More wi-fi woes for new homeowners

Residents at the new Barratt Homes development at St George's Quay.
Residents at the new Barratt Homes development at St George's Quay.
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Frustration is growing for new homeowners in Lancaster who complain that telephone line provider BT Openreach is “not pulling its weight”.

Chris Lowerson moved into the new Barratts estate in St George’s Quay in mid-June and has been trying to get connected to a phone line and the internet since then, but has yet to be successful.

Last month, residents at the new High Wood estate within the grounds of the Moor Hospital expressed similar problems.

Mr Lowerson said: “After much complaining to various service providers, I have finally had a vague, veiled admittance that BT Openreach are simply not pulling their weight.

“At a neighbour’s ‘open house’ meeting the other day, we discussed this topic and it became clear that we were all being fed different stories ranging from ‘Royal Mail don’t have your address’ to ‘the builder needs to sign off on work’ and ‘there is an engineer on the way’, only for them not to turn up, or cancel without notification.

“I finally had a complaint escalated, and was last told that Openreach has our address on file and they need to send an engineer to the area to survey and assess the fibre situation.

“Unfortunately there is no timeframe available for when or if this will happen”.

New Ofcom rules brought in in July require the majority of phone and broadband faults to be repaired within two working days, while most customers requiring a new line must receive an appointment within 12 working days. Should Openreach fail to meet the new targets, Ofcom said, the company will face sanctions, which could include fines.

A spokesman for BT said that Openreach deals with 170,000 phone lines and repairs each week across the UK.

He added: “The time taken to put in new lines depends on a lot of things and these vary greatly from site to site.

“Ofcom has introduced new deadlines for putting in new lines and repairs. We are confident of meeting these new targets in the first quarter and of exceeding them in subsequent quarters. We are currently recruiting more engineers in the North West.”