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BT 21CN Update
Friday 04 September 2009 11:41:08 by John Hunt

21CN, BT's new 21st century network which is being deployed to unify all of its existing networks, has been in use for some time and many users now receive their broadband connection through it. The core network is complete, with the first phone call having traversed the new network toward the end of 2006. The focus now is on the customer access side to get voice and data running across it. BT expect to have coverage of 55% of the UK by Spring 2010 . For most, 21CN means faster broadband with speeds 'up to 24 meg' (with the actual speed achieved depending on the quality of your telephone line), however, there are much larger changes afoot than just increasing the speed of your connection. The whole underlying network from your local telephone exchange up to the handover point with your broadband provider changes with 21CN, and it also brings the possibility to provide new services such as fibre-to-the-cabinet or Ethernet products using the same infrastructure.

BT have announced that existing '20th Century' (20CN) broadband connections can also be delivered over a 21CN Wholesale Broadband Managed Connect aggregation connection over IPStream Connect as from the end of September. This enables broadband providers to move existing customers on to the new network to gain cost benefits by not having to run the old 'BT Central' based networks alongside the new network. Other benefits include being able to flex bandwidth requirements on short notice so demand for services can be met more rapidly. Previously, providers had to a face a 65 working day lead time, but this has reduced to just 5 days, with a 3 month minimum commitment instead of a year.

"Griffin is keen to stay ahead in the broadband market so we can offer our partners and their customers the very best possible service. We have been working closely with BT Wholesale on 21CN and we are really excited about the benefits that WBMC and IPstream Connect offer."

"IPstream Connect is a far more efficient way of interconnecting with BT Wholesale's IP backbone and WBMC will bring faster and more business-grade ADSL to the small and medium-sized business market."

Andrew Dickinson, (Sales and Marketing Director) Griffin Internet

Of course, any new large scale network deployment such as 21CN is bound to see problems, and 21CN is no exception. Lately, one of these problems has been congestion. This is not a new problem in rolling out new network infrastructure and has been well discussed in relation to the 20CN network and continues to happen on occasion. However, when faced with a new network and new technologies running over it, predictions of usage and speed of growth can often fall short. Users may see the effect of this through increased latency on their broadband connection and some reduced speeds. Indeed, latency monitoring of one of thinkbroadband's 21CN DSL connections below shows this problem:


Graph showing latency on one of the thinkbroadband 21CN lines showing very high peak time latency on period up to morning of 21st August when the issue was fixed.

In early August, BT found that around 3% of the WBC network was falling below the capacity planning rules, but the problem has now been resolved. BT have been working hard to upgrade capacity and ensure better planning is in place so these problems can be avoided in future. Problems have also been evident on the old 20CN network and details of areas affected recently by both types of issues can be found in the AAISP status blog.

Another problem users may have seen is long outages due to planned maintenance. BT have scheduled maintenance of 3 to 4 hours to do upgrades to core nodes in the network and in some cases this has meant that all users of a provider using 21CN are left offline whilst these upgrades occur to the node that the service provider is connected to. As more users migrate over on to 21CN with the new WBMC and IPStream Connect, such outages are likely to affect more people.

"Our network and systems are regularly upgraded to consistently offer the best possible customer experience; to meet our service level agreements and to deliver future services and applications. For the most part these upgrades are pre-planned with many changes achieved without our customers noticing. For each upgrade we assess the risk of service disruption and, if appropriate, work with Communications Providers (CPs) to ensure they are aware of what is happening and how this may affect their customers.

But the unexpected can and does happen. Unfortunately, we have had issues recently where WBC network and systems upgrades have caused end user customer disruption and in some instances loss of service. We apologise for the inconvenience caused. BT has undertaken a thorough review and our processes and procedures have been appropriately enhanced."

BT Spokesperson

Adrian Kennard of AAISP argues resilience would be expected in a network of this kind that would allow devices to be taken offline for maintenance without completely disconnecting large chunks of customers. It is worth noting that it is possible for an ISP to get multiple WBMC connections in different nodes which can reduce the impact (albeit at a significant cost), however users connected to one of the twenty WBMC nodes around the country would still be affected by maintenance as no redundancy exists at the node level. AAISP have signed a deal to use BE's unbundled platform so that they can deliver customers resilient connections over two separate infrastructures.

Broadband service providers we have spoken to seem to be embracing 21CN, moving chunks of customers over to it to manage any teething issues quickly and to avoid ordering further 20CN central pipes.

Comments

Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
stopgap solutions for obsolete technology. bring on the fibre to the home and lets lead the world instead of flogging the copper and putting all this money and effort into patching up something that needs retirement. If we can bale out a heap of thicko bankers with billions we can invest a few in our future instead of living in the past? The ROI for this country will more than pay it back, whereas money paid to the fatcat bankers is a loss. no coincidence what bankers rhymes with.
Posted by doowles over 7 years ago
Waiting for fiber as well, I live in a brand new apartment block and we don't even have cable tv :(

Seems we have been talking about fiber for 10 years now and still nothing.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
Isn't this about the core network?
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@Somerset:Yeah, Cyberdoyle at least has had this explained to him many times but is either unwilling to accept it or incapable of understanding.

21CN has nothing to do with the local loop and it's probably correct to say that every aspect of the 21CN network is fibre and might even be using the very latest high speed routing technology.

If 21CN has an effect on the local loop it will be a positive one. The new MSANs might be better suited to taking a fibre feed which will hasten the demise of the copper network.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
not surprising isp's embrace 21cn since it saves them money over the older bt centrals. Here is a question tho, why wont BT change commit to be 95 percentile and only 1 month commitment instead of 100 percentile and 3 months. The new so called flexibility is still very poor.
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
This story provides quite a contrast with the Ofcoms' NGN consultation, which highlights its concerns regarding the change of focus by BT from running mass migration of pstn and installing an all controlling NGN to cracking on which delvering better high speed services.

The change of focus by BT is generally a victory for Internet thinking, as opposed to all controlling NGNs! Is this so or have I mis-read it!
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Cuberdoyle - Then get on the government to pay for FTTH. It's not /commercially/ viable, don't look at BT.
Posted by andrewdb over 7 years ago
I'm surprised there is no mention of Entanet who were the first to move their 20CN products to IPStream Connect..that was certainly not without probs and customers incl. myself left in droves. Is the IPStream Connect talked about in this article the same? Will isps adopting it have to provide their own equipment at nodes and MIS-manage bandwidth like Entanet? It's a recipe for disaster i feel! At least with centrals you could hop between them! Ipstream Connect is a waste of time, 21CN WBC/WBMC not much better, FTTH is what we need.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
andrewdb - FTTH and 20/21CN are /not/ in any way connected. 20/21CN is the core network, FTTH is related to the last mile.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
cyberdoyle on his copper rant again? Once again missing the point of the article but tries to apply his gripes to it anyway
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
Dawn - do agree on the FTTH funding point but poiny of clarification.

21CN used to be about mass migrations and operational cost savings, - now thankfully it is more about connectivi ty.

To what extent has BT also dropped the control layer part of the NGN?

This smacks as a victory for those who think the internet is more than a demo in BT, and a loss for those wishing to put an controlling control layer in.

What is your take?
Posted by andrewdb over 7 years ago
dawn: yes i know ..i meant rather than faffing with ipscmoney would be better spent on FTTH but it came out all wrong!

Ipstream connect was in the design stage billed to be something that would save ISPs money over centrals but i recall before it was rolled out at enta BT upped the bandwidth charges when entanet were already committed to it without even knowing the exchange to node mappings and so with no idea where to spend their bandwidth.
For FTTH it comes down to money..bit of a prob in today's economy! I'd gladly pay for a bit of fibre from my house to the cabinet in the street!
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
Disagree Dawn, the return on investment to this country by everyone having fibre to the home would pay itself back a hundredfold. Agree that the government should pay, because they will be the ones getting the ROI. Savings with Ehealth, Egov and Education. More business for UKplc. Happier people and no need for forums like this because it will all Just Work. Unlike the current obsolete network - even 21cn.
Posted by uniquename over 7 years ago
WBMC and IPSC over WBMC should not have the same ISP planning problems as Entanet had. They had to cope with 20 WBC nodes and 10 IPSC nodes with unknown customer distribution between them.

WBMC and IPSC/WBMC will be the choice of the smaller ISPs who may very well opt for one or at most two nodes. That will make capacity planning far easier than Entanet's was.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Cyberdoyle - Great, link me to your feasility study then. Remembering that in *every* single other case of mass FTTH rollout there was government funding or poor existing infrastucture. (And health/gov/edu work fine across low bandwidth)

Also FTTH has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with 20/21CN. Regardless of what the last mile is, the network transit will be over 20/21CN.
Posted by sullivan933 over 7 years ago
The network in my area has been upgraded and since this time my connection speed has dropped from a regular 5.8MB down to 3.0MB.I dont get much response from BT only that they are working on it.This has been happening since the 7/08/09.
Posted by absent over 7 years ago
I wonder how much BT would get flogging the entire countries worth of copper wire after it was all stripped out and replaced with fibre?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
Dawn, health/gov/edu do not work fine across low bandwidth, you try living in a rural area before you believe the spin. At peak times even simple pages won't load,(kids can't download course work)
What does it matter whether 21cn stands for core, last mile, first mile. the end product is what the consumer gets, and half the country ie 90% of the land mass of UK can't get much.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@cyberdoyle:It matters from a technical POV. You cannot upgrade an entire country's telecommunications infrastructure in one go. It would be a horribly complex and expensive operation and fraught with risks.

It makes a great deal of sense for BT to upgrade the core separately from the last mile. It also makes sense for them to upgrade the core before they upgrade the last mile. There's no point in FTTH if the core is still a creaking hybrid of half a dozen 20th century protocols.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
21CN is doing two things for BT:

* Reducing operating costs.
* Improving transport efficiency.

Both of these are very sensible things to aim for. Once we have a more efficient core and once BT have improved profitability they should be in a better position to take a punt on upgrading the last mile.

You have to do things in the right order and business generally have to tackle the things with the best RoI first.
Posted by grahamst over 7 years ago
The biggest problems with 21CN have been with over-aggressive digital line management. Lots of people have been complaining about reduced sync speeds, being put on 'banded profiles' (limited to 3, 6 or 9mb/s sync speeds), etc.

In terms of new ethernet-based products, it's interesting that, for some people at least, ADSL2+ access on 21CN works with routers set for PPPoE and LLC encapsulation.
Posted by Aqualung over 7 years ago
@AndrueC
It would seem that although BT's profitability has increased with 21cn its reliability is now worse than ever.
Many ISP's are now offering services over other carriers this would tend to suggest that the BT network is not reliable enough for their customers needs.
Posted by nmg196 over 7 years ago
@cyberdoyle I don't know where you're getting your stats from but it sounds like you're making them up. There is NO ROI for FTTH at the moment. There isn't one single application which requires it which people would pay for. There is nothing you can do with fibre which you can't do with a 50Mb VDSL connection as no application needs that much bandwidth. FTTH would be a waste of money and I'd rather they put that money into FTTC.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@aqualung:Teething troubles. Admittedly it's a bit naff that they have them but 21CN is a big project. Hopefully (hahaha) BT will get on top of it.
Posted by uniquename over 7 years ago
What about the new wording on the BT speed test as in this post in the forums?

http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/general/t/3698674-re-bt-speed-tester.html
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Aqualung - That's also linked to the fact it's cheaper to use LLU because a lot of the services provided to LLU are below-cost.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Perhaps you don't understand what ROI means, nmg196. It means return on investment; ie. how much you're going to make over the lifetime of the product or service based on the initial capital you've put in, factoring in maintenance and upgrades. You can't have a zero ROI with paying customers. At any rate, trying to stay with an old, slow, degrading copper network is costing BT big in terms of maintenance and lost customers - but I bet their business side is doing great, which is why they're going as slow as possible (see how long they tried to drag out ISDN).
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
-
Posted by Dawn_Falcon about 9 hours ago
Aqualung - That's also linked to the fact it's cheaper to use LLU because a lot of the services provided to LLU are below-cost.
-

Savings will in no small part come from not supplying services to an extremely unprofitable section of exchanges. BT appear to be making exactly the profit margin they should from LLU according to results, more than in fact given the massage of the books to push some BTO/W revenue through BTR.
Posted by Aqualung over 7 years ago
@ Dawn_Falcon
If it were just about cost surely the isp's would have moved long ago.It is the massive increase in unreliability and inability of BT to fix or even admit to problems that seems to have pushed many to make the move.
Posted by wirelesspacman over 7 years ago
@ElBobbo

Sorry for being a little pedantic, but yes you can have zero ROI with paying customers. It is only when the revenues are sufficient to offset ongoing operating costs that they will begin to contribute to a positive ROI.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
nmg196 of course there is applications requiring FTTH they are just not used a lot in this country, which I have to say doesnt surprise me. You cannot mass rollout a service when the delivery mechanism is not in place. If I remember correctly when adsl was rolled out the vast majority of websites were designed for dialup and online multimedia was a rarity.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Aqualung - ISP's are not being forced onto 21CN yet, so no, not really. And sooner or later they'll have to transition their customers in non-LLU areas anyway.

chrysalis - Name them. High bandwidth streaming, and...
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Cyberdole do you ever bring any new rants to the table? All I ever see is 90% of the UK land mass can't get the Internet. I've yet to see that explained and why 3 sheep on a mountain in wales would want access to Youtube anyway and your copper rant. Please explain what is it that you can't current access with copper and why (if that's the case) your not with Virgin Media?
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
And you keep going on about BT ploughing money into copper, they aren't ploughing money into it, apart from maintenance. As for your gov/health bandwidth stuff it doesn't stack up. I work on the networks serving these areas and I know exactly what bandwidth they get and its low (and no its not fed by copper, its fibre with a capped CDR)
Posted by nayland82 over 7 years ago
Surely now has to be the time to convert to fibre optic when scrap copper is so much in demand for other purposes. Surely everyone could be a winner speeding up the process.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
hi GMan99, it will always be the same rant as it is the crux of the problem in the UK. You may not feel a family on a mountain trying to download homework, run a business and save carbon footprint by accessing egov, ehealth and online banking is important, but that same family probably collects water, provides oxygen, food and maybe even electric for your family... and virgin media won't come near them either.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
GMANN99, bt are ploughing money into an obsolete network. If it was all fibre it wouldn't need the maintenance to such a degree. and yes, accessing gov/health isn't in itself high bandwidth, but contention on lines means even the low b/width needed isn't accessible for half the country. Too many people using internet for other high bandwidth stuff. should we stop them? O yes, lets cap and throttle. typical BT silo thinking.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
Cyberdoyle - BT are ploughing money into 21CN which is fibre and not obsolete. The local networis a separate issue.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
It certainly is.. but he doesn't seem to see that. There's no sense in upgrading the tail end connections if the core isn't upgraded. Upgrade the core then upgrade the access... basic principals of networking to be honest
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Cyberdoyle I hear you about remote villages etc, but getting any utility to any remote areas is going to be costly. Rolling fibre to a village out in the sticks would no doubt cost a fortune for little return (or it would take a very very long time to recover costs), its not just a telco problem its the same with anything that isn't already present. Gas, Electricity etc etc
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
As regards the local loop (and this is off topic since we're supposed to be talking about 21CN) I think that BT are wrong to be rolling on FTTC first.

I think that they should be using FTTC in the less profitable areas and FTTP where they are currently rolling out FTTC.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
dawn sure. movie rental thats distributed whilst watching (streaming), 2 way video conference at high quality, file sharing (dubious for some), video on demand services (proper not sky anytime rubbish), live online software applications, high use of multitasking whilst preserving latency, stability (a service that wont discconect everytime someone as much farts on the line, this gives ROI in reduced failure demand), HDTV iptv services (sky's possible killer), and of course a proper reliable platform for VOIP.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
andruec I agree with you, FTTP and FTTC with FTTC been in the lesser areas.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
niche, business, heh, market acceptance is hgih is at lower standards, latency on a PON can be higher, especially while multitasking, than on a conventional ADSL line, stability is a backend issue and not a line one, point, works just fone over ADSL.

So basically, Sky would benefit. Er, right. So Sky can pay.

(And stop trying to attribute magic qualities to fibre, really. It's not inherently more stable or lower ping)
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
chrysalis - VOIP needs 30k...

HDTV would probably be the main application.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Dawn - Not inherently more stable? Fibre's not susceptible to anything but actual physical abuse of the line (and the bendable fibre by Corning basically nullifies anything but actually taking an axe to it). ADSL over twisted pair goes down when the street lights turn on, it's affected by the microwave, the electric boiler, someone's dodgy electronics next door, water in the line, it can get bent, stapled, you name it, it's piss poor.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
As for latency, without the need for encapsulation or interleaving FTTH's first hop is usually sub millisecond.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Um, bending and stapling fibre optic cable most certainly does bad things to it, and quite apart from vibration issues, there are signal loss and termination problems different from copper's, but no less real.

And there was a specific reason I mentioned PON there, because the majority of "budget" FTTH installs are PON, and if you understand the tech base you'll realise that it can lead to rapidly escalating latencys with multiple applicatons and fibre users.

I'd remind you that
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
...fibre is no magic bullet, and not doing it properly would strand us with a network not /quite/ up to scratch.
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"if you understand the tech base you'll realise that it can lead to rapidly escalating latencys with multiple applicatons and fibre users."

Reference welcome - I've not followed fibre much since FDDI and the early days of SANs. Latency isn't what I'd initially expect from fibre, but high speed PON is new to me. I can see how *bandwidth* decreases as demand increases, but I see no place for queues to form ????
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"I see no place for queues to form"

Er, with the obvious exception of the CPE. Woops.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Dawn - You should try to keep up with technology, it's been a good few years since fibre's gotten to the point that you can coil it around a pencil without signal degredation, and staple it to walls. As I said in the previous post, Corning (with the ClearCurve family of optical fibre) have solved the problems you mentioned and Verizon's currently using it in installs. See http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/08/06/100141306/index.htm or http://www.corning.com/clearcurve
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
ElBobbo - Yes, for very short runs of low-capacity fibre to the house. The actual main runs excepting the last few meters is still made with normal fibre, and where high capacity is required.

Also, it's not tradeoff-free.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
So it can handle more abuse than CAT6, it doesn't mind being wrapped around a pencil or stapled to the wall and now you're claiming it's low capacity, even though it's perfectly capable of running in the gigabit range at <0.3dB/km. Why would you even want to run trunk lines with extremely bendable fibre? You'd want ultra low loss fibre, which is what is being used now, by everyone. You're just trying to confuse the issue; we're talking about last mile.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
Rejoining a broke copper pair is a lot easier than rejoining a broke fibre.

In terms of maintenance the longer term costs for things like overhead fibre may not be clear until millions of homes have it. Imagine DIY socket moves.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
too many people here still thinking inside the box. forget what we have now. plan for the future, before it is too late. We need ftth for everyone. otherwise we end up as third world country. Our children and grandchildren will look back and wonder why we were so stupid... I have laid and lit fibre, how many on here have done that? It isn't rocket science. it is brilliant. BT can replace the copper with fibre, starting now, instead of sacking people.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
ElBobbo - No, you're conflating bendy fibre and high capacity fibre. They don't go together.

Cyberdoyle - Link your business plan, since it's so obvious.

...

Well?

Your story about laying a short lenght of fibre in a rural area when there were far better options is amusing, but hardly anything to do with reality.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Dawn - my last post answers your new post, try reading it this time.

andrew - rejoining copper pairs leads to serious signal degradation, the more you do it the worse it gets. It might be easier, true, but you'd be much better off just blowing another microfibre down the ducting to the house (very easy and cheap).
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
ElBobbit, I did read it. You're still ignoring my point, that the fibre laid in the road and the fibre laid to individual houses is not the same stuff, and bendy fibre (which, again, is not ideal for some uses) is not suitable for high bandwidth usage and is very expensive.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Dawn - Yes, you use bendy fibre for the last mile, where it's going to need to handle the abuse, and you use ultra low loss fibre where it's in a protected duct (backhaul). Which part wasn't in the last post? Also, if you bothered to do any research, you'd see that clearcurve is perfectly capable of more than 10 gigabit, which is fine for last mile.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
As if that wasn't enough, Corning offers the same bendy fibre (ClearCurve) in OM3 and OM4, which is fine for high bandwidth usage (100gigabit and higher). As I said before, Verizon uses ClearCurve. Stop trying to muddy the waters; fibre is the future, we just have to get with it.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Cyberdoyles only experience is linking two farm buildings with fibre that's why he sees it as "not rocket science" since in his case... it wasn't. Maybe BT could use your farm network as their own rollout plan, is it scalable? <insert canned laughter>
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
You're calling fibre networks "rocket science"? How bizarre.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
No, no network is rocket science I never said it was? I'm highlighting how stupid it is to say "I've fibred one farm building to another its easy so what is holding back a full fibre rollout to the home across the UK"
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Shortsighted shareholders, greedy executives, that's what's keeping a full fibre rollout back.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Okay, ElBobbit, find me the examples of FTTH rollout outside new builds, grossly inadequate existing infrastructure (in the UK, Hull) or government finding. If you're right, it should be easy for you to do so.

BT could bankrupt themselves easily on fibre, and kill off any hope of any network expansion for decades to come. I'm sorry that you hate the UK enough to want that.

And the higher end clearcurve products are prohibitivly expensive, lower end ones are used for wiring houses.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
No numbers, as usual. Good job.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Numbers?

ONE example, Bobbit. ONE. You can't produce ONE. Why? Becuase it's NOT COMMERCIALLY VIABLE.

As I said, you evidently hate the UK very very much.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Shortsighted? Maybe look a bit closer to home. So when <telco> has rolled out fibre to the home at great expense how do you propose A) They reclaim their installation costs B) Continue to make money from the provision C) Make enough money to maintain the network and invest in future development? Or aren't you bothered once you have your superfast connection?

Fine in the "fibre to business premises world" as they charge bucketloads...
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Oh please, all you have to do is look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiber_to_the_premises_by_country . When companies in France and Pakistan, Sweden, Finland, and the Philippines charge less for FTTP than broadband companies over here charge for ADSL you realise that we're being screwed. BT is paid millions all the time to hook up this community or that community and all they do is run a completely underspecced fibre to the exchange (if they haven't sold it off) and then tell people that's as good as they're going to get.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
And yes, if BT continues to provide utterly substandard products they're going to wind up with a FTTC product that no-one would pay more than a small amount for. You know why we're not all on ISDN and dial up? Because there _is_ a demand for high bandwidth applications and ISPs know it - without it they'd still be offering 128kbps connections, good for surfing and email and that's about it.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
BT is paid millions by who? And you need to look at population statistics, far smaller proportions of populations in other countries having access to broadband /at all/, frex.

There is a demand for low-latency connections. This isn't ISDN for several reasons, certainly, and UK connection speeds have risen steadily over the years, and with the FTTC rollouts this will continue.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Laughs at BT is paid millions all the time statement. Where do you get this stuff? As for the other countries does wikipedia (non-official source) mention if their governments are subbing them? I'm sure BT would love to be subbed for the rollout..
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
To be fair, they do get funding for rollouts from local authories and such, but they perform it at cost or cost +1%.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Sure but there's a bit of a difference between doing a small provide for a local authority and putting fibre into every backyard. ElBobbo seems to think its good business sense for BT to add to their existing mountain of debt which is still in billions by crippling themselves by rolling out fibre to keep up with the Joneses.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Its not shortsitedness (a word?) that is stopping a rollout. Its (1) BT ensuring that Ofcom will let them actually make some money by doing it (no point being in business unless you make money) and also (2) what knock on effect it will have on its business circuits. I reckon the second one is more harmful, some business already choose cheap standard DSL instead of private circuits because of the vast difference in price. Imagine what will happen when FTTP comes along.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Ahaha, so they get funding from local authorities for rollouts and they put in a substandard out of date infrastructure entirely paid for by someone else? Jesus, I wish my business worked like that.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
They get cost-funding to provide ADSL, not more expensive technologies. Those installs then typically cost them money to maintain.

So Bobbit, you want to take on cost work and then lost money on it? What businesa are you in, again?
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
I'm sure it looks like 'cost', no-one's ever inflated the numbers before. They don't charge anything after install (like... line rental?), but they're responsible for maintenance, right? They must do it out of the goodness of their hearts. Are you that naive?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
They can't inflate the numbers, there are Ofcom set rates. And of course there are payments for lines...which are below cost for BT.

You evidently are that naive.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
No numbers, as usual, aside from the completely free infrastructure BT receives thanks to local government funding.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
No, you can't produce numbers can you. And the areas in question are marginal, and there is no ongoing support.

Here's a hint: looking on this very site has the numbers you seen to be unable to find.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
You've already admitted BT's milking the local authorities and that's enough to validate my point.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
I see no reference to milking. I see references to cost or cost + 1%. You do realise business HAVE to make a profit to stay in business don't you. Or is that idea lost on you? I don't know what you do for a living, but would you be happy to go in and do your job and give your time for free? Does that pay the bills?
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
BT's getting their infrastructure free (someone ELSE is paying their costs), just like they got the rest of it. That's not business, that's a state sponsored monopoly, and it's the reason why we're in such a poor position to move to FTTH.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
What part of FREE do you not understand?
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
I suggest you read the Openreach details on estate builds.

Dawn - what do councils actually pay for? Duct? Digging? Cable?

EiBobbo - please explain 'poor position to move to FTTH'.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
So Bobbo lets live in your warped version of reality for a moment, so you think all of BT's infrastructure is given to them for free, is that right? So where is the local authority money for sponsoring the UK rollout of FTTH? Is it on its way? If so I can't wait, now I know why my council won't collect the bins they are ploughing money into superfast BB. Sure we'll all stink a bit but who cares if I get my fibre pipe woohoo
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
Start here:

http://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/networkinfo/developnetwork/developnetwork.do
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
ElBobbo - No, there is no STATE funding. It's local funding from development organisations, LOCAL funding note.

And for some reason, yea, five years ago there was this tendency to want to get ADSL into every exchange. I'm sorry that you think this was such a bad idea.

And it was only the marginal areas, BT did it themselves everywhere they could *possibly* make a profit! Actually, the same 10% of exchanges that EVEN WITH the 50p levee, BT are not planning FTTC for.

So no, no effect on the FTTC rollout.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
Somerset doesnt matter, try using voip on a line that has noise/synch issues or with someone doing downloading at the same time, it will break up and be unreliable. Would far less likely be an issue on a 100/100 FTTP service.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
Dawn_Falcon the demand comes AFTER rollout, it is basic business. Happens time and time again, new tech arrives. Its rolled out, demand follows it does not precede except in rare situations. Life is about risks, business is about risks, it seems BT have gone into a shell and are scared to come out of it.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Great. Except BT would VERY clearly bankrupt themselves trying it, so it's business SUICIDE.

Again, unless there is government funding, because of the existing network it'd be moronic of them to try it. And we'd end up with not only no FTTH, but no FTTC either.

Get lobbying.

(And get a router with QoS, and prioritise VoIP. A much better soloution.)
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Yes... QoS is the answer for VoIP not throwing more bandwidth at it, that just masks the problem and it can still be a problem if the other apps gobble up the extra bandwidth you provide. Sync issues should be classed as a fault, if your line is unstable its faulty and you can't expect delay sensitive apps to work properly on faulty connections
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
qos wont do anything when a line is dropping synch and/or there is crc errors. Even if its just saturation it has to deal with qos is only limited in what it can do. qos is masking the problem not putting in a proper line.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
"qos wont do anything when a line is dropping synch and/or there is crc errors" And as I said on my last post, that's a faulty line. Please don't tell me VOIP doesn't work on DSL, because it does.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
And a proper ADSL supports VoIP just fine, I use it over mine. Indeed, no matter how fast the line, deacent QoS at the router level will help if there is other usage at the same time.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
So, it works so long as the line is perfect - great, that'll be a wonderful comfort to the tens of thousands of people who have awful lines, or have interference on the lines and BT just can't be arsed unless you can hear it.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Cite the study showing tens of thousands of affected lines.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Go look it up, put some effort in for a change.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
No, you're the one making broad, sweeping claims.

Back them up. Because what you're saying sounds like complete and utter rubbish, lines which would be accepted as faulty by BT under the guidelines and are not being addressed, which would once more make BT's accounts incorrect and thus fraud by a public company...which has a high threshhold of disbelief.

In other word, afaik, you're making stuff up to suit your agenda. Again.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Not only are you mistaken - again - it's perfectly common to have a broadband line that drops while checking out OK for voice. BT SFI comes along, doesn't detect a fault, and bogs off again.

As for backing up claims, you make more claims in a minute than anyone makes in an hour, and yet you never back them up. Why should I have to? Baseless claims seem to be your forte.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Evidence? Where have you provided evidence to back up your claims?
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
So the solution is?
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3222664.stm says ~50% from government.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
£500m doesn't sound like a lot, but hey its better than what the UK gov are putting in. Not sure how many times across how many different topics I can say it really but no business will put shed loads of money into a fibre rollout unless they will make a profit out of it. Whether that's BT, Sky or Virgin. Its just common business sense. Most of the groaners in here just want fast BB without actually thinking in monetary terms what it takes to provide it/maintain it.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Among your many unfounded claims:
"It's not /commercially/ viable"
"...in *every* single other case of mass FTTH rollout there was government funding or poor existing infrastucture."
" it's cheaper to use LLU because a lot of the services provided to LLU are below-cost"

And that's just from the first half of these comments! You've not once provided anything at all, yet you constantly ask that others do.
Heck, you even tried to claim that the inherent - and widely accepted - benefits of fibre were somehow imaginary ("magical").
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
ElBobbit -

I stand by my mass FTTH claim because despite extensive searching, I cannot find and neither can anyone else here, a counter-example. And I've explained my reasoning.

And the second claim is backed up by THIS SITE!

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/3964-bt-unhappy-with-new-openreach-pricing.html

There is allways evidence behind my claims. And I said that your and others belief that simply sticking any old fibre into the ground any which way would solve problems was magical.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Now, you've constantly claimed dire scenarios for there not being a FTTH rollout. Indeed, you've claimed people have allready relocated because of such.

Provide proof, Bobbit.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Your laughable post has provided absolutely no 'backing up' at all. Try reading the single link that you gave and show how it proves your point. As for the others, hand waving is not proof.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Also, I find it hilarious that you're still trying to defend the laughable notion that fibre does not provide a more resilient platform for a broadband connection.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Duck, duck, duck. ElDuckbo!

Your shooting your moth off saying all sorts of crap for which there is no backing whatsoever outside your short sighted paranoia.

(And there are ways to make fibre platforms more reliable, but simply assuming that it's inherent in the plaform is the typical sort of crap you mouth)

And yes, I'm glad you agree that that link clearly proves you were talking crap.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
Dawn duckie, methinks you doth protest too loudly. there is no point in calling everyone who disagrees with you paranoid. Get out of the box and lose this obsession with defending a telco and quango. See it as it is. Fibre is this country's future. Copper just can't hack it. If 21cn means fibre to the exchanges, then the 'last mile' needs to be fibre too. Then it will all work, the scarcity model can be thrown away, everyone will be happy and the kids and businesses will prosper and innovate. end of. ElBobbo is right.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
I'm not defending any "quango".

And you're again ascribing magic properties to fibre. There is no astounding fix for the "scarcity issue", peering charges don't suddenly vanish because the last mile is fibre and since you agree with him, maybe you can provide the evidence he's refused to?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
Fibre delivering a gig, 10 gig,for unlimited miles, copper delivering 2meg for 1 mile. what other evidence do you need? its only simple physics. Stop trying to make it difficult. There is no scarcity with fibre. The problems are caused by using obsolete technology. Like trying to get water to flow uphill. The whole network needs fibre. Not this botched up 21cn patchwork, designed to prolong the income stream from obsolete copper.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
cyberdoyle - again, 21 CN is the core network.

Who will pay for FTTH? Do you agree that there are different issues regarding access and core networks?
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
Why can't Virgin be made to unbundle their network?
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
BT Broadband isn't a third rate ISP (they're pretty big) - they're going to be peered (if they have any brains) - thus transit costs for them are tiny.
Peering, because Dawn doesn't want to explain, is when two networks allow traffic to go from one to the other without charging (because it's beneficial - cheaper - for both).
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Also, for what it's worth, the government should be at least partially subsidising FTTH, or providing incentives - but it's not going to, so the companies are going to have to do it themselves.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
And they won't because they're not that stupid.

Cyberdoyle - unlimited eh. I think you'll find that anyone with actual experience of fibre, like the people who write specs, the makers and the booster manufacturers will disagree with you.

It's this sort of sloppy, uninformed thinking which feeds the belief that fibre is the magical end-all. Again, for instance, how will last-mile fibre impact peering fees?

ElBobbit - And why should I explain what anyone involved with this debate should know?
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
"peering charges don't suddenly vanish because the last mile is fibre"

Because you intentionally mislead? You act like BT is having to spend a fortune, but they're going to peer with everyone they can (and they're big, so they will). Pretty dirty tactics, and the reason why I provided an explanation.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
No, I'm bring quite clear. "Fibre" dosn't make peering magically free.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
No, peering makes peering free. Nice strawman.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Settlement-free peering is a rareity in today's commercial realities. The strawman is that concept.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
"but it's not going to, so the companies are going to have to do it themselves" But that's the whole issue. Because of this the companies will have to do it themselves, in reality only BT are doing it and the rest will wait and hope they can use what BT rollout for next to nothing, which is what is why BT will be dragging their heels. If Ofcom let BT make some money of out it (Ofcom don't have a good history in doing this) then I'm sure BT will get on with it. But if there's no real gains for them why would they do it?
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
GMAN99 of course, but the problem is data over long copper lines has a high failure rate. I am a techno freak but you wont see me moving to voip until I have FTTP, anything else just doesnt cut it. Its the braindead old UK attitude, use stuff until it drops dead, rape old tech for profit etc. instead of thinking of the future, it is always the present. Dawn I dont think it would be stupid for the government to subsidise fibre, the UK is fast becoming the odd one out in fibre investment, there is a reason for that.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Dawn was saying that the companies would be stupid to do it themselves.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
chrysalis - 'data over long copper lines has a high failure rate'. Please explain.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
chrysalis - "data over long copper lines has a high failure rate"

...An ADSL line, as long as the attenuation allows a solid connection, tends to have very low packet loss. You mean the connection's slow :P

And yes, the Government /should/ fund fibre. Very much so. Never said otherwise.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
no i mean they have high instances where line could drop or have bursts of noise, which does not mean I am saying they bad all day long, but as far voice is concerned you cant have scenarios where the tool you are using is suspectible to interruption.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
That sounds like a fauly line card to me.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Interference from streetlights, maybe a microwave, maybe a boiler next door, maybe faulty wiring, or water in the line, or old cable, or aluminium wire, or a damaged sheath... all good reasons why copper is utterly awful and should be replaced immediately with fibre.
Funny you're all for fibre if FTTH is funded by the government, but you rubbish it when anyone compares it to BT's piss poor attempts to hang on to their copper network.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
No, I just point out that FTTH will only happen if it's government funded.

And water, damaged sheaths and so on are hardly unique to copper. Magic bit off, thanks.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
Why do you say BT is attempting to hang on to their copper network? Funding is the problem with replacing 'immediately' with fibre.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Also, it dosn't make economic sense to roll out a patchwork. Only systematic laying of fibre to allow the appropriate backend infrastructure and product lines to take advantage of scaling...
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