We had an issue with our phone line last year where our broadband was working fine but we couldnt get dial tone and couldnt make phone calls.
OR came out and identified a physical fault with one of the cables of the main pair being used to supply our connection. Despite bringing out a multitude of equipment, they were unable to locate the route the cable took to enter my property to repair the line fault.
As a result they excavated the footpath further up our street and switched us over to the "spare pair" on the line that runs to our house. At the time I asked the engineer what would happen in the future if this spare pair were to develop a fault and he said it would mean a new physical line (and digging up our driveway etc to route it to the house).
My question is, should this fault have been considered fully resolved, or should a follow on job have been raised for a new line at that point - ie the fix they implemented should have been considered a temporary fix to restore service but not a long term fix?
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As far as the bean counters are concerned, it is a legitimate long term fix.
Depending on the location and cause of the original fault, it could be a long term fix or it might not be.
Either way, you won't get Openreach back until/if the second pair goes faulty.
The second pair may well last forever ( or until FTTP comes along ) so to pay to replace a cable just so that it has a spare pair that may never be needed would be the economics of the mad house .
Something that makes no sense though , if your lead in cable was fine ,( your lead in cable pretty much is from your house , across your garden to a close by point in a public footpath ) where it’s jointed to a larger distribution cable , and the excavation was on a cable that joined onto your lead in cable , then the second pair of your lead in doesn’t need to be used , the first pair is still OK, ( otherwise the excavation would be on your lead in cable ) if the ‘second’ pair is not in your lead in cable , then it’s not a spare pair for you as such , it’s just a spare pair in the larger cable that your lead in cable connects to, if that cable is now exhausted, ( for example it is a 10 pair cable and has now 9 working lines and one faulty one , your old pair ) if any other of the 8 customers ( 9 including you ) had a similar fault then the cable would have to be replaced, but you don’t replace a cable to provide a spare pair…time will tell if they made the choice , but it’s definitely the correct policy .
If you have misinterpreted what was done , and it is the second pair of your lead in that was used because the first pair was faulty , and the excavation happened to be in the public footpath but still on your lead in cable , then to replace this cable would require an excavation from that point all the way to your house , most wouldn’t want the upheaval for what would be unnecessary work just to restore service , all this excavation would be for would be to provide some probably never needed redundancy
With the 2nd pair out of action, what would happen in the circumstance that I wanted an additional phone line?
I understand OR typically provision this on the spare pair, so if I ordered an additional line and the 2nd pair couldnt be used, who would be liable for the cost of an additional line? Would I just have to pay the standard install fee or would I liable for the full cost of installation (ie digging up my driveway etc).
No clear cut answer , BT have a universal service obligation ( USO ) to provide service to anyone who reasonably requires it , the USO is satisfied by your existing line , if you ordered a second service, and that was accepted by a provider ( BT or anyone else ) your contract would be with them , but Openreach are ultimately the network supplier, not BT , if OR said that as the property is already served and it’s not viable to get a second service at the usual installation cost, they could in effect expect the construction costs are met ( there wouldn’t be any USO £3400 contribution towards the overall cost ) and should cancel the order and expect the Telco ( BT or whoever ) to see if the consumer wanted to proceed on this you pay for it basis , but as far as any ‘guarantee’ BT offer , delivering service by a particular date or a per day compensation figure for any days after this missed appointment is anyone guess, some are given ridiculous amounts of compensation that in no way reflect the actual loss, and others that simply are told to pay up or go away.
No one has a right to a second line, If it can be done and is commercially sensible that’s one thing , expecting potentially £1000’s to be spent at no cost to the individual ordering the second service is another.
In your case , it’s unclear if the ‘spare’ pair in your lead in is OK or not….if it were your lead in that had a fault and it were inside your curtilage, you would have to agree to excavation to find and repair the fault , that may concentrate the mind as to if the second service is actually needed.
If you really need a second line the best way to find out is order a second line and keep this post updated how you get on.