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rpdmallett
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 1 of 5

Who is responsible for permanent repair of a downed cable?

A few months ago I had a semi-frantic call from my wife saying our phones were dead and the cable was on the ground.  So I called our provided (Sky) and they needed me home in order to verify that it was nothing internal - so I made my way home.

 

As I drove along the road outside our front door I could see the cable lying in the field next to the road, just outside our front door - it had been severed and had dropped from the telephone poles.  Sky of course wanted me to still do some checks inside the house... and biting my tongue I duly obliged.

 

Sky's customer service was great and they listed it as a fault with BT - and said I should also report the cable as dangerous.  Since it was lying on the edge of the road, partly in a farmer's field, I did so and was duly given a reference for the issue.  Two days later a BT guy turned up and repaired the cable on the ground - linking the severed ends via another length of cable (and two junction boxes).  Of course, it was still lying on the edge of the field.  He said about 10 days later someone should come along and fix it properly (presumably meaning putting it back onto the poles).

 

A few days later a neighbour came along with photos and description of the lorry that had damaged the cable - as he'd witnessed it.  We'd kind of assumed the farmer had been involved, but now had photographic proof (cable dangling from lorry cab!) of who did it.  I rang up the BT line and gave this information, which they were thankful for.

 

Roughly 6 weeks later I rang up BT again (their 'dangerous cables' line) and asked what was going on.  This is where things got weird.  I confimed that my line was working and that the cable was no longer dangerous.  But of course the cable wasn't fixed.  That's not BT's job, apparently - or at least not the job of the BT department I was speaking to.  They'd done their bit in making it safe.  They even said to ring Sky - but I pointed out that since my line was working fine they wouldn't do anything.  The lady on the line admitted it was a weird situation to be in - how to escalate the problem, to get it properly fixed?  She had no clue - but offered to get another BT guy out to check it (giving me another reference number).  The BT guy may have come along - but that was weeks ago, and no proper repair has occured since.

 

You see, the famer accesses the field by driving from the road to the field, as most farmers do, and will inevitably drive a big tractor across the line - and most likely damaging it again.  We've told the famer about the cable, but the cable is now submerged in crops growing around it, so I doubt he can avoid it.

 

WHO can I contact to escalate this non-faulty but incorrectly-located cable?  There appears to be no-one.  The fault-reporting system appears to be grey-area for cases like this, where my line is not faulty, but would quite literally prefer a pole-line than a land-line.

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 5

Re: Who is responsible for permanent repair of a downed cable?

BT do not provide or maintain the external network. This is done by Openreach who work for all service providers. 

 

Openreach will only talk to service providers like Sky, so you will have to raise the issue via them.

 

This is a BT Retail forum only.

 

You can report dangerous cables direct to Openreach on this page.

http://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/who-to-contact/

 

 

Distinguished Guru
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Message 3 of 5

Re: Who is responsible for permanent repair of a downed cable?


@rpdmallett wrote:

WHO can I contact to escalate this non-faulty but incorrectly-located cable?  There appears to be no-one.  The fault-reporting system appears to be grey-area for cases like this, where my line is not faulty, but would quite literally prefer a pole-line than a land-line.


I think you have pretty much summed up the attitude of Openreach - if the line is working, then there is no problem.  Sky will take the same attitude as well (especially since they will be reporting any faults to Openreach).

 

There is nothing you can do unless the line is damaged again.

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 4 of 5

Re: Who is responsible for permanent repair of a downed cable?

As Keith has already posted it is not a BT problem as happens regularly sky are passing the buck as it is an Openreach problem and they are the only people Openreach will deal with no one here can assist
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iniltous
Recognised Expert
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Message 5 of 5

Re: Who is responsible for permanent repair of a downed cable?

If you reported your line out of order to Sky and reported a dangerous cable to Openreach (something a concerned passing member of the public could have done ) , then were 2 reports in the system ?, and the engineer who turned up , which one was he working on ?, or were both tied together ?, you need to ask Sky about the fault you raised with them, did they even raise one ?, if they did what was the 'clear code'
The engineer has done a temporary fix , but more of a concern would be why the repair was done that way, overhead cables have standards to be adhered to, and are probably adhered to more these health and safety conscious days than in the past, like hight above the road, and where high sided vehicles may pass under, the hight above increases, so it's possible that's why the wire wasn't replaced like for like, or it could be the poles are deemed 'D' , dangerous to climb, again this would explain not putting up a wire exactly as it was previously.
If it's a temporary fix then presumably at some point more work will be done, but a doubt any timescale would be provided, if it's the permanent fix, then I doubt you can do anything other than expect the line to be damaged again in the future
As others have said though, as you are not a BT Retail customer, then this isn't really the appropriate forum , as you use Sky it's them , and you seem quite happy so far with their response , you need to speak to, but don't accept any 'it's not us it's BT,' because it isn't, if it's Openreach, you cannot speak to them , you need to get Sky to do that for you