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How does 100Mbps Ethernet from a street cabinet sound?
Monday 24 September 2007 14:35:26 by Andrew Ferguson

Recent months have seen an increase in the amount of talk about fibre based networks getting closer to homes and businesses. From October 2007 a new product from Openreach will be available called Street Access that may bring true next generation broadband services closer.

Street Access is not a full end-user product, so it will not mean the immediate ability to connect to a fibre network, but it will provide the ability for a communications provider such as BT Wholesale or one of the existing LLU providers to have 100Mbps symmetrical connectivity to a street lamp or street cabinet, from where they could deploy a wireless network, metro ethernet or sub loop unbundling with VDSL2 to offer high speed broadband.

So what exactly does Street Access provide? Simply put a piece of fibre providing uncontended 100Mbps speeds back to a providers hardware in the exchange from a secure location like a lamp post or street cabinet. The fibre is pretty small and is blown down a conduit just 30mm wide making it easy to link to a lamp post. The kit that sits on the end of the fibre is designed to be rugged and compact to fit into a wide variety of locations.

At present there has been no information about any providers looking to use this product. The pricing obviously depends greatly on variables like the amount of fibre that will be installed, but a quick and dirty quote suggests a 2.5km link would cost £3,350 a year to rent with £4,750 install costs. While this is not cheap (and doesn't include rental of space needed in the BT Exchange), if you were to share this between 30 consumers the rental works out at £9.50 per consumer per month. The product certainly makes an attractive proposition for providing very fast connectivity to businesses, who may already be paying £200 a month for a SDSL connection running at just 2Mbps.

Gazing into the crystal ball, could this product, which is available to all communications providers, be the first step towards BT Wholesale unleashing a VDSL2 solution running from street cabinets starting in 2008?

Comments

Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"a secure location like a lamp post " - I had to laugh :-)

Sounds cool though, sub-loop unbundling here we come !
Posted by PeteK over 9 years ago
Hmm while this sounds great, there are a few errors I fear

1. The WES circuit would indeed cost about 3k pa. However unless you buy transit from BT (ROTF) you would have to pay 6k pa for a Netlocate product in the exchange (server rack) to plug it into, or use BT BES (assuming you can use BES for this and it fits into the LLU service model).
2. You need a transit circuit from end of WES to London/Mcr/Other Transit.
3. Wireless kit and 100Mb/s Sync?? Hmmm.
4. VDSL2 - lack of ratification.
5. Planning permission for street cab - read money.
6. Power supply - more money.
Posted by Balb0wa over 9 years ago
Sounds goo to me
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
http://www.nicc.org.uk/nicc-public/Public/interconnectstandards/dsltg_spec/nd1602_2005_08.pdf

Worth a look for VDSL2, it is a work in progress. ADSL2+ though has the full go ahead.

Netlocate product/backhaul yes it would be needed, but plenty of exchanges where LLU kit is installed already.

Street cab - rent space in cab from BT/corner of someones garden?
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
you can have a tie cable to a convenient building, need not be in the street or adjacent to the BT cab / manhole. Plenty of places with 2M or less or nothing might like to have 10-16M instead but as usual it isn't cheap.
Posted by PeteK over 9 years ago
Andrew. I agree with all you sentiments and assuming the Street product does fall under the LLU license, then you could use a BES from an existing LLU exchange. However you can only terminate BES or site-to-site for LLU purposes circuits in your LCU/MCU frame. You cannot (for example) deliver a customer leased line from an LLU rack.

And VDSL has been in "ratification" for ever. The doc is two years old and we have been busily keeping an eye on the situation as we are awaiting the option to upgrade a couple of our Distant LLU products to VDSL. The doc you refer to is two years old.
Posted by PeteK over 9 years ago
Quote "Plenty of places with 2M or less or nothing might like to have 10-16M "

Hmm, yes, the locations on long lines, therefore long LES/WES circuits, and unfortunately not 3k pa anymore.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
The news story (especially the title) where-ever it came from IMO is more than a little mis-leading, as far as i can tell this doesnt mean in anyway shape or form that the ordinary joe in the street will be able to have a 100Mbps connection from BT. I will applaude BT though, if this ends up being released by 2008 it could be of significant benefit to people in previous hard to provide high speed access areas.
Posted by Osama_broadbandin over 9 years ago
excellent news brothers.
Posted by g-bhxu over 9 years ago
It's all very well going on about download speed but what about increasing upload speed too!
Posted by PeteK over 9 years ago
If a service provider had a 10/100/1000meg tail at the end of your street, then it is a symmetrical service. If they choose to deliver over ADSL2+ then you could theoretically have 22meg/2.5m but that is the specification. If it was wireless, it could be synchronous and much higher upload on vdsl that adsl too, but this is all cost model. When they can sell a leased line instead of a adsl service, why would they?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
To Carpetburn, did you read the second paragraph? "Street Access is not a full end-user product"

Without products like this then other things like you keep asking for cannot happen.

The presentation is 100Mbps Ethernet at the NTE which can be placed in street furniture, now if a provider stuffed a WiMAX aerial on a lamppost holding the kit - that could be a nice connection - or is that not a move forward?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
@Andrew yes i did read that bit and other ambiguios parts like "that may bring true next generation broadband services closer."... MAY... either it is or isnt.I do agree with you that this could be the start of something even better and is a step in the right direction, which is why i said good on BT in my original post. I was simply pointing out the way the story could be mis-leading, a normal know nothing person could easily think oh goodie 100Mbps ill have that, and apart from that small "is not an end-user product quote" theres not alot to explain to them thats not the case.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
Since it is a new product to the comms providers you cannot say it will bring services to end-users of the speeds some want.

Now it is down to the providers money men to see if this can produce something useful.

In short this is an option that does not exist now, but will in October. Progress yes, a fast connection for you today - no.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote "In short this is an option that does not exist now, but will in October. Progress yes, a fast connection for you today - no."
Which is basically what i said albeit in longer words originally.
Posted by Osama_broadbandin over 9 years ago
So unless someone drops it in your lap today your not intrested?! thanks for sharing...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Drops what in my lap??? I already have a connection which averages 16Mb but thanks for the concern
Posted by Hysteria over 9 years ago
CARPETBURN, I'd hate to think what you'd be like if you were on a long line and only getting a tenth of your current speed.
Posted by Osama_broadbandin over 9 years ago
"Drops what in my lap???"

The technology we're all talking about...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Quote"CARPETBURN, I'd hate to think what you'd be like if you were on a long line and only getting a tenth of your current speed"
Dunno what thats spose to mean if i lived a million miles away from the exchange i wouldnt expect to get the speed i do.
quote"Drops what in my lap???"
The technology we're all talking about..."
Erm why would i want it, as i said i get 16Mb this service wont provide that speed on a INDIVIDUAL basis.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 9 years ago
andrew can carpetburn be barred as he is most annoying ..by the way how did you get your name carpetburn there is cream you can buy for your knees lol
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Hey atleast all my comments are ontopic and relevant to the news story in question. Frankly i dont care if you or anyone agrees or disagrees thats the whole point of debate, opinion and comments, a concept that eludes you.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
At first glance this may sound awesome but its nowhere near as good as it sound if I understand it right. I take it as BT are saying they now have the ability to rollout the technology but the isp's have to pay for their own FTTC instead of it been done on the wholesale level so BTw is not commiting to any rollout or installation costs, only 2 or 3 isps probably have the economy of scale to even consider doing this so its no surprise none have their name forward.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
This is a product available to communications providers of which BT Wholesale is one of many, so next step is for someone like BT Wholesale or Carphone Warehouse to come up with a product plan

These providers would then use it for their own service, or wholesale it to broadband providers.

It is too early to say BTW is not commiting to any roll-out, since the prduct has only recently had costs/specification finalised.
Posted by adriandaz over 9 years ago
I suppose they could do the old trigger level count again (If BTW roll it out) to see if people in the area on various ISPs want the higher speeds and services, and if there is enough demand then it will be viable, and done.
Posted by Hysteria over 9 years ago
The problem with that, adriandaz, is that it'll end up being only the large exchanges that would receive it, like with ADSL. Small exchanges like mine never stood a chance of reaching the target level.
Posted by csimon over 9 years ago
It depends how they set the trigger levels. They could be set to:

1. Achieve the most profit in the quickest way (i.e. give the larger exchanges the lowest trigger levels).
2. Find the most absolute demand (i.e. use absolute numbers for trigger levels)
3. Find the most relative demand (i.e. use percentage figures for trigger levels)

The three are very different in their approach and will have hugely different results. Yeah, I suppose you're right, it'll be done in the same way as before - option 1!
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
andrew a rollout of fibre on local loop level is only practical if you have large numbers of end users, a retail isp is not going to be able to do this and its the same for a new player, I would guess only 3 companies are probably able to do this. sky BTw and virgin media, virgin media have no cashflow and sky are unlikely to do anything like this as they dont have enough customers leaving only BTw. I find it extroadnary someone like BTw with millions of active connections can be compared to someone with only thousands.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I think the trigger level idea adriandaz mentioned is a good idea.. Small exchanges may well suffer but anyone living in rural areas or areas with a small exchange or a distance from the exchange have always suffered, it even happens in other countries that already use fibre and is just one of those things. It also makes obvious sense for the population as a whole and for the likes of BT as a company to concentrate on the larger areas first.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Also agree entirely with chrysalis post which starts "At first glance this may sound awesome..." And is something i tried to point out from the beginning that the story is misleading and this so called service is nowhere near as good or ready to go to the masses as what COULD be interpreted from the story.
Posted by skinleft07 over 9 years ago
Why does the UK always have to be behind, they do it in other countries (with help from the government or even good investment) with no problem. Hong Kong/Korea/Japan have had 100mbps for a while now. Maybe BT are too interested in what their shareholders say!
Posted by Hysteria over 9 years ago
Yes but Hong Kong/Korea and Japan are vastly metropolitan so installation costs for fibre are extremely lower than they would be here.
Not that that stopped Sweden getting fibre ;-)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
There is no real excuse for this country not being able to provide services that other places in europe have. The reasons are BT wont invest, government here is all talk but no action and to round things off nicely we have weak ball-less regulators that dont put their foot down and just tell certain organisations... get it done. Until atleast one of those things change the UK will always be behind in broadband development and deployment.
Posted by KarlAustin over 9 years ago
Err.... the problem is that the regulator will say, "let others use it for pennies" and make them do so. Why invest £10bn+ when the payback will take 20-30 years? You'd be mad to.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Well it happened with the railways here Karlaustin and with eurotunnel... difference is they both had foriegn influence, unlike BT and others with the broadband situation here.
Posted by Kaufhof over 9 years ago
Someone has remarked on "a secure location like a lamp post ". Street cabinets are thought to be secure then?
Posted by RufusGreenbaum over 9 years ago
How about a wireless link from the street cabinet to my house ?

The street cabinet is only 200 metres away

Wireless would be much cheaper and quicker than laying fibre

.
Posted by Master-Yoda over 9 years ago
The transit costs alon are between £30 and £60 per month depending who you buy it from. This means that the cost to the SP will be no less than £3,000 per month for 100Mbps. Even with a contention of 12:1 it wouldn't be worth it to the SP. This service is designed for LLU customers or ISP's. The costs listed above do not include service so it will be more expensive. This is not a new 100Mbps broadband service it is basivally Openreach selling off it old WES services. These are ethernet LAN extensions.
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