Update 23rd July 2017 PROJECT NOW 114 DAYS OVERDUE
It's taken 3 months of pressure and steady escalation to reach this point, but the good news is that the escalations have started to take serious effect. All along we have had excellent Openreach guys working hard for us - Mitch and Bomber to name but two - but they have been hog-tied by Openreach' dependence on sub-contractors who have proved time and again that they don't care and can see no difference between a BDUK contract and a Private funded contract such as ours.
Emma Howarth, Programme Director – Infrastructure Delivery South West, Solent and M4 Corridor, became involved some weeks ago and has given support, but in spite of continual escalation from her desk we were still seeing little movement on the ground. So we got in touch with Kim Mears, Managing Director, Infrastructure Delivery, who is number 2 in the pecking order below Clive Selley the Chief Executive. ( Actually, we copied Clive Selley on our correspondence, but he hasn't seen the need to get involved - yet. Perhaps he will when he knows that an old mucker of his is one of the key project drivers here in Hyde).
Kim has taken an interest and at our last conference call briefing she asked Andy Hudson, Managing Director, Infrastructure Delivery, (who reports directly to Kim), to take a hand. Very down-to-earth guy who seems to be the key mover and shaker we have been searching for over weeks and weeks - (we only tell you all this stuff so that you may be aware that we continue to work on the project every day and will not rest until everything is done and dusted to our satisfaction).
The first thing Andy decreed was that sub-contractors were OUT and all groundwork and firbre routing should be done by Openreach' own engineers. (The only exception is SSE who are needed for power connection at 17 and 21). The second decree ran along the lines of "regardless of what has gone before, we now have to get this contract completed without any further delay. Get out there and get it done."
Seems to be working; at 09.30 yesterday there were 8 Openreach engineers in Hyde Lane surveying the fibre route from Hern Lane to Cabinet 19 at the bottom of Frogham Hill. By lunchtime they were agreeing the fibre route from Cab 19 to Cab 20 at the Foresters. This morning they are trimming trees down Frogham Hill before the fibre is installed during the coming week.
Cabinet 21( Criddlestyle X) is also moving ahead; the cabinet plinth is in and ducted and the cabinet will be stood as soon as the concrete has cured. On Monday they should bring power across the main road to the cabinet.
Cabinet 17 ran into power problems two or three weeks ago; but these should be sorted by Thursday.
Meanwhile Cabinet 18 will be accepting orders later this week.
So to end this update, here are the engineers we were talking about, surveying etc.
We can confidently report that this is the largest gathering of Openreach employees seen south of Fordingbridge since the project started in March 2016!
Peter, David, Roly and the Team.