The absolute joke that is Project Stratum!

Project Stratum was the codename for a project and pot of public money to improve broadband connectivity in Northern Ireland by extending “Next Generation Access (NGA)” broadband infrastructure. The contract was awarded to new company (according to public records it was founded in 2018) called Fibrus, who apparently had absolutely NO experience in building or operating a network!

Prior to this announcement the Telecom’s Department of the Department for the Economy carried out a Public consultation, which I was heavy involved with. I’d heard about it via local community group links and printed off the expression of interest forms, got anyone interested in the local area to complete them and posted them all off at my own expense.

However, the Fermanagh Rural Addressing Project (FRAP) was also being rolled out and changed the address of thousands of houses in the area. People having old addresses of 39B suddenly jump into the 90’s or more! I myself jumped 20 house numbers without any explanation or logic into where the missing houses are! This caused all kinds of madness trying to explain to banks and on-line services that no I hadn’t moved, just my house number mysterious jumped over night!

Fast forward to today, my old address which I filled out my expression of interest form is currently connectible!! Yipeee

Old address status

But the new address of where I want it installed is not. They have a pole with a distribution point on it, and have already connected my neighbour to it.

New address status

But I am in a long lane. The first house on the lane can’t get it, yet the next on the lane where they would have to install the new fibre line past, can get it! It is pure madness! There is absolutely no thought or planning put into it.

To add insult to injury, while installing the fibre cable they accidentally damaged the BT cables while cutting back trees and blocked a culvert causing the local road to flood! Not to mention traffic lights and road blocks on all the local roads while they were installing it!

I guess what more can we expect from a local government that spends more time collapsed than it does actually doing anything useful for the people. Even when it is up and running it gives us the great ideas such as the “Cash for Ash” scandal, installs faulty lifts in MOT centres causing huge backlogs, even before COVID and the EU CAP fines because they couldn’t even map fields properly! *face palms*

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