The Bolton News carries good news for the residents of The Meadows estate near to Middlebrook Retail Park in Bolton. BT is currently laying new copper telephone cables alongside the fibre optic links that provide service to the 250 homes on the estate. These fibre links are often called T-PON and were used as a way of meeting the obligations to provide a telephone service while keeping costs low. At one time the country had around 45,000 homes connected by T-PON, but it is thought that well over half these homes now have access to ADSL.
The process of installing a copper overlay is not quick, but BT are expecting some homes on the estate to have access to ADSL by Christmas. One issue with T-PON and copper overlay is that it was very often used when an estate was many miles from the central exchange, and thus was considered out of range of ADSL until BT had gained more experience of ADSL in the UK. Generally to try and improve the ADSL speeds, BT will use a thicker copper cable than normal, since thicker cables carry the ADSL signal further.
Installing a bunch of copper cables when there is already a fibre optic cable close to the homes seems almost madness. Alas while BT and Fujitsu have proved you can run a small DSLAM over the T-PON link, BT has taken the less technical solution. Fingers crossed if BT ever decides to start using remote DSLAMs to decrease the length of the copper telephone line to give more people higher xDSL access speeds then these T-PON areas will be at the forefront for once, rather than remaining a forgotten backwater for years.