The Guardian brought to light several cases where BT Openreach was dragging its feet providing broadband to new building estates.
A new development in Cambridge has been without broadband for months and while everyone has a phone line for some reason BT can’t provide the ‘correct cables’ for broadband”.
Without broadband, the owners can’t get other sorts of services which most Brits take for granted, such as Sky.
Openreach claims that 93.5 percent of new lines were installed in time in the last quarter of 2014. It’s the 6.5 percent that fail that concern developers who have to face the flak from angry buyers.
Steve Turner of the Home Builders Federation said: “During a site’s development house builders put in the infrastructure to carry the cables, but are then totally reliant on the broadband suppliers to install and connect up the telecom lines.”
“The industry is as frustrated as those new-home buyers experiencing delays to broadband connectivity,” he said,
Openreach blames the delays on “the explosion of housebuilding across the UK”, however it is not clear where it is getting its numbers from new homes built rose only 8 per cent last year.
“We are working flat out but we recognise that there’s more to do,” says a spokesperson.
Turner said Openreach needs to address poor performance. The Federation is helping them better plan resources to ensure that these problems don’t persist as the industry expands housing supply.
Last year the telecoms regulator Ofcom ordered Openreach to get its act together and imposed a “quality of service” requirement which obliges it, among other things, to send an engineer within 12 days of a new line being ordered.
It has until next April to meet the new targets and Ofcom says it’s currently assessing how it has fared in the first 12 months since they were imposed.