Forest Hill telecoms upgrade - Community Fibre is coming

Bit of a weird one this, but has anyone else noticed all the white lines and arrows suddenly on the pavements all over Forest Hill?

Seems to be always in white and often marked ‘BT’ or ‘NT’ (NTL?).

Could this mean some sort of upgrades are going on, or are things just getting fixed?

I was going to ask, seen them outside of Whites paints on Brockley Rise. Hoping this means FTTP is coming to this stretch.

I’ve seen them everywhere, but even in places where there is existing FTTP :thinking:

Had a look on the Openreach website but nothing listed there:

Community Fibre suggested to me last week that they might be working to provide services in the area - providing an alternative for many to Virgin’s fibre monopoly.

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I have fibre (Devonshire). We were told by Openreach that only Sky and BT are advertising this is as available at the moment. Don’t know why.

I hope it’s a fix.

I have had to endure 2 months no internet between march and may.

This time, three weeks no internet since September 1st.

The fibre around here is old. Maybe they are finally getting round to upgrading it all so it stops breaking.

Maybe, and / or maybe they are adding extra capacity (I managed not to say bandwidth!) As I believe the local network is overly congested, or so an Openreach engineer told me once. I can only get a 3rd to a quarter of advertised speeds, and I think it’s just contention on the network.

Hope your issues are resolved soon, that sounds horrendous. Hope you got / get the automatic compensation.

I got a flyer through my door yesterday from Community Fibre, saying that they are about to deploy their full fibre network in the area - maybe it’s related to this?

That’s very exciting news! Is there any more concrete info on it than ‘we’re coming’? I haven’t had a flyer, but the aforementioned white paint is on the street practically by my front door, so assuming the two are indeed related then fingers crossed.

I will say for my part (only lived in the FH area for a couple of years) that my FTTC connection has been pretty quick and reliable, but at least some of the credit for that probably goes to the wonderful Zen.

At the moment (for my postcode at least) it’s just a chance to register your interest in their service - so just how near to - or far from - actually offering service they are is an open question.

You can check your postcode at their website - communityfibre.co.uk

Did you get “register interest” or “sign up for your early bird offer” after putting in your address? I got the latter which sounds encouraging, but as you say, still an open question.

Neither at the moment - want to do a bit more research on the company before I start interacting with them.

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I called Community Fibre today to ask, and the lady I spoke to said that not only were they indeed installing in the area, but that availability would likely be within a month or so max. So nothing in writing but sounds very promising!

Some potentially helpful info follows for anyone less technically inclined — hopefully this is useful rather than patronising! First useful tidbit: Community Fibre run their own fibre network all the way, so their network isn’t in any way related to BT, Virgin Media or etc. Their connections are what’s known as fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), so they’re shiny and ultra modern all the way into your home. If you have fibre connectivity now (typically marketed as ‘up to’ 40Mb/s or 80Mb/s) from BT or another Openreach provider, this is what’s known as fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC). The difference is that a fibre connection goes to street level, then the last stage is copper wiring into your home, hence the need for a traditional phone line, line rental and the potential for various elements to go wrong, plus the low speeds available (at least when compared to FTTP connections!).

FTTP connections are also symmetric, meaning the upload and download speeds are identical (rather than the 80/20 download/upload speeds typical with ‘regular’ fibre). So if you spend a lot of your time sending files to others, especially large ones, this alone can be a game changer.

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I got the latter as well, I am hugely hopeful as neither Open Reach or Virgin appear to have any plans for FTTP to us, and Hyperoptic depressingly but honestly says ‘we won’t be seeing you anytime soon’ or something along those lines.

That said I don’t know much about Community Fibre so better start reading. My Vodafone / Open reach line has in fairness been very stable, just half the speed advertised, same with BT, and uploads are horrificly slow.

Openreach at least state that Forest Hill will go FTTP ‘between April 2022 and April 2025’, which is vague enough to not be mega useful.

Virgin Media have actually recently decided to switch their entire network to full fibre to future proof their network. If Community Fibre are indeed imminent, and Openreach are on the vague horizon, whether they would bother anytime soon with such a saturated market is probably an open question.

I would say, though, that although competition is always good, a properly modern fibre network is indistinguishable from another (in a good way!). It’s not like a traditional copper connection where you sometimes have to read the tea leaves to determine whether or not your distance from the exchange and planetary alignments might slow you down. If you pay for 300Mbps, you’ll probably get that full speed pretty much all that time.

Hope I’m not spamming the thread too much! I’m just overcome with joy at the prospect of having a super fast connection at home, having been keeping half an eye on various providers for most of the time I’ve lived here :joy:

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I hope you have better luck than me. I have FTTP and started in February 2021. In total, I am now approaching three months without service. The infrastructure here around Honor Oak park is antique as it was a trial area when they introduced the service to the country 10 years ago. They fix one thing, another breaks. They fix the second thing, there is too much pressure on the third so that breaks. Each time openreach needs to dig up a road.

Better to get your internet over mobile. I get 30mbs from ee and use another old mobile as a hotspot.

I am very frustrated with bt but I wish you all luck!

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This is one of my vague worries - if Community Fibre are going to pull their own fibre through the existing conduits and telecoms pits, or even if they dig their own parallel trenches, there’s potential it could damage or disrupt the existing infrastructure which seems fragile.

On the other hand if they were just another provider using OpenReach infrastructure, we couldn’t expect them to be much different in terms of offering.

BT FTTP packages are still sold as being asymmetric. I think this is to differentiate between business and residential packages \ pricing.

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That’s definitely a concern I suppose. Community Fibre do indeed run their own fibre and are not using existing Openreach infrastructure.

Presumably in these situations they have to collaborate with existing providers where necessary to avoid such issues, so hopefully they won’t disrupt existing services. This however is a complete guess as I’ve no real idea how that part of an install works!

Ah yes, you’re right. I was thinking of Community Fibre as their connections are symmetric, as per their site. They even offer a 3Gbps connection (area dependent), which is mad, but bodes well overall in the sense of getting advertised speeds.

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Defo Community Fibre, I spotted this earlier, where some white lines and arrows had been:


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