UK(NI) FTTP Openreach Broadband installation delay

Posted 25th Nov 2022
Hi there,

Northern Ireland, city, not rural area, currently stuck in a limbo for few months with the FTTP installation. We moved to the apartment building recently, were expecting broadband to be installed when we moved in, but everything went downhill every since.

Openreach was supposed to come in a couple of times to check, date/time were given, nobody showed up.

Updates are always "some external work has to be done at the property" with no other information.

The recent update I got is that now after all of this waiting Openreach said that they have to do the Survey. Because they said they only have two Survey people/contractors for Northern Ireland and with how orders are, the soonest date appears to be in March of 2023 - this is just for Survey alone, not even mentioning installation date.

The word "Survey" only came up after 2 months, before it was always "external work" etc. Only after that time Openreach apparently has said to the broadband supplier that they have to first do the "Survey" few months into 2023.
What happened with the previous external work - that did not happen or appointments that did not happen either - I do not know.

I am stuck worried and really confused:

  • Why exactly does it take so long to do anything at the property? We live in an area with people using Openreach, building next door and behind us using FTTP and building in front of us getting FTTP installed last week (same contractor/building management).
  • Why the only thing we can get is FTTP? We all work from home and we really rely on our broadband. Having big speeds are nice, but having any access to a broadband is better than having nothing for a year+.

Any provider we check, only seem to offer FTTP (Openreach) - no VDSL, DSL, ADSL, FTTC.
It was important for us to get anything just to get going but nobody seems to be offering that anymore?
5G/4G is not good here.

Our downstairs neighbors and next door neighbors in the same building are using BT Internet that is not FTTP - why is that not offered to us?

It is super scary waiting so long for anything to be installed with no option to receive any details, seeing everyone else around using FTTP or other means of getting a broadband. Not sure why it happens to our apartment, previous tenants had broadband that they stopped a week before we moved in, sockets from Openreach they used are still on the walls.

Here I am also attaching information from "BT Broadband Availability Checker".

Not sure if anyone has been going through similar situation or works in a field and knows more details that they can provide, but please give me some hope (or options).

Thanks in advance
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  1. Avatar
    traditional broadband is being phased out so thats probably why theyre not offering it to you anymore. your neighbours have either had it for ages or theyve just squeezed in before it was stopped.


    its basically as it says.. someone needs come and have a look. then someone will come and do the external work which is the box thatll be outside your property that connects to the exchange. once thats installed things should move faster and shouldnt be long before the engineer will come and connect up the internal optical cable.

    if theres limited engineers then theres not much you can do. youre at the mercy of their availability and how popular its all been in your local area. this time of the year is the worst. everyones grabbed black friday deals. i had it myself 3 or 4 years ago, i took the deal around now but it took until march to be sorted. but it was worth it in the end...


    unfortunately theres not much you can do. mobile broadband would have been my suggestion as a temporary measure but if the signal is that bad then obviously thats a no go. maybe you can work out some kind of deal with a neighbour if the signal is strong enough.


    maybe give them a call now and again just incase theres an issue theyve not told you about. when i was waiting for mine i had specified keeping my existing number. but that wasnt possible so the order was on hold. noone bothered to tell me though. it wasnt until i rang up and spoke to the fttp team they spotted the issue. but i doubt youve got that problem.
  2. Avatar
    FTTP doesn't arrive on the same cabling as 'ye olde' broadband. Most typically FTTP being available means it is installed to the roadside and then when someone orders it they turn up to throw up/feed through a fibre cable from the pole or underground hole to the home.

    So the external work is to take it from the roadside, into the property. And the survey will be to work out how that is to be done, given that this is an apartment building it isn't as simple as a single home.

    Try a smaller independent ISP to see if they can shed any extra light. Someone like AAISP might be able to service you and give you a little bit more detail.
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    Isn't AAISP a metered connection though? I don;t thnk I could cope with a data limited internet connection now!
  3. Avatar
    I challenge your statement about no 4G/5G - how many different ISPs have you tried. I have worked & travelled to every city in Northern Ireland (there are only 5!) and I have never had a connection issue (the only annoying this is that Londonderry & Newry kept welcoming me to Ireland and data roaming charges popped up - that was with 3 & O2).
    Also there is a lot of bureaucracy involved with delivering FTTP to any building especially residential buildings!
    I would recommend you address your questions directly at the ISP and have them explain themselves?
    I feel your pain as I have had some "fun" with Virgin Media - my connection issue started in July and I now have a date of 6th December, although that does not guarantee a fix!

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  4. Avatar
    I work for a communications provider that uses the Openreach network. At the moment, Openreach have an extremely low resource of engineer nationwide and this is affecting all service providers. They have advised they are hoping to bring service levels back to normal by the new year. You are in a FTTP only area so as you’ve found, you can only order FTTP.

    Your neighbour that has copper based services likely had this before Openreach stopped selling it, so this will mean once they cancel their contract or move to another supplier, they will have to upgrade.

    Do an availability check on a few neighbours address and see if copper based services are available, if they are, it’s a records issue.

    Your what’s known a KCI2 Assure install or 2 stage. It’s one of the most complex installs and it requires a survey prior any work starting. Generally with these type of installs, a installation appointment will not be booked until all external work has been completed. My best advice would be to stick with your current provider as ultimately it’s Openreach who is the network provider, so you’d be in the same position with another provider. Every provider has escalations routes into Openreach which they can raise at certain points.
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