So close, but so far away...
The story of my fibre install thus far...
Street works in my road finished approx 3 months ago and within days of it going past my house I had the promotional weetbix packet saying I can go ahead and ask for fibre. I did.
We live in Christchurch. We are currently Spark ADSL2 customers.
We live on a subdivided section and have a driveway that is shared with the front house for the first few metres. We are also the owners of that house as well as the rear house (live in the rear house - rent out the front house).
I actually phoned Spark to initialize the fibre process and said at the time we own both properties just to make sure that consents for shared driveways would not be needed...
After 3 or so weeks of waiting from placing the order we were finally contacted by email from Enable to say they had looked at mapping and noted our driveway and that permission from the owner of the front property would be required. It took several emails sending copies of Council ratings information to convince them we don't need permission from ourselves and that the forms weren't necessary...
Eventually (given MUCH time and email too'ing and fro'ing) this seemed to be accepted. We were booked in for a scope.
Great. Except the person never turned up. This was annoying because I had taken time off work to attend this appointment. No phone calls or contact. The next day I was phoned and was told they were simply too busy to make the appointment and re-scheduled another time.
Annoying... but great. Except, after more time off work, again no-one turned up. This time however they did ring late in the day all apologetic and after me grumbling about the time off work for a second afternoon they said they would come the following day - which happened to be a Saturday.
We mentioned that we had tickets to a stageshow that day and were assured that they would be there at the appointed time. They weren't. We forfeited going to the stageshow as they turned up at pretty much the last possible time we could realistically leave to make our show.
The scope was carried out and in the end we felt very much bullied about the location of the ruggedised cabling. We had no say and no choice but to accept their proposal - which was to tack the cable along about 20m of wooden boundary fence, then bury it when that fence became block wall, then slot-cut across our driveway, go up the side of our brick wall, along the guttering/fascia and down another brick wall. Long story short in the end we felt we had no choice but to take this install method.
We were told we would be contacted to make an install date. Not true. In the end (after days of hearing nothing) I phoned Enable and got them to make an appointment over the phone. An appointment/date was made.
In the meantime our tenants in the front house also casually asked us if they could install fibre too. We said yes to THEM (the tenants) but said we would like a say in how/where etc.
A week or so later, which was about a week before our own appointment I get a phone call from a chap from the contracting company to Enable selected to do the work. He said he was at our house and needed me in attendance.
At this point I won't name them as I am not sure if I am allowed.. they are one of two ChCh companies who are doing residential fibre installs apparently under contract to Enable.
Great! I sought urgent permission to leave work and be in attendance... About halfway home my phone rings. I answer it (bluetoothed to a built in system in the dash... all hands free just to clarify!) and it was the same chap apologizing saying that it was not my house (at the back) but the FRONT HOUSE we was doing.
Well that's funny I told him as we were not aware that any order had yet been placed and we, as the owners, had not signed anything or viewed any scope for that house yet!
Nevertheless, since we were OK about our tenants having fibre I continued home to see what he was doing. He wanted to do "civil work" going across grass to the foundation. I just left him to it as it all looked good... just somewhat bemused they were prepared to do it without owners actual consent... presumably me leaving him to it and not objecting immediately is pretty much an inferred permission?
As it turns out and lucky for the tenants, their inside work was completed the following work day all rather smoothly - apart from the fact it was done without the owners actual specific given consent - and since it's tenanted (and don't like to disturb them) we still have no idea where in the house it went or how it was done etc - looking from the footpath it looks like they went through a foundation grill so I assume they've screwed it to the floor bearers and come up internally somewhere...
Anyways - back to our house at the rear...
We were told that sometime before the final appointment that "civil work" (the work to tack the cable to the fence and bury it beside the block wall and slot-cut across the driveway etc) would be done. Days kept rolling by with no civil work being done.
By this time I had the contracted company's number and rang them - in particular because I wanted to supply them with a drainage plan showing that where they wanted to slot cut was where a stormwater pipe lies... I was told that civil work had been done. After telling them that no it hadn't and were they meaning the FRONT house they agreed and said it would be done in the next few days. It wasn't.
The day before the final install appointment I phoned the contractor again in the morning and they said that a crew was booked that day.
They didn't turn up. At the end of the day (when I came home from work) I phoned the contractor and was told that they were busy but the crew would definitely be there in the morning and would have the civil work done in time for the final appointment time.
So now we come to today. Today as I write this is the date of the final appointment. I took another day off work to be here.
The hours start rolling by and no-one seems to be coming. Then what luck!! A car turns up!
2.5 hours earlier than the actual appointment time (what would have happened if I had only taken the afternoon off???) the chap arrives to do the inside part. He was very surprised at the lack of Civil Work and contacted his office. Apparently the civil crew were still coming....
He started work on the inside. He has fitted two boxes on my lounge wall drilling through the wall to the outside and he was also the one to do the rather ugly conduit from my outside brick wall going up that wall, along the fascia and down another wall to another box which he left open. He then had to leave to do another job.
He said he would come back later today after the civil chaps were finished.
Eventually the civil guys came. Bless their hearts they arrived but said it was lunch time. (Fair enough I guess... we all have to eat!) A while later they tacked the cable along the fence, buried it as it runs along a block wall... but... they tell me they can only slot-cut concrete and that the asphalt I have is not suitable as it crumbles away and the squeeze-bottle grout they use cannot adequately seal it. They said that they had to dig a 400mm trench across the drive but warned me that they were well behind on re-sealing/hotmixing and that could be a month away!!! I suggested to them carrying on up the block wall to the head of the drive where some flagstone pavers exist and they could go under there and come back along some garden. The foreman guy was actually a very practical kinda guy and and agreed with that suggestion and did do just that - and I have to say that they actually did a really good job of the road to house work in the end... (still not happy with the look of the conduit from the first box at the end of the road cable which runs up/down my walls and along my fascia...but at least it's done now!)
Next another person came along and installed the actual fibre strand into the cable/duct using a "blowing" process. This person said he would phone the previous person who partially started the inside work and get them to come back and carry on.
Awesome - almost there!!!
After wondering if the final appointment guy was really coming back he turned up, just as it was getting dark, to say he had bad news. Apparently when he went to the cabinet, while there were "slots" available they were all "reserved" and Enable wouldn't allow him to connect our fibre to anything inside the cabinet. He was able to splice the cables at our house (the inside cable running from the inside box to the outside box - to the one going down the drive) together though and said that eventually there will be very little work to do - just a connection at the cabinet and some more inside work to change the phones over.
But he said that it's not his company's issue now and that Enable needed to sort out their cabinet. A "design team" would need to be engaged - whatever that means!
Apparently I now have to go on a waiting list for an available connection in the cabinet and he warned me that it could be some time!
Once Enable sort out the cabinet I have to make yet another final appointment.... gee what fun.. I wonder how many more days off work I need!
So there we go... I now have "Claytons Fibre"... All hooked up inside our house to a dead-end strand at a cabinet around the corner...
What a complete and utter frustration this whole process has been and, as it turns out, still will be with no apparent ending in actual sight.... "it all seems to be now on the never-never".