If you’re from a Public Health Body or one of our Communication Providers and need to contact us about someone who has tested positive that’s been in contact with an Openreach employee, or enquire about who one of our engineers may have come into contact with, please fill out this form and we’ll respond back within two working hours.
During Coronavirus, we know that now more than ever that being connected matters – and Openreach is playing a fundamental part in keeping the nation connected while keeping our people and society safe. We’re working very closely with our Communications Provider partners (the 688+ companies who sell, phone, broadband and Ethernet services to homes and businesses), updating our information and guidelines regularly based on UK Government advice.
The work Openreach does is critical with our engineers given Key Worker status. Our number one priority is to keep people connected, and we’ve been working closely with our Communications Provider (CP) partners to minimise the impact of the Government’s restrictions on the services we can provide.
Over the last few months, Covid-19 cases and hospital admissions have fallen back to levels last seen in October and the UK vaccination programme is rolling out at pace. Our engineers will comply with any local restrictions that may be in place.
What to expect if you’ve got an engineer coming
If you're expecting an Openreach engineer to visit your home or business, they’ll do all they can to get you up and running without entering.
We returned to working on all appointed provisions and repairs, across the UK, on Thursday 29 April 2021 and more recently on unappointed work.
However, in all cases, our engineers will continue to carry out a personal risk assessment and maintain the current safety guidelines, at all times. This includes asking the three screening questions:
- Have you or anyone else living here been diagnosed with Coronavirus or been asked to self-isolate?
- Do you or anyone else here have flu-like symptoms?
- Have you or anyone else living here received an NHS letter confirming you’re classified as an extremely vulnerable person?
Getting ready for an engineer's visit
Our engineers will continue to take appropriate measures to ensure your safety and their own. If we do need to enter your home, for appointed work we’ll call you beforehand to talk to you about how we can make our visit as short and safe as possible. For unappointed work we'll ensure that our engineer has this conversation with you before entering your home or business.
Before our engineer arrives please:
- Clear a path to the main telephone socket or fibre connection point, if you have one.
- With an antibacterial wipe, clean down any surfaces around the telephone socket our engineers may come into contact with.
- Open any windows or doors where the Openreach engineer will probably need to work.
Please ensure you maintain social distancing and, wherever possible, move to a different room. Once the engineer has finished working, they’ll wipe down any surface they’ve touched before leaving.
At the end of the appointment
Our engineer will explain what they’ve done - in person, via the phone, WhatsApp or Facetime – whichever suits you best. You can find out more information about the engineer appointment including a video explaining the process on our detailed FAQ page.
Finally, the Government has asked us to carry on extending and upgrading our network to add more capacity and deliver faster, more reliable broadband. That includes building our new Full Fibre network and means that you'll still see our engineers working in the street, digging trenches and installing new cables. They’re doing essential work on our network as Key Workers, so please remember to maintain social distancing.
We'll continue to update this information as the guidance evolves from UK Governments, and other UK health organisations.
Thank you for helping us to keep you and our engineers safe.
We know more businesses are asking their employees to work from home during this period, so connecting remotely is important for everyone.
In terms of capacity, our network continues to manage very heavy usage in the evenings when people are streaming movies or gaming. We've coped with UK broadband usage more than doubling in 2020 to 50,000 Petabytes (PB) of data being consumed across the country, compared to around 22,000 PB in 2019. The types of applications that people use heavily outside of work – like Netflix, Amazon Prime or Sky Go – use more bandwidth than typical working tools like email, collaboration software or even voice and video conferencing. So we're confident that our network can continue to deal with a big increase in people working from home.
But if you’re at all concerned about your broadband service and it being able to cope with home working, it’s a good idea to speak to your Communications Provider.
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