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Message 1 of 3

Moving a BT (openreach) cable underground

I am building a new property and have the agreement of the neighbour to move the overhead cable that crosses the plot, underground. My partner is a contractor usesd to carrying out this work. We have had surveys of utilities carried out as part of the planning process, site reports, soil reports, archaeology reports...! This is the most well surveyed piece of land!  I checked with Openreach re permission to carry out the work to put the cable through an underground duct, but they are insisting on a mandatory survey at a cost of £1000 before we can carry out the work. Has anyone any idea what this survey entails over and above what has already been done and whether we really need to have this survey legally?

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Message 2 of 3

Re: Moving a BT (openreach) cable underground

The Survey will be to confirm what work is required, what materials will be needed, i.e. the Duct Type and Length, if any Joint Boxes are required, where said digs will be, i.e. if on Public Land Permits from the relevant authority will be needed. 

It also includes the total costing of the job, etc.

I believe the Survey is also absorbed into the cost of the final build.

Usually if you’re going to do any of the work yourself you can arrange that with the Survey Officer, Openreach will provide the Duct, etc.

If you want to, Rearrange the BT Access Network then yes, you will have to do it via the official BT/Openreach channels. 

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Message 3 of 3

Re: Moving a BT (openreach) cable underground

There are potentially a couple of ways this could be done , one is presumably what you have done , contact Openreach directly, effectively asking for diversionary works , this ( although on a much lesser scale ) would be similar to a developer cutting in an entrance to a site from a ( major ) road  ,and that requires Openreach to divert ducts/cables etc . that would be in the way of this site entrance  , OR could elect to build new infrastructure more suitable for going under a road crossing as well as providing the new cables within them , all charged to the developers , obviously something like this this would require a much more detailed site survey ,

a potential second way , one that would need your neighbour to request it from their own provider, ( with you presumably you paying on their behalf )  ,  would be for them to ask for an overhead feed to be replaced with an underground feed , both can have the costs reduced by doing the work on private land yourself, but it could be the ‘survey’ costs are less on one compared to the other.

The communication provider your neighbour uses for service ( which obviously may not be BT ) would have to arrange the correct order type  , and as it’s a pretty rare request, they may not realise it’s a portfolio product (or at least it was ) and may simply say they don’t offer this.