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London
Saturday, November 27, 2021

BT took an age to install our community centre’s superfast broadband

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Back in March I placed an order with BT for “superfast enhanced” broadband for the community centre which I help run as a volunteer in Hastings.

It is now almost six months on and we are no nearer to having a working broadband connection. We were upgrading from a basic TalkTalk package which was cut off in March. We have now had multiple visits from Openreach but every time that the engineer arrives on site, they have been given instructions to connect us to a street cabinet that is some distance from our property and they cannot complete the job. Ironically we have a cabinet just outside our car park, but the instructions don’t appear to allow the engineers to use that.

The problem has left us relying on a poor 4G mobile connection. Each time that Openreach has attended the site it has failed to complete the job. BT then cancels our order and opens a new one. I have phoned so many times but the same thing keeps happening and we are growing incredibly frustrated.

We are in northeast Hastings, one of the most socially deprived areas of the country, and our centre needs a working connection. Please help.

JB
, Hastings

This has been an extraordinary case and one that the media regulator Ofcom could use as a case study. After I asked Openreach to investigate you were contacted by the BT chairman’s office, but it still took several more weeks for your internet access to be turned on. In the end, it took 15 Openreach engineer visits for it to happen – which may be some kind of record. The thing that you found most frustrating was the fact that you couldn’t speak to the people who were tasked with doing the actual work. Every time you explained the problem, this was ignored.

BT has apologised, offered £500 compensation, and refunded all of the payments made. Openreach says: “We’re really sorry this took longer than it should’ve to resolve thanks to an error in our records. The error basically made our systems think the centre was connected to a different street cabinet, and this led to a number of aborted visits by our engineers before we could correctly identify the issue.”

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