Slow progress on Superfast Broadband rollout

I wrote in March about a petty dispute between BT and Hammersmith and Fulham Council which was delaying 6,600 homes in the borough gaining access to Superfast Broadband. It concerns how much to charge for street works and the disputed sum was only £4,000!

The Council’s Network Management, Transport and Highways has now written to say:

“I am writing to give you the latest update regarding the above issue further to my previous communications with you all. Some of you may already be aware from direct contact from Mr Campling of BT Openreach that HAUC England, the national body who represents the street and road works industry, have produced guidance on how highways authorities should treat the continued roll out of broadband.

“As you may recall we were in dispute with BT Openreach on how these works should be categorised and how they should be notified. I am pleased to say that the recently released guidance makes it clear where there are a high concentration of broadband cabinets in one area that they should be treated as major works, which is what we have been suggesting all along. The guidance also provides BT with some flexibility regarding notifying isolated cabinets as standard works, providing that all the electrical connection works are also carried out within the allowed 10day duration, which BT previously were unable to commit to. We will monitor this closely. If they fail to achieve all works within the 10 days then we will be permitted to also retrospectively treat these works as major works.

“I am pleased that National HAUC have produced this guidance in such a short space of time and it now allows us to work closely with BT Openreach on facilitating the quickest available deployment for these works. We have already been told that their operational team will be in contact with us shortly so I expect works on some sites will commence very soon.”

Absurd that this has taken so long. Often residents work from home. I don’t know what “very soon” means but I will keep pushing away….

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