Incipient FTTP

An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

Surprisingly, it looks like there will be fibre-to-the-premises available at my house site pretty soon.

I'd long assumed that my broadband at Perihelion would have to come from 4 or 5G from the towers across the valley. My neighbours up the road have ADSL on a copper pair which only gets about 5 Mbits/s down which, while usable, would be a bit tedious and not be worth paying to have the road cut, etc, to get (the bundle of copper wires is buried under the verge on the other side of the road).

About a fortnight ago some contractors were laying pipes at the bottom of the road. At first I assumed it was just for drainage but as they carried on up I realised that it was an awfully small pipe for any significant amount of drainage and then I noticed that they were feeding a rope through so began to get my hopes up.

Last Monday two of them were walking up past my house, obviously planning the next stage of operations so I intercepted them: “Hi, could I ask what you're laying the pipe for?”, “It's for BT to feed optical fibre through”, “Oh excellent, that's the right answer…”.

I asked if it would be on my side of the road or on the other side (where the copper lines already are), they said on the other side (which was a bit disappointing) but then they pointed out where they had spray paint marked up for an access point on my side “in case you ever want it”. We had a chat about the implications for my tarmacking my entrance, etc, which doesn't seem to be a problem.

The middle of the week was wet and windy with a bit of snow so I stayed at home but when I arrived on Friday morning there was a cut across the road and my entrance area to a box buried in the ground.

Openreach will be along later to actually pull/push/suck/blow/whatever the fibres in. I don't know if they'll put a fibre to that box immediately or just leave it there to be able to push one in later, presumably to join in the manhole about 50 metres down the road.

This is all a bit of a surprise as there are other more densely populated roads in the area which haven't been done yet. I wonder if they've been having problems with the copper pairs up the hill and, rather than mess around diagnosing and fixing them, they've just decided to move this road up the priority list. A win if that's what's happened.