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Sheffield almost into 21st century
Tuesday 10 March 2009 11:06:08 by Andrew Ferguson

According to the The Star, a newspaper that covers South Yorkshire, next generation broadband is about to arrive in Sheffield and it will be an entirely new broadband service, not simply an improved version of what already exists.

The reality is that the 21st Century Network (21CN) roll-out by the BT Group arrives in Sheffield by the end of the month, and will cover around 60% of the phone network in the city. Claims that 60% of broadband connections will benefit is much harder to substantiate. 21CN broadband is actually just ADSL2+ and is provided by MSAN's in the local telephone exchange (a MSAN is a DSLAM providing both telephone and broadband services).

People do not need to panic that their broadband will suddenly migrate to a new service or that their existing modem will not work, which the newspaper article could have people thinking. Current ADSL only modems will work under ADSL2+ and migration will not happen en-masse, it will require your broadband provider to actually decide to migrate the line to WBC (the BT Wholesale 21CN broadband product name - Wholesale Broadband Connect). This is only going to happen a limited number of people since Andrews & Arnold and Entanet are the two providers making use of WBC currently. BT Retail the largest ADSL provider has only recently started mentioning that ADSL2+ offering speeds of up to 20Mbps is on the way.

While ADSL2+ will offer almost three times the headline maximum speed, the fact that the speed falls away as the length of the telephone line increases, means that around 42% of lines will connect at 9.5Mbps and faster, for those connecting at 2Mbps or slower ADSL2+ is not likely to offer a significant improvement in connection speed. One reason providers may be slow to adopt even faster connections, is that to cope with peak demand they will need to invest in more back haul capacity, otherwise having a faster connection to the exchange will be irrelevant as the bottleneck will just be somewhere in the dark recesses of a providers network.

Comments

Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
"they will need to invest in more back haul capacity". Don't anyone hold their breath :(
Posted by GMAN99 over 8 years ago
"they will need to invest in more back haul capacity". Don't anyone hold their breath :(

- Any you know they haven't because???
Posted by lurkio over 8 years ago
This is really great news for me as a Sheffield resident stuck with a measly 12Mbps sync...... No wait, hang on......... I've been on ADSL2+ with Be* for 2 years now. The news that I might one day be able to get the same service from BT Retail is soooo exciting! ;-)
Posted by GMAN99 over 8 years ago
And even more exciting they'll charge you even more than you pay now!!! ;o)
Posted by Dixinormous over 8 years ago
I'm sure Virgin Media having released their 50Mbit service are quaking :(
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
21Century joke. Those that have will be given more and those who have little will have that taken from them... If only they would stop messing about and replace the copper with fibre. How many years is 21Cn gonna hold back the real next gen? The next generation of children deserve better than the Next Generation network of rehashed obsolete copper.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@GMAN99:It's an assumption based on the prevalence of usage caps and traffic management. There is clearly a lack of back haul capacity and ISPs weren't very quick to ramp up when ADSL Max was released.

I see no reason to believe they will rush to support the increased demands from ADSL2.
Posted by tikka69 over 8 years ago
I'm sorry but this country is pathetic. We are going to be left soooooooo far behind with this and are already. I agree it should not all be left to BT, if the government can offload billions to the banks, why not put some into a fibre network.......
Posted by KarlAustin over 8 years ago
The govt. is loaning most the banks their billions or taking a massive stake in them - which they will sell at a later date, so could actually make a massive profit on if they sell at the right time (and don't try and dump their share all at once). I believe these loans are at 13% Interest in some cases as well - so the govt. is making out like a bandit in reality.
Posted by GMAN99 over 8 years ago
@GAndrueC

I don't think there's a lack of backhaul capacity. I think there's a lack of how much the ISP's are buying sure, but I don't think there's a lack of capacity available to buy.

Two different things.

ISP's will always try to squeeze as much as they can out of fewer pipes, and having ADSL, ADSL2+ or VDSL at the front end won't ever change that.
Posted by GMAN99 over 8 years ago
@cyberdoyle
Do you think its cheap to replace all of the copper with fibre? Look how much its going to cost to rollout out (1.5bil) to just 10 million homes and its probably to the cab not the home.
No business in their right mind would invest that sort of money unless they are going to see a profit in it. I'm sure other ISP's would love to have BT rollout fibre everywhere and then use it themselves for a pittance.
We've already got a fibre network in this country, Virgin haven't you seen the ads? If its not in your area or costs too high why aren't you harping on at them?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"No business in their right mind would invest that sort of money unless they are going to see a profit in it. I'm sure other ISP's would love to have BT rollout fibre everywhere and then use it themselves for a pittance."

Considering the bulk of the money will come from the government to roll fibre out fully i dont even see why BT should have any say in who gets to use it. As to ADSL2+ it has alread been agreed other ISPs will be allowed to use that, infact BT thereself think ADSL2+ will be cheaper for them.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
BT ADSL2+ will be rate adaptive just like MAX currently is, thats going to lead to more disappointments and people miles from the exchange still moaning someone closer gets faster speeds... The same people are the ones that are stuck with 1 or 2Mb and have been begging for ADSL2+ or fibre for some time with their its not fair others that live in civilization get faster speed.
Posted by GMAN99 over 8 years ago
I've not seen any mention anywhere that the government are paying a penny for the fibre rollout. If you know different I'd like to see a link stating that. (Not being funny - AFAIK its wholly BT funded)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"I've not seen any mention anywhere that the government are paying a penny for the fibre rollout."

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/3833-government-set-to-back-faster-broadband.html

The 1.5 billion BT has been told they can spend is just the tip of the TOTAL cost for the whole country.
Posted by GMAN99 over 8 years ago
Thanks. It does just say "could include" high speed broadband though. Nothing concrete. Can't imagine investing a ton of money into a fibre rollout on their own is at the top of BT's list at the moment on the back of a pay freeze and a spiralling share price
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
The amount BT have been told they can spend and what they have said they are going to spend certainly will not be enough to fibre the whole country, the rest of the cash is going to have to come from somewhere.... Its bad enough government use our taxes to bail out the banks without now using them on companies that were so determined to become privatised in the first place.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Many of course will want BT fibre, i dont and wont and i dont see why people such as myself should end up contributing to the cost of yet another bright idea of a service from BT and the government. From what i have read the more affordable fibre services will only run at between 20-40Mb i get as good as 20Mb now so i dont need fibre, the ISP that also provide me that near 20Mb didnt have billions handed on a plate to them from government or anyone else.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Oh and before Dawn Falcon goes off on another BT subsidise LLU rant, even if that were true (Which it is NOT) they certainly never subsidised them amounts in the BILLIONS
Posted by GMAN99 over 8 years ago
I don't think it should come from the Government (if it even is). It should either be a join venture by major ISP's (which BT has asked for) or BT should pay for it themselves but be able to charge the right amount to other ISP's to recoup the costs and obviously make a profit.

I also think the consumer is going to have to get to grips with the fact that if they want faster broadband they'll have to pay more for it. But do they want it? It would be interesting to see the take up figures on Virgins 50Mb
Posted by MikePiff over 8 years ago
If this is all about to happen, how come I as a customer haven't heard anything about it?
Posted by MikePiff over 8 years ago
Also, try searching for adsl2+ on http://www.broadband.bt.com and try to follow the first link.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
@GMAN99 Very well said with your last comment, i also agree basically every ISP should chip in to pay the massive cost fibre will be... Those that chip in should then be allowed to sell the services, those that dont can only sell ADSL based services....
As to consumers, sure they will all want it or like the sounds of it, trouble is there are too many in this country that want everything for nothing, My guess is the service will be around £50 quid a month to start for the mid(ish 40Mb) product which compares to virgin, i doubt many will pay it though.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
I certainly wouldnt mind paying upto £100 a month for a FAST broadband product like some of our European cousins have, I wont pay £100 though for capped or throttled nonsense. Id sooner stick to my LLU and similar speeds for a quarter of the cost with no set in stone limitations.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
CB you are a classic example of "I'm alright jack". You get 20mbit so all is hunky dory.

The way I see it is if the government justifies the money gone into banks saying it went into share ownership which later yeilds a profit, why not do the same with fibre, the government expenditure equates to ownership and profits.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"CB you are a classic example of "I'm alright jack"
I could say thats the attitude of everyone, those that cant get 20Mb moan they cant get 20Mb, so at the end of the day the comments are personal and in my cases and cases the opposite to me its always me me me anyway.As to the goverment and BT, do you really think anything for those living in the country is going to change? Nope it wont BT will take the billions and make sure everyone in London can get full Mb rates while those in the country will still suffer... Dont blame me for that blame BT and the government
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Those in the country thinking BT are going to give you 40Mb or higher fibre i have 2 words for you..... "PIPE DREAM"
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