I spotted a van from BTOR outside this morning, so I rushed out to see what ho. And it's great news - they've dealt with the blockage, and they now have fibre running to the new manhole outside my house. The man from BTOR was testing it, and it works.
I'd like to think that it was me telling them that Bucks CC was about to do major road works that got things moving. But who knows what made the difference.
The manhole giving access to the BT ducting, is a couple of yards away from the manhole that gives access to the ducting into my house, and I have no idea why they didn't dig the two at the same time; it was always clear that they would both be needed. Oh well, BT moves in mysterious ways its wonders to perform.
So while he was there, I suggested that he could also run his tubing through my duct into the house, and he agreed, might as well.
First, he ran a rod through; that's about a centimeter diameter, flexible and very strong. That showed that there wasn't a blockage in the duct. Then he tied a strong polypropylene cord to that rod, and pulled the rod back. and finally, he tied the fibre duct (that's about a centimeter diameter, and contains two smaller tubes) to the cord, and pulled the cord. So now the fibre duct runs from the BT manhole, into my house.
Tomorrow, they're coming to do more. They need to blow the actual glass fibre down the inside of the fibre duct. Here's a video of that.
Another BTOR guy attending had been involved in this case since it started in October 2014. He didn't have a good explanation about why this has all taken so long, except that the underground ducting was installed 58 years ago, and used pottery pipes (they use plastic now) which are more likely to break than plastic. Also, they just slotted the pipes into each other, so it was possible for muck to get in and clog the pipe. I think a lot of people are quite embarrased by the length of time this has taken.
I also asked him about the possiblity of fibre broadband comeing soon, now that the ducting is done and dusted, and he seemed to think that this was a possibility.