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110 posts

Master Geek

#197862 15-Jun-2016 18:10
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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.

Our situation:

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".

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213 posts

Master Geek

  #1574608 15-Jun-2016 18:20
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Wow. Time to complain to everyone who will (and won't) listen. 


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6434 posts

Uber Geek

  #1574620 15-Jun-2016 18:48
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that really sucks.




sadly, not that uncommon.




In Spark's defence, it sounds like entirely Enable (and their subcontractors) are at fault here.  there is very little the RSP can do.

5346 posts

Uber Geek


  #1574621 15-Jun-2016 18:50
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Makes a change from it being Chorus to blame.

11718 posts

Uber Geek

ID Verified

  #1574622 15-Jun-2016 18:53
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 Jeez, my install was a walk in the park by comparison! Similar situation to yours, but my neighbour at the back of my place gave her full consent, as did the landlord. It might be a problem if my neighbour decides she would like fibre though - their existing phone line goes through my roof to get to her place (joined flats).

1728 posts

Uber Geek

ID Verified

  #1574749 16-Jun-2016 00:02
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Which part of Chch are you in? I have an idea which company you have been dealing with. Enable are usually pretty great, its a pity their subbies let the side down.


110 posts

Master Geek

  #1574767 16-Jun-2016 06:27
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Which part of Chch are you in? I have an idea which company you have been dealing with. Enable are usually pretty great, its a pity their subbies let the side down.

I am in Ilam - a street off the beginning part of Memorial Ave...

1484 posts

Uber Geek


  #1575035 16-Jun-2016 14:17
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Can you please PM me your details? (Spark account number or fibre order number). I'll get in touch with Enable to find out what the deal is for you.

The views expressed by me are not necessarily those of my employer Chorus NZ Ltd


110 posts

Master Geek

  #1575052 16-Jun-2016 14:31
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Can you please PM me your details? (Spark account number or fibre order number). I'll get in touch with Enable to find out what the deal is for you.

Hi there,

I had a similar offer from another member who PM'ed me so someone else (from here) may already be doing that. Thanks for the kind offer though.

I did ring Enable today on their 0800 number and they have said that the "splitter" allocated to me is not yet live and the "design team" need to be involved. The Enable staff-member put me on hold and they emailed that team to create a task to get the splitter livened up. Once that is done they will let the installation contracting company know and they can book another final install appointment. I was a bit grumbly to the Enable staffer after briefly explaining the process and they assured me that they would do their best to make the task of livening up the splitter urgent... I think all I can do is let the process take it's due course and wait for a phone call.

I'll PM you as well..


110 posts

Master Geek

  #1575846 17-Jun-2016 16:09
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Just to "close the loop" and let everyone know what happened...

Following my original posting there was a couple of kind offers from some members here who work for Spark to investigate. I can only assume whatever they managed to achieve led to a speedy livening up of the "splitter" in the cabinet.

There was also some great work/communications "behind the scenes" today between the installation contractor and Enable and Spark to see if they could make a connection happen today - which would have been awesome - but due to the updating of systems that Spark are undergoing it was determined that next week is the best time. This was a decision made by Enable incidentally - Spark actually offered to assist despite the upgrading...

I would also like to point out that the installer / Enable and Spark potentially could have had us up and running very early on next week but due to personal circumstance we are not available earlier in the week. So good on them all for being able to get it up and running but it being us this time unavailable..

At least now I appear to have a definite date later next week for the final (as in the second!) final appointment - which is the difference from where I originally left off on my original post.

So to the two Spark chaps from this board who were able to help - thanks heaps guys!

And, despite some poorer performance (as per the events leading up to the first final appointment) the contractor really did try their best and would have had us up and running today if "allowed".

And, as a previous poster, NonPrayingMantis, pointed "in Sparks defense" they never part of the issues I had and have also gone into bat considering they are having a systemwide "outage" / upgrade. Good on ya Spark.

Hopefully I can finish this thread with a post later next week saying it's all done and dusted!


110 posts

Master Geek

  #1579179 23-Jun-2016 18:41
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UPDATE 23rd June:

Had the second final install appointment this afternoon...

The chap who came was here briefly and had the internet up and running (WOOHOO!) however the phones were not working (just giving a beep beep noise) and, despite me questioning signing his mobile device that it was all OK when it wasn't, he "made" me sign off so he could move onto the next job promising that the phones would simply start working within 15 minutes.

They didn't and still aren't and as I type it's 6:42pm...

I used the Spark Online Chat tool (no working phone and we pay by the minute for our cells) and apparently it could be an overnight process to get the phone working... They gave me the 0800 number for the provisioning folks if it's still not going tomorrow!

What a mission!

Mad Scientist
29119 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #1579219 23-Jun-2016 19:27
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maybe there's something in the air in Chch? that is ridiculous!


110 posts

Master Geek

  #1579394 24-Jun-2016 09:42
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UPDATE 24th June:

So, resetting the clock from the pre-final-appointment issues to yesterday, and leaving those issues aside...

The very final last issue is getting the phone working. One would think that this _should_ be simple wouldn't one?

Yesterday afternoon I was given an 0800 number to ring this morning if the phone wasn't going overnight.

The phone wasn't going overnight so I rang that number and spoke with a customer services rep from Spark.

That person informed me that I should never have been told 15 minutes by the installation contractor as it normally takes 24 hours to 48 hours to make the phone work. OK - if that's the case then why don't they just admit that up front!

I figured that since my 24 hours started nearly 24 hours ago that perhaps there was a chance of having the phone going today!


Seems the "order to register" is sitting there but not acted upon so the 24 hour to 48 hour clock has yet to start - not only that but since we are close to the weekend the "up to 48 hours" may actually stop over the weekend and continue into next week!


After briefly explaining some of the woes of this install the person kindly offered to escalate. They placed me on hold and eventually came back telling me that all my details have now been "registered" but I needed to turn the ONT off for 30 minutes and after 30 minutes the person would telephone me back to confirm (they were confident!) that it was working.

IT WASN'T (surprise surprise!)

The Spark customer rep then said that everything from their end now looks OK so they now need to log a fault with Enable and get them to look into it.

Once again I am left with no light at the end of the tunnel (i.e Once again I have absolutely no idea when my phone will once again work).

Once again I am at the mercy of Enable, or, as I like to now call them UN-able.

I'll keep everyone posted.

I do have to say though - the customer services rep at Spark was really good and appears to have really done his best with whatever systems he has in and was really apologetic at having to pass it back to Unable.

At least I have the internet running here now and thank heavens for the cellphone eh!

2348 posts

Uber Geek

  #1579412 24-Jun-2016 09:57
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That's really unfortunate.

Our Fibre installation with Enable and Bigpipe in Hei Hei went relatively well (multimedia communications)

The civil work did end up getting done AFTER the inside part, as yours was, but it all went okay.

My understanding is it is the tenants responsibility to make sure they are allowed to do it, just like anything else they do to the property, (EG they could call up a drainlayer or something and it would just get done)


110 posts

Master Geek

  #1579444 24-Jun-2016 11:14
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Could it be? Has it really happened? YES FOLKS!!! It has!

To my utter surprise my landline telephone just rang and it was the customer services rep from Spark. He didn't say exactly what it was that was the cause but the escalation to Enable (OK, I'll stop calling them Unable now!) fixed it really quickly.

So finally, from placing the order way back in (towards the end of) April to today, 24th June we are up and running completely on UFB at our house!

What a journey though and I sincerely hope that our experience represents the (one would hope!) very small percentage of installs that has these sort of issues.

Thanks to the Spark team too in particular, who, also at the mercy of Enable so it seems, really did go above and beyond where and how they could at times and some of those team are on here and hopefully read this. If they do, hey, thanks again fellas.

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Uber Geek

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  #1579467 24-Jun-2016 12:01
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Enjoy the UFB goodness.


How many Speedtests have you run since they connected it :)

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