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182 posts

Master Geek


#195778 3-May-2016 16:07
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After reading many, many horror stories of UFB installations on GZ, I've doubled-down in my determination to get a timely installation sorted on my property. Sadly, it's slowly slipping away from me, but I refuse to give up.

 

We're moving in on Friday to a new property in Khandallah. The UFB cables are shiny new on the street and were laid a month ago. The property is on a shared driveway with three other homes, but each property has access to services on the road via individual polls and aerial connections. Existing copper and electricity connections are delivered that way.

 

--

 

Timeline:

 

18 Apr - House inspection visit, managed to find a Chorus van parked near the house - helpful technician says, "should be a clean, simple aerial install"

 

19 Apr - Order placed with Orcon, for an "installation date" of Tuesday 10 May. I'm brimming with optimism and a can-do spirit.

 

20 Apr - "Sorry, you need consents" message from Orcon based on advice from Chorus because the property is on a shared driveway. Spirits crumbling.

 

20 Apr - I get in touch with Orcon to clarify that the property could be installed via aerial, so it must just be a default knee-jerk reaction to a property description that lists a shared driveway. They commit to getting in touch with Chorus to double-check... but I'm not super convinced and start poking around for ways to get in touch myself. Dogged determination.

 

21 Apr - After some googling manage to find an email for the Chorus consents team and send a message asking for their help. I get a reply within a few hours saying that they haven't even recieved my order, so it must be a glitch in the Orcon system. A helpful person in the team also reassures me that most Khandallah installs tend to be aerial, and that I shouldn't worry at this stage. Relief.

 

21 Apr - An email from Chorus letting me know they've "just recieved my fibre order", which also contains an order number. Double relief.

 

27 Apr - Another visit to the house, where (surprise surprise) another Chorus van seems to be potting around the road - second tehcnician also swears that this should be an aerial install and can't understand why the driveway is coming into play. Triple relief, and a sense that this is all legit...

 

28 Apr - An email update from Orcon again reconfirming that someone in Chorus let them know that the property *does*, in fact, need consents from everyone on the driveway. WTF?

 

28 Apr - After avoiding making contact with them given how busy they must be, I send an email to the consents team letting them know that I now have an order number, and that there is some confusion around whether a consent is needed. I fill them in on both the Chorus tech visual assessments. Again, I get a quick response letting me know they'll look into it and come back asap. Reassured, and trying to remain hopeful.

 

29 Apr - Email from Chorus consents letting me know that this is a single dwelling aerial install, and that they've reclassified it and moved it along. Woohoo! Right?

 

1 May - No woohoo. Give Chorus helpdesk a call and check where things are at. The note from the consents team has been registered into the system, but they need the RSP to give them a go-ahead to move forward. No problem, I'm a facilitator... I can facilitate this. I can do it.

 

1 May - Ring Orcon, ask them to move forward - they kindly offer to send an email to Chorus to move things along with an aerial installation. Orcon confirms they will do it right away, and that I should follow up with Chorus the next day. That's it, things are moving.

 

3 May - Ring Chorus helpdesk - have recieved nothing from Orcon, and a new person kindly points out that the system has put the order on a technical hold for some reason, and that it needs escalation to be resolved. As my spirits sink, she assures me that I'll have an update in 48 hours. It's a wonderful surprise then, that 20 min later, she calls to let me know that the hold has been lifted and that it has been moved to the outbound unit. I should hear back within 5 working days on installation dates etc. Cautiously optimistic.

 

--

 

Clearly, I'm probably not going to have UFB on the 10th of May, unless the Chorus outbound team makes magic happen (please feel free to try Chorus, you guys have been amazing so far). Also, some lessons that are emerging:

 

1. Comms to-fro RSP and Chorus don't seem that great. There's an almost sad acceptance that these installs never happen to assigned timelines and that there are no SLAs that are worth the extra resources/effort to speed up communications and effort between the two. Fair enough, that's just a cost-benefit resource call, but at least be more honest about it with customers.

 

2. Chorus internal comms are also weird. The system seems hard to parse - my calls to the helpdesk were sometimes awkward while the wonderfully nice support people needed more time than healthy to read through the notes and check that everything makes sense. It took a third support person to notice the hold on the system... the first two didn't catch it.

 

3. Chorus are really great at communicating quickly and seem very customer focussed. Not one person was annoyed that I was poking around. For all the Chorus hatred, this installation is moving forward on the goodwill of people at Chorus (e.g. consents team!) who don't really have to be customer-facing but seem to be encouraged to do so by the organisational culture. I appreciate that.

 

4. Too much relies on the determination of the customer to make things happen to timelines. Left to their own designs, I could easily see how it could have taken many months to reach even this stage of the timeline. It could well end up taking much more time, but clearly trying (in a polite, constructive and apologetic way) to move things along helped get me as far as I have. The unfortunate thing about this is that my approach isn't consistent with Kiwi cultural norms - it's usually best practice to press the "Order now" button and wait it out politely - someone is obviously going to get back to you, so why interfere? I appreciate that, but if the system isn't designed to cater to those norms, then you have to deviate.

 

 

 

Will update as I go along. Just my thoughts - sorry for wasting your bandwidth :)

 

 

 

 

 

V

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Banana?
5006 posts

Uber Geek

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  #1546146 3-May-2016 16:32
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There is a chance you will have it by the 10th - remain hopeful.

 

My scope was on 1st April, I was UFBing on the 5th.


228 posts

Master Geek


  #1546177 3-May-2016 17:21
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Your enthusiasm, patience and perseverance are outstanding.

 

I'm afraid your install can not proceed until all three are exhausted. 


 
 
 
 


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  #1546223 3-May-2016 17:32
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i wonder if chorus are going to need consent from the local lines company to use the poles. that may add some unwanted time to your install.




182 posts

Master Geek


  #1546232 3-May-2016 18:06
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Jase2985:

 

i wonder if chorus are going to need consent from the local lines company to use the poles. that may add some unwanted time to your install.

 

 

 

 

Oh happy days (weeks)... let's hope for the best!


2084 posts

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  #1546235 3-May-2016 18:08
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Thanks for the entertaining run-down. I hope you are pleasantly surprised and get your UFB soon! I'm not due for UFB until February next year, but having read the above, I'm going around the neighbours this month with consent forms. There's 4 of us on the driveway (actually, there's only 2 on the one that serves the house, but it merges with another 2-dwelling driveway at the footpath) and I want to make sure everyone has filled one out long before I need them! 

 

Edited to add: On the GIS viewer, the property boundaries show that the other house on my driveway and I own the whole thing right down to the street. The drive that merges with ours at the pavement actually doesn't own any of the strip they drive over to get to the road! So hopefully that means only the guys next door need to provide consent. They've already okayed me getting 20 solar panels on my roof, so I'm sure they'll be fine with UFB :)





Geek girl. Freelance copywriter and editor at Unmistakable.co.nz.

 

Currently using: Custom-built AMD Ryzen 7 3700X Desktop, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone XR, AppleTV4.


5430 posts

Uber Geek


  #1546371 3-May-2016 22:20
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If it's Wellington Electricity providing permission to use their poles, you can expect a lengthy wait - if you can even get it that way. My Dad tried to get fibre and they denied him, so he's stuck on cable. Yes, he is affected by the congestion too (in Rongotai, near the airport).




182 posts

Master Geek


  #1546395 3-May-2016 23:01
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quickymart:

 

If it's Wellington Electricity providing permission to use their poles, you can expect a lengthy wait - if you can even get it that way. My Dad tried to get fibre and they denied him, so he's stuck on cable. Yes, he is affected by the congestion too (in Rongotai, near the airport).

 

 

 

 

From the WE annual report: 

 

"Wellington Electricity and Chorus have entered an agreement for the use of Wellington Electricity poles to support aerial service lines for the ultrafast broadband roll-out that Chorus is undertaking. Due to the existing congestion on poles, and negative impacts of multiple third party attachments to poles, the agreement allows for only underground to overhead risers or road crossings to poles outside individual properties that have existing overhead telephone services. While not as problematic as circuits running along the lines, these will impede access to Wellington Electricity poles for maintenance and replacement activities."

 

 

 

Hopefully our installation fits within this spec... there is an existing telephone line that crosses the road to go to my individual property.


 
 
 
 


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  #1546397 3-May-2016 23:07
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It probably will, but WE consents are done in batches once a week, iirc, and therefore still slow.








182 posts

Master Geek


  #1546407 3-May-2016 23:25
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Brumfondl:

 

It probably will, but WE consents are done in batches once a week, iirc, and therefore still slow.

 

 

 

 

Yes, the more I read about other experiences with WE, the scarier it looks. Maybe I should have just gotten consent from the neighbours as part of the meet and greet. Some wine, chocolate, a smile and a consent form wouldn't have been so terrible in hindsight.

 

This makes me feel like I'm back in India trying to get inefficient public servants to push my "application file" for a new telephone connection along to the next of the 15,000 different and unnecessary stages of processing. I remember waiting for two years before we got a second phone line at home (back when toll-free dial-up meant you could connect all day). How little things have changed...

 

 


5430 posts

Uber Geek


  #1546426 4-May-2016 04:42
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I believe even if you get the neighbour's consent, Wellington Electricity also needs to give consent for you to use their pole.


538 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1546458 4-May-2016 08:53
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quickymart:

 

I believe even if you get the neighbour's consent, Wellington Electricity also needs to give consent for you to use their pole.

 

 

 

 

Luckily in Whangarei with Northpower as both LFC and lines company there are no such issues.




182 posts

Master Geek


  #1546493 4-May-2016 09:58
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quickymart:

 

I believe even if you get the neighbour's consent, Wellington Electricity also needs to give consent for you to use their pole.

 

 

 

 

Not if you don't need to use the poll anymore. If everyone in the driveway gave consent, it could be a ground-level installation.


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  #1546495 4-May-2016 10:01
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quickymart:

 

If it's Wellington Electricity providing permission to use their poles, you can expect a lengthy wait - if you can even get it that way. My Dad tried to get fibre and they denied him, so he's stuck on cable. Yes, he is affected by the congestion too (in Rongotai, near the airport).

 

 

Consent takes around 2 weeks.

 

 


1010 posts

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Chorus

  #1546572 4-May-2016 12:43
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robcreid:

 

Your enthusiasm, patience and perseverance are outstanding.

 

I'm afraid your install can not proceed until all three are exhausted. 

 

 

I swear this line is straight out of the secret UFB conversation guidelines handbook. How on earth did you get a copy? :)





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


9 posts

Wannabe Geek


  #1547074 5-May-2016 11:12
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If it helps, I have a Spark order for Fibre since the 12th of February this year and still no installation date. Granted it's multi dwelling, but I've had the consent and had the scope done twice but never heard back. It's only 4 houses too. Had over 15 calls to chase Spark/ Chorus up over the months.

 

I know all about patience but this hurts.


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