Recently my Sky Fibre Pro broadband has been playing up, when initially installed it was performing well at around 58mbps/18mbps which compared to previous ADSL is light-speed. A few weeks ago I decided that the degradation was at a point where it needed to be looked into, so I called Sky Fibre support and ran through the usual turning it off and on, resetting etc… After all of these steps didn’t resolve the problem a BT Openreach engineer was booked and arrived (on the dot of 8am on a Saturday!).
The short version of the engineer visit was a line fault was found and repaired and the line should be back to speed within 24 hours, whereas in reality a fault may have been found and fixed but the line definitely didn’t get back up to speed. Fast forward three weeks of me being busy and I decided to call Sky again who again ran through the usual steps before booking an engineer visit.
Well today was the day the engineer arrived, he ran the usual line test with his equipment and deduced there was an HR fault (high resistance), he said he had escalated it to the UG team (under ground) as the fault lies between the street cabinet and the pole opposite my house. He also fitted a new wall socket just in-case that was also causing issues. After 10 minutes of him leaving I went to check my computer and found that the Openreach modem just wasn’t connecting at all, so I tested it with a spare cable, no joy! After another call to Sky unhappy that the engineer left the broadband in an unusable state while waiting for the fault to be escalated, Sky assured me that Openreach had pushed the job to the front of the queue and somebody would be on it as soon as possible.
I spent a few hours surfing using a 3G USB modem, which at the best of times can be rather slow (usually only 2mbps!) at which point a second engineer turned up, as soon as I explained what had gone on he was annoyed himself that an engineer could leave the line in worse condition than before he came, this engineer was really helpful and friendly and did a proper job of diagnosing what was wrong, he managed to get the line working again (at the reduced speed unfortunately) but he said he would write up a full set of job notes to pass back to Openreach, annoyingly the fault with the line is that Aluminium cable is used between the cabinet and the street pole instead of Copper. He said the cable has done remarkably well to still be working as it was originally installed in the 60s the internet was just a nerd’s dream.
Being realistic I don’t expect that BT Openreach will bother to fix the line as I appear to be the only person on the street to have a Fibre service and it is working albeit at a reduced speed, I expect that I will see fibre to the premises before I would see an underground cable replacement. Hopefully one day faults on metal telephone lines will be something of legend.