Fluidata slams BTOR over installation delays


B2B internet service provider claims lead times for standard installations are double what they should be

Fluidata has hit out at BT Openreach (BTOR) over the time it is taking to install fibre lines to customers.

The ISP says that lead times for standard installations stretch towards 60 working days, as opposed to 30 days.

For installations that require additional planning, such as consent to carry out work on private land, the situation is even worse. Typical lead times have ballooned from 65 working days to in excess of 130, according to Fluidata.

Fluidata customer success manager Simon Matthews says the problem has been exacerbated by the removal of the first £2,800 of excess charges that BTOR was previously allowed to charge and the government-backed £3,000 subsidy for fibre installations for SMEs.

Following pressure from Ofcom, BT recently announced plans to hire 150 new engineers to help it deal with the issues and resolve technical faults on lines more efficiently. However, Matthews says that despite these “positive actions”, the telco is “no closer” to a resolution for the issues and is warning customers of delays to the provision of its services.

“Of course Fluidata will continue to drive BTOR for better service and lead times but for now, at least, we will continue to see longer-than-usual lead times,” he said in a blogpost.

“As such we would urge  customers to allow as much time as possible for any fibre provision or consider contingency options, particularly for any timecritical installs.

“With a product portfolio encompassing a wide array of DSL, VDSL, wireless, bonded and EFM solutions, here at Fluidata we should be able to cater for any temporary or even mid to long-term requirement should the BTOR problems have an impact on your connectivity provision plans.”

Fluidata has been a frequent critic of BT with managing director Piers Danielli telling Mobile News that the telecommunications giant was using government subsidy to compete against smaller ISPs.