broadband Engineer

And then there was light

News today is they are electing a new Pope and I have a working broadband line. It was fixed this lunchtime by BT’s Lincoln area ops manager who turned up at our house with two new VDSL modems – just in case one of them didn’t work, fair play. It took ten seconds to unplug the old one and plug in the new and hey presto, it lit up.  Where there was darkness now there is light. It is better to light one small candle than to sit alone in the darkness etc etc etc1.

The Davies household has now breathed a collective sigh of relief. It’s a bit like the feeling you have when your petrol tank goes from nearly empty to full. You feel you can go places.

I’m not going to dwell too much in this incident but I do feel it is worth a little post mortem on how it was fixed.

Yesterday our NOC asked for the ticket to be escalated – basically raised up the priority list to ensure that someone did turn up at the next appointment. Today the escalation was rejected – it would appear that three engineering no-shows was not sufficient reason for escalation.

Also yesterday I dropped BT’s regional director an informational note linking to the blog post and highlighting the fact that it had been covered by The Register, ISPReview and quite possibly elsewhere. I also said that the next appointment was set for Friday – the first day I would be able to work from home and thus be around to let an engineer in. It was a belt and braces approach to making sure that someone turned up on Friday. It wasn’t in anyone’s interests for there to be another no show.

The issue was processed at director level and this morning the BT ops manager rang my wife to ask if he could pop around this afternoon which as you know he did to smiles all round.

Apparently over the last twelve days or so the volume of tickets requiring engineering visits has shot up. My solution is not scalable. I can’t drop BT senior management a note for every customer fault and not everyone venting their frustrations in a blog post is going to have that blog post covered in the mainstream media.

Lets hope there will be a lesson or two learn’t from the incident, though I fear not. BT has a huge organisation to run and change is not easy. I did ask whether the 1,000 engineers being taken on by Openreach would help but I’m told that they are specifically targeted at supporting BTVision which is unlikely to influence resource levels on FTTC.

Fibre broadband modem light at the end of the FTTC tunnel. Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting blog post from

That’s all…

1 I realise that one is not totally relevant but I thought I’d stick it in anyway 🙂