my fibred street and BT Openreach not supplying my ISP (Vodafone)

I have sent the following mail to BT Openreach via Resolver, and cc'd it to my complaints contact in Vodafone. It concerns the availability of fibre at my exchange, but Vodafone not being able to get it for me as they have already filled up their allocation (which apparently BT Openreach control). The whole matter seems shrouded in mystery and I want to find out the truth. There is a lot of muttering about BT Openreache's control of fibre allocation being unethical, that spare capacity is sold to the highest bidder. If anyone want to enlighten me please do - here's the story:
This `complaint’ to you, BT-O (BT-O), is being copied to V (V) and Moneysavingexpert.

I was with the same provider, Demon, for about 15 years), before V took over most of Demon’s clients. When I moved house in Nov 2015, I was told by V that my street address was shortly to be fibred, and it was in early 2016 . Later in the year (responding to V fibre ads), I asked about moving to fibre. To cut a very long story short, they said it was not available. It took me a long time to het a precise reason why it was not available. Late last year I investigated what role you, BT-O play in the situation.

Using this link (for inquiring about Superfast fibre actually - hah!),, I came up with this:
Exchange name: Edinburgh Newington
Exchange status: Fibre enabled
Cabinet number: 35
Technology: FTTC

So, I contacted you (BT-O). It took you about 2 months and 2 mails to receive a reply mail (Nov 22 2017) which said:

`I've had a look at this for you and can see the cabinet 35 of the NEWINGTON exchange is fibre enabled and ready for you to place an order with your chosen service provider (SP). Please visit our website for details of SPs who offer fibre products to their customers'.
Best wishes,Dashmeet,Fibre Enquiries Team ([email protected])


One would think this was good news and V is indeed listed on your link (about SPs offering fibre). This employee of yours is confirming the available capacity. But getting back to V and providing them with the BT-O info, only resulted in the following information from them.

I am sorry that your recent experience with V led you to call. On behalf of Nick Jeffery please accept my sincere apologies. Following on from your call today. I have taken the following steps to resolve your complaint:
1) An explain on why fibre is unavailable for your premise
• V only owns so many positions within a fibre cabinet, V has now reached capacity for your allotment in your cabinet, these work on a first come first serve bases and unfortunately we do not have a waiting list facility or a timescale that could be given
• If this cabinet is upgraded to have more available positions to claim(not controlled by V) or if V fibre customers either move away or switch providers then some would become usable
• However the only way you would know would be to contact us routinely to ask.
Neil Munro (Customer Relations (Directors Office), V Limited,
V HQ, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 2FN


It seems, you, BT-O, control the allocation. There is spare capacity at my exchange, but apparently you have allotted it to other ISPs, even though much of it is not taken it up (as has been the many many months. The word on the `street’ is that your control over the allotting of fibre to ISPs is ethically unacceptable. This is a view I’ve developed from the information I have come across, not just online but from conversations with persons employed by ISPs. Apparently if I move to someone else, like the company you were once joined with (BT),I can get fibre!

At the present moment, there is no way of joining a queue for fibre, so that if someone gives up a fibre line (for V), I could get it. At a time when there is meant to be around 95% fibre coverage in the UK, and with the Scottish Government saying `…the programme currently aims to ensure that 95% of premises in Scotland are put within reach of the new “high speed fibre broadband” network by the end of March 2018, I, in the City of Edinburgh,seat of the Scottish Government can't get fibre.

The whole issue of the allotting of fibre seems masked in obscurity. So, I demand that BT-O, give me a clear answer about why you can’t let V supply me with fibre when it’s there to be used. Or maybe you can – do let me know if so.


  • Browntoa
    Browntoa Posts: 49,269
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    As blocks are allocated to sky, talk talk etc AND Vodafone. Openreach cannot take allocated plant reserved for another ISP . Vodafone I assume have underestimated their needs and all the fibre is now fully allocated in blocks amongst the others

    Not sure why this is unethical ?
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  • JJ_Egan
    JJ_Egan Posts: 20,281
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    Television ??
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 26,612
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    medindexer wrote: »
    The word on the `street’ is that your control over the allotting of fibre to ISPs is ethically unacceptable.
    Did you really send this comment?
    medindexer wrote: »
    Apparently if I move to someone else, like the company you were once joined with (BT),I can get fibre!
    So the simple way to resolve your problem is to change your ISP!

    You are not forced to join BT, of course, as other providers are also available.
  • littleboo
    littleboo Posts: 1,463
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    Did you really send this comment?

    ..and expect to be taken seriously?
  • steveE2
    steveE2 Posts: 1,299
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    I don't know why you're complaining about OR,they are telling you capacity is available to any ISP wishing to order.

    What this seems to me is Vodafone have installed their own equipment at the exchange and this is at full capacity and they are the only ones who could increase it but due to space or cost issues this is not viable.This would explain why you can place an order with another ISP.

    OR does not pre book ports for any ISP,this would be pointless they need to sell as many connections as possible.
    If OR did reserve say 50 ports for company A which took a cabinet to full do you really think they would refuse a paying order from company B?
    If it were possible there would be nothing stopping company A reserving all ports on cabinets as they are activated thus stopping any other company from being able to supply,even gummy OFCOM would have something to say about that!
  • iniltous
    iniltous Posts: 2,974
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    edited 23 January 2018 at 5:37PM
    You have been completely mislead by Vodafone, the VDSL ports are not pre allocated to ISP's , that would be ridiculous, if say BT 'sold' all their ports , but TT and Plusnet had unsold ports , why would OR would increase the number of ports in the cabinet, when there are spare ports available just not with a particular ISP ?
    Or, if ports were pre allocated, on what basis ...OR have a duty to treat all ISP equally, so do tiny niche providers get the same number of pre allocated ports as major mass market ISP's ?

    The fact is that if the VDSL cab has ports available, from the ISP's point of view, it's first come first served, so if Sky get a customer for FTTC they get the next free port,
    Etc...if the cabinet is full, all ISP's are told that , and if the want they add the customer to a waiting list ( waiting for the cab to have extra ports added , or an existing FTTC customers to cease their service.)

    If Vodafone told you the cab was full when it wasn't, then that's Vodafone's error, if they told you it was full and it was, then other providers would not be able to offer service either.

    Capacity is fluid, it could be full today , and then a port becomes available tomorrow so it's no longer full, but ISP customers on the waiting list would presumably snap up the port as soon as one is available , you can find out yourself if the cab in question has a waiting list ( so it's full)

    You are directing your fire at the wrong people, it's Vodafone you should be questioning
  • Well, that's interesting. I prefer the less critical comments! A lot of you are knowledegable it seems, and I am not, so please don't shout at me for not knowing. I have been complaining to Vodafone for a long time and it is only now that I have switched to BT-O as a target (it may be the wrong target if you say so but I'm not to know that after the most recent email I received from V about the problem).
    You say switch - yes I could - but it's not always easy and I'm a one person business and don't want to lose my BB supply for any time - and this has happened before so I'm cautious).
    I just wish that I could converse with both V and BT-O to find out if there is a solution without switching.
    Thanks in general for the replies, but I can't quite work out who to pressure. Can someone suggest the best process.
    Am I totally wrong to blame BT-O? If not, then what do I say to V?
  • If you want to stay with Vodafone, your only option is to pressure Vodafone. You are not Openreach's customer, putting pressure on them directly won't work as they are not answerable to you.

    It is a tragedy that Demon ended up in Vodafone's hands, they were once groundbreaking and innovative, and really knew their stuff.

    Proud member of the wokerati, though I don't eat tofu.Home is where my books are.Solar PV 5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.Mortgage free July 2023
  • medindexer wrote: »
    You say switch - yes I could - but it's not always easy and I'm a one person business and don't want to lose my BB supply for any time - and this has happened before so I'm cautious).

    It's usually very easy but of course there's no guarantees unless you use a business contract like anyone else using it for business purposes.
    If you want to stay with Vodafone, your only option is to pressure Vodafone.

    Pressure them to do what? If there's no slots free then they can't just magic them up.
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