We recently brought your attention to the scandalous delays BT Openreach is capable of when being asked, in simple terms, to connect a central London building up to a fibre broadband connection. At the same time the UK government – and the local Greater London Authority – has been convening meeting after meeting to try to work out how to help the emerging technology cluster in East London, we have, in effect, a monopoly lumbering on, blind or just plain stupid when it comes to the level of service most modern businesses expect of eachother.
When we wrote our post (“There will be no Tech City in London if BT is not brought to heel”) we were still waiting for a response to the charges that BT had dragged its feet incessantly on connecting startups to fibre broadband in London. In particular, Songkick, whose battle we detailed at some length . We waited and waited. Eventually, the statement came through from BT’s spokesperson:
“We appreciate that the time taken to commence this work has caused frustration; Openreach take any customer complaints of this nature extremely seriously and are investigating as a matter of urgency, with a view to resolving the issue as rapidly as possible.”
Plus, we got this wonderful piece of customer relations in response to our defenestration of their service:
Meanwhile, a combination of our article and some continued hard graft by Songkick in persuing the matter, appears to have created some progress.
The “wayleave” document (see the previous article for how crucial this documentation is) has now been emailed to and received by Songkick’s landlord.
Thus, the next battle commences: to get BT to do the actual work to put the fibre into the building.
So, we are putting a countdown clock on this. This represents a deadline of the 8th May for BT to do their work – or 3 months since their original site visit.
Three months, people.
If this actually works, we’ll be throwing a TechCrunch party in Hoxton Square. Complete with a fertility Maypole around where the fibre went in.
If not, we’ll probably be hiring a road digger ourselves and driving it through BT’s shiny Central London offices.
OK, BT, are you ready?