Fibre Installation - What Happens
The process of installing fibre takes around six weeks if everything goes to plan. The process starts with a visit by a Survey Officer and is overseen by a Job Control team.
The Survey Officer will identify a proposed Route at an early stage, and at this point may want agreement from the building owner before proceeding any further - after all any issues with the building could jeopardize the whole job and/or require changes to the route. Typically a Wayleave Document or Permit To Work will be required from the building owner - and if the building owner does not respond promptly the installation immediately becomes delayed.
Once all permits are in place, it may be necessary to check the integrity of the route (for example probing ducts with a "test rod"). As soon as the planner is happy with all this, Excess Construction Costs (ECC) if any will be confirmed, and the customer has the opportunity to accept these - or not.
The Installation Process
The below refers to customer premises work. In the background other "Externals" will be done (sometimes including road digging) to provide a route to your premises.
- An external cable (usually black) comes in to the building at the location ("intake") agreed based on practicalities, ducts etc
- An internal cable (white) is run from the Intake location to the location where you actually want the service (comms room etc)
- This is sometimes done by a contractor and not Openreach
- These are joined in a "gas seal" box (to protect you from nasty gases coming up through the pipe)
- At the end of the internal cable you get a white box on the wall OR a slim rack-mounted "splice tray"
- From the white box or splice tray you will get an orange "pig tail" cable.
- At this point a "fit and test" is scheduled - whereupon the "NTE" (network termination equipment) is installed and connected to the orange pigtail cable
- Within 24 hours the line will be available to you (during this time the NTE is being tested and configured)
Important Facts and Golden Rules
- The Job Control team will only have one contact for the customer site ("the B end")
- Whoever that is needs to answer any calls from Openreach, and return calls promptly, or the installation may be delayed.
- Early in the process the Planner will want the landlord's contact details. Provide these accurately and without delay - and make sure the landlord is briefed to reply promptly
- Frequently engineers will want to arrive to do major work with very little notice - and if you delay the work it may delay the installation. This is seldom avoidable.
- Occasionally engineers will show up giving no notice at all. It is in the customer's interest to let them do their work if so.
- If Openreach calls, it's essential to take the person's name, contact number and a clear explanation of what they are calling about. Venus will happily clarify anything, but always take a detailed message!
- Planners and Job Controllers are your only hope of a prompt installation. Treat them with the greatest reverence.
Things that can delay a fibre installation
- Any delay in response to any request from Openreach or other carrier
- Delay in providing Wayleave or Permit to Work by Landlord or Building Owner
- If Civil Engineering is required (road dig etc) or access to a manhole in the middle of a road, a Local Authority Permit may be required - any delay obtaining this will affect delivery date