I have been let down by the engineer who was supposed to be installing my broadband. What can I do?

This is outside the remit of the CSW Broadband project as our role is to install the fibre network. You will contract with an ISP and it is down to them to arrange for the installation.

You have no means of contacting the engineers directly, and it’s all to do with the way in which BT was structured when it was privatised. You have probably seen a lot of press coverage recently about the Ofcom investigation into Openreach’s structure and the new rules that are being brought in that should provide greater clarity (!)

BT consists of a number of different businesses that operate at different levels.

Openreach owns and operates the copper and fibre infrastructure. They are the ones carrying out the current CSW Broadband contract on the ground.

Because lots of ISPs can access the Openreach network, it is important that they all access the same products at the same price, otherwise BT retail and BT business could have an unfair advantage over other ISPs. Therefore, there is a middle layer, BT wholesale, which sells services to the ISPs and they all work from the same wholesale rates cards.

You may happen to have BT retail or BT Business as your provider, but it could just as easily be any one of a number of ISPs. The differentiating factor between the ISPs, which provides users with market choice, is the packages that they offer, their pricing structure and the bundled products that they offer.

So, you have contracted with an ISP, which is quite discrete from Openreach which operates and manages the network. Your ISP will be working with Openreach to provide your line, and it is between those two companies to sort out any issues.

Openreach won’t deal directly with members of the public since they have no contractual relationship with you, and it is your ISP and not you who is the customer of Openreach.

The only people who have regulatory powers over this is Ofcom, and it may be worth contacting them if you continue to have problems. The consumer organisation, Which? run a lot of broadband campaigns so it may also be worth contacting them.

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