Project Update – January 29th

There has been a flurry of activity in the area recently – primarily from Openreach, their sub-contractors, Surrey CC Highways and SSE power company.   We can confirm that the work is well and truly underway working towards Openreach’s “Ready for Service” date for both new cabinets of the end of February.   The new cabinets will be placed on their positions next week (Cabinet 28 at crossroads) and the week after (Cabinet 21 at Hydon Heath). The fibre cable is already part installed from Busbridge.  Roadworks will be in place to allow the rest to be laid.

We should briefly mention that the on-the-ground works are a little later than expected. Behind the scenes we have been applying sustained pressure on BT Openreach since July to provide tangible evidence and assurance that they will not fail on the key deliverables (to use corporate speak for a moment) of delivery on time, and to the level of service they promised.   It is an understatement to say that has been like crawling over hot coals in a thin string vest.  We have exerted pressure personally, through political channels locally, and at the highest level of BT Group.  Despite our best efforts a few unforseen (by Openreach) factors had caused delays – delays that they say they hope to be accommodated by overlapping works in the next 4 weeks.   We have been assured that at the moment Openreach are working towards the cabinets to be Ready for Service by the last day of February – as originally scheduled.  We will update everyone should this change.

Secondly we should flag that ready for service won’t necessarily mean you’ll have an instant opportunity to upgrade on March 1st.  As explained at our December get together, ready for service means the cabinets will be powered up and connected – only then are the internet service providers (ISP’s) told they can sell new services to residents.    ISP’s do take some time to get their systems to recognise the cabinets as upgraded.  We should be patient – and rest assured, the selected pioneers will be testing the water first so when the networks are ready for us to all jump in – we will be confident to give everyone the go ahead.

We will soon be publishing guides on how to prepare for the upgrade and what you’ll need to do to sign up for fibre.

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