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askingcup
Beginner
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Message 1 of 20

Fibre in property but connected to copper exchange

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Hi All,

 

Looking for a a bit of advise on something. We're in the process of purchasing a new house. From the very beginning we've been advised that the new property will have FTTP, the cables were installed before our first viewing but not connected up to the Exchange.

A month into the process (after paying for various house moving fees) the developer has now told us it is not going to be Fibre at all, instead it is going to be copper broadband with a connection of 4Mb down and 1Mb up, this is not nearly good enough for us to work from home.

The developer is saying it has nothing to do with them and that BT OpenReach have messed up by connecting the property to a copper Exchange instead of a Fibre exchange and this is not going to change. The local Exchange is fibre enabled.

My question is, if Fibre cabling has been installed into the property itself is it then possible for it to be connected to a copper Exchange?

I was under the impression FTTP was a different technology and goes straight from the property to the exchange with no cabinet, so if it was always supposed to be FTTP how could could BT have messed up and connected it wrong?

Is it actually possible for a property with fibre cables to get converted to copper infrastructure back to an Exchnage or is it more likely that it was copper that was installed to the property at the very beginning and now the developer is trying to blame someone else?

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19 REPLIES 19
Keith_Beddoe
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 20

Re: Fibre in property but connected to copper exchange

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@askingcup 

This would have nothing to do with BT Retail, as its Openreach that provides the network. BT Openreach does not exist.

If the developer has decided not to work with Openreach to provide fibre, there is nothing you can do. The cable you saw, would have been copper not fibre. There may not be any fibre infrastructure.

Have you got an active order for broadband with BT Retail?

You may be able to get an FTTC connection.

 

askingcup
Beginner
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Message 3 of 20

Re: Fibre in property but connected to copper exchange

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Apologies, I'm aware OpenReach and BT are separate companies, just used to calling OpenReach 'BT OpenReach'.

No active order at the moment as it was only connected up the other day and we were then advised about it not being Fibre so put a hold on everything.

I checked the Open reach site a few days ago and it was showing no Fibre options at all, BT retail site showed it was only standard Copper broadband with the slow speed.

My main question is around the technology. We asked before we put our offer in and also included it in our offer that it must be FTTP and it was all confirmed, now the developer is trying to blame OpenReach. Is it actually possible for OpenReach to have installed Fibre at the property a few months ago but then connected it to Copper at the Exchange?

Is there any, way apart from asking the developer to show us the works contract with OpenReach, to find out what cabling was installed at the property from the beginning. I have a feeling the developer is not going to pass this information on freely as they as they may now be aware they made a mistake.

Thanks

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iniltous
Guru
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Message 4 of 20

Re: Fibre in property but connected to copper exchange

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What size development is this ( how many individual plots ? ) , FTTP on new and relatively new developments , ( the last few years ) has been the standard offering , there is no way that OR would start a FTTP development and then overbuild with copper …I would suggest that the developer is probably trying to divert ‘blame’ , if they said FTTP to help get a sale and then fail to provide this.

FTTP is a totally different network to copper , so it’s bonkers to think fibre provided at the property but somehow connected to copper , and hence copper speeds are only available, it just doesn’t work that way.

Something else to consider , OR are not the only FTTP network provider , and it’s quite common for developers to use ‘Alt Net’s’ exclusively, locking out OR ,  either with their own in house provider ( Persimmon do this ) or a third party  network provider they have done a deal with…it’s possible ( although IMHO very unlikely ) that the developer intended to use someone else and that plan that failed , they approached OR at the last minute and copper was the only immediate answer to give a chance of service for the date customers were moving in.

I recon the developer is not giving you the entire story

askingcup
Beginner
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Message 5 of 20

Re: Fibre in property but connected to copper exchange

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Development is small. It's an old building converted into apartments so not new build estate. I believe its around 5/6 apartments in total.

Developer advised that the cabling was installed by OR a few weeks before we had our first viewing and they were just waiting for OR to connect it to the exchange so I believe OR was involved from the start.

The whole Fibre at the property then connected to copper situation is exactly what I thought as well, its different tech and just doesn't work that way but I'm not a professional in that area so wanted confirmation.

Both the estate agent and developer have admitted they don't know a lot about broadband technology so its becoming very difficult to explain to them that what they are saying is incorrect. They seem to keep wanting to blame OR.
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Keith_Beddoe
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Message 6 of 20

Re: Fibre in property but connected to copper exchange

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If you are still planning to move in, then try placing an order with BT Retail, and see what you are offered. Nothing will happen without an active order.

From what you describe about it being a conversion. I doubt very much that a direct fibre has been provided, and it will just be copper pairs from the nearest cabinet, which may not be fibre enabled.

If it is fibre enabled, then you should be able to get an FTTC connection.

iniltous
Guru
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Message 7 of 20

Re: Fibre in property but connected to copper exchange

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The planning policy as far as FTTP is concerned has changed over time, it used to be sites of 30 or more plots, then AFAIK 6 plots and now all new sites , major developers are more likely to know what is and isn’t available,and know how much notice is required ,  If I were to speculate, this ( probably ) local builder/ one man band type developer has involved OR far to late in the process for OR to provide FTTP, it’s not always the case that ‘spine’ fibres are close by , and construction of a FTTP network can be provided in a short timescale,  a spine network can take a lot of resources and time …if the developer , when eventually contacting OR ,  gave a first occupancy date that was only a few weeks into the future, then getting any service at all should be seen as a ‘win’, every other network provider would have just said ‘No’.

If the offer of FTTP was fundamental in your decision to buy, presumably you should be able to walk away ,  but for the developer to blame anyone other than themselves is just deflection 

 

askingcup
Beginner
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Message 8 of 20

Re: Fibre in property but connected to copper exchange

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Thanks, have checked and it only says Standard broadband 4Mb down and 1Mb up.
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askingcup
Beginner
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Message 9 of 20

Re: Fibre in property but connected to copper exchange

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Yes FTTP was fundamental, bot our jobs rely on fast broadband and we would not have progressed it to this point had we known earlier that it would be standard copper broadband.

We can walk away, we just want to know if we have any standing to request refunds for fees we have had to pay based on false information given from the start.

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Keith_Beddoe
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Message 10 of 20

Re: Fibre in property but connected to copper exchange

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@askingcup wrote:
Tes FTTP was fundemental, bot our jobs rely on fast broadband and we would not have progressed it to this point had we known earlier that it would be standard copper broadband.

We can walk away, we just want to know if we have any standing to request refunds for fees we have had to pay based on false information given from the start.

It depends on what fees you are talking about. Survey fees may be difficult to recover, and so would any legal fees, and as the agent has not completed the sale, they would not be paid anyway.

You would need to ask elsewhere for advice.

Have you use the BT Broadband availability checker, the address and postcode option, to see what cabinet and exchange you are connected to?

https://www.broadbandchecker.btwholesale.com/#/ADSL

FTTC (VDSL) can deliver good speeds as well.