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BT announce first 29 exchanges for fibre deployment
Monday 23 March 2009 10:53:32 by John Hunt

Approximately 500,000 homes and businesses will be able to connect to BT's super-fast broadband which uses fibre optic cable from the local telephone exchange to the streetside cabinet to provide speeds of up to 40meg by early 2010. Speeds could also rise to up to 60meg- a 7.5 increase over existing 'up to 8meg' services.

The first fibre enabled areas will be in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Greater Manchester with two non-urban areas being included: Calder Valley, near Halifax, and Taffs Well near Cardiff. A list of the exchanges which will be the first with this deployed is detailed below.

Exchange Area Region
Chelmsford Essex East of England
St. Albans Hertfordshire East of England
Watford Hertfordshire East of England
Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire East of England
Leagrave Bedfordshire East of England
Luton Bedfordshire East of England
Canonbury London London
Chingford London London
Edmonton London London
Enfield London London
Highams Park London London
Tottenham London London
Thamesmead London London
Woolwich London London
Bury Greater Manchester North West
Didsbury Greater Manchester North West
Failsworth Greater Manchester North West
Heaton Moor Greater Manchester North West
Oldham Greater Manchester North West
Rusholme Greater Manchester North West
Belfast Balmoral Belfast Northern Ireland
Dean Edinburgh Scotland
Glasgow Halfway Glasgow Scotland
Glasgow Western Glasgow Scotland
Cardiff Cardiff Wales
Taffs Well Rhondda Cynon Taf Wales
Halifax West Yorkshire Yorkshire and Humber
Pudsey West Yorkshire Yorkshire and Humber
Calder Valley West Yorkshire Yorkshire and Humber

Trials are set to take place this summer in Muswell Hill (London) and Whitchurch (Wales) to test the technology and ensure it is ready. 10 million premises or 40% of UK homes and businesses are expected to be covered by 2012. BT hope to announce the next set of exchanges in the Autumn.

Readers should note that when your exchange and cabinet are upgraded, this doesn't mean an automatic upgrade to this service. Your service provider will need to support the new fibre products and you will have to sign up to one of these new packages. Whilst a headline speed of 40Mbps is advertised, this may not be available to everyone as speeds are still limited by distance to the cabinet as the new fibre services will use VDSL2 over the standard copper phone line from the street side cabinet to the premises. How speeds will vary when actually deployed is as yet unknown.

Comments

Posted by njalondon over 8 years ago
Strange that nowhere in the West Midlands listed in the initial rollout. At east BT are doing something at last.
Posted by Pigmaster over 8 years ago
As usual lets do the major cities first. These cities are swamped with choices already, yet out in the stick we have nothing but the crappy promised ADSL 2+ will give us nothing in increased speeds as most users are more than 2km from the exchange.
Posted by browney over 8 years ago
Nice to see they are going to the north east.....NOT
Posted by jossmer over 8 years ago
Typical no South Yorkshire yet again...oh the joys of an empty tin can and sting!
Posted by cavillas over 8 years ago
Time they did somewhere like the Frinto Exchange and give everyone reound this way more choice, it's too easy and lazy just to target the exchanges and areas which already have numerous choices.
Posted by adslmax over 8 years ago
it a pity that bt are very unfair system play always ingorning shropshire area!
Posted by aolden over 8 years ago
My exchange is on the list - an living only 30 meters i feel like saying wooo.

Makes a change as we didnt get ADSL until Mid 2004 and have no LLU.
Posted by Foggy_UK over 8 years ago
UK cities to get YET another network roll out!!!
Posted by Foggy_UK over 8 years ago
@aolden - how many SP's are there on your exchange ?
Posted by adslmax over 8 years ago
i was surprise there is no west midlands nor shropshire on the list ? why ? why ? why bt ?
Posted by adslmax over 8 years ago
i don't understand why bt choose Taffs Well, Wales, as there isn't enough residential on it and only had market 1. quite a shocking really.
Posted by aolden over 8 years ago
Hi Foggy.

I'm assuming SP means service providers? Its Taffs Wells, one of the two small ones that BT are going with. The only other BB supplier is Virgin who only cover 1/2 the area.
Posted by Dixinormous over 8 years ago
Anyone here want some cheese with their whine?

It's only the first 29 of 5444 DSL enabled exchanges ladies and none of it's being done until next year. None in Birmingham I might add so please do calm down with the rural / county / I'm not on the list persecution complexes.
Posted by tobykim over 8 years ago
Same in Wales everything goes to the South we are the poor relations in the North can't even get LLU
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
It will be deployed in those exchanges purely on economical basis, ie near a fat pipe, lotsa peeps or businesses, and that is the way the rollout will continue, if it ever gets started. If those places don't give a financial return it will stall again. We need the whole country online at high speed asap, otherwise another digital divide opens up between cities. One city will have the benefit over another, and that could cause issues, further negating the benefits of broadband.
Posted by paulbeattie87 over 8 years ago
3 exchanges for the whole of Scotland they have done well. All of those exchanges have Virgin and multiple LLU's, all market 3.

Very disappointed with this.
Posted by Capn over 8 years ago
As BT will be doing fibre to the cabinet. How hard would it be to have a system where a household can pay extra and have the remaining copper replaced with fibre?
Posted by Danny99uk over 8 years ago
Instead of beefing up these already 8 meg lines how about upgrading the less then 8meg lines. Im paying the same as these 8 meg but achieving 1.5meg at best.
Posted by planetf1 over 8 years ago
Any news is good news in terms of the deployment starting.

I live on a large housing estate with many 1000's homes (5k?) most of which are 3.5km+ from exchange (I'm 5.5) so poor adsl 2+ speeds. (At least we have LLU 3.5 Mbps for me)

Hoping this is an ideal candidate for vdsl - high population density.

Pretty sure my D-side is ~500m - so not that short. Still should be good for a fair few 10's MBps
Posted by andy493 over 8 years ago
Same old, same old. Most of the usual places, with one or two new/slightly rural areas to try to avoid too much criticism. Why when some areas, inc Sth northants, where you are very lucky to get a 1mbp connection, and already have fibre between exch & cabinet does BT go to the usual areas with the greatest existing choice. whats a few more years on the copper overlay. By the time BT sorts it's life out mobile broadband will have replaced wires anyway.
Posted by dubpixel over 8 years ago
I'm not getting my hopes up as the current 21CN service from the Didsbury exchange doesn't work properly and the engineers don't even have the gear to test ADSL2+.

"It fell over, let's build a BIGGER one!"
Posted by jumpmum over 8 years ago
Don't all hold your breath, look at the economics.
A big Cabinet has ~800 lines, 50% BB (from BTWholesale), maybe 10% of which want VDSL 20-40meg AND are prepared to pay for it. So 40 workers, ISP has to buy backhaul (100meg?) so needs NO competition to get all 40 workers.
Smaller Cabinet at 400, forget economics!. Only ever costs in in dense area where existing DSL is 0.5-1meg and everybody wants it so get 200+ workers.
No Return no rollout!
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
jumpmum - No, ISP's don't need to buy backhaul from the cabinet. They'll retain their existing access points into the 21CN system (either nodes or exchanges).

And where BT has a known test and diagnostic setup, well, yea it's going to reuse it for the very first run of new products!
Posted by bearfreeman over 8 years ago
How do I find out where my cabinet is? I'm several km from the Letchworth exchange, [which is undergoing some sort of upgrade this month] with Tiscali, but getting 85*K* down, 245 up.....
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
It seems wrong it salways wales early on but I guess BT have their reasons for that. This wont be a only urban rollout I expect some surprises like the few rural already announced. Also those in rural areas please realise there is still millions of lines that are long in urban areas. Those london exchanges I would like to think they have a lot of long lines, if they dont BT wont get significant impact.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"As usual lets do the major cities first. These cities are swamped with choices already, yet out in the stick we have nothing but the crappy promised ADSL 2+ will give us nothing in increased speeds as most users are more than 2km from the exchange."

Yep this about sums it up, typical BT, as i said elsewhere in all this oh..ah BT fibre talk those a million miles from an exchange living in the country thinking suddenly they will get super fast broadband are living a pipe dream!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Thank god my exchange is not on the list and i wont be getting un-solicited phone calls and junk mail through my door from BT preaching about their so called 20Mb and up fibre. Just over a week ago i had my second phone call this year from a BT indian gentleman claiming they could offer faster speed than i get on LLU at the moment. A clueless business from top to bottom.
Posted by bookey over 8 years ago
Map of where they all are. Red = rural, green = urban.
http://mapalist.com/Public/PublicMapViewerShell.aspx?mapid=39246
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@andy493:South Northants isn't a very good example unless you mean one of the villages. I live in Brackley and I have a 13Mb sync curtesy of Be. I suspect most of Brackley (the biggest town in Southants) can get at least 6Mb just from IPStream.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
(..biggest in South Northants I meant, lol).
Posted by yobrenoops over 8 years ago
Aaah Brackley. I was born there. Surely Towcesters bigger than Brackley and with Buckingham down the road there are better options.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
LOL 2 rural exchanges LOL nothing more needs be said. Those in the country and fast connections, its a pipe dream that wont happen for a while yet
Posted by eded2000 over 8 years ago
I am quite surprised so many people are shocked/disappointed with the exchanges that have been selected for this trial. Of course the majority of the exchanges selected have LLU providers - it makes complete sense to do trials where you maximise the potential number of participants. This is why there are multiple providers there in the first place. Exchanges with a larger number of users are far more appropriate choices than rural locations where fewer users are connected. The idea of a trial is not for the to boost rural connection speeds, but to test the technology in convenient locations.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 8 years ago
haha "FAILSWORTH" wonder how that one gets on...
Posted by imbsuk over 8 years ago
Good to see my exchange on the list, but, I'm guessing the service will be heavily capped? Not that I'm wanting to max it out or anything, that would be absurd, but traditionally usage limits have been very low on BT and the like.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
They have to start somewhere. Anyone like to come up with a better list?!
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
chrysalis - They're going to want a range of exchanges, urban and rural, high and low load so they can test it in as many situations as possible.

CB's conspiracy theories are just funny, mind you. And yes, BT can sell services faster than ADSL. Maybe you should of listened rather than engaging in racial sterotyping?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
The reactions are precisely as expected, this is just the first 29 exchanges, NOT the final few completing a roll-out.

Every roll-out has to start somewhere.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"CB's conspiracy theories are just funny"

Huh what conspiracy??? Its 2 rural exchanges thats it nothing more.

Will also be interesting to see what MAXIMUM speeds they offer on this trial and what CAPS, i wont be shocked if its 20Mb and around 50gig MAX a month, of course the BT faithfull will sling mud at me for that comment, of course though i dont mind ill just wait for news updates and then laugh in their face with a big TOLD YOU SO
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Its the same old BT, the choice of exchanges are predictable. I wonder why they didnt make it more balanced between rural and urban? Surely that would have assisted testing more would it not? Shouts of a copy of the shambles we call MAX and 21CN with regards to roll out if you ask me, will probably be throttled and or capped similarly also.
Posted by imbsuk over 8 years ago
I don't get why people are complaining that they're mostly in densely populated areas. Wasn't that to be expected? Wont that make commercial sense?
Posted by Shempz over 8 years ago
How about you upgrade all our tel exchanges so they have fairly modern technology first...some of us in the sticks would like a bit of customer care and a bit of interest from BT as well you know!!!!
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Well yes, Carpet, why would they not deploy new products at the same sites, given they've allready done much of the groundwork for testing there before? This is standard procedure for any company.

Again, you're peddling a conspiracy that dosn't exist.

Shempz - This *is* that update. 21CN moves onto a pure IP network.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Well yes, Carpet, why would they not deploy new products at the same sites, given they've allready done much of the groundwork for testing there before? This is standard procedure for any company."
Rubbish, my area is likely to get fibre as one of the first in the country, will i take it? NO, why? I have LLU, cable etc etc, why would i switch to a service thats in test phase and probably cost more? You have moaned at me in the past when i only care about my fast connection, the moment i think of those with slower connections you still moan... Obviously too busy again defending BT!
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
What does your attitude have to do with the technical testing infrastructure?

You're thinking only of yourself, as ever.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Maybe you think just like their MAX products if someone on a short line gets the full thruput from their fibre those on long cables will also with very limited testing? As i said its typical BT. MAX was a epic fail especially for those a distance from the exchange and was only ever tested in rural locations in small numbers compared to inner city, looks like this and their ADSL2+ is going to be the same, i cant wait for all the rural mob to STILL moan their speeds are slower than other people and have another chuckle at you and BT
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
And what does that have to do with their test location selection? Nothing. Again, get back to me when you've altered how physics works and ADSL dosn't have signal attenuation over distance.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"And what does that have to do with their test location selection?"
Maybe you missed this earlier http://mapalist.com/Public/PublicMapViewerShell.aspx?mapid=39246
THATS TWO rural exchanges.

quote"Again, get back to me when you've altered how physics works and ADSL dosn't have signal attenuation over distance."

So you really think FTTC is going to solve the situation for rural users? Even though they are hardly testing it in rural locations? LMAO didnt BT claim MAX would also solve their issues? LMAO
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
No, Carpet, I didn't mention FTTC, your paranoia is causing you to spout nonsense again.

BT are using much the *same* locations for testing as ever. That's all I said.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
CB - no text speak please.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"No, Carpet, I didn't mention FTTC, your paranoia is causing you to spout nonsense again."

What were to refering to with "TEST LOCATION" than?

quote"CB - no text speak please."

Y Wot will u do abt it?

Havent i told you more than once you dont have to read my comments? They seem to annoy you with no reason, one has to question your mind if you insist on reading things you do not like.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
Other readers might believe you have something useful to say if you wrote like someone with intelligence!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
QUOTE"Other readers might believe you have something useful to say if you wrote like someone with intelligence!"

Other readers?? Oh i see you are in charge of the thoughts of the grammar police.

I just thought you were a bit frustrated and anal. I appologise for being wrong and not noting your impotence (sorry importance) <<< grammar error again!
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
Point proved!

Meanwhile... What will be interesting is the next set of exchanges to be announced.

As long as we don't have to go round getting people to register interest.
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 8 years ago
Surely the first in line ought to be a sensible mix of rural and urban, spread around the country, so that problems can be identified and sorted for all types of network area and customer. Seems to me that making the bulk London and the SE and only using two rural exchanges is extremely poor from the point of scientific/engineering evaluation
Posted by dragon1945 over 8 years ago
Wow Carpetburn. I agree with you. LOL. Twice!!!
I asked for another line test. I was told again 512 kbps. I get 1.5 MB with talktalk. A fast connection isn't going to happen ever as it's not cost effective. A certain Royal moved near here, and threw his toys out of the pram when told he couldn't have BB. A BT Engineer said it cost £30,000 to put new cable from the Exchange to his abode. Fibre or not I don't know. My phone line is tacked on to his, so I suddenly got 512 kbps. If he hadn't kicked off I still wouldn't have BB at all.
Posted by milton373 over 8 years ago
There seems to be a lot of supposition regarding the location of the test sites as well as ignorance of the laws of physics.
BT have no doubt chosen their test sites to fit in with a number of factors. The development trial will I guess provide them with the information so that they can approach the matter in a commercial fashion. They are expected to do that aren't they?
The laws of physics do mean that there is a given attenuation for a given line frequency over a given medium.
I'm sorry Carpetburn that I haven't written this in textspeak.
Posted by XANTIA-1975 over 8 years ago
No North East... Are you suprised when were a bunch of lazy, backward, thick dole wollers. and thats just Middlesbrough. Just let you into the local joke the footy team are supported by a well known sat nav company and they still cant find the goal.....
Posted by bobelliott over 8 years ago

I suppose Newcastle upon Tyne will be left till last. Local residents should think of moving to another provider. Wake up BT you cannot treat the Geordies as an after thought
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
This is the first 29! So which Newcastle exchange would you have chosen?
Posted by SPOTTY over 8 years ago
No surprises here, commercial decisions based on virtual 'footfall' opportunities with a few token gestures built in to passify the natives. I am a Vrgin National customer by virtue of where I live and already see the Broadband Apartheid affecting me. The failure to achieve linespeed equality across the board may turn into the biggest commercial missed opportunity for decades..I can see the technology debates..wireless/satellite/Fibre..bite the bullet someone. Let the Cities cross subsidise the hinterland..maybe we'll just stop sending them their food!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"Surely the first in line ought to be a sensible mix of rural and urban, spread around the country, so that problems can be identified and sorted for all types of network area and customer. Seems to me that making the bulk London and the SE and only using two rural exchanges is extremely poor from the point of scientific/engineering evaluation"
Something i tried to explain to the BT babbling fanclub from the beginning.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"Wow Carpetburn. I agree with you. LOL. Twice!!!
I asked for another line test. I was told again 512 kbps. I get 1.5 MB with talktalk. A fast connection isn't going to happen ever as it's not cost effective."

Exactly, never mind just do as i do and laugh at the BT fanboys when the service goes nationwide and those in rural areas still have slower connections than those in large towns and cities, of course they will babble some defensive nonsense they think makes sense.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"The failure to achieve linespeed equality across the board may turn into the biggest commercial missed opportunity for decades.."

Whats new... BT dont understand opportunity, its why they are around 5 years late in selling ADSL2+
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
'extremely poor from the point of scientific/engineering evaluation' - you know best...
Posted by ninewillowsmere over 7 years ago
I live in Lichfield so its nice to see the south East is having more fibre optic cables instead of those really slow copper ones. I suppose that when BT has finished all the changeover they will replace our aluminimum ones with copper.
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 7 years ago
@Somerset '- you know best...' - and your point is?

Being from a scientific/engineering background myself, I find myself baffled by the choice of initial sites. Admittedly there is insufficient data to enable anyone outside the hive mind of BT to figure out whether they have a cogent strategy.
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 7 years ago
Having seen the chaos that followed in the wake of the implementation policies of both PlusNet and BT after alleged 'trials' of MaxDSL, I find myself wondering if they know what they are doing and whether they are going to start rolling out more rapidly in other areas only to find themselves hitting snags that more intelligent early deployment would have uncovered.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
What would your list be? Towns and cities may cause more problems where there may be limited space for extending the cabinet.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Well, Carpet, you need to be able to free up investment to be able to do new products. The governnment you love so much has systematically staved them of that.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"What would your list be? Towns and cities may cause more problems where there may be limited space for extending the cabinet."

I think the point from Mr_Fluffy and earlier on myself is these first exchanges are not much of a mix of City, Town and Country.
A similar thing happened with MAX Somerset and look how that performs in rural locations.
You cant fully test a product unless you test it in ALL real life situations... In other words not just largish towns (atleast in the main).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"Well, Carpet, you need to be able to free up investment to be able to do new products. The governnment you love so much has systematically staved them of that."

Nothing to do with them being 5 years late to the ADSL2+ market, BT thereself say ADSL2+ and 21CN for them will cost less. MAX should have never existed in the first place, they should had just gone straight for ADSL2+ back then.... Maybe if they did they wouldnt have to free up investment.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Same goes for fibre, if they cant afford it they shouldnt be attempting it. BT are a private company. If they need POSSIBLE investment from another source which MAY end up being the goverment, you may think thats ok, i personally do not. The country is debt ridden, in a recession and you want to hand over a suitcase full of cash to a Private company just see they can upgrade their infrastructure and make more money? How about they take it from shareholders instead like other PRIVATE business would.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Yes Carpet, but they could not free the investment required to go straight to ADSL2+, because the government were focused on disallowing that - they felt LLU was more important, and imposed it on them instead.

And if shareholders are to invest, you have to allow them to dump the legacy baggage of regulation which stops them from being properly competitive.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"they could not free the investment required to go straight to ADSL2+, because the government were focused on disallowing that"

The change to ADSL2+ at the time MAX came out would had been very similar in cost. BT could had done it if they wanted but didnt. LLU has nothing to do with things... Back when MAX appeared there was only one real ADSL2+ providing LLU company and they only had a small amount of exchanges at the time BT were not in any way dictated to in allowing that LLU company to unbundle exchanges.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"And if shareholders are to invest, you have to allow them to dump the legacy baggage of regulation which stops them from being properly competitive."
Price of shares can go up as well as down, thats the whole point of shares, the company being heavily regulated or not makes no difference, BTs share price in the last couple of years has yoyo'd up and down.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
They are a private company and their is no reason they should not find investment for thereself. If spending money effects the share price negatively share holders are free to sell before the price becomes affected from announced investment. Or they can hold onto their share and wait for it to recover. Its how privatised business and shares work
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Except the fact they cannot compete AS a provate company because they are crippled with regulatory burdens and the cost of supporting services like LLU, at prices which any reasonable private company would of laughed out the door.

BT are not allowed to act on a level field with other private companies. (And no, the change to ADSL2+ when MAX came out would of been dramatically higher.. it's barely viable now on 21CN)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Will you kindly point to evidence for once that any funding support for LLU impacts upon BT profits.

In fact while we are at it what "SUPPORT" do BT provide to LLU companies where BT make no profit?

Please point to evidence rather than replying to every post with the same spiel.
Posted by Oddball over 7 years ago
Is this with BT Broadband only or can you use any ISP for this network? I bet not. Anyhw. My exchange (Catford) WAS on the preliminary list but has now dropped off. Maybe they will enable it in the second phase. If I can use anyone other than BT Broadband I'd be up for it. However if it's BT only then forget it!
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
It's not just BT Broadband, it's provided by Openreach for all ISPs.
Posted by pbroido over 7 years ago
does anyone know how to get involved with the trials. i live in Muswell Hill and would love to kick the tyres.

Posted by m5rcc over 7 years ago
BT just called me to state that I have been moved onto the new platform and that my home phone and broadband has been consolidated onto one bill. When asked about the trial, BT informed me that the trial is no longer going ahead as London will go live with FTTC. Does anyone have this also confirmed to them?
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