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Beginner
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Message 1 of 31

New-build house - fibre cabinet full - what can we do?

About to move into a new house. When we offered on it, fibre showed as available in the village. We've now ordered and it's no longer available and the cabinet is showing as full. Unfortunately we only found out after we'd exchanged contracts so couldn't pull out.

BT told us to order our phone line and ADSL broadband (which we've done) and sort it out later. They haven't said the cabinet's full - they said there's no fibre in the area. We pointed out that the second new house (there's only two) next door already has people living in it and they have BT Fibre. The person on the phone didn't know how that was possible (!).

I'd never heard of full cabinets before but have been reading up and am really worried. I work from home and am also studying with the Open University and the 1-3Mbps BT say we'll get just won't cut it. There is at least 4G signal (most of the time) so I can hotspot from my phone, but I'll need a large data package. 

The cabinet is in a small village so I worry it'll be right at the bottom of Openreach's priority list for upgrading.

I'm seeing conflicting info on whether it's possible to get on the waiting list with BT. I'm worried we should have gone with an ISP like Aquiss who do place waiting list orders and proactively chase them. BT are installing our line next week and I don't know if we should cancel? We'll be locked into a two-year contract. I think we need BT out anyway though as we need the master socket installing. 

Any advice on how to pressure Openreach to expand capacity? 

Results from DSL checker below (note: done from address, not phone number, as the line's not active yet): 

dsl-check.png

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 31

Re: New-build house - fibre cabinet full - what can we do?

The address checker is not the most accurate way to check for fibre. A telephone number is the most accurate. 

If the cabinet is full there is nothing you can do to speed things up and neither can Aquiss. The cabinet ports are allocated on a first come first served basis to the ISPs and there is no way for any of them, BT and Aquiss  included to jump the queue.

The best option is to do as suggest by the Customer Service rep and order your phone line and ADSL broadband.

The database will then update with your telephone number and you will then be able to order Fibre and if it is still not available you will be on the "waiting list". 

There is no way for you to find out how long the list is or if Openreach have any plans to upgrade the cabinet with any more connections.

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 3 of 31

Re: New-build house - fibre cabinet full - what can we do?

there is no waiting list and you just need to keep checking with your phone number once installed and connected.  as soon as you see available then phone up and place order

not a lot you can do about getting cabinet upgraded as will be done as and when openreach decide there is a big enough demand



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Beginner
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Message 4 of 31

Re: New-build house - fibre cabinet full - what can we do?

Thanks, both. As I feared. Looks like we'll have to budget for both having large data packages on our mobiles. 

Re "not a lot you can do about getting cabinet upgraded as will be done as and when openreach decide there is a big enough demand" - how do Openreach know if there's demand if there's not actually a waiting list?!

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 5 of 31

Re: New-build house - fibre cabinet full - what can we do?

The "waiting list" is when ISPs make enquiries with Openreach to see if there is capacity. If there is none they will eventually upgrade the cabinet.

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 6 of 31

Re: New-build house - fibre cabinet full - what can we do?

Depending on manufacturer, cabinets can be equipped with either 4 or 6 line cards but can be initially provided sub-equipped and cards added as demand for capacity increases. If your cabinet is sub-equipped it shouldn't be too long before an extra card supplying the extra ports is fitted. If, however, the cabinet is fully equipped it may be some considerable time before a second cabinet is provided. In the meantime, keep checking the checker for ports becoming spare due to someone ceasing their service.

https://kitz.co.uk/adsl/fttc-cabinets.htm#fttc_cabinet_capacity gives more details of cabinet types and capacities although it is a little out of date

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Beginner
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Message 7 of 31

Re: New-build house - fibre cabinet full - what can we do?

Fortunately in every other regard - but unfortunately in terms of this - it's a small village where people hardly ever move! So I don't hold out much hope for someone leaving and freeing up a slot. 

Thanks for the info. Once we're in and set up on ADSL I do plan to fill in the form I found on another forum where you can ask Openreach what plans they have (if any) to expand a cabinet. Might get me some info at least.

Feeling very grateful there is at least 4G signal at the house! We might have to give up the Netflix and Amazon Video binge sessions but at least we can do the essentials over a hotspot. 

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Sage
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Message 8 of 31

Re: New-build house - fibre cabinet full - what can we do?

Why not just go for a 4G connection until full fibre is available. You can get unlimited data plans for £25pm and a wireless modem for around £25.

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Beginner
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Message 9 of 31

Re: New-build house - fibre cabinet full - what can we do?

EE is the only network with 4G coverage there and I can't see a plan that cheap on their website... 100Gb is £35/month up to 300Gb at £45 and no unlimited data options. Even then, EE isn't 100% reliable. Their coverage checker doesn't promise 4G at the house. We've had signal on our phones most times we've been there but not all. 

It's a toss-up whether 1-3Mbps on ADSL or an unreliable 15-20Mbps on 4G is preferable. 🤔

Thanks for the info and advice. We can still cancel our BT order for a few days yet if we decide against having ADSL (we're not fussed about the phoneline it comes with as we use our mobiles anyway! - though would be nice to get the master socket installed as we have a wire hanging out the wall at the mo). 

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 10 of 31

Re: New-build house - fibre cabinet full - what can we do?

Unless you get a BT phone line installed, you are never going to be able to see when FTTC is available, as you need that number when you do availability check.

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