Well that was fun

Well it is now because my internet connection is 500 times faster.
But it wasn’t a lot of fun getting “la fibre” (fibre optics) connected, in fact the opposite.
It started with an ad in the local newspaper telling me I was now eligible. So I made an appointment and toddled off to the local Orange shop where a very nice person started by cutting my landline/internet/mobile bill by about €50 a month! We then went through the installation process, stressing several times that the phone connection was via a telegraph pole on the road above the house so they would need at least one cherry picker as they can no longer use ladders! And we set a date.

The day cane, the technician turned up on time … in a small van with a short ladder. So no way he was going to do the installation, he said, And anyway the box was on the third floor and on the opposite side of the house, I pointed out that his company had called me three times since I made the appointment to confirm that they would need a cherry picker so why had he come with a short ladder.

So he called his boss, and his boss’s boss and told me I’d have to make another appointment. Why should I have to make the appointment? Wasn’t it up to them to reschedule because they had made the mistake (not for the first time I might add). But no. I had to do it. So he gave me two phone numbers to call, which I did, and both were wrong!!!
So I dug out the numbers of the sub contractor doing the work and phoned around until I found someone who actually knew what I was talking about. And a few hours later he called back with a new date a couple of days ahead.
So fine. On the day in question the technicians turned up not with one but two cherry pickers. Brilliant.

Then came the bad news. Where’s the box? On the third floor, opposite side of the house. Big intake of breath. That’s going to be difficult, they said. Yes, I said. So we went and had a look and decided how we would do it. "Où est la gaine? (Where’s the conduit?). There isn’t one, I said. it’s not a new house. Oh well, you’ll have to put one in. Why wasn’t I told this before and anyway, can’t you do it? No, we’re not allowed to drill holes in case we hit a power cable od a pipe.


Fortunately my brilliant systems engineer of a son was with us and we decided to tackle it ourselves as I had the equipment and he had the knowledge. And it would have taken weeks to get an electrician to come and do the work even if we could have persuaded one it was worth his time. And it would have been expensive.

I’ll spare you the sweat and tears we suffered but eventually we got the holes drilled through from the ground floor to the third floor so they could thread the cable through and set up the connection.

It has to be said that they were brilliant. They were willing to wait while we drilled the holes (not a simple matter), they were pleasant, didn’t make a mess (we did!) and the final result is neat and above all it works!
My son made them check everything twice and after four hours they left for lunch!
Big sigh of relief.


We have just had our telephone line restored after being out of service since the 15th December 2019.
It was supposed to be working on the 6th July but, of course, it wasn’t.
We had to call Orange ourselves to inform them that, even after all their work, we still had no line.
The engineer came this morning, although the appointment was for the afternoon and I just spied him leaving our courtyard.
He said that our line had not been connected to the new line that had been installed coming from another village and he had to go back there to make the connection.
We didn’t have a good speed beforehand and now it is worse.
Orange have kindly said that they will repay our line rental since the 15th December, but no mention of compensation.
The engineer said that lines around us were bordel!

The line lasted for two hours before apparently a fault was registered.
We spoke to the Orange helpline this morning as we cannot receive incoming calls.
Apparently there is a problem across the whole of the reseaux.
The engineer was right!

How infuriating :angry:

It is appalling.
We now have our internet 'phone working, cross fingers, but what’s the betting that Orange will try to charge for us for those two hours?

Is it fibre to the house Terry? Does it terminate in the “router”. How long is the pole to house run?

It’s fibre all the way to the internet box, John.

They had installed the network in the village and brought the fibre to the top of the pole. I heard them calculating that they’d need 25 metres to reach the “terminal” they installed on the wall in my office into which the box is plugged but not sure if that was just inside the house or included the distance from the pole which has to be about 15 metres away.
The irritating thing is that the fibre reaches the house just under the roof, so all they needed to do was drill a hole through the wall to be on the third floor. But they insisted they had to follow the original route of the copper wire so took it down the wall to the ground floor and in through the conduit installed for old wire. Which was why we had to drill holes in the first and second floors to get back up to the top. Very irritating to be polite!
I don’t envy my neighbour who lives in the mill down the valley and whose telephone is linked by aerial cables from the same pole. That’s going to be fun.
One thing I insisted on was that I keep my old 04 number and that has worked a treat. I think you can plan ahead by requesting a Code Rio from Orange which guarantees you keep your number even if you move houses.

To make matters worse for us, the main fibre route from Marseilles, via Lyon to Paris is just at the top of our lane and we will have no access to it at all.

Same here. There’s been fibre running along the A75 less than 1km from our house for some time but only the motorway gendarmerie and the DDE at the end of our road were connected.

Thanks for all the info Terry. My copper comes in from the pole to the end of the garage, so I’d reckon about 25 meters too.

I’m in the same situation as your were and Jane is. Fibre was run a couple of years ago to a cable box at most 1.5kms from our house. I would have thought it’d make sense to roll out it to those with a lousy or no connection currently. But seeming it doesn’t. I think I’ll have to start agitating in the Marie.

Twenty years ago I was renovating the family home and I put a patch panel in the garage and ran at least two telephone cables, two cat 5 and two fibre to each room. I found a cable company in the US which bundled the six “wires” together so the cost of running it wasn’t too much. The phone and cat 5 proved very useful over the years but sold the house a year ago still waiting for fibre :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

We have been told that it will be 2003 when we get fibre and it will not come off that main feed.
It will come from the same place as our ordinary ligne fixe which is about 9k away and we will still be the last on the feed.
So this will mean that all the people downloading stuff will be taking away any speed which we might be gaining.

That’s not (quite) how it works.

Fibre to you is not shared, you get a link back to the nœud de raccordement which is dedicated to you (in the same way that your phone line is dedicated to you). From the NRA the service is shared but should be upgraded as part of offering fibre to users connected to that nœud.

And we lose speed at the weekends when everyone is watching films!

That happens, sad to say :frowning:

It depends how the fibre provisioning is handled - if the shared link from the NRA is already saturated (and it sounds possible) I’d hope that it would get upgraded if they are going to start offering fibre to the premises.

No guarantee, of course, but don’t assume that you will not get the benefit of a faster connection.

Don’t worry Jane. Fibre actually to you house will satisfy all your requirements.

We have lost confidence in anything to do with Orange or its sub-contractors.

The customer service is dreadful, but that’s par for the course with all telcos IMO. If you actually do get fibre to your house AND it is reliable then speed will not be a concern. It’s like replacing a ½ inch pipe with a motorway tunnel.

There is a junction box from this main fibre line from Marseilles to Paris at the top of our lane.
They could put up a dish for the fibre from there, but are they going to, of course not, even though we have had appalling service and this could be a way of repaying us.

Unlikely - you can’t just tap into a nationwide link to add a few houses.

That is the problem.
They are doing trials in one of the villages further down the road.
But being so near to such a source is really rubbing salt into the wound.