The rollout of the faster broadband system in and around Whitchurch is continuing.

Some people have had success with the new, much faster connection to their homes using the BT Infinity product, whilst others have experienced difficulty obtaining much higher Internet speeds, or have had issues with orders being mysteriously cancelled.

Some people cannot yet even place an order for fibre broadband because no upgraded system is installed in their area.

Now, BT has advised the campaigners that further delays are foreseen for people in surrounding towns.

BT stated:

“We have a problem with the FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) in Hurstbourne Priors, Freefolk Priors and Litchfield Road. We had been waiting for the power company (S&SE) to make electrical connections to the cabinets – when they turned up they realised that the power is overhead-fed rather than underground-fed.”

The surprise of seeing S&SE power cables on poles will result in a 10 week delay, BT stated. Offers of help by BT to S&SE were declined, they say. BT hopes to “persuade the power company to do the work sooner” and have even offered up their own engineers to do the necessary digging.

UPDATE 28 SEPTEMBER 2012: BT customer service is currently telling customers in Hurstbourne Priors that they are connected to the Whitchurch Exchange and so cannot get higher speeds; BT have today clarified that once the power issue to their nearer FTTC cabinet referred to above is resolved then people there will be able to benefit from higher speeds than ADSL by subscribing to the BT Infinity product.


A resident of Chapmansford Farm – north of Hurstbourne Priors – told this website:

“We may be premature in thinking that the works have been completed, but we are concerned that there is no sign of a cabinet being installed near our community.”

We contacted BT about this concern and they said, in part:

“In terms of fibre cabinet locations, they are usually placed within 100m of the existing green cabinet – we do not move them as that would result in a lot of additional work.”

It is our understanding from another resident at Chapmansford Farm that BT Openreach will use the cabinet in Hurstbourne Priors for delivering the faster broadband to that community. At approximately 2km distance, this should provide a better service than the current 9km cable that supplies standard broadband from the exchange in Whitchurch. That is, once the power issue is sorted out.

Installation of the fibre optic cables outside the Town Hall in May 2012

On a related note, the FTTP (fibre to the premise) and EO (direct connection to the exchange) hook-ups are also delayed from their previously announced July delivery to sometime during October.

However, BT caution that this date

“will depend on what Openreach find on the ground (such as blocked ducts) as they are doing the work, and also on the weather.”

People who live in areas where FTTC service is being offered have reported both success and issues.

Speeds much faster than the older ADSL broadband have been obtained by some: superfast download speeds around 30 or even 50Mbps and with over 8Mbps upload (the older system offered just “up to” 8Mbps download and 0.3Mbps upload).

But not all were as lucky: to read a story of a campaigner’s issues, click HERE.


BT reiterated that

“When our team met with the Whitchurch campaigners on 30 November 2011, we set out that we expected that 100% of Whitchurch exchange area will see an increase in speed, 93.2% of premises will receive speeds of more than 15Mb (ie Infinity speeds), and that 6.8% of premises will receive broadband at speeds of between 2Mb & 15 Mb.”

BT previously informed us of a date slip back in April – see HERE. To read of the installation progress of one of the campaigners, click HERE.

Comments (5)

  • steven

    Spoke to bt they have told me I will not be getting faster internet, and I am a 89 number. I live in laverstoke just outside so looks like I am going to have to stay with 0.3meg poor I say very poor for £15 a month that’s value for money!

  • climo

    It’s utterly disgraceful that BT have made promises that they could not keep. Don’t they know they’re own cable network?

  • Richard

    Hi folks, I’ve just moved to Whitchurch (off Micheldever Rd) and have had
    PlusNet’s superfast fibre package installed.

    Once the connection has bedded in, I’ll let you know what kind of speeds I get.


    Edit note:
    Welcome to Whitchurch, and to the town’s official website 🙂

  • Paul

    I cannot fathom how S&SE were shocked to see overhead power cables. Do these not exist anymore in their world. BT informed me this morning that they foresee freefolk being up and running sometime in 2013!!! What a massive unequivocal let down!


    Edit note:
    And this continues to frustrate the ‘campaign team’ who put so much volunteer effort into the UK Race to Infinity only to have promises continually broken by BT 🙁

  • Richard

    Hello again – I promised to report back after having fibre set up at our house in Whitchurch. With PlusNet’s Fibre Extra package, I’m getting a reported 70mb/s download and 15mb/s upload speed according to

    Suffice to say, I’m extremely happy with that. PlusNet took a couple of weeks to get it right (had me on the wrong package to start with, with speeds limited to 40/2 but eventually sorted it).

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