Barry Collins from PC Pro has written an article that includes several quotes from people in the broadband industry in relation to the roll-out of the BT 21st Century Network (21CN).
The criticism seems to be centred on providers not being given enough detail on the forthcoming WBC (Wholesale Broadband Connect) products and concerns that BT may be moving too fast. Given the products are currently in trial stages and following the fun and games of the 'up to 8Mbps Max' service launch, one perhaps can understand BT's reasons for not releasing too much information.
There are still broadband providers out there whose support desks seem to be advising customers about the Max products based on information from the trial which is now misleading or inaccurate. BT is required to publish details of the full products prior to launch--Whether this will be enough notice for all providers is impossible to say, but there are Supplier Trial Information Notes out there already.
The PC Pro article highlights one common misconception--The target of 50% of UK broadband services delivered over 21CN in 2008 does not mean that the migration of 50% of PSTN services will occur at the same time. It is possible for the 21CN broadband services to be provided before or after a voice service has been moved to the 21CN platform.
In respect to the problems that ADSL2+ will have in terms of speed falling off rapidly as you move further away from the exchange, estimates based on existing ADSL data suggest that 25% of lines will connect at 11Mbps or higher and to some extent this is supported by data from our speed tests for Be There users earlier this year.
The BT 21st Century Network is ambitious, but in broadband terms it is playing a catch-up game with the unbundled providers, giving BT every incentive to get it rolled out as quickly as possible. In theory, 21CN should provide a framework for faster broadband services in future years as BT is using MSANs that can support fibre on the local loop as well as backhaul.