About 30 households from the Cricket Ground heading east along the Oakley Green Road still have a pitiful broadband service. BT and Openreach claim no more than 0.1 Mbps for the speed these customers might be able to achieve.
We have continued our correspondence with BT and Openreach as this looked like some sort of catastrophic failure in signal level. The distribution map of the route from the cabinet on the A308 (available on www.ogafcap.co.uk) shows that by the time it reaches SL4 4QF west of Braywood Cricket Club there is still a reasonably healthy 16.5 Mbps available. Then, in the space of only a couple of hundred meters heading east, some sort of catastrophe drops the speed to a miserable 0.1 Mbps.
This remains true for the rest of SL4 4QF until the service changes to the Windsor exchange at the eastern extremity of the map where the service from Dedworth Road is providing in the region of 20 Mbps or more. We requested an explanation as this is clearly an infrastructure issue and not related to any particular Service Provider.
We were told that properties west of the Cricket Club are served by Distribution Point 4560, while those to the east are served by two different distribution points - one in the region of Green Acres, and one near Braywood Lodge. By the time lines reach from the cabinet on the A308 to these two distribution points they have travelled a further 1.1 km, resulting in the degraded service.
As the service from the Windsor exchange along the eastern portion of Oakley Green Road is providing around 20 Mbps we asked if it is possible to switch the affected properties onto the Windsor exchange. Openreach said :
“It would require significant work and investment to provide new infrastructure and cabling back to a different serving exchange. Although a line to this exchange may be shorter, we cannot be sure what broadband speeds can be delivered on a particular line until a full line test is done following the provision of new cabling. There’s therefore no guarantee that a faster broadband service could be made to work once this considerable expenditure is undertaken. Any other customers in the area would also need to agree to the change of telephone number which would be needed if their services are to be delivered from a different exchange. Therefore, it is our policy not to provide service from a different exchange. Also the costs to make such infrastructural changes would be commercially unviable. Moreover, such infrastructure changes require Ofcom approval.”
In response to our additional queries concerning upgrading connections to distribution points we were told :
“we would not look to move lines from one DP to another, as it would likely not improve the speeds significantly to bring them within range of fibre broadband. Also it would have major implications on the capacity of DP’s.”
We may have to accept that we are now up against the buffers having achieved what is possible for the moment. But this really isn’t acceptable in the 21st Century only 25 miles from Central London and we are still trying to investigate possible alternatives. These include various commercial satellite services, local distribution hubs, etc. As a Communications Work Group we will of course try to help as much as possible, but it seems as if the best way forward is for these particular residents to join forces to form their own action group.
Please let us know if there are other residents still with slow or no broadband.