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The unlucky exchanges from BT's latest review
Monday 31 March 2003 20:33:00 by Andrew Ferguson

The latest review of trigger levels by BT Wholesale has left many oddities. Some exchanges that were previously deemed as unviable, have had a trigger level set, but it also seems that some exchanges not in the list of 102 triggers are now simply marked 'unviable'.

Concentrating on the exchanges that have hit the 200 registration mark the list of exchanges currently deemed 'unviable' is:

North Berwick(341), Stocksfield(302), Thurso(279), Balcombe(275), Kibworth(268), Limpley Stoke(255), Burley In Wharfdale(245), Bidford On Avon(244), Rowhedge(237), Shiphay Collaton(236), Kinver(235), Calder Valley(221), Freeland(209), Arborfield Cross(207), Preston(205) and Rowlands Castle(200).

Perhaps the phrase 'unviable' needs some clarification, it means that BT Wholesale have looked at the specifics for the exchange and have decided that to add ADSL functionality to the exchange would be too expensive. Effectively this means that if BTs standard calculations for the exchange produce a trigger level that would require all the existing Internet users to register for ADSL, then BT Wholesale view it as being pointless to give that trigger out.

What hope do these exchanges have? Well BT has reviewed exchanges that are unviable, witness Chafford that hit its trigger the day it finally got one. How can an unviable exchange suddenly become viable? Well the costs can change over time, e.g. a supplier reduces the cost of a component used in the upgrade process.

There is another class of exchange other than these unviables, the ones still awaiting review - Shillington(281), Crondall(241), Headcorn(231) and Dymchurch(203). These four exchanges have reached the 200 registration point at which they should be reviewed and given a trigger, what is odd is that in today's list a number of exchanges with a lot lower registration level have been given triggers. Have these exchanges been over looked? Or will they receive some good news in a few days?

We will be contacting BT Wholesale to enquire as to the situations on the exchanges mentioned in this news item. Once we have some feedback we will pass it on. Plenty of people have called for BT Wholesales review process to be made public, in particular precisely what factors make some exchanges so much more expensive to enable compared to others.


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