In January 2015 BT upgraded the exchange at Narborough to provide fibre based broadband to the local communities, to enable this in Marham they had to upgrade the street cabinet on Burnthouse Drove which BT thought was sufficient to provide faster broadband to the majority of the parish. However this was not the case. we investigated through social media and word of mouth and found that there were a lot of properties within Marham village that were unable to receive the faster broadband speeds promised and in some cases they were told that they were unable to receive because they were too far away from the exchange and there was nothing the engineers could do to increase speeds.
We got in touch with the Better Broadband for Norfolk Team who asked BT to investigate the lines that came into the village to the street cabinet at the junction of Villebois Road and The Street.
Having investigated, BT found that there are 3 cables between the primary cabinet and the secondary cabinet which serves the properties which are not achieving the expected speeds. Two are cables offering 0.9 conductor, the third is only 0.5, this effects the available speeds, with the 0.9 conductor capable of providing speeds of over 15 Mbps, and the 0.5 not able to.
The line checker calculates the indicative speeds using the lowest speed infrastructure, whilst the internal BT engineering systems recognise the higher capacity cables and therefore show a higher speed. This is why the checker is reporting lower speeds when people are trying to order service. If services were implemented, depending on which cable a customer was routed on, would determine the actual speed achieved, but there is no way of forcing the use of the 0.9 cables.
On the basis of this, BT will implement a new fibre cabinet to get the current secondary cabinet uplifted to be a primary cabinet, and then re-route phone lines to the new cabinet. This will give 24 Mbps+ speeds. I can’t confirm a date yet, as the solution will need to be designed and planned.
LATEST UPDATE – 14th August 2018
Implementation of the second cabinet is planned for 21st August, and provision of a power supply on 23rd. This will be followed by installation of the main fibre cable.
Once the technical work is completed, a commissioning process begins which involves all Internet Service Providers that are providing services to people via a current fibre enabled cabinet which is further away, in order to move these services to the new cabinet. This activity takes some time and on that basis I’d expect the new cabinet to be operational late this year.
Better Broadband for Norfolk Website