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Openreach to run fibre to the cabinet pilots in 2009
Monday 13 October 2008 10:47:44 by Andrew Ferguson

Openreach has published some details of the Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) trials that it will be running in 2009. The trials will cover 30,000 premises and allow people to have an up to 40Mbps broadband connection.

Openreach is planning a technical trial in Foxhall (near Kesgrave, Suffolk) early in 2009. With two exchanges that will involve up to 15,000 customer premises in the summer of 2009. The operational pilots will be in Muswell Hill, London and the other one in Whitchurch, South Glamorgan.

"We are delighted to announce Whitchurch, South Glamorgan and Muswell Hill exchanges as the first sites chosen to pilot our fibre to the cabinet product. Services in these areas will be available to all UK communication providers on a wholesale basis. The sites were chosen in consultation with communications providers and took into account feedback from Regional Development Agencies, Devolved Authorities and similar organisations. It was also necessary to take into account current network topology and our ability to run testing procedures in the chosen areas. We have a good mix of areas, allowing us to test our products in both urban and semi-rural environments. These two sites were chosen from a shortlist and we expect to announce detailed plans for the initial market deployment of the Openreach product in early 2010, again following consultation with all interested parties"

David Campbell, Openreach’s director of next generation access

Assuming all goes well with the trial we can expect to see a product launch in 2010, exactly what this product will look like in terms of pricing and speeds will depend greatly on what the communication providers who buy services from Openreach decide to do.

Fibre to the cabinet involves pushing fibre out from the local exchange building to the green street cabinets that are generally located within 1km of all the homes they serve. The advantage of this is that it removes potentially several kilometres of metallic phone cable and if just ADSL was used would probably see everyone connecting at 8Mbps. Broadband speeds of 40Mbps can be achieved by VDSL and VDSL2, which while faster than ADSL will not see everyone connecting at 40Mbps, estimates suggest around 50% of telephone lines would manage 20Mbps connection speeds using VDSL.

The variation in connection speeds will annoy some, but for people who suffer telephone lines of 5km or longer now the ability to shorten this drastically and see a boost in speed and hopefully broadband reliability will be very welcome. Hopefully at product launch in 2010 a good mixture of urban, towns and rural areas will have access to the product, roll-out will not be an overnight affair, since Openreach is located in 5,500 exchanges and look after around 85,000 street cabinets.

Comments

Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
so my thoughts on the forum were correct and a fttX rollout would be openreach, it be interesting to see if BT sell off openreach before such a rollout.
Posted by browney over 8 years ago
I wish they did this trial where i live after all "Sunderland appears to be the UK's most connected city, with 66% of households having broadband" Ofcom report
Posted by adamtemp over 8 years ago
lets hope that at launch they look at the exchanges with the most distant lines I would be very happy with a 8mbps over adsl on a long line. But I guess it will be gain aimed at high population levels and not on distances so rural areas may lag even further behind.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Assuming all goes well with the trial we can expect to see a product launch in 2010"

Huh??? I didnt think some were going to get BT ADSL2+ until 2010..... and now this ???????
Posted by Foggy_UK over 8 years ago
I think we can look forward to BT selling off Openreach in the near future but working a deal out to retain ownership of the nation network of ductwork. I'm not so sure what they might do with the copper access network ?
Posted by taylordruk over 8 years ago
What it is with BT? Why didn't they stop wasting money on VDSL and just go directly for fibre, then they won't have to upgradge the network for another 100 years.
Posted by -Alex- over 8 years ago
The one thing which annoys me about BT is that they tend to trial things a long time after other networks start deploying them. If 2010 is the potential start of deployment then it'll take even longer for more parts of the country to get it.
Posted by lloydio over 8 years ago
This will be irrelevant for me as i will be enjoying symmetrical 100mbs on the H20 network within 12 months.
Posted by brightd over 8 years ago
When I saw Whitchurch I got very excited, but unfortunately the Whitchurch where I live is in Hampshire :(
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@brightd:Yeah, rather an unfortunate choice of name there. The UK has a helluva lot of 'Whitchurches' :)
Posted by m5rcc over 8 years ago
I live in the Muswell Hill exchange. How does one apply to be a trialist?
Posted by bobby_valentino over 8 years ago
why coulnd't the trail be in west london grr
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
BT trials will tend to be a bit more involved because they have to make sure it works in 5500 exchanges and 85,000 street cabinets.
Posted by Dave2150 over 8 years ago
@Somerset "Make sure it works in 5500 exchanges".

Are you serious? This isnt some state of the art technology they are using, FTTC and VDSL has been used in thousands of situations already.

Posted by 2doorsbob over 8 years ago
BT will unfortunatly drag there heels as long as possible ,this should have been done years ago but with the current financial climate i can't see this happening for a long time ..and we can't expect any handouts from the government as we now owe billions
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Dave - And you can provide the full heat, power and other requirements in the size of box BT uses? You're aware of any interface and tolerance issues?

No, it's not that simple.
Posted by sunindra over 8 years ago
I live in Woodford (Essex), the ADSL service is delivered by wires buried in the road. I cannot see any BT street cabinets, though there are lots of Virgin Media ones. Any ideas ?
Posted by whatever2 over 8 years ago
Who will give me good odds about lack of exchange capacity at the exchange when this rolls?

Snafu, another bug laden launch expected.
Posted by bezuk over 8 years ago
Isn't this a little slow for VDSL2? I remember figures like 100 megabits symmetric at 0.5 km from somewhere which doesn't seem too unreasonable for a line length from a cabinet.

I suppose it makes sense to start low and ramp it up later but a key word there was symmetric - in practise I'm sure they'll find a way to limit the upstream to 2 megabits or less.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
heh you guys forget one thing. BT always alter the specs of products, eg. they messed up adsl1 and 2 adding profiling etc. I expect they will try to mess with vdsl hence they need their own trials.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"BT trials will tend to be a bit more involved because they have to make sure it works in 5500 exchanges and 85,000 street cabinets."
LOL Oh really so they make sure tech already used over the world works do they?? Does that go for their so called tested ADSL2+ service also and how their ordering system cant deal with orders from Andrews & Arnold because they have an "&" in their name?? LOL
Yep they test things big style dont they?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"heh you guys forget one thing. BT always alter the specs of products, eg. they messed up adsl1 and 2 adding profiling etc. I expect they will try to mess with vdsl hence they need their own trials."
Lets not forget the awesome power of 50% of people getting 20Mb... Oh wow.... Speeds like that have never been seen before and justifys the billions they are going to spend... Oh hang on, no it doesnt! Someone 1KM on a DECENT ADSL2+ service will get pretty close to 20Mb already anyway. (I know because i am that distance and can get it already)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
No doubt their fibre service will cost more than what i pay also to claw back the millions, have silly profiling like you state, and probably a monthly cap.... Oh im so signing up LOL
I wonder will it be the most SLOW fibre service in the world?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
Once we come out of rant mode and look at the figures properly.

Currently under ADSL2+ around only 5 to 15% can get sync speeds of 20Mbps or more. So 50% under FTTC would be a big jump, and also something like over 90% should manage 8Mbps or more.

Does this make it slower than other fibre services - well given the degradation is physics based I don't see how.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
Carpetburn - just how big is the chip on your shoulder?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
My comparison of speeds and the 1KM distance i mentioned was totally fair..... Nearly ANYONE that distance or under with access to a LLU ADSL2+ service is likely to get 20Mb or atleast close to it. The story itself states..."pushing fibre out from the local exchange building to the green street cabinets that are generally located within 1km of all the homes they serve."
So if some are going to get 20Mb on this so called fibre and are 1KM from the green box. Unless im missing something thats no real improvement to someone on a LLU service with ADSL2+ and 1KM or less from the exchange... IS IT?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
The only improvement is the numbers that will get a higher speed. Oh and thats only theory... I also wonder as its a BT service will their be another silly profile system, another bunch of caps and throttles?... Oh and while we are at it are BT gonna pop round and hook me up and install anything that needs installing for free???? If not.... what exact benefit is there to me??? YES me... Those with long lines moan enough and are gonna get an improvement now how about us with shorter lines enter as you put it "RANT MODE" and ask whats the benefit to us HUH?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Carpetburn - just how big is the chip on your shoulder?"

Chip pffft.... I got a whole potato, this is just a warm up
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
chrysalis - You mean that different hardware and tolerance values means you need to adjust what you do with the hardware? NO WAI!

Carpet - You're || close to getting me to write to my MP and complain about LLU providers.
Posted by lume over 8 years ago
Im gutted! at the moment bt seem to be laying a hell of a lot of optical 16 core fibre about 70 foot away from the house seems its on its way to wales from cheshire.
since im in a remote location and get a max of 1meg it doesnt seem fair!
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
Carpetburn - this is all about trying to give all customers a similar service, not that that worries you.
Posted by KarlAustin over 8 years ago
Of course there's a difference CB, you're talking about LLU with people <1km from the exchange (not all that many) and this is talking about people 1km from a street cabinet - which is quite a lot people.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
CB I disagree with you on this one, those with short lines have long had it good at the expense of those with longer lines, all these "up to" products where you get high speed but pay the same price as someone who gets a lower speed. This is a very long awaited upgrade for long lines that is needed, incidently it will also boost short lines as the max speed on vdsl is higher than 24mbit.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Carpet - You're close to getting me to write to my MP and complain about LLU providers"

Like most they hide in their office and will never read the moan

quote"Carpetburn - this is all about trying to give all customers a similar service, not that that worries you."

LOL nope it doesnt LOL

@ chrysalis and KarlAustin... Sure the numbers getting higher speed may increase, but remember this is BT its going to be capped, throttled or limited in some form... mark my words!
Posted by bain72pc over 8 years ago
I'm new to the site. Read this with interest. Despite years complaining to BT about my internet speed (I eventually got moved from dial-up to 2mb - really only 1mb) I'm pulling my hair out with frustration! 40mb from fibre optics! A dream to me. I would be happy with the 8mb but they keep telling me "too far away from the exchange" (3 miles as the crow flies). Recently I saw guys from openreach at the box down the street and asked if they were installing fibre to be told they're taking out the fibre to install copper!!! What's going on?
Posted by chriscoulter41 over 8 years ago
I only live less than 2 miles by road from my exchange but broadband speed is frequently under 2Mb. Any improvement on this would be marvellous.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago


welcome, bain72pc.. :)
It seems because BT is such a giant, it takes ages for it to catch up with smaller faster companies... so by the time it does things, they are out of date...
I remember the 'promise of fiber' amost 10 years ago, and it turned out AFAI understood that it is not compatible with the way phone/internet stuff is transmitted, so they had to reinstate copper!(Hey if anyone knows better, please say!) - AFIAK it is the push for 21CN that is now making fiber 'possible' - good intentions yes, but as BT reputation is sinking, all the other companies are doing better than BT!
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
another question is BT says a line can only do 512k, and a smaller company goes in and gets 1.5M for the same line!!
try these..
http://www.samknows.com
http://www.dslreports.com/tools

and note almost EVERY ISP has 'regional variations'! - I have 3 friends near me in south london, that have had *no* problems with VM CABLE, that is why I went for it, as well as avoiding the hopeless mess that is BT - any problems with VM CABLE involve just VM! and YES, my CS is great too!

note that if it is not cable, then BT still has to get involved, even if it is LLU like Talk Talk etc..
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
- use the 'mapping engine' on samknows, and click on your town on the map...
Posted by SPOOKish over 8 years ago
4 miles out from Muswell Hill. Damn.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
BT says a line can only do 512k, and a smaller company goes in and gets 1.5M

Is that comparing the line checker with an actual install?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
dunno, lots here say it...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
The BT checker says my line is only good for upto 2Mb ADSL......

Laughable that i get around 16Mb on ADSL2+.

Quite what BT are thinking saying someone like myself only 500k straight line to the exchange and about 1km actual line length will only get 2Mb is anyones guess. Maybe on my exchange they get alot of complaints about speed so there solution is to lie about what you should get and state you should get less.
Posted by nigmos over 8 years ago
Roll out, why when I live 0.6 miles by the crow or 2 miles by road and only have 1.75Mbps, lets concentrate on getting basic 8 mbps speed thoughout the country.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
^^^ Not 100% sure but if that 2 miles is your actual line length 1.75Mb seems poor, i could be wrong but by my quick maths 2 miles is only about 3.2Km... Id had thought you would get atleast double that speed, seems to me you have a poor line unless ive missed something
Posted by elder666 over 7 years ago
can i get fibre right now to my door in N.iReland?
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