The last week has not been kind to the attempts underway to improve broadband across the UK, and there is some evidence of this in the form of Openreach updating their Matters Beyond Our Reasonable Control (MBORC) list. Declaring MBORC changes the rules on various things like compensation and service level agreements, and as such should be used only when it can be demonstrated that the situation was well beyond normal.
List of areas declared as MBORC from 28th September 2012: Durham & Tees Valley, York, Bradford & the Dales, Leeds & West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Chesterfield, North Lincoln, Cumbria, North Manchester, South Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire, Derby & Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham & Black Country, Mid Wales & Shrewsbury, North Wales, Stoke & Chester, NE Scotland, Central Scotland, SE Scotland, Aylesbury, Northampton, Southampton.
Most people will agree that the extent of flooding in various parts of the UK will have caused problems, and the knock on for broadband roll-outs is that many engineering staff will have been pulled off of new roll-out projects to repair existing infrastructure. The most visible aspect is that in some parts of the UK times to install new telephone and broadband services are edging towards six weeks.
The weather is not unique to Openreach, and is also not unique to their reliance on a copper local loop, as the worst hit flood areas have seen roads torn up, which will affect fibre just as much as copper wiring. Even where the infrastructure is not damaged, fibre splicing or copper joint repairs will require the pumping out of numerous pavement chambers.
Hopefully we will have a mild autumn, so that all the network operators in the UK can catch up and then rather than rain affecting broadband play we can all talk about how to use our new superfast braodband connections, or for a good proportion of us continue to moan it is not available in our area yet.