A number of homes and businesses have reported a fault on their landline (or broadband) over the last 7 days. While most seem to have been fixed after being reported, some have persisted and others have had difficulty in reporting their faults without access to either landline or internet.

A message from TalkTalk to one such customer today reads as follows:

This is the latest feedback from Openreach : this line is impacting with major service outage issue and that’s why this fault is associated with an incident AF-IE-1898344969. According to this I can see main issue is exchange E-side breakdown Barming PCP1 and 16 C vert and team already working on this and Target Fix Date as on 10/02/2023

Please note, the target fix date is often exagerrated to avoid customer dissapointment but it does sound as if they have a major problem that is effecting properties in North Perrott and perhaps a wider area.

Regarding the future for a more reliable telephone and internet service, Jurassic Fibre have started to prepare the ground for installing their fibre-optic cable in North Perrrott. Their staff are clearly not allowed to share specific information but it is clear that they have now prep’ed the telegraph poles from Haselbury to the junction box in North Perrott and over the last two weeks they have also prepared Willis Lane as well. This is mostly tree cutting and positioning blue nylon rope between poles that will be used to draw the cable from pole to pole. Installing infrastructure has not yet started and one member of staff said that they are still concentrating on local towns before spreading out into rurual areas. Another manager has explained that he currently has over 300 job sheets and that while he did not know when work would start in earnest for North Perrott, their operations work in quartlerly periods. The next quarter ends in March and he suggested that if connections were not started by the end of March, then it they probably would be complete by the end of June.

We have heard these targets before and most are now well gone and behind us. However, the blue rope is tangible evidence that a fibre connection is not very far away and everyone should bare this in mind if signing a new contract in the next few months.

For those not aware, the future of telphony is in a fibre connection (which is faster and more reliable) and in the near future, the governement intends all landlines to be replaced by fibre with traditional telephone calls being via the internet. In North Perrott, BT Openreach manage the infrastructure, but lease the lines to any company that you wish to pay for your landline. This means that your contract is with your telphony supplier and they are responsible for your leased line. In turn, they employ Openreach engineers to fix your line if it goes wrong. As customers of our chosen supplier, we are not able to speak with Openreach directly, unless their engineers call in person as part of their task of fixing a problem. Jurassic Fibre is slightly different. They are installing their own infrastructure (although they have an agreement with Openreach to share some of their infrastructure) which in the first instance, they will not be sharing with other service providers. That means to take advantage of the first connections to fibre in North Perrott, we will have to have a contact with Jurassic fibre, and they will also be responsible for the maintenance of the line. For those of us with contracts with BT, TalkTalk, Virgin, PlusNet or anyone else, we will either have to wait until our contracts run out to connect to the new fibre, or cancel our contracts (beware, there maybe a penalty) or simply sign up to Jurassic and let the your existing contract run out.

Looking to the future, there are several possible developments. BT might run a fibre cable between Haslebury and North Perrott. This will greatly increase the quality of both telephone calls, broadband and reliablility but it will not give superfast broadband until they connect every property directly with a fibre cable (this won’t be possible until they upgrade the connection between the two villages). Wessex Internet is also promising to connect NP with an exclusive fibre cable. This may now not be viable for them, as Jurassic has (almost) got here first. Finally, assuming Jurassic do arrive in the next 5 months, they will require a period of exclusivity, where only they can provide a connection through their cable. There maybe a time in the future where they agree a deal with other internet suppliers so that we can have more of a choice about who supplies our internet service. It rather depends on who and how many other suppliers decide to upgrade or install their own infrastructure in the village. Bearing in mind how small a community we are, it may not be worth holding your breath for a wider choice.

More news when Jurassic start laying cables, in the meantime, more info at www.jurassic-fibre.com