it for crying out loud!

  58. George Says:
    October 9th, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Another me too here. I left BT over a decade ago because of their appalling service and spent 8 happy years with Virgin. Then I had to move to an area where there was no Virgin cable. BT said on their site that Infinity would be available to my new home just 3 weeks after moving there. When I checked with the BT sales agent, they assured me that the date was correct. That was over a year ago.

    As others have said, the dates on the BT website are a pure fiction – rolling back a further three months shortly before they’re due to fall.

    The real frustration is BT Openreach’s refusal to give *any* information about their plans. I don’t even know if they’ve applied for any necessary local authority permissions top upgrade the cabinet. Simply rolling back the due date month after month is a way of ensuring we don’t move to another provider. Sadly for BT it’s failed, after the latest cock-up I fully intend to spend my money elsewhere.

  59. Mark Says:
    October 9th, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    I have the same frustration as many others here in knowing my local exchange has been FTTC enabled, but no news on when or even IF my cabinet will ever be upgraded. The frustration is worsened by the knowledge fibre is available right across the street from me (<100ft away), according to the BT line/post code checker.

    I find it incredibly bizarre BT cant or wont facilitate a way for me to find out if im ever likely to get fibre at my current location despite the fact i live in Southampton City Centre, and have registered an interest multiple times (isnt this an opportunity for them to reply with the answer!?!) in a highly populated area. I want the service, im already with BT but i will leave if they do not improve their communication on this matter.

  60. jon Says:
    October 18th, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    if you want to find out if your cabinet is going to be upgraded to fttc drop an email to with your details, takes about a week for a reply. and be prepared for the “commercial reasons” email back :/

  61. Dazza Says:
    October 26th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I have also had frustrations with BT, Openreach and FTTC right to the top!

    My not so shiny old BT cabinet received a nice shiny green partner in October last year. I currently receive 6mb ADSL so was delighted when I used the BTW checker and was told I could get Fibre at 18mb down and 1 mb up. I placed an order and the engineer came out, tested the line and said I could get 2.5mb fibre, yes that is 2.5mb. I told hime to connect my ADSL kit back up and promptly complained to BT and Openreach for costing me a days holiday.

    They were apologetic but to this day I have not received a cast iron explanation as to why their ‘checker’ is so wrong in predicting Fibre speeds. I have since had a chat with a BT engineer that I know and he is pretty sure they play the Postcode Lottery as opposed to using your telephone number that you submit at time of checking for a more accurate reading. 1mb either side of the quoted speed is fair enough but 15.5mb out from 18mb is ridiculous. I have also found out that I am exactly 1.6 miles from the cabinet and that speeds drop significantly beyond the first mile! Great..

    I therefore have 3 options, pick up the house and move it. Wait for BT to deploy new technology that pushes the FTTC speed further out from the cabinet or dig VERY, VERY deep and opt for FTTP on-demand….

    Incredibly frustrating.

  62. Dave Says:
    November 8th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    As others have said, the system is broken. I live in a new (4 years old) estate which is currently still expanding. There are hundreds of new homes, some new shops & a new primary school just around the road. My postcode is GL2 2DH. Fibre has been enabled at the exchange but currently only supplies fibre to the surrounding areas that can already receive Virgin. Virgin have said that they have no current plans to roll out cable to this area so surprise surprise, BT have no plans to roll out fibre to any of the green cabinets apart from the one next to the school.

    The whole thing is to do with profit margins, nothing to do with getting faster internet to more people.

  63. Dazza Says:
    November 9th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Back again!

    Since my post (above) BT contacted me again to advise that I could receive BT Infinity, I advised them of the issues I had experienced in April and they then went on to advise that they were aware of those issues but in the past number of weeks those issues had been resolved and I could now get the advertised speed via the BTw checker (17.9Mbps), with a bit of hesitation and my cross checking the BT sales persons patter I opted to ‘try again’.
    Well this morning was D-day. I waited eagerly at my front Window waiting for the BT van to pull up with a cup of tea and a biscuit (well I didn’t really). Anyway the BT Engineer arrived and his first question was…. What speed did they say you could get! Now call me cynical but this was exactly the same question that the first Engineer asked me April. I just stared. The Engineer stated that I was too far from the cabinet. When I furnished him with my knowledge, which has been expanded from lessons passed his approach changed, he was very understanding, apologetic and said he would still try and see what we could get. The test was completed, 2.8Mbps, if human ear steam were powerful enough the poor engineer would have been blown clean through the front door. The whole farce is not his fault though so I didn’t take it out on him. When he enquired as to what I get on ADSL Max (which I am now averaging at 6.5Mbps) he was very surprised, I demonstrated the speed to him and it just addded another layer of confusion.

    I am now planning to contact BT Openreach and retail again as I want some answers!

  64. Dave Says:
    November 14th, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Got similar frustrations. On a newish-build estate (started in 2007 and still being built at the far end) and can only get snailband at 3.5 mb. The road behind mine (which is not in the new build) has been enabled and is getting 49mb speeds. I find this completely frustrating. The cabinet search thingywotsit tells me my local area is enabled, so why can’t I get it?

  65. Gazza Says:
    November 14th, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I’ve emailed and got the reply I expected. I’ve now emailed them back asking that they explain what it would take for my cabinet to meet the commercial criteria to get fibre and I’ve also asked for them to actually look into my query and not just send a generic response.

    Dear Mr Grieves

    Thank you for your interest in our Fibre Broadband project. We are rolling out one of the fastest and largest commercial deployments in the world. Our commercial deployment will have extended to 66% of the UK by the end of December 2014. We aim extend this to 90% of the UK, in partnership with other sources of funding, e.g. local and National government.

    Information about the project can be found on the webpage below:-

    The rollout is based on the commercial criteria for each cabinet. Cabinet 16 was initially considered for inclusion in the fibre to the cabinet enablement but has now been deferred out of the programme by the planning team. I appreciate this is not the answer you were hoping for but unfortunately there is no timescale for cabinet 16 enablement.


    Peter Dean

  66. Taz Devil Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 1:30 am

    BT are hoods… My ADSL MAX was at 1.5MBPS, when I could I got Infinoty 1… This gave me 35MBPS. Due to usage, I am in progress of changing to Infinity 2 which should roughly double the speed. What did annoy me is the thieves tied me into new 18 month contract!!

    I do find it amusing seeing people getting slower speed with infinity than they got with ADSL2… As the length of copper should be much shorter, speeds should be much faster… All FTTC cabs I have seen are very close to the old cabs…

    My understanding is that they push 100/1000MBPS to the cabinet via fiber, then push [up to] 39/78 [Infinty 1/2] to your house via copper if on FTTC; FTTP is now at 160MBPS…

  67. Steve Harris Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I live around the corner from you. And like you have been constantly checking via the online tool. Only 0.4 miles away in the same housing development my friend has Infinity and has done for several months. It make matters worse I’ve had EIGHT BT marketing letters inviting me to join Infinity. So, so frustrating.

  68. Taz Devil Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    What I forgot to add is its taking them 5 days to change to Infinity 2. Surely it’s an update on my account and overnight update of the VDSL router…

  69. Darren Newman Says:
    November 20th, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I have just spoken to BT and if your with BT broadband already, your line will be upgraded as soon as the fibra optic is ative in your road. If your NOT with BT for braodband, it will take longer to move across to fibre.
    So your best bet is to move to BT and you will be upgraded a lot quicker.
    Also the way to tell if fibre is active in your road, there will be a BIG sticker on the green fibre box’s.
    I hope this helps.
    Kind Regards

  70. Dave Says:
    November 23rd, 2012 at 5:46 am

    I don’t see what people are complaining about. BT are only going to upgrade areas that are commercially viable exactly like Virgin. This is all set up by Openreach an organisation separate from BT. You can choose from many ISPs using a BT line. BT Infinity is on a completely level playing field with all other ISPs.

    I am just happy with my 8meg broadband in rural Suffolk to be honest. First world problems. I just realise that I have to be patient until local councils, government and the EU invest more money into broadband so people in rural non commercially viable areas get fibre. I definitely won’t get Virgin here, well pretty much ever.

    I will just say that people just down the road have Sky which drops out about once a week. My BT Broadband has gone down once for about 6 hours when the whole town went out.

  71. sean martin Says:
    November 23rd, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    I have just sent this to BT;
    When I came to BT this year to see about broadband I was told that BT were rolling out fibre and Kingseat would be activated within a year, hence I took out BT broadband and BT as my telephone provider at the same time.
    Since then I contacted openreach to find out when this was happening and have now received a email from openreach telling me that it is not comercially viable to upgrade the cabinet serving kingseat.
    see below email;

    Dear Mr Martin
    Thank you for your interest in our Fibre Broadband project. We are rolling out one of the fastest and largest commercial deployments in the world. Our commercial deployment will have extended to 66% of the UK by the end of December 2014. We aim extend this to 90% of the UK, in partnership with other sources of funding, e.g. local and National government.

    The rollout is based on the commercial criteria for each cabinet and Dunfermline cabinet 68 to which you are connected has not met these. This is because the cabinet is unable to provide a return on the Fibre to the Cabinet investment after construction and on-going running costs. Where cabinets are not commercially viable Government funding is available to Borough and County councils to improve fibre coverage and it is worth contacting your Council in relation to this.

    Whilst this email does advise me to contact my local council in regards to this , it is obvious that I was mislead and misold a product on the basis that fibre broadband would be available in kingseat within a year of me starting my contract with BT.
    You can easily find out the name of the person that took my details and if your records go back at least a month, possibly a voice recording of that conversation could be found.
    I want this matter investigated and the findings of said investigation emailed to me , hopefully ending this matter to a mutually satisactory point.

  72. sam Says:
    November 24th, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I think that the broadband pricing
    should be based on what BT can deliver to the door step of your address !!
    As at present using “UP TO” is simply unacceptable contract, given my 20MB can only supply 5MB!!
    and to make matters worse we are locked into 12 or 24 months.

    They use the term “Peak Times” when we end up with even lower speeds, yet we don’t have “Peak Times” if we all use our telephone lines to make phone calls !!
    Its the very line that supply our broadband !!

    BT sales should test your line at the door step and advise customers of the TRUE current broadband speed available before signing on.

  73. pete Says:
    December 3rd, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    There is hope for people with poor broadband speeds and no immeadiate promise of fibre. I have recently taken up the new 4G wireless broadband, my landline has been canned so I[m saving money and my speed has gone from 1mb to 28mb! Not many places have it so far but it’s good to know BT have direct competition even in areas they’ve not fibred up! My new provider is

  74. Leonid Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Dates of BT Infinity rollout have changed from June to Sep, then to Dec and when I did ask BT what actual dates will be here is what I have got

    Thank you for your interest in our Fibre Broadband project. We are rolling out one of the fastest and largest commercial deployments in the world. Our commercial deployment will have extended to 66% of the UK by the end of December 2014. We aim extend this to 90% of the UK, in partnership with other sources of funding, e.g. local and National government.

    Information about the project can be found on the webpage below:-

    The rollout is based on the commercial criteria for each cabinet. Initially cabinet number 17 on the Worplesdon exchange, to which your line is connected, was included. However difficulties at the planning stage with the site of the cabinet led to this being deferred out of the programme. I appreciate this is not the answer you were hoping for but unfortunately there is no timescale for cabinet 17 enablement.

    So looks like no chance to get fast internet in the nearest future :(

  75. James Says:
    December 30th, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I think BT are taking the micky. I’m paying £26 a month for 8Mb unlimited broadband, and when i say 8Mb, it’s more like 4Mb unless you’re surfing past midnight! For the same price I could have Infinity 2 if it was enabled in my area. Surely BT should be charging for what you are getting! Why should I pay the same price for an inferior service?!

  76. Richard Says:
    January 7th, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    And another one here with the whole surrounding area fibred up but not the Cab I and the Close I live is connected to. In 1999 BT decided to connect us to a cabinet that is (apart from our homes) all for an Industrial Estate. We have hundreds of homes all around us all fibre possible, and indeed the fibre cab is bearer than the one we’re connected to. I did ask BT about this having talked to a local engineer (who asked not to be named because of the inevitable internal witch hunt) and who told me what the issue was. BT promised that a ‘Manager would be in touch in a couple of days’. Complete & Total silence….no surprise. My Parents in Law are in deepest rural Wales and have a 10Mb microwave service, yet were stuck and Openreach couldn’t care less. And all this after they whack they’re line and call costs up!! 4G isn’t an option because of the really stupid quotas and monthly costs from EE – and no coverage here. Sometimes I really wonder about UK business and the way it operates. Ofcom is a toothless organisation that will never have the balls to do anything about it. That’s what you get for ‘light touch regulation’ I’m afraid.

  77. John Pearce Says:
    January 15th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Share Holders Rule OK
    If the British people were not so complacent. A good demonstration in Westminster once a month might well change the situation. But that is only a dream. Virgin and BT will slog it out for as long as the government will let them. Please remember that BT and Virgins share holders are far more important than you and your business. One of the big problems we face with lousy broadband is allowing monopolies in a free market just to cherry pick and squabble . Having lived in Marbella for 8 years and from dealing with the Hacienda (Town Hall) I learnt a few things about fascism, I can confirm that BT is a fascist organisation and should be nationalized ASAP. Then fibre can be installed everywhere there is copper and in a short period (we will need the money we lent to the Banks). Then we can start to put this country back on its feet. BUT I think the overall lack of investment into this country’s infrastructure is a real sign that there is no hope and the country will slowly continue to disintegrate. This is why the banks won’t lend to British companies. The back bone has gone. There is little hope.
    Would the last person to believe in this country future success please make an appointment to see a Dr. of psychiatry . toodaly pip John

  78. Christopher Jones Says:
    January 22nd, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    We have 13 BT lines on our property in SL5 postcode. The fastest speed we get down a phone line is 0.5 meg which is a complete waste of time. We decided to pay for a fibre installation and got a quote from BT Openreach: £190,000!!! I’ve not laughed this much in a long time….

  79. Richard Says:
    February 2nd, 2013 at 1:33 am

    I have the exact same issue as others mentioned here, I live on a road of about 75 houses with a cabinet to cover us. All areas around us have FTTC but not our street. Worse thing about it is all areas around us also are on cable apart from my street. So all other local areas have Virgin Media and FTTC available to them and my street is stuck on 3 Meg on a good day. No sign of my cabinet getting FTTC as I guess 75 houses is not cost effective :(

  80. Sam Says:
    February 6th, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Well its now truly “unlimited” and no longer “managed” !! broadband service from BT.

    This is welcome news and at last BT is lifiting the speed restriction called “managed” at peak times.

    I am not sure if this is for new hi speed fiber contracts or will they roll it out for all users?

    I hope its for all users as the new big broadband boys are coming from the US in the form of Liberty Global under the very well known UK name of … Virgin Media !!

  81. peter kelly Says:
    March 14th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I’ve been told it is unlikely I will every get FTTC by a BT employee who is a neighbour of mine. Even though my closest neighbours can get it, I can’t and I’m stuck on 1.5M speed. The BT employee it in the same situation as me. We were the last batch of about 50 homes to be built on our estate and our cabinet is the end of the line and connected to no others. As such, it will never by cost effective to FTTC our homes, even thought we are in a large city.
    When I call BT, they have no information was to why i can’t get FTTC. I just wish they would be honest with their customers.

  82. sparticus Says:
    March 15th, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I am also a bt employee and i can tell you why some people are getting fibre and some aint. I live next to one of the 5 bigest exchanges without fibre in the uk. the reason why it does not have fibre because local authorities in my area did not bid for it. they were the only one in my area not to.This has resulted in exchanges in my radius being upgraded but not mine. ALL BECAUSE THE DID NOT BIG FOR THAT EXHACNGE TO BE DONE

  83. Abdel Says:
    March 31st, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Since 2010. we were told lies after lies in order to keep us as customers. My cabinet 21 was supposed to be done in 2010. finally after a complaint we get told most likely end of dec 2012. now we are told march 2014, why?? because the ducts are blocked. This is terrible. If Bt was a employee in North Korea he would have been shot. now we are stucked with 4M/s and only one person can watch BBCiplayer if lucky.

  84. Michael Says:
    April 26th, 2013 at 10:58 am

    BT seem to be avoiding industrial estates and business parks. I can only conclude that their reason is to avoid losing revenue on their leased line business.

    As a small business we cannot afford a leased line. Instead we are on a poor ADSL service. We had a fault recently that took out the service for a month! Crippling the business and creating a real nightmare for us.

    BT’s response – not financial viable to enable our cabinet for FTTC. This is the same story all over country for industrial estates. This is only harming the UK economy, homes get fast broadband, small business that fuel the economy are left in the slow lane.

  85. Mark Says:
    May 24th, 2013 at 1:28 am

    You are all very lucky I am 6 miles from my local exchange and there isn’t even any green cabinets round here we are fed direct from the exchange. have been told by BT that all they need to do is upgrade the firmware in the exchange for everyone’s speed to double but they wont do something that dose not cost them any money.

  86. gianni Says:
    July 10th, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    almost all my street has infinity and virgin fibre with amazing speeds. i and 3 other neighbours cant get any of them as we all live slightly set back from the road.. what can i do? can i lay my own cable to the street where everyone else is connected?

  87. sam Says:
    August 3rd, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I have in the last few days seen a new “Larger” green BT cabinet next to the old one on our road, that is the the new Fibre supply cabinet, it seems that they act as sub stations to ensure constant higher speeds even if you are further away from the local exchange.

    What I could not understand is why
    BT did not come up with similer “Broadband Power Extender” !! cabinets over the last ten years for the non-fibre broadband lines to deliver 80-90% speed of a 20MB contract instead of getting 25% or less in high peak time !!

    I wonder if this investment is all to do with BT TV future plans to become a major competitor to SKY and Vergin !! time will tell !!

  88. giveusourspeedback Says:
    August 25th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Since my exchange got fibre lots of users ADSL has lost most of it’s speed and they have hot vp’s

    so they are pushing tv on a box and killing ADSL. do people know they can get tv on mmmmm a tv or sat box? they are killing the internet for us, thanks bt

  89. Trentmum Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I would love to get anywhere near the slow speeds people are quoting. We live in a hamlet of about 20 properties and at least two businesses, about a mile from a busy small town. Our telephone wire is on telegraph poles through the trees, and we currently get speeds of 0.256. Yes, that is 0.256. And we are paying the same as people who get superfast speeds. I can’t even begin to imagine what 8mg would be like. As it is unlikely we will get fibre here, we will remain stuck with appalling service and super slow speeds.

  90. Michael Says:
    September 6th, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    With our exchange being upgraded this month there is no chance of our village getting fibre at all and we are only 3 mile away from the exchange and get about 2.5Mbps down/0.3 up .
    This project have the right idea they are putting there own FTTH 1Gbps fibre at £30 a DIY job.

  91. John Says:
    September 13th, 2013 at 7:44 pm


    I have a bit of a unique problem. My village has been enabled, it consists of about 70% council houses, and then 20% of sub £200k houses, and then my street which is £400k houses.
    All of the council houses have 80/20mbit FTTC. All of the sub £200k houses have 30/10mbit FTTC.
    My street has 2.5mbit DSL. BT have told me there are no plans to upgrade our cabinet. Ever.
    So the street that pays the most council tax gets nothing whilst the houses where people live who are on the dole get the full speed.
    I was told I would get FTTPoD which I would have to pay about £10k for, however when I use the wholesale checker, FTTC, FTTP etc are not even on the list.
    I find it quite disgusting that I pay tax so that people on the dole can stream 4K media whilst I cannot stream Youtube at 320bit!

    Only in the UK do the people who pay nothing get everything whilst the people who pay for them get nothing!

  92. Matt Bodell Says:
    September 14th, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    You may want to take a quick look at my experiences here:

  93. peter Says:
    September 19th, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Dear John, are you sure the people living in council houses are on the dole? The village I live in is about the same as yours. I live in the middle value houses. All those in the council houses are working. And about half of those council houses have been bought… Anyway about BT’s infrastructure, BT spent a lot of time and money building it only to be forced to share it with people who will take a slice of their profit if not all of it. Must be frustrating for BT.

  94. MikeP Says:
    September 22nd, 2013 at 10:49 am

    A good year ago (!!) Yujyh said “Hyperoptic are too small and young to be trusted by the leaseholders” – It’s worth pointing out that they are the same guys who set up Be There – undoubtedly the best ISP bar none util they sold out to Telefonica. This time around, they now have a £50m investment from George Soros and are now rolling out business leased lines. I’d trust those guys with my mother :-)

  95. Sam Says:
    September 28th, 2013 at 9:23 am

    In my last post, Aug. 3rd, I said time will tell !! well I did not think its going to be that soon, as line rental prices are going up with many other additional low cost side services being hiked, not forgetting that our BT paper bill will now cost £3 per month !

    If small businesses start charging their customers £3 every time they issue an invoice we all end up being out of business !! this is not the way to plan growth, as in my view growth is funded from profits of own business with innovative ideas and not from holding your “captive” customers to ransom !!

    Its simply unacceptable for large enterprises to justify consumer higher costs using the terms “investment plan”,
    “regeneration”, “better Services” etc. when expanding or acquiring another business, as in reality it always end up with consumers indirectly paying for it !! and the share holders need not to worry if these new ventures or new services turns belly up in few years time !! as its always time to upgrade for yet another one.

  96. antijohn Says:
    October 11th, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    @John from sept 13th

    Thats because BT knows your street are full of tossers like you that *think* your a cut above based on the price of your house. Well, come have a cuppa in my 900k house and be my bitch for the day. Does your Mrs have fake bumps too? Yoi sound like the type.

  97. LeavingBT Says:
    October 11th, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I am less than 200m from BT telecom tower and 0.4km from the Euston exchange but my internet speed for my business that I pay a kings ransom for was 3mb max if working at all for all day. My cabinet will not be upgraded as far as I can tell in the foreseeable future. My iphone is the best device for transferring images. Sad but true. Its wrecking my business. I have to send all the big files from home or put them on a disk and send them by messenger. Call time to the 24/7 helpline was 30mins then cut off. Time for me to leave? If only there was something better.
    We are negotiating with an internet cafe in Goodge st that has fibre to see if we can rent desk space.

  98. Slb Says:
    October 20th, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Total rip off from BT. Their system showed our broadband provider that fibre available, ten days after it was fitted broadband collapsed and we are now waiting, nearly two weeks later to be put back on to the sub 1mbs ADSL, they have NO intention of upgrading the subcabinets and we are 1.65k from the FTTC. They are deliberately misleading everyone about the actual reach of the fibre roll out whilst pocketing billions from the government. Trying to take them via Trading Standards who say I should have case under Goods and Services regulations……..not holding my breath on this. Anyone with any ideas? We live in a town not in the sticks. Is satellite any good?

  99. zero Says:
    November 11th, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    i have a cabnet 50ft form my dam door and bt says i cant get it as im not in a viable area sorry for spelln typein this on a phone :<

  100. adam Says:
    November 24th, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I have just moved to a house with fttp already installed and bt are saying I cant have fibre optic. I explained that I already had it and all of their checkers say fibte is not available in the area. Im sure they wouldnt send a technician round to install all the way to my house if they couldnt provide the service. So far a pretty frustrating experience with bt!

  101. Victor Mangraviti Says:
    December 13th, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Everything that has a B in the acronym is crap.
    British Telecom, British Broadcasting Corporation, British Gas, you name it.
    These “companies” are just a monopoly of services and they make everyone’s lives a mysery.
    All ISP’s need to rely on BT and use their exchanges. Everytime you need an ISP, there is a fee of some £12 for your “BT line rental”. They own the exchanges, they force all the ISP’s to use their exchanges and that’s it. There is nothing else anyone can do.
    It doesn’t make much difference and it will make less difference as time goes by. We live in a country where the government tells us what we can and what we cannot do online, they block websites which they believe to be “against British standards”, like The Pirate Bay, they monitor our activity… Soon, they will ban the internet as a whole like they do in very modern countries like Iran and North Korea.
    Statutory corporations are sick and are always puppets of the government simply by being creations of the government.
    I’m glad I’m leaving this shithole soon. I can’t take the UK anymore. This place is sinking and the people aren’t even noticing it.

  102. KRIS Says:
    December 15th, 2013 at 9:52 am

    BT treats its customers like dirt and its business practices are akin to a second hand car dealers.
    BT is a disgraceful company

  103. Sickov Says:
    December 17th, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    To Victor and KRIS – right on! Couldn’t agree more.

    BT have screwed us all at Burnt Mills Ind. Est. Basildon. Still no fibre, despite exchange being ON the estate, 100 yards away.
    Res. customers in next street have fibre; their cabinet is NEXT to ours at the same exchange.

  104. Daniel Rogers Says:
    December 23rd, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I’m in the same position with FTTC, my estate is under 10 years old and 50% of the older properties (6-10 years old) are now enabled. The end where I live is 2-4 years old and no FTTC. BT tell me that my cabinet is not going to be upgraded as it’s likely to have a poor return on investment. I have a friend on the estate who also doesn’t have it, yet the house opposite, less than 60ft away is enabled. It’s a joke.

  105. Andy K Says:
    January 2nd, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    I’m in the same position as many of you, new housing estate and our cabinet is not upgraded, I’m wondering if it ever will be as nobody seems to be able to able to tell me (It’s cabinet 78 on the Chorley exchange if BT happen to feel like sharing!) – I’m waiting for a local Fibre To The Mast company to survey us to see if I can sign up with them – 20mb unlimited usage but £39 per month and £150 to have the receiver fitted..

  106. Mike Rennie Says:
    January 4th, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Why are we as a country so incapable of doing some things really well. I love living here but this whole rollout by BT is a frustrating example. Unless we treat the digital highway in the same way as the transport highway we will not move very fast. there need to be a statute bought out where local government is responsable in law for the digital roll out of their area. There should be no missing out on cabinets based on the short term gain of one particular company. We need transparency on what is happening. When we look at what is happening to online sales we all know it makes sense. The current estimated life of fiber cable is 40 years,some are even basing it on 100 years. The term “not financially viable” should not be an issue. Every cabinet should be upgraded regardless. Happy New Year

  107. Mark Smith Says:
    January 4th, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    My local housing association decided to knock down a block of flats which was about 200 all all were connected to cable.
    The new homes built on the same site none were connected to cable which seems a waste of 200 live connections to fibre.
    BT give a max speed of 1meg they say fibre is on the way but it all seems a big con when you do a postcode check local neighbours in older properties can get super broadband at the end of April my postcode just says maybe.
    I think the cabinet upgrade thing is a con they are just piggybacking of virginmedia network like any etc do but if BT are claiming tax payers money to upgrade then that is robbery if they don’t.

  108. tamalyn roberts Says:
    February 11th, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    i agree with your post, we have been waiting patiently too for fibre optic, our line is currently 1.5 speed and with 3 teenagers who want to watch netflix and youtube etc its making using the internet a nightmare and tonight its so slow i cannot even video skype my mum and i have checked to see if anyone is downloading anything lol
    my neighbor 10 doors away on the same postcode has it, they have done his cabinet in the wilds, also the one a mile away in the other direction is done but the main cabinet for the village near the shop and main road hasnt been done and i have been checking the stupid line checker every week and none the wiser if our cabinet will ever get fibre optic, i am very upset with BT as they could say now if i will be getting it eventually but they wont!! i wish i lived in a cable area or anywhere else so i could tell BT where to go

  109. Kevin Patterson Says:
    February 15th, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    If my house is, say 1 mile from my FTTC cabinet (not sure if it is btw as not worked out where my cabinet is yet) what speed can I expect? Is there a formula / table to show me distance of premises to FTTC cabinet = Download / Upload line speed? Btw my Exchange is not due to start roll out of FTTC until Dec this year and I’m assuming my cabinet will be FTTC enabled.

  110. bob stevenson Says:
    February 24th, 2014 at 11:38 am

    I’ve read all the comments above & obviously there is a lot of frustration out there . People should also be aware that BT appointed Carillion/Telent PLC as the main nationwide sub contractor for the uk fttc uprgrade . Apart from the corruption within the CT organisation and the business malpractice they use , over 150 smaller sub contracting companies have been put out of business by CT.It is my belief that BT are fully aware of this but turn a blind eye . I find it disgraceful that a company like BT should allow one of their main nationwide contractors to behave in such a way .The main goal is obviously to have their infrastructure upgraded at any cost , by appointing a corporate company to bully and use sharp practices on the smaller sub contracting companies , affecting many peoples lives . The end result it seems is still NOT being able to deliver the product to their customers . Would welcome comments from any other parties with a similar view .

  111. Sid the BT Fish Says:
    April 7th, 2014 at 12:47 am

    Who in theirs right miond would trust BT?, I am for one an ex BT customers three time a fool and never ever again!. BT said that my exchange will have Fibre Optic roll out in March 2012 then delay to May 2012. I even laugh at them and now I check again to see if Fibre Optic will be availible in my area and guess what?.. still no Fibre Optic and I live right near Canary Wharf in London.

    Rule number one, never trust BT and Ofcom scumbags. Even worse, theirs support helpline is still base in India whilst we are drowning with mass immigrations causing a great stinks.

  112. oldmanpmc Says:
    May 10th, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    BT’s plans for customers connected directly to the exchange. (EO lines)
    I live in Cambridgeshire, in a town with a population of about 10000, we have had BT Openreach installing fibre and new green cabinets everywhere, however some of us have run foul of the EO lines issue. Seems to me that 10 to 15% of lines are in this category.
    I contacted Openreach recently … I am directly connected to my Exchange and can’t get fibre (E/O line). I asked when it would be enabled for my road
    Basically they won’t provide Fibre as it cost too much.
    Extracts from a BT openreach hosted open forum in Italics below.
    ”Thank you for your enquiry about fibre broadband, you are correct you are connected directly to the exchange and not via a telephony cabinet located in the street, this is referred to as an E/O line.”
    “Please note, the telephony network over which fibre broadband is bespoke, as such, all premise are served from dedicated distribution points which are connected via their own underground duct network either directly to the exchange or to telephony cabinets. There are no interconnections that can be utilised to give fibre broadband services between E/O lines and cabinets, therefore, I’m afraid we technically can’t move your service to a cabinet. In addition, it is not Openreach policy to rearrange the network to enable services where they are not currently available, which is what would occur if your service was moved.
    Our deployment is based on the commercial criteria for each exchange and in turn, how broadband is delivered from the exchange. Unfortunately, as your line is fed directly from the exchange it fails to meet the commercial criteria. This is because the solution to deploy Fibre Broadband to lines connected this way would not provide a return on the investment based on the costs for the construction and on-going running costs.”
    However, Cambridgeshire County Council has a “Fibre Rollout” department and has a financial input/influence on Openreach.
    I spoke to a guy in the department above; he seemed to understand the issue. I was informed that they were working on some technological solution with BT that should be rolled out before the year end. Having now read this forum I feel better equipped to tease out a bit more detail. from the County Council..

  113. Tim Kane Says:
    June 28th, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    How do I find out *when* my cabinet will be upgraded to fibre? Is there anyone I can petition? I like in a densely populated Zone 2 location – I find it hard to believe it isn’t a “commercial viability”, so I’d like to know what the situation is (like everybody else, I am sure).

  114. Tim Kane Says:
    June 28th, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Scratch that… it seems we’re not even connected to a cabinet, and that we’re on an “exchange only” line. *groan*

  115. David Says:
    July 4th, 2014 at 8:35 am


    OFFCOM is not doing its job – BT should not be allowed to divert massive revenues from phone and broadband services into sport whilst it fails to maintain or upgrade its core infrastructure. – it’s RailTrack Track Two – the network goes to hell whilst the company ignores the needs of its customers.
    We pay the same line rental amount for fibre and copper yet get very poor speed from copper
    OFFcom ruling is welcome but we need them to force BT to improve the network , as currently there is no currently there is no financial incentive to improve the serviceor network

  116. Alex Says:
    August 6th, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Openreach have now released a new FTTC availability checker – but from what we can tell its not that accurate at this point in time.

    We’ve done some testing and written about our findings in detail in our latest blog post, if anyone is interested you can follow the link

  117. Gerry Says:
    August 7th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Had BT Infinity 1 installed one year of FTTC basis. Cabinet around 1km from our house, so knew there would be a drop-off. Got 14-15MB download which was pretty stable until 2 weeks ago, now at best 8.5. Openreach have been twice to the house. No line problem and now they are hiding behind a revised line profile never mentioned before, but even this is higher than I get. Now in the process of chasing and waiting for BT to stop bouncing my problem from one department to another. Feel like deducting my monthly payment to them pro-rata for the lost speed, no doubt caused by signing up more customers and reducing the exchange server performance.

  118. Leroy Says:
    August 8th, 2014 at 9:28 am

    I find it awful that in 2014 I’m still unable to get a fibre connection to my flat whilst the streets over the nicer part of the area can enjoy it, as always it boils down to wether these large companies are going to make a profit for themselves (whilst constantly pumping out adverts claiming the want help everyone) please can somebody set up a petition to shame these money hungry companies who actually don’t care about their customers and I will gladly sign and share it!

  119. Millgate Says:
    August 14th, 2014 at 11:38 am

    I am connected to my local BT exchange by a mile long EO line running directly to my local exchange.
    I won’t explain … because the Internet is full of explanations about EO lines and ‘fast Internet – or not’
    Suffice to say … that BT has installed ‘Faster Internet’ for me and my line has magically begun to perform slightly faster – and VERY VERY MUCH MORE ERRATICALLY – than it did prior to this recent installation.
    The fact is … I am rather surprised at this ….
    Their engineer was kind enough to improve the somewhat ragged wiring I had inherited when I came to this house … so far so good! … but what he installed was simply better COPPER WIRE.
    Nothing was done about the mile of COPPER WIRE between my house and the local exchange.
    But … BT have installed a ’special pair of green cabinets’ just outside the local property … which they say are designed to connect all the local EO lines to the Fibre in the exchange.
    Can anyone explain to me just how these two ’special cabinets’ can magically drive ‘faster internet’ through the mile of copper that connects me to the exchange?

    Or am I the subject of a ‘con-trick’ being operated by Openreach ?

    Have I been given … I use the term advisedly … a new kind of ‘PSEUDO Faster Broadband’ designed to keep the nation’s EO line sufferers quiet ?

  120. Millgate Says:
    August 14th, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Slight correction … I should have written above …

    BT have installed a ’special pair of green cabinets’ just outside the local EXCHANGE property

    Apologies …

  121. Millgate Says:
    August 14th, 2014 at 12:53 pm


    I have been testing my ‘pseudo faster broadband line’ – all morning, between work and writing this saga.

    I use to do this; and I’ve used it for the past 2 years.

    Before my EO line was upgraded I used to receive a ’steady’ 17-18 Mb/s download.

    Today, I have been getting a ’stuttering’ 20-27 Mb/s; against a ‘promised 32-38 Mb/s.


    If you’re interested ……. please come back here in a couple of weeks time; when I plan to give you an update.

  122. GuardianUK Says:
    August 18th, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    My town was enable 3 months ago for fibre & like many of you my cabinet was not on the upgrade. I live in a small village not 2 miles away from the exchange. We all get between 3 – 4 Mbps if we’re lucky. We have questioned bt over this with no response, we’re all happy to pay fibre price & even if we got to the 20mbps speed we would be happy.

  123. Art Jacks Says:
    August 23rd, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Why did they go to the trouble to put the cable under the pavement and to the top of a pole 20 yards from my house 18 months ago and yet they cannot give any more information other than my cabinet is under review ?

  124. john bennett Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 4:05 am

    I have been waiting for infinity for a year now but suspect my cab will not be upgraded. Will be contacting my mp to see if that helps.

  125. Eve Gillmon Says:
    August 25th, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    We are in a rural area. Our two nearest villages have the new green cabinets, but we (and about 30 others) are more than 1500 metres from both. Since the exchange was upgraded, our already miserable 0.5-1 mb download speed has reduced to 0.2mb. We cannot get any joy from either BT or Openreach. Has anyone experience of community investment in installing the fibre optic cable? Apart from the inability to work from home on 0.2 mb, we are equally concerned that this discrimination between areas is already affecting house prices and even house sales. No-one wants to live where an essential infrastructural service is non-existent. It is on a par with trying to live without electricity.

  126. Millgate Says:
    September 5th, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    5th September update ….

    My ‘hybrid/EO line’ connection is now running a steady 27-33 Mb/sec, depending upon local loads and the time of day.
    The issue I have with BT remains.
    They refuse to upgrade my copper EO line (1 mile long0 and insist on trying to persuade me /et al that they have installed ‘Faster Broadband’ on my line.
    That is an outright mistruth … and in this case (in Gloucestershire) it is a downright, out and out, commercial falsehood.

  127. David M Says:
    September 25th, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    It took some time for our village Waltham St Lawrence to get broadband as the centre of the village is 9km from the exchange and my house is 11km from the Twyford exchange due to our local exchange being sold and converted to a house. In 2008 I could only receive 1mbs but when the Twyford exchange was upgraded to fibre the speed has steadily got faster and now I get 11mbs during the day and 8mbs in evening. I should be happy with the situation and most of my neighbours were until one by one their broadband has been cut off, this happens when they have asked to go on to a different BT package or another supplier. The BT sale people are happy to swop them on to a different package and within a few day the broadband goes and when they ask why they are told that the new package cannot supply broadband to their postcodes and when they have asked to go back on to their original product they are told it is no longer available. This is weird situation with 2 houses having broadband and the 4 houses between them being told its not available. BT will not give an explanation or engage in any meaningful dialogue with anyone and the most worrying comment that has been made to a neighbour during a heated exchange with a BT manager was “some people in your road may be connected but not for much longer”. I have spent many hours on the internet and have found people in semi rural areas who have had broadband only to lose it when their exchanges have been updated, it would seem the old exchange is running 20T (20th century technology) which can accelerate the signal through the new fibre to the cab outside the village and then is accelerated through the copper cable to the more outlying houses but new 21T (21st centry technology) does not have this capability. It seems a massive step backwards by BT if this true as the government would like all rural locations to be connected to high speed broadband, so I would say to anyone who lives in a semi-rural or rural location and has broadband and maybe pushing for their exchange to be upgraded be sure that the new technology supports broadband to their location.

  128. Sid the Fish Says:
    October 4th, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    BT are well known for shrewdness business that any compensation had always been jealousy guarded. Just down the mass immigrations road there is fibre broadband near my area since March 2012, and yet there is none in our area. Sickening and good luck with BT.


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