What are ECCs and why would I have to pay them?


Do I have to pay ECCs?

Posted on 25 September 2021 by Beaming Support

What is an ECC?

ECC stands for excess construction charge. When a building or site is to be connected to the internet or to another site and there has previously been no connection, or when there is to be a new kind of connection installed (for example an upgrade from broadband to a fibre optic leased line), it may be necessary for some engineering work to be carried out to put in place the necessary infrastructure. Where this is the case, there may be some excess construction charges to pay.

What are excess construction charges for?

ECCs are most commonly applied for leased line fibre orders where new or additional Openreach infrastructure is required; when connecting non-served premises (Sites with no postal address that have not previously been connected, including telephone boxes, traffic lights/control systems, telephone masts and wind farms) and for site office orders at temporary construction sites.

Excess construction charges can cover the cost of drilling holes through walls, installing cables and ducting and erecting poles, and you’ll usually become aware of these charges after a site survey has taken place.

How do we know how much ECCs will cost?

When new infrastructure is required to connect up a particular site, an Openreach survey will be carried out to determine the scope of the work needed, using the following process:

  1. A convenient date is arranged for a joint site survey to take place.
  2. Openreach surveyor completes survey with customer. Note: It is incredibly important that the customer liaises with the surveyor on site so that both parties are in agreement about exactly what work is required. This can prevent any rework if the customer doesn’t agree with the subsequent ECC quote.
  3. Once the survey has been completed the Openreach surveyor has 10 working days to update the order with their survey report of the works required to provide service.
  4. The survey report gets passed to Openreach’s planning team who then raise the Excess construction charges to the internet service provider.
  5. These Excess construction charges are passed to the customer to be accepted before work is able to start. Openreach will pay the first £2,800 of any charges, and this will already have been taken into account when the final charges are presented to you.

Find out more about what happens during a site survey and how to prepare.

Can we change our mind once ECCs have been confirmed?

Once you have been advised of the excess construction charges, you can choose not to proceed but you will be charged for the survey. If there are no ECCs, the order will progress.

Is there anything we can do to reduce excess construction charges?

When the survey takes place you can have a discussion with the Openreach surveyor as to whether it would be better to do some or all of the civil works yourself. It is an entirely personal business decision as you may have contractors of your own or choose to source your own materials and contractors.

There is also the option that Openreach provides you with the required materials and then you complete the works on site yourself.

When do we pay the ECCs?

If you are happy with the quote you receive for works required to provide your site with service then in most cases, payment for the ECCs is not required until the service is live.

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