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Openreach names first FTTP brownfield site
Friday 07 August 2009 00:57:43 by Andrew Ferguson

Openreach has said that the majority of its fibre roll-out will be based around a fibre to the cabinet solution with VDSL2 running over the remaining run of copper. The more desirable option of fibre to the home (FTTH), known as fibre to the premises (FTTP) by Openreach is only going to appear in a few areas.

The most known about location for FTTP is Ebbsfleet in Kent, which as a greenfield site offers cheaper costs at the start of the project. Brownfield sites which already have a copper based telephone/broadband network have been expected and Highams Park in London has been identified as where Openreach will start its pilot.

The FTTC trials are continuing, as of 21st July, the two trial areas had 98 cabinets commissioned, an additional 20 cabinets are planned for Muswell Hill but planning issues are delaying things. One thing worth pointing out, is that areas with FTTC will not also get FTTP, plus once the roll-outs are underway there is the possibility that some cabinets on an exchange may be uneconomic to supply with fibre.

TalkTalk announced that it will be taking part in the FTTC trials, which will allow it to offer broadband at up to 40Mbps (actual speed dependent on line distance to green street cabinet). BT Total has also been promoting its participation in the trials, to the extent that we have seen some people receiving sales calls offering a place on the trials if they sign up to a BT Total ADSL/ADSL2+ product now. With any trial/pilot there is the possibility that things may be delayed, or the number of places decrease, so changing broadband provider to try and get on the trial should only be considered if you are happy with the providers full offering e.g. the product you will be on prior to the trial starting.

One aspect to date has been that most providers taking part in the assorted fibre trials are offering service for the same price. The distinct danger with this approach is that as people embrace the ability to view things like HD video over broadband that usage levels will increase, and without investment in backhaul the actual peak time (evenings usually) experience will remain at about the same speed as it is now. Hopefully providers will offer a range of speed/quality of service products, to entice people onto the new technology, and also satisfy the growing numbers of people embracing video over broadband and other high usage applications.


Posted by otester over 8 years ago
Does anyone know the pricing structure for 40Mbps? Such as connection cost and usage costs (if any)?

Can providers use their own equipment yet?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
FTTC is around £7 a month for the Openreach segment.

If BT Wholesale for backhaul then usual WBC pricing, so for 30GB a month around the same price as now.

For LLU providers, e.g. talktalk then costs are down to how they backhaul it.

Where providers are trying to offer unlimited they will need to charge more to cover for increased average usage.
Posted by nredwood over 8 years ago
Wonder what the criteria were for picking Highams Park exchange.
There are 2 large regeneration developments planned at Blackhorse Lane / Road and Billet Road and the proposal to move a school close to me to another larger site nearby.

Of course, nothing to do with it being a strong Virgin Media area :)

I await to see what actually happens in practise
Posted by dov1 over 8 years ago
In the 2 trial areas how many cabinets are there altogether?
Are some lines connected directly to the exchange with no cabinet in between? And if so will they be getting VDSL2 since they can't get FTTCabinet?
Posted by otester over 8 years ago

So the LLU equipment itself doesn't need replacing?
Posted by boggits over 8 years ago

Posted by otester over 8 years ago

I think BT should turn around and say fair enough and extend elsewhere. When the residents complain of ****ty internet, then BT can give them a reminder.
Posted by drteeth over 8 years ago
The problem in Muswell Hill, so I was told by an OR engineer 2-3 weeks ago is that the cabinets can be wired up, the planning issues affect the installation of the power supply
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
The LLU kit in the exchange does from providing a DSL connection to accepting a 10Gbps Ethernet connection from Openreach.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
solution to me is logical, dont upgrade muswell hill, funny how the 1st urban area picked happens to be a very affluent area. But anyway if they dont upgrade the area and wait 3+ years for when the other 60% of country is done I am sure the residents will soon change their tune. Typical british moaning about the scenery.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Here's an idea, chrysalis - for trials, stop thinking of areas as anything but "where's best for the trial".
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
I do agree in case like this, though, the council should have to foot the bill.
Posted by Kaufhof over 8 years ago
Things happen in the South again.
Posted by dragon1945 over 8 years ago
Not in this bit of South Kaufhof. 4 miles from Windsor Town Centre, and 4 miles from the Exchange [nowhere near Windsor]. BT still say, and I check fairly frequently just to annoy them, that they can only supply 512 Kbps. Talktalk give me 1.79 MB on the same line, so why can't BT? 2 MB is never going to happen in my lifetime, let alone fibre to cabinet. There are no cabinets out here. Fibre rollout? Don't make me laugh.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Because BT use conservative settings on their retail lines designed for stability. Even without going to LLU, you can get higher speeds from other ISP's.

This is well known.
Posted by CaptainW over 8 years ago
@ Dawn and Dragon: I think he was being a tad sarcastic and knows what's available to him locally.
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