TESTIMONIALS. Fiber Castaways Tell Their Galley: “A Bazaar With No Name”

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Fiber and its promise of high speeds is appealing to many French people. However, for some, the transition to the latter turned into a real ordeal. Testimonials.

Philippe, a resident of Cugnaux, struggled for many months to get connected to the fiber. “There is a big mess between SFR, which has the monopoly of the system where I live, and behind the operators who are struggling to find a solution to connect their customers”, he summarizes today.

In 2019, the sixty-year-old, who is at Orange, learns that he can now be connected to fiber. “SFR had a junction box installed,” he explains. However, things quickly don’t go as planned. “The floor plans provided by SFR indicated that the box I had to connect to was not the one in front of my house, but was more than 800 meters away. Which was a problem because special cables had to be routed” a situation that dragged on for 5 months… and which led to a new problem: “there, they realized that my connection point was already full. There had been an underestimation of the number of houses. We had to find space”. In total: the situation took almost a year and a half to resolve.

However, Philippe is not at the end of his troubles. “A year later, a truck tore a pole out. The whole street was out of fiber.” The operators then all pass the buck. “A bazaar without a name”, which lasted another 4 months.

“We are really shocked”

A galley shared by Emilie, a resident of Escalquens. “We’ve been asking for a connection to our house for ten months,” she explains disillusioned. Problem: A conduit is slightly clogged, “but not clogged,” she insists. “Nobody wants to clean it, so we don’t have internet at home yet.” The young woman made requests for intervention to Orange, Fiber 31, her town hall or even the department council, but without success. “Everyone is dumping the hot potato, when it would only take a few hours to fix the problem…”

Another concern: Emilie’s house is new, fully automated and can benefit from neither ADSL nor VDSL and does not have a rake antenna on the roof. “It’s a hell of a real struggle every day and the problem is far from solved. We are really upset.”

“I’m at a dead end”

For his part, Thomas lives in the Tarn, on the edge of Haute-Garonne, “in an old farm, a little away from the rest of the city”. 6 months ago, vendors came to see him, told him he was entitled to fiber. Happy, he signed a contract with SFR. A few days later, however, a technician told him that he had to install a sheath, from the municipal road to his house, which would allow him to connect the fiber. Thomas then quickly runs the job, “in which I have pledged money”.

A second technician goes to his house but this time tells him that the work has not actually been done on the municipal road. “The fiber covers the first houses at the beginning of the path, 200 meters from mine. On the other hand, the overhead poles for the passage of the fiber don’t reach my house”, regrets Tarnais.

A few more weeks, an expert is sent on site. Then he explains that installing fiber is impossible, because installing poles generates work. “SFR terminated my contract. And the same for Orange, which I contacted later.”

“Because I’m supposed to be eligible for fiber, I can’t sign up for an ADSL contract anymore,” he complains. “My partner being a 100% teleworker, this poses a problem in her daily life”. Thomas tried to write to Tarn fiber several times, with no response. “So I’m at an impasse…”

“It’s unacceptable”

Benjamin, a resident of Oise, found himself, on January 31, with the fiber of his house cut “by a technician to supply another customer on the street,” he assures. “In my neighborhood, the fiber is owned by SFR, and I’m in Sosh, which belongs to Orange.” The resident of Hauts-de-France has managed to obtain compensation for 200GB in 4G “to be able to do his business on the Internet”, while waiting to resolve the situation.

However, after the cut, Sosh continued to postpone technical appointments. «A first was scheduled for me on February 3, before being moved to the 9th, then on the 24th and now I am looking forward to March 3rd», she says. “But I’m under no illusions, I was purely and simply disconnected from the fiber because Orange doesn’t own the network on my street,” she accuses. “These methods are completely unacceptable.”

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