Broadband Problems Update
Thanks for the information about broadband difficulties. Some people already know the cause and have been seeking action to resolve problems so apologies if the following does not tell you anything you did not know already.
Most of Carmunnock is connected to Busby Exchange Cabinet 1 which is fibre enabled – this is the cabinet just down from the pharmacy. Some houses further down on Busby Road are connected to Busby Exchange Cabinet 3 which is also fibre enabled (Cabinet 3 is located down in Busby).
All the Dickie homes are connected to Busby Exchange Cabinet 13 which is not fibre enabled. This cabinet is at the end of the queue as there are only a few houses connected to it but it will eventually be enabled for fibre.
The biggest problem is the houses in Craigsheen, Woodside, the older houses on Picketlaw Drive and a few houses on Busby Road. These have what is called Exchange Only lines and are connected directly to Busby Exchange. There are many thousand such lines all over Scotland. Openreach has plans to convert EO lines to fibre but it is complex and expensive. Openreach say that ‘most’ EO lines will have fibre broadband by March 2018, depending on government funding.
These are the facts, unpalatable as they may be – particularly to those households with EO lines. It is especially frustrating as the fibre cable passes the end of Picketlaw and Craigsheen to get to Cabinet 1. It surely should have been little extra work at the time to connect them up.
Some residents have already pursued this issue with Openreach and elected representatives. The more individual households who do this the better. Our view is that by now all houses in Carmunnock should have access to reliable fibre broadband and we will be requesting clarification as to when this will be done. CCC has now written to Openreach and to our MP and MSP to request this information.
Robert Cochrane Jan 2017
Follow up reply to a letter sent to Open Reach by John Lawless, Chairman of Carmunnock Community Council. Jan 2017
Hello Mr Lawless,
Thanks again for your e-mail. I’ve now investigated this for you.
Fibre broadband availability
Busby exchange, which serves the residents involved here, was upgraded to deliver fibre broadband
as part of our commercial rollout. Many premises connected it are within reach of the service
(including yourself). This shows the significant investment we’ve made in the area.
However, delivering fibre broadband is both commercially and technically challenging. So, when an
exchange is upgraded, it doesn’t mean that all cabinets are upgraded at the same time. We’ve been
clear about this in our communications.
We’ve always said our fibre broadband rollout is strictly commercial. The Dickie homes residents
receive their service via cabinet 13. Sadly, this hasn’t been upgraded as unfortunately, this cabinet
has fewer working connections to justify the commercial investment. But we do keep all such cabinets
under review in case circumstances change or there are any technological developments.
As for the other residents listed on Craigsheen/Woodside/Busby Road, their premises haven’t been
included in the fibre rollout because they fall into a small proportion of homes and businesses that are
routed directly to their local exchange (without a roadside cabinet), by what we call an exchange only
(EO) line. This makes it slightly more complicated to connect them as we have to provide an
EO lines do present a challenge in delivering fibre broadband. However we do now have technical
solutions we routinely use to overcome them, but because they are economically challenging they are
usually only deployed via the public funding route.
You may have heard of the Digital Scotland BDUK project – in which BT is a delivery partner. Its aim
is to deploy fibre broadband in areas not covered by private commercial markets. It’s is a massive
engineering project with complex technical challenges. It has made good progress so far and it aims
to cover 95% of premises in Scotland by March 2018.
If residents haven’t already done so, I suggest they contact the Digital Scotland project team to let
them know of their requirement and to see if their postcodes can be factored in their future
plans. However, that decision will rest with the project team who are managing the delivery of the
programme. The website below has more information on the project and how to get in touch with the
Separately, we have pledged to extend fibre broadband for the remaining few percent of UK premises
that are unlikely to be covered by public or private commercial plans. This will involve engaging with
local communities to explore innovative funding and technical solutions.
It may help if I explain that in more than 150 locations we have worked with the communities directly
and delivered fibre broadband sooner than would otherwise have been possible. These solutions are
usually better suited for areas that are not in any commercial or public plans.
If a local community is interested in this option then more details can be found on our web link
I’m really sorry that I’m unable to offer an immediate solution for the residents involved here, but I
hope my response helps to explain the current situation and it assures you of our ambition to bring
fibre broadband to as many communities as we can.
Please get back to me if I’ve missed anything. If I don’t hear back from you by midday on Monday 30
January, I’ll assume that you don’t need anything further from me and will close this case.
High level complaints – Customer resolutions
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Letter to John Lawless from Lucy Kirwan at CEO Office: Openreach. Feb 2018
Hi Mr Lawless Feb 2nd 2018
I’ve had a look at what plans we have for the area for you.
So far we already have two cabinets which serve the bulk of properties on Busby Road and Picketlaw Farm Road, and the wider Carmunnock area. The cabinets are 1 and 13 on Busby exchange. The cabinets were already in situ and so the upgrade to fibre provided broadband to the lines already connected to those cabs.
For Exchange Only (EO) lines, we will either install a new cabinet or provide an alternative network via Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). Diverting lines into an existing cabinet tends to require just as much work as installing a new cabinet, and there’s an impact on the service that existing customers will get form the cabinet once you’re providing more and more properties from it.
So we are in the process of installing a third cabinet in Carmunnock, cabinet 19, and EO lines in the area will be diverted into that cabinet. I’ve had a word with the project manager and the project was only greenlit late last year, so at the moment we’re looking at winter 2018 for completion.
For properties outside of the main village, sadly at present there are currently no plans to extend fibre services.
I’ve also reviewed properties along Busby Road connected to cabinet 3 in Busby. The cables running into Carmunnock run from the Busby exchange. The service is provided from west to east from Busby into Carmunnock, along the Carmunnock Road.
When we connect service we run the line into the cabinet and then outwards from there to small distribution points (DPs). The DP must always be beyond the cabinet. The DPs that provide service to the properties you’re referring to are located prior to cabinet 13. So the cable would have to come up Carmunnock Road, into cabinet 13, then back down Carmunnock Road to reach the premises in question.
This would make the lines longer than they need to be, than if they simply ran up Carmunnock Road and straight into the premises. As a result copper broadband service, which relies very heavily on the distance of the line from the exchange to the premises, would be prejudiced if we made the line longer than it needed to be. I appreciate that the demand is for fibre service, however we’re obliged to support copper broadband and so we can’t complete any work that would prejudice a copper service.
While its good news for the vast majority of residents within Carmunnock, I appreciate that there’s still more to do. The work that’s already been completed has been done so using funds from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) BDUK project. The project uses Government funds to provide fibre services in areas where there is no commercial investment.
DSSB have an ambition to cover 100% of premises across Scotland by the close of 2021, so for areas that aren’t currently in any plans there will be scope in the future for fibre to be extended to those areas not currently covered. My advice would be to contact the project team to make them aware of requirements for the area so they can be factored into their future plans. More information can be found on their website below:
I’m genuinely sorry that I don’t have an immediate solution for all residents, but I hope that you find the above information useful in clarifying the current situation.
Directors Service Office BWA33C
DSO & Customer Resolution