To adapt a popular saying: it’s not what you email, it’s who you email. At least, while the former’s important, the latter turns out to be too.

After bashing our heads against the BT Openreach brick wall, detailed in the previous post of this series, matters were resolved remarkably quickly. It’s all down, it seems, to who you talk to at Openreach.

As explained, we tried going through Fastershire, who oversee the broadband rollout in Herefordshire. They were keen to help, but were unable to move Openreach along in any meaningful way. We also contacted our local councillor, who, to give him his credit, tried to help through his contact at Herefordshire Council. No dice.

It was village resident Shaun Haydon, from Kington cafĂ© Border Bean, who, in a conversation on the subject, mentioned how he’d had success by contacting BT directly. That set off a train of thought; why go through BT Retail, where we could instead email the head honcho directly?

It’s easy enough to find the Openreach CEO’s email address online—we won’t reproduce it here, but it shouldn’t take you long, if you need it—and we sent an email outlining the problem.

Within ten minutes—ten minutes!—we had a personal reply from Openreach CEO Clive Selley, confirming our reading of the situation, and promising investigation as a matter of urgency. True to his word, within the hour, a senior Openreach representative was on the case. Within four hours, the errant record on our number was fixed. We continued to communicate with him to ensure correction of other Titley numbers, for our neighbours experiencing similar problems.

Before long, our fibre services were activated, and despite the odd issue, proved a vast improvement over the former ADSL services.

Who deserves the credit? After the matter was resolved, in a parish update email, the councillor mentioned that “One recent local problem was only resolved by direct contact with the C.EX of BT. After weeks of frustration surprising [sic] the matter was resolved in a few hours.” While that statement is technically true, it leaves it rather unclear as to whose idea it was to contact BT (Shaun’s), let alone the CEO (ours). A mixture of low-level communal putting-of-heads-together, combined with high-level Openreach contact, served to do the job; the entire local government tier (councillors, officers) proved to be a diversion, if not a dead end, in this case.

As a business, we’re much better placed than we were before: 40Mbps downstream is a vastly improved platform upon which to run a web design outfit. It’s not all rosy, of course; the copper line from the cabinet are still irritatingly flaky, meaning that occasional engineer visits continue to be required, forcing us to fall back to our second FTTC line. Will Part 3 be the FTTP saga?

In the meantime, if anyone in the Titley area is still having problems with their number being listed on the wrong cabinet (for most village residents, it should be down as being on 9 rather than 11), please get in touch and we’ll try to have Openreach look into it.