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New ASA ruling may mean less fibre roll-out information
Wednesday 22 April 2015 09:15:56 by Andrew Ferguson

After several complaints the ASA has investigated and upheld a ruling against Openreach surrounding the estimated availability dates they display on their checker and also supplier to the various communication providers. We presume that the ruling will also impact on the council led BDUK projects who also publish various estimated dates.

"We told Openreach to ensure that estimated dates displayed on their checker were based on a robust calculation, and were not routinely rolled back without specific information being taken into account. We told BT Consumer not to display estimated dates on their checker unless they could substantiate that Openreach, as the provider of the fibre broadband infrastructure, were using a robust method to calculate those dates."

Action Statement from ASA ruling against Openreach

The three original complaints were about cabinets that had an original date set, but then seemed to keep getting their dates pushed back, and as frustrating as that is at least by having a date one would know that Openreach still had the cabinet in their plan. What is highly likely now, is that when factors that are outside the control of Openreach, e.g. awaiting quotes on power supply or unforeseen issues like a tree root collapsing a duct that had been perfectly fine during an earlier survey and road works needed to clear it that rather than dates slipping into the next quarter, either no date will appear and a simple 'being worked on' message will appear OR a cabinet may simply lose all indication that FTTC is on the way.

"Openreach explained that the deployment of fibre cabinets was a complex engineering challenge that involved not only provision of the fibre, but availability of power connections, planning consent for the cabinet itself, possible road closures, traffic management permissions as well as space within their duct network to make the necessary connections. In some case, they encountered unexpected problems, which took time to resolve and might delay the cabinet for some months. The vast majority of those delays were caused by either power provision, as they could not utilise domestic supplies, or street lighting power sources and local planning permission. In order to minimise such delays, they worked with power companies and local authorities. They were also reliant on outside resources keeping to their delivery promises."

Openreach on why there may be delays

For the BDUK based cabinets (which is probably 95% of the new live cabinets each week now), the issue of delays is often less of a problem as a lot of the time estimated dates do not appear in the Openreach availability checker system, but there is a high probability that the projects themselves that are just starting to get better at publishing estimates may step back to avoid adverse publicity.

Estimates are nice to have, but our advice has always been to never place too much faith in them, certainly NEVER move to an area based on estimate for a fibre roll-out (irrespective of its Openreach, KC or others) but only consider properties that have the service available to order today, or even better a property where you can see it actually working.

Comments

Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
Having read the full adjudication, I think it is important to note that ASA think that Openreach *do* have a robust method for providing the initial estimated dates, so don't think those dates are misleading, and don't ask for changes.

ASA also accept that problems occurs, and that some dates need to change.

The problem specifically comes from dates that need to change: and ASA do not think that the method of calculating new dates (to present to the public) is realistic. It is this portion for which the complaint is upheld.
Posted by Llety about 1 year ago
Thats a shame. Misplaced blind hope that one day 0.4mb might be history is all that keeps some of us from a path of peaceful civil disobedience, unemployment, drug misuse, rehab, Broadmore and kids not being able to play multi-user minecraft.
Posted by Bob_s2 about 1 year ago
It is clear that BT do not have very good project management in place and it I clear that BT continually just push dates back several months when delays occur. Most of the delays are down to BT

All that the ASA are requiring BT to do is to ensure that when delays occur proper and accurate estimates are made and the date is just not defaulted to some arbitrary date

It does not mean BT can just avoid it by publishing no information or by putting silly date in in the first place

This is not rocket science it is something BT should easily be able to do
Posted by dogbark about 1 year ago
Looks like Virgin and some other self-serving complainers have managed once again to remove the estimated dates for when the service will go live.

The ASA don't seem to grasp that they are harming not helping consumers.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
Ah, Bob_s2 turns up after a long absence ... since the last complaint went into ASA about this subject. I wonder if it is a conincidence?

"It does not mean BT can just avoid it by publishing no information or by putting silly date in in the first place"

Of course they can.

There is a cost to do what you want, and what ASA asks. If BT considers the cost too high, they will revert to a cheaper option: to give no more information beyond "Delayed, with no projected date".

It isn't rocket science, but it still might not be worth the cost.
Posted by dmcclymont1975 about 1 year ago
BT/BDUK in Wiltshire are a wall of silence in regards to anything. Even when cabinets are live we are left to find out by accident, no ruling can make it worse here!!!!
Posted by fastman about 1 year ago
ho hum 55000 = cab in 5 years and something thinks the business cant project manage you counint make it up -- i assume there will be less information going forward -- i wioud always check the BT wholesale checker to see if you can get FTTC -- -- thats your responsibility as an individual
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Over 63,500 cabinet areas covered by the Openreach roll-out now and growing every week.
Posted by nstrudwick about 1 year ago
What is the URL of the web site about which people are complaining? It seems not to be mentioned...
Posted by Somerset about 1 year ago
@dmcclymont1975 try:

http://www.wiltshireonline.org/index.php/broadband-rollout/wiltshire-exchange-areas
Posted by AndrueC about 1 year ago
Damned if you do damned if you don't. Looks like the whiners win this round.
Posted by GMAN99 about 1 year ago
"It is clear that BT do not have very good project management in place and it I clear that BT continually just push dates back several months when delays occur. Most of the delays are down to BT" - Can you supply the proof to back up your claim that most delays are down to BT PM's?
Posted by fastman about 1 year ago
so if you take Andrew figures and assume rollout started some time in 2009 and x 365 x 6 that 2190 days divided that by the number of cabs and that 28 cabs a day every day for 6 years !!!!! -- you couldn't make it up !!!!! but actually its muchmore that that as the BDUK live cabs are just massive each week

wondered what bob has project managed to that scale
Posted by fastman about 1 year ago
nothing to do with indivudaul objection / bloked ducts not cables / other utitiles preseent / SSI / protected wildlife / conversavation areas / power costs or any thing else --
Posted by Bob_s2 about 1 year ago
Yes there are tens of thousands of cabinets and most will be complete . You are not actively working on all of them a Project plan I usually updated weekly,. It is a key tool . It is not difficult to updated the web data with the latest roll out dates on the schedule

The number of cabinets being actively planned will be quite low at this level you need to plan resource, equipment, power , planning etc
Posted by GMAN99 about 1 year ago
Sorry Bob but you don't appear to be convincing anyone, will your next ASA complaint be about lack of detail as I expect that is what will happen next

If you are such an efficient pm maybe you should contract to them and show them how it's done?
Posted by fastman about 1 year ago
The number of cabinets being actively planned will be quite low at this level you need to plan resource, equipment, power , planning etc -- the businesss plans a year out -- im the role i do im scheduling for april / may 2016 at present !!!!

Posted by fastman about 1 year ago
bob please let me know of thet last project you ran that covers 66 thousand stuctures and affected almost 905 of the uk and is being delviered from a standing start in 5 - 6 years to date as i loved to found out what it was
Posted by fastman about 1 year ago
you cant make it up !!!!
Posted by leexgx about 1 year ago
its people that moaning about install dates to the ASA that's change are why we cant get role out information, if they are doing it will come
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