You will all no doubt have seen notification of the imminent works by OpenReach contractors in the centre of the village. I also understand that a small number of villagers have been given notification that a BT USO scheme is commencing for a limited number of homes, and that separately OpenReach will be putting in a new broadband junction box near the cricket pitch. This would suggest that something is finally happening. However, it is never that simple in the world of BT and OpenReach.
As a result of this impending action by BT, OpenReach have decided to postpone any further progress on our Community Fibre Partnership scheme until the extent of the BT project is clear. BT however will not disclose any details of the USO scheme (where and how many homes), and nor will OpenReach who are the prime contractors to BT on that scheme. So we are in deadlock, to the detriment of the majority of the villagers in achieving what was going to be imminent progress on the CFP scheme.
So I have today made an official complaint to the Communications Ombudsman, and have also notified Rebecca Pow MP and Councillor David Hall at Somerset West and Taunton Council of this rather absurd situation, and have asked them to look into it. Whilst there are understandable GDPR issues of disclosure, it seems that good old bureaucracy is preventing BT from resolving the situation with OpenReach. And in the meantime, our progress is being impeded.
If anyone in the village does pick up on details of the extent of the BT USO project then that would be helpful to know. As soon as we can scope out who might potentially drop out of the CFP scheme as a result of being included in the BT USO, then we can finalise numbers with OpenReach and get a formal go ahead on the CFP scheme.
This was always going to be difficult…but we will get there!