BT Openreach miss 1000 appointments a week

On Tuesday 15th March BT’s chief executive Gavin Patterson and Openreach’s director Kim Mears attended a meeting with MPs on the culture, media and sport select committee as part of an inquiry into the UK’s broadband connectivity.

They were faced with questions about Openreach’s poor record on broadband installations. During the discussion, it emerged that Openreach miss more than 1000 appointments a week. Patterson and Mears also faced claims that 60pc of Openreach broadband installations go wrong the first time around. While the allegation about bad installations was denied, Kim Mears did admit that missing multiple appointments was the company’s “biggest failing”.

It was also claimed that Openreach was the “number-one issue” that politicians hear about from their constituents.

Read the full article at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/03/15/bt-openreach-misses-1000-appointments-a-week-as-patterson-defend/

Flood Update Including Tadcaster Bridge

The heavy rain and wind in December has continued into the New Year, hampering clear up operations and extending the flooding into other parts of the country. Openreach now has MBORC (matters beyond our reasonable control) measures in place in the following areas:

  • North East Scotland
  • South East Scotland
  • South West Scotland
  • Swansea & West Wales
  • South Yorkshire & Chesterfield
  • West Yorkshire
  • Humber
  • Cumbria
  • North Wales

Re-provision of resources to these areas means that even in the South East and South West of the country lead times are longer than usual while engineers work to clear the backlog of jobs.

Many of you will have seen the footage of the Tadcaster Bridge partially collapsing after being undermined by the high waters of the river Wharfe, as well as cutting the two sides of Tadcaster off from each other, the collapse also lead to the damaging of utility pipes including a gas main and telecom cabling. Work has been carried out to move the copper and fibre lines across to the other side of the bridge, a key stage in restoring normal service to the area.

Deep Blue were lucky to escape the flooding, despite much of it being on our doorstep. Some of our customers were not so lucky but we are pleased to say that service has now been restored to all of them.

We wish to take this time to say thank you to all impacted customers for their patience and understanding over the last couple of weeks, thank you to our out of hours staff who coped well with challenging circumstances and to our engineers for giving up their time (including New Year) to get some of the worst hit sites back up and running so quickly!

Storm Desmond

It’s been hard to miss the impact of storm Desmond over the last few days, bringing high winds and heavy rainfall on top of what has already been a pretty wet few weeks. Wind damage and flooding have caused, and continue to cause, disruption to many. Openreach, who are responsible for much of the UK’s telephony network, are one of the many organisations working to try and restore normality to those areas affected.

From collapsed bridges to flooded out vans, there is a lot to contend with. DSLAMs (devices that form part of the telecoms network) are capable of tolerating water up to 1/3 of their own depth but the flood levels from Desmond have seen almost 250 DSLAMs affected (60% of these are now back and operating).

Works are currently under way to provide an emergency line to a community in Glenridding who have been without service since the bridge carrying essential cabling collapsed and was washed away.

Fixing these issues obviously requires a lot of man power on Openreach’s side and this is having a knock on effect to lead times for standard repairs and provisioning, with this in mind we ask for and appreciate our customers patience if things take a little longer than normal to progress.

 

Changes to provision and fault appointments

Previously if you have needed an Openreach engineer appointment, either for a fault or a line install, you have only been able to have an AM or PM slot (8am – 1pm and 1pm – 6pm). This can be difficult if your business works 9-5 or if you are opening a new site that is not yet staffed as you have to make provision to have people on site for the full appointment time slot.

In addition to the standard AM or PM appointment slots, Openreach will now also be offering some narrower time slots for an additional charge, such as ‘Late Morning’ for sites that aren’t staffed from 8am.

 

Washout summers and Openreach delays

The football is back in full swing, the schools are opening their doors ready for the new term, summer is winding down and we are getting wound up! From early year hosepipe bans to floods and some of highest levels of rain since records began in less than a few months, this summer has been a soggy one to say the least and it looks like the knock on effects of this unseasonal weather are set to be with us long after our (almost non-existent) tan lines have faded!

Floods, high winds and storms have afflicted many areas of the UK causing fault levels well above what would normally be expected for this time of year. Even here at Deep Blue we have not escaped unscaithed, having suffered a lightening strike earlier in August which caused quite a bit of damage and disruption (luckily our FeaturePlus Disaster Recovery plan was set up and ready to go!).

While Openreach are doing all they can to get all faults resolved as quickly as possible this is, to say the least, a mammoth task and engineers are having to be re-deployed across the country to restore service in some of the worst hit areas. The effect of this high workload is an increase in lead times for new line installs. At the moment some areas are seeing lead times of over 25 working days. As stated before, Openreach are doing all that they can to clear their workload and get everything back to something resembling normal (it would be nice if the weather could be a bit more co-operative!) and it is hoped that these lead times will start to decrease soon, but in the meantime we would advise anyone looking at adding new lines or moving site to allow extra time for these delays.

If you would like more information on current lead times in your area, disaster recovery set ups or would just like to know what it is like to be hit by lightening give us a call on 0333 240 9100 or email us at info@deepbluetelecom.co.uk

Openreach and the rioting

Following the riots in various areas of the country, some areas are having their service affected. Damage caused by vandalism and fires, coupled with restrictions to working caused by lack of access and safety concerns, have left a back log of work.

We would like to advise customers that, where possible, business is continuing as normal and that if you have a fault, please report it to us in the normal way.

Openreach – Lead Time Latest!

If you are planning extra telephone lines or services, our advice is plan ahead. Following on from the bad weather throughout Britain in December, the workload of Openreach (BT’s engineering arm) has vastly increased and the result is a backlog that will continue for some time to come.

The latest update confirmed that provision lead times remain high with Northern England having the worst case average of 30.84 working days. So if you are planning to extend your services or move offices, call us as soon as possible to book ahead.

If you have a fault that needs repairing, the news is much better as the company is using contractual overtime and postponing engineer training to bring the workload down and reduce waiting times. The impact of this is a wait of around one and half days, although a worst case of 5 days has been recorded in Wales.

As usual, contact our office as soon as you notice a fault and we will report it straight away and keep you fully informed of progress.

Openreach latest

With improvements in the weather, there are now no areas of the country where MBORC applies to all jobs, however the following areas:

West Scotland

Newcastle and Northumberland

Tyneside, Durham and Wearside

Tees Valley

North East Scotland

Tayside & Fife

South East Scotland

Northern Ireland

are still under MBORC for FAULT REPAIRS.

Openreach latest

While there are some changes to the areas under MBORC, overall the picture is pretty much the same; weather is causing higher than usual number of faults, mobility is affected, there is a backlog to clear and more bad weather is expected.

As it currently stands, the following areas are still under MBORC for ALL jobs:

Highlands and Islands
North East Scotland

Tayside & Fife

South East Scotland

Reading

Maidenhead

Northampton

Aylesbury

Luton

Colchester

Shrewsbury/Hereford

Worcester

Exeter

Taunton

Northern Ireland

Stoke

North Wales

Mid Wales

Cardiff

Newport

West Wales

These areas are all heavily affected.

The following areas have, as of yesterday afternoon, had MBORC lifted:

Bristol

Swindon

Gloucester

Bournemouth

Muswell Hill

Romford

Lea Valley

Southbank

Docklands

Croydon

Esher

The following areas are under MBORC for faults only:

South West Scotland

West Scotland

Newcastle and Northumberland

Tyneside, Durham and Wearside

Tees Valley

Lincoln

Docklands

Croydon

In all other areas the are still some delays being experienced. While these areas are not under MBORC as a whole, some individual jobs are being put under MBORC.

Further snow and a continuation of freezing conditions is forecast for many areas of the country over the weekend.