Success

It would seem that we’re seeing good speeds (30 mbps seems to be the average) and a solid connection for everyone that’s connected to the new service. That’s a big relief.

Speaking personally, it’s made a tremendous difference to my ability to work from home, and hopefully it’s made a positive impact to you all too.

Thanks for all the support over the past couple of years. It was a bit more painful than we anticipated but so definitely worth it in the long run, and thankfully it didn’t cost us a penny.

I formally declare this project complete!

Dave

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Connection speeds

I’d be very interested to hear your new broadband speeds to those who are now connected…please do comment on this and let us know.

I did a connection test on my connection and got 30mbps…

A fairly sizeable improvement on last week…

Ready to Order

The superfast service has just gone live, so you will now be able to place an order for fibre broadband.

I’ve just placed my order with my existing supplier (Sky) which should be available in 5-10 working days.

Just as a reminder, you can choose any deal for your broadband service and you don’t have to use BT as your chosen supplier. I find good customer service is key.

I’ll post my new download speed up here when it goes live, I’d be very interested to hear everyone’s speed and reliability once your service goes live.

Dave

Final connection

I had word that the final connection is going ahead on Tuesday, with the cabinet going live the following day.

All being well , BT will ‘release’ the fibre-enabled cabinet to suppliers on Wednesday next week, ready for us to place the order. BT are contacting me to confirm, and I’ll post on here when we’re ready to go.

Dave

Cabling complete…

The last major milestone completed today, the fibre is now in all the way from Knutsford into the cabinet.

All that’s left to do now is to connect up both ends and test the service. We’re looking to complete this ready for ordering Thursday/Friday next week.

A big day 3 years in the making!

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Almost there…

Finally looks like we’re getting somewhere. The very last piece of work on the Chelford Road is booked in for next Tuesday – they’ve had a nightmare with multiple blockages and collapsed ducting.

The fibre is at due to be ‘blown’ down the route next Wednesday/Thursday. Once this is completed, it needs to be connected up both ends, tested and commissioned.

BT then notify all the suppliers (Talk Talk, Sky, BT etc.) that they can start accepting orders. It looks like we’re going to be able to place an order for the upgraded service the first week back after Easter.  Fingers crossed.

Thanks for your patience on this!

Dave

Weather…

Hi there – I’m away this week, but thought I would share an email I have received from BT – the short version is the weather has pushed us back a couple of weeks until the middle of March. I’ll keep you posted with any further updates as I get them.

“After our call last week I found out that our contractors were having issues at the Knutsford end of the spine affecting about 250m. We have had to put in additional permits with Cheshire Highways and have to re-align our traffic management resource to accommodate this.   

The weather has also had an impact on cabling and the remaining civils this week. As engineers have been stood down. I have spoken to Cheshire East Highways to get support regarding permits and last minute changes, they are supporting us and we will be working out of hours next week under traffic management permits.

Unfortunately this has caused a unexpected delay in the planned delivery date we discussed last week which I apologise for.

The plan now is to compete the cabling next week starting 5th March and completing 10th – 11th March then blowing the fibre from the 12th March this will take 3 -4 days.  

David, I appreciate how disappointing and frustrating this will be to you and the residents, but please be assured I am working closely with our contractors and their management team to keep driving this forward and complete the structure as soon as possible.”

Power-up

Things seem to be finally moving in the right direction, we now have power to the Cabinet – many thanks to Denise and Richard at Spinney Cottage for allowing work on their property to allow this to happen.

The last piece we expect to see happening is the installation of the fibre itself which should be happening in the next two weeks. All being well, we should be able to order the improved service from around 4th March.

Good news from our neighbours in Warburton, Lymm who have just gone live with their improved service, using the same voucher funding mechanism pioneered on our scheme. They have seen a massive speed improvement from around 1- 2 mbps to close to 40 mbps. They’re understandably delighted with the improvement.

Updated delivery date

I’ve been in a number of rather rather tense and frustrating conversations with BT on the delivery date over the last few weeks about their reasons for the continued delay in the delivery of our super-fast service, and when they are actually going to deliver.

BT/Openreach have had a number of complications they did not cater for in their plans including:

  • Roadworks being upgraded from ‘Minor’ to ‘Major’ works by Cheshire East meaning a 3 month delay
  • The power connection for the green box needed permission from the landowner to complete works opn their property
  • United utilities are working on the same stretch of road

The new delivery date is now 4th March, after which we should be able to place orders for the upgraded service (more on this in a future post).

In terms of what happened, my opinion is, despite assurances to the contrary, BT simply started the whole process too late and left no wiggle room for any unplanned tasks. I have made our frustration very clear indeed to the highest levels at BT.  Whether this has any effect remains to be seen.

I have been assured they have everything they need to complete and there are no obstacles in the way of the 4th March delivery date. You should see a lot of activity in the coming weeks along the Chelford Rd, hopefully the traffic queues will be worth it in the long run!

Dave

Delay :-(

Unfortunately I heard yesterday that Cheshire East council have refused permission for the traffic management required near the Parkfield road cabinet to allow the fibre run to be completed. This is due to an ‘embargo’ on any roadworks over the Christmas period. Openteach tried, in vain, to appeal against this decision.

This work will now be put back until January 8th, which means we’ll miss the November switch on.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, I’m currently pushing for Openreach to give me a new date and will provide a further update once I know more.