Full fibre broadband for Brightling, Woods Corner, Netherfield Village – an update on progress, or the lack of it – Brightling, East Sussex – village website

From time to time one hears the motto “never apologize; never explain” (sometimes, like many such quotations, misattributed to Winston Churchill).  It is not a philosophy that I agree with but it one that BT/Openreach seem to adhere to fiercely.    Having originally predicted a completion date of 7 July 2023 for the Brightling/Woods Corner/Netherfield full fibre broadband project, they suddenly informed me in early April that the expected completion date had been put back to 31 December 2023.  No apology has been offered and no explanation has been forthcoming, despite vigorous chasing up by me.  The best I have been able to extract from them is a promise to report progress once a month. 

In the absence of any information from BT/Openreach, one has to grasp at straws.  In the middle of April I spotted two vans marked Network Planning Solutions, parked in Netherfield near the White Hart pub.  I couldn’t follow my normal practice of stopping and having a chat with them (one learns a lot that way) but from later burrowing into the internet, I find that they are a firm that acts as a subcontractor to Openreach for planning and installing fibre networks.  So my guess is that Openreach have subcontracted to this company, and that we are therefore still in the planning stage of the project. 

Also my network of agents within the roads department inform me that there are as yet no advance plans of roadworks in the area – and one would expect some some planned roadworks to be announced prior to the build phase of the fibre optic network. 

I will escalate within BT if necessary, and will report progress here in this column.  But, with BT/Openreach being in the private sector, we have very little hold over their performance, or accountability.