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Broadband Woes

I’ve not been posting for a while, as my broadband has been down. It went off suddenly and completely, in the middle of a huge thunderstorm about ten days ago. Strangely, my phone line still worked, albeit rather noisily, but no internet. I phoned my ISP from my mobile, they ran some tests, and said there was a “battery fault” on the line. I would need to report it to BT and they would send an Openreach engineer to have a look.

It’s surprisingly difficult to report a fault on the line to BT if you don’t have an internet connection. I had to look up Customer Services in an old fashioned phone book, which was filed away at the bottom of a cupboard and half forgotten about. I’ve now stored the number in my mobile for future use! BT agreed there was a fault on my line, and raised a ticket for an engineer to fix it. This was on a Wednesday, and I was assured that it would be fixed by the following Monday.

That deadline came and went, so I phoned on Tuesday, to be told that Thursday would be the new deadline. The customer service agent, to give credit where it’s due, did recognise that being without broadband during lockdown is extremely challenging, particularly if one is working from home. He gave me a £20 credit on my bill for the missed appointment which I promptly spent on mobile data to use my mobile as a hotspot so I could get back on line. Shockingly, the 4G hotspot is noticeably faster than I expect from my broadband! I managed a couple of video conferences with work with far fewer problems than I’m used to.

Thursday also came and went without any fix. I phoned again, and was told it was more complicated than they first thought, they’d probably need to close the main road, that would need permission from the council, and the new deadline was next Tuesday! I was not impressed!

But on Friday lunch time a very pleasant young Openreach engineer turned up to see for himself. He knew nothing about any potential road closures, but said the “battery fault” was 1100m from my house, and drove off in his van to see if he could find it. While tracing the line, he found a green roadside BT cabinet about a kilometre away. He opened it, and a load of water gushed out! It must have got flooded in the thunderstorm, as the downpour really was of biblical proportions.

No wonder my line was shorting out and was too noisy for a broadband connection. It’s marginal at the best of times, let alone when the phone line is under water! But he dried it out and I now have the internet back. A big relief. But one good thing has come out of the saga – I’ve been issued a work mobile to use as a 4G hotspot to make remote working easier. So at least I’ll be able to retain the benefits of having enough bandwidth to use a videoconference service, without costing a fortune in personal mobile data charges.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. pauld | 29 June 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Hate to have to say it but serves you right for having to be a BT customer 🙂 🙂

    “he found a green roadside BT cabinet”, wonder what he thought to himself “Wow, isnt that one of our cabinets, wonder whats inside it”

  2. SallyB | 1 July 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I’m not a BT customer but when we had a fault Openreach had to fix it

  3. pauld | 2 July 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Ah, but we dont even have a line, its comes magically through the air from a mountain top so no BT involved at all 🙂