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Broadband blog - January 2019

An update on everything you need to know about Broadband this month

Coverage update

G.Fast coverage has hit another milestone, passing the 1.5 million premises mark. It is now available at 1.6 million premises.

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) is now available to just under 800,000 premises, and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) also continues to increase in coverage, available at over 28.8 million sites.

Find out more about the scheme.

To get details of our arrangements, please email Alison Wilks at alison.wilks@bt.com.

Industry news

Auto Compansation

Auto Compensation is a new Ofcom scheme which starts on 1 April to compensate residential consumers for late provision, late repair and missed appointments on their landline or broadband services. We will pass through a set of new KCI messages with details of any eligible orders/faults and associated auto compensation payments to our CPs.

Other updates

G.Fast self-install trial

We are pleased to announce that a trial for G.Fast self-install orders will commence on 4 February 2019.

We will offer the self-install option for G.Fast provisions where line speed consistently achieves 200Mpbs or above, and has a “line test ok” result.  Lines below this threshold will only be offered G.Fast as a managed install (engineer visit) for the foreseeable future.  We expect the trial to be about 3 months, but the duration will depend on volume.   

For the duration of the trial, we’ll offer G.Fast self-install to qualifying CPs as a one box solution only.  So anyone who wants to participate in the self-install trial will need to be provisioning one of the G.Fast approved modems (modems that have undergone MCT).

If you require any further information, details on appropriate modems, or if you have any other queries regarding G.Fast, please contact your Account Manager, or BT Wholesale Fibre Product Line.

CSPs updated/revised – escalations and contact points

We have recently updated our Customer Service Plans (CSPs) to provide CPs with the latest ordering, repair and billing processes for our products and services, together with key contact information and any service guarantees. Please make sure you are using these to ensure that you access the correct escalations and contact points.

You can find the CSPs here.

21C Rollout and 20C retirement

The plan to retire our first generation broadband (20C IPstream - 8Mbps ADSL) is nearly complete with just 178 exchanges left to upgrade.

The program required us to upgrade nearly 6 thousand exchanges where our 20C IPstream services were present, replacing them with 21C services based on ADSL2+ and where possible GEA/FTTC technology. All so we can give our customers a faster, more efficient service with speeds of up to 80Mbps.

The initial phase concluded in December 2014 with 2,762 exchanges upgraded, followed by a further 850 exchanges in December 2016.

At the start of our final phase in 2017 a remaining 1,950 exchanges were left to upgrade. However, to allow us provide 21C services to these sites whilst maintaining the best possible customer experience, we’ve had to change our processes & approach.

We needed to install 21C equipment into the exchange alongside the legacy 20C equipment and run them both in parallel, often for a prolonged period of time. Within this period of parallel running we’ve planned and managed the migration of end users between the two services.

During our final phase we’ve opted for an overnight exchange enablement process; requiring us to remove the 20C equipment and replace it with new 21C equipment within an overnight window starting from midnight. This approach has allowed us to minimise any service disruptions to the hundreds of active end users using the service.

This new approach & process has proven to be very successful for our customers, allowing us to upgrade over 1,600 exchanges to the new 21C service over the last 18 months and, more importantly, 4,000 end users were moved with minimum disruption and are currently enjoying their new, faster services.

Did you know?

We publish deployment reports which provide the latest update on FTTP, FTTC and Gfast availability, for our customers. We update the reports weekly and show the latest exchanges and cabinets with FTTC availability and the latest premises with FTTP and Gfast availability.

For more information or to request access to a report please contact us at btw.fibre.prod.line@bt.com.

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