The time it takes for someone to get their broadband connected is often a factor of how many others are ordering the service in your area, but The Guardian goes one stage further today and publishes details of an exchange visit that describes the physical wiring work required. See The Guardian for the full item.
Generally with gas and electric getting connected is easy as no physical work is needed, alas most broadband connections still require some physical work. In the case of moving into a property where the previous resident had broadband but did not cancel their service to cease on the day they moved out you can have delays beyond the standard two weeks.
The description of the wiring changes needed is lengthy, but goes to show why it can take 30 minutes for each job, and particularly that there are space limitations meaning limited numbers of people can do the job at once. Of course migrations do not normally involve any physical wiring, but since the advent of unbundling this is not always the case.
Generally we tend to hear of examples when people have situations like a line sharing device (DACS - Digital Access Carrier System) present on their line, a tag present from a previous service, fibre in the form of TPON. 2006 saw the popular offer from Carphone Warehouse result in long delays for some as the provider queued up orders due to the high demand. Carphone Warehouse was a little different for an unbundler too, since many are connected temporarily to a fixed speed BT Wholesale service until the full up to 8Mbps unbundled can be connected. This means as well as the initial activation, after a couple of months people are migrated onto the Talk Talk unbundled service.
While the wiring carried out by BT is often a cause for delays, we do see a lot of problems arise from little or no information flowing from the broadband provider to the consumer.
We would like to hope 2007 will see the whole migration and new connection processes improve, but as always we are happy to hear from those with problems who either just want to share their plight or are looking for some advice. Our forums are a good place to start, or if shy you can always email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will endeavour to help or point you in the right direction.