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BT pledge 24Meg to 75% of the country by 2011
Thursday 24 September 2009 13:45:22 by John Hunt

BT have announced today their plans for expanding their 21st Century Network, known as 21CN, to more of the country. Current deployment is to around 40% of the population and they aim to extend this to around 55% of homes and business by Spring 2010 and 75% by Spring 2011 depending on customer demand.

The extension of 21CN out to more exchanges will mean more users will be able to get broadband at up to 24Meg (BT estimate 20 million homes and businesses) and the roll out of next-generation fibre services such as fibre to the home/cabinet can expand to these areas also. There is of course a caveat. As ever, not everyone will see speeds up to this 24Meg as they are heavily dependent on distance to the exchange. The use of ADSL2+ should see some increase to users though, particularly those who live close to their exchange.

One other point announced today is that BT Wholesale will be dropping prices to communications providers from January 2010 which should reduce costs to end users. The plan is to decrease bandwidth charges by 50% and also to introduce a reduction in WBC rental costs. This should mean that providers can offer lower prices and will be more willing to bundle more bandwidth with services. This will be particularly useful with new websites tending to be more bandwidth intensive and with streaming video becoming ever more popular.

Comments

Posted by dmarchant over 7 years ago
All these announcements are great but does it mean any real improvements in practice? I have been recently upgraded from 8Meg ADSL to 20Meg ADSL2+ and my real speed has dropped from 2.2Mb/s to 1.6Mb/s!!
Posted by TonyHoyle over 7 years ago
They say 75% of homes *not* 75% of the country - big difference.
Posted by TonyHoyle over 7 years ago
If ADSL2+ is slower for you than ADSL1 then simply set your modem to only negotiate ADSL1.
Posted by colinbarrett over 7 years ago
Having recently dumped BT in favour of a much better O2 service, I can only arrive at one conclusion where BT's "2011 pledge" is concerned: Pigs will fly.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
I guess transit isn't that expensive after all.
Posted by timmay over 7 years ago
It's good news that BT are about to start playing catch up. But when you consider that 21,333,582 homes can get an ADSL2+ service from CPW/TalkTalk it's not a big deal. I also suspect that there will be massive over lap with exchanges that already have an LLU provider supplying ADSL2+. BT need to start deploying FTTC and FTTP ASAP to the 45% of the country that can't get Virgin media, that where the money is!
Posted by timmay over 7 years ago
I mean 21,917,287 total premises covered by CPW/TalkTalk.
Posted by JeremyBoden over 7 years ago
My 21CN "Up to 20Mbps" connection syncs at 6800kbps.
Big deal.
Posted by dov1 over 7 years ago
Is this just 21CN WBC? What about 21CN PSTN switchover? My exchange was supposed to be switched to 21CN PSTN Q4 2008 but according to samknows it hasn't yet.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
"They say 75% of homes *not* 75% of the country - big difference." - Yep I'm sure it is... at what point did it become good business sense to provide ADSL2+ to an area where there are no homes just so you can include it in your % of the country figures?
Posted by Siyfion over 7 years ago
So while i'm here with less than 512kbs on the fastest line that I can buy where I am... I'm now paying for everyone else's line to become *even* faster, while nothing at all gets done about mine. Typical.
Posted by lloydio over 7 years ago
More verbal diarrhea from BT, we had to have our line profile downgraded to 8mbs obtaining 6 when we were upgraded to 24mb/s. It was just too unstable and just couldnt run a business with it.

anyway talking about 2011. ill be enjoying 100mb/s by then.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
If your speed went down... check your wiring. That's been the culprit a fair number of the cases I've looked at so far, it's more sensitive to bad wiring. And you can allways set the negociation, as mentioned.

To the rest: Massive whining about speed boosts as usual I see.
Posted by Bruce over 7 years ago
Same as when ADSL was first introduced. BT enabled exchanges in areas that already had NTL/TW, and wondered why takeup was low. What BT need to do is upgrade exchanges that DON'T have any LLU operators already there. But those exchanges already have customers who are forced to use BT, so I guess it won't happen.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
Gee. 2011. I already ADSL2 from one of your competitors. I feel so excited.

Not.

Pull yer finger out, BT.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Bruce - The major exchanges are still far more profitable simply based on the number of customers using BT lines on them.

AndrueC - Great, and do they cover 75% of the households in the country?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Oh, and if the company you're with is so great, where's /their/ successor to ADSL2 they're rolling out, hm?
Posted by Aqualung over 7 years ago
The plan is to decrease bandwidth charges by 50% and also to introduce a reduction in WBC rental costs.

Now i wonder if this has anything to do with ISP's moving away from BTw ,and all the problems they have encountered moving to wbc.Its stunning that they can suddenly halve the price of bandwidth.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
might be something to do with the fact aaisp pointed out BTw charge 20x the going rate for transit, and the growing number of isps moving to LLU wholesale services.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
chrysalis - Link plz (seriously)

And sure, but that's shifting arround on the back of BT's hardware, not rolling out their own.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@Dawn_Falcon:My ISP doesn't claim to be a technology leader. They just buy and install kit that's widely available on the market and utilise other companies networks (BT's for one).

Despite that, where they have a presence they currently provide a better implementation of ADSL2 than BT and have been for many years. They are even offering a wholesale variant now and it seems better than BT's.
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
since when has backhaul from exchanges been transit ?
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
I'm guessing it's not really going to matter - they may halve the cost of the transit, but the backhaul from the exchanges is still going to be overcontended.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
AndrueC - Quite. My point is that they /won't/ push things foward in an infrastructure sense. VM have dropped the ball, and are steadfastly ignoring it, so the only realistic prospect for county-wide improvement is, well, BT.

ElBobbit - Mm-hum.
Posted by mishminx over 7 years ago
What an exceedingly dodgy title xD

Good news for those who have been unable to enjoy the benefits of an LLU enabled exchange though.
Posted by scootie over 7 years ago
BANDED PROFILES. The brain child of BTw when coming up with there new DLM on 21cn.
Am on plusnets trial of 21cn and my 51db atten fastpath line has bein capped to a sync of 3074 (no matter when i sync its allways 3074 spot on) on a 15db noise margin.
Posted by scootie over 7 years ago
On 20cn my line happily ran at a sync between 3500-4000kbps on a 12db noise margin on fastpath.
I belive plusnet have asked BTw to rethink how they depoly banded profiles on the DLM.
I would like to see an option like interleaving to be able to request banding on or off. dont get me wrong the banded profiles are pretty good if your line is unstable but the 21cn DLM goes over the top with using them and puts banding on perfectly stable lines.
Posted by timmay over 7 years ago
Where can I find an updated list of exchanges and their activation dates?
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
Nowhere yet.
Posted by KevinR over 7 years ago
Even if this made sense, rather than proper government investment, would it not be more appropriate to (Stealth-)Tax those using Broadband Itself (above a certain speed or bandwidth) rather than include those who don't have or cannot get it! Those who the scheme is meant to help, not charge...
Posted by Scum over 7 years ago
I assume this means I'll still not be able to get over 1Mbit. BT sucks.
Posted by BITS over 7 years ago
I'm paying for an upto 16Meg and recieving less than 1Meg... I would be happy with a pledge of 8Meg by the end of the week!
Posted by Blood-Donor over 7 years ago
I`ve been with Bt Total Broadband Option 3 for a number of years and never had any real reason to complain. My connection speed is excellent. Only once (14 months ago) did I have to complain to BT and my complaint was all dealt with within 24 hours.
My brother also moved over to BT, from O2, who were - in his words, just useless in every sense of the word. he is now enjoying a much better service and his connection speed is also very good.
All in all I`m pleased with BT and am awaiting the upgrade of my local telephone exchange.

Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
BITS - And you've checked your house wiring? How far are you from the exchange?
Posted by peteADSL over 7 years ago
The article says BT are extending to 75% of the country from 40% of the population to 75% of houses and businesses.

This depends on demand.

Also not everyone will get it due to distance from exchange.

Is it me or is this article garbage?
Posted by leshewitt over 7 years ago
Been with TalkTalk for two years. I sorted out my house wiring and it improved sync speed by 25%! My "up to 8mb" syncs at 5.4mbps and is very reliable.

As I am around 4k line length (rather than "as the crow flies") from the exchange, I'll get no better from "up to 24mb". I guess I'll have to wait for FTTC or FTTP to come in. I'm in a fairly urban area here in Warrington near some major business parks so I'm hoping sooner rather than later!
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
1km from the exchange (road-wise).

35dB attenuation, got ~11Mb.

I'm pissed (I also changed everything my side of the line to check), my ISP is ICUK and they are all but helpful :(
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"Is it me or is this article garbage? "

I've seen better.

In the absence of a link to the BT press release, I'm assuming (but would welcome confirmation) that what we're really being told is that:
. 21CN will reach 75% of *exchanges* by Spring 2011, subject to demand
. those exchanges will mostly be the deregulated ones where LLU and cable already exist
. even on those exchanges, 24Mbit isn't real
. the vast majority of people will see a lot less than 24Mbit
. guesswork: outside those exchanges, BTw prices will rise
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
So basically you're being a equine's rear end.

Try actually reading the article? 75% of homes and businesses, not exchanges, for starters.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
cj - it's not difficult to find...

http://www.btplc.com/News/Articles/Showarticle.cfm?ArticleID=F2F97B8B-3DC8-42DA-9866-6F26F421C702
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
DawnFalcon says: "75% of homes and businesses, not exchanges, for starters. "

Which is of course correct as per the press release (cheers Somerset). Apologies.

Afaict, the rest stands as is.

As regards realistic line speed distribution: try http://www.samknows.com/broadband/news/isps-reveal-line-speed-data-792.html e.g.
"Plusnet ... showing 36.5% of customers at 6M or above and 28% at 3M or below" (but please read the whole thing).

Not quite the same as "75% at 24Mbit" as per the headline.
Posted by ynysettws over 7 years ago
Whatever BT say about their new system, you can be assured that it will only be the minority who get the full service. My "normal" speed is around the 2000kbps but every 6 weeks or so it dips as low as 250kbps and then rises to 500kbps. It will stay at this speed until I complain several times to Bt Internet and then magically it's up to 2000kbps again. The future's bright........NOT!
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@ynysettws:The service is 'up to 24Mb'. Everyone who syncs (regardless of speed) is getting 'the full service'.

You should post your line stats. It sounds like your line is unstable causing the exchange to drop the speed to try and stablise it. The cause of that a lot of times is internal wiring.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
That's funny, if I sign up for electricity and all I can run is a single light, I don't think people would rush to defend the electricity company.
The magical words 'up to' should not defend a poor product, nor excuse false advertising.
Posted by KarlAustin over 7 years ago
Your electricity supplier provides you with "up to" 100A of power in most cases - do you think that if your whole village/town used their full 100A everything would still work? You'd be getting the candles out faster than you could say, "Where's the matches?"
Posted by KarlAustin over 7 years ago
As for those complaining about BT Internet - this news item has very little to do with them, and more to do with Openreach and BT Wholesale - the fact that BT Internet may or may not be rubbish is not really relevant to BT Wholesale/Openreach in this context.
Posted by MickY_G over 7 years ago
So why are BT taking so long to roll out 24Mbps when TalkTalk have got it already and they use BT exchanges?
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
BT have done 40% - similar to TT?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Elbobbit - You're also paying per-unit. If everone paid £1/GB in advance, plus £2/Mbit of download and £5/Mbit of upload per month, then there would be faster connections.

And the words "up to" are necessary because of this pesky thing called "physics".
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
TT - 1719 exchanges, BT WBC - 573.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Funny, Dawn, since you can get dedicated servers with 10TB/month for £60 on a rolling contract in the UK. How do you explain the massive disparity?
ISPs using BTW's network have to limit so much because BTW charges such a ridiculous amount (hence why they can afford to drop their cost by 50% at the drop of a hat, as they did recently).
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
dawn_falcon, link in reference to 20x cost.

http://revk.www.me.uk/2009/09/is-600kbs-good-enough-for-broadband.html

Thats from the owner/director of aaisp.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
"Elbobbit - You're also paying per-unit. If everone paid £1/GB in advance, plus £2/Mbit of download and £5/Mbit of upload per month, then there would be faster connections."

of course as that would be taking us back a decade, since noone would be using their broadband. I suggest you do some research because believe me what BTw charge for shifting traffic about is obscenely high and is the #1 cause for ipstream services having such poor quality, low retail pricing probably been the #2 cause.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
Your electricity supplier provides you with "up to" 100A of power in most cases - do you think that if your whole village/town used their full 100A everything would still work? You'd be getting the candles out faster than you could say, "Where's the matches?"

no of course not, but it does work during their peak periods or do you disagree?
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"it does work during their peak periods"

Course it does. The UK's power generation and distribution system was designed by engineers with a clue, and with a legal as well as moral obligation for "continuity of supply".

Piratisation means that safety margins are a lot smaller these days, which has led to National Grid issuing "Notice of Insufficient Margin" on a rather large number of occasions in recent years. And don't even think about the 2015-2020 picture with the current nukes gone and the new ones not ready.

Contrast with BTwholesale. Or, better still, don't.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
chrysalis - And Ofcom's refusal to address it is noteable. They've got enough time to do make-work, though...

(What, you think I'd defend BT's pricing? Heck no)
Posted by KarlAustin over 7 years ago
"Funny, Dawn, since you can get dedicated servers with 10TB/month for £60 on a rolling contract in the UK. How do you explain the massive disparity? "

It's called overselling - 10TB of data transfer is about 50Mbit/s of 95th percentile bandwidth. They know most won't use that much, so they can oversell and it allows the few that do want to use it to do so without the company making a huge loss - If everyone used it, they'd be in trouble (network capacity and cost in most cases). Also transit bandwidth is a v. different thing to transport - which is effectively what BT Central is.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
It's irrelevant if it's not possible for everyone to use it all at once; it's only relevant if you _can_ use it and there are no charges.

BTW charge orders of magnitude greater than they should be doing, leading to a ridiculously low limit imposed by ISPs using their network.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Say 10TB/month at roughly 32Mbit average with - say - two 10Gbit peerings means you can have 640 customers doing the absolute limit... that's not bad for a dedicated server company.

Now imagine if you limit them to the usual 30GB/month over BT's network - that's dial up speeds. You could have 230,000 customers over the same two border links.

Now do you understand what an utter joke BTW's pricing is?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
It's relevant to the point you made. Deal.

Karl - Right. (Ssh, sense!)
Posted by KarlAustin over 7 years ago
ElBobbo - Which bit of transit/peering NOT being transport are you not getting? :) Peering and transit are two entirely different things to IP transport - Long haul transport costs significantly more than a 10GE port at LINX does. The Central prices are transport, not transit or peering. You're paying for BT to backhaul all the traffic from all over the country to your PoP - Just ask Entanet how cheap that is, and they only do it from 20 sites now thousands. Yes I think it's overpriced, but not by the factors you seem to believe.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
341 times more expensive, huh?
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
By the way, transit is transit - even BTW refers to transit to their Aggregation Points (APs).
Posted by KarlAustin over 7 years ago
I give in. You obviously work in this industry and know how much it costs to run fibre up and down the country and operate it. It's not like I've heavily looked in to this or anything over the years and have 10 years experience in this industry or anything.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
KarlAustin ++

Yes, it's an area which needs work, but they have a 50% price reduction in the pipeline. And more to come, per what they've said. A huge chunk of the issue was the running costs of the 20CN network!
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Argument to authority is no argument at all, Karl. If it's so blatantly obvious and you - like Dawn - are so wildly experienced and knowledgeable it should be easy for you to back up your arguments.
You can't argue that it's hundreds of times more expensive, and you can't argue that it's called transit.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
He has.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
He has what, said that BTW doesn't do transit? BTW even calls it transit. Shown that transit from the end user to the APs costs hundreds of times that of peering?. You said you wouldn't defend their pricing (and then did so) and Karl finished up his post saying it was overpriced.
Posted by pnewey over 7 years ago
Does anyone know how to see when BT will be upgrading exchanges to 21CN?
I have checked SamKnows but that only states initial BT planned dates as expressed in 2006
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
No, that's not what he said at all.

And no, I didn't defend their pricing, just the degree you seem to believe it is, based on prices from a datacenter, which is *not* equivalent to a home connection.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
KarlAustin your argument has a point on traditional ipstream and the managed version of wbc, but what about the wbc where isps have their own backhauls from the 20 nodes scattered around the country, entanet eg. The backhaul costs are still extorniate. and of course when you buy transit from the likes of level3 and cogent, do you not think they dont have their own long transport pipes? BT may have higher costs to deal with in the rural areas, but it doesnt excuse that what they charge is excessive and proven by the fact they were able to do a sudden 50% drop in prices.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
chrysalis - The drop is related to 21CNs far lower costs for BT, as I understand it.
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"The drop is related to 21CNs far lower costs for BT, as I understand it. "

And not at all related to the recent introduction of a wholesale LLU product competing with BTw?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
The price drop was known for some time in advance, sooo...no.
Posted by KarlAustin over 7 years ago
Yes of course Level(3) etc. have the long haul network costs - but between selected locations, not to 5000 locations within a country the size of the UK.

I've never said BT Centrals were cheap, but they aren't over-priced to the factors you seem to believe they are either. BT said that 21CN would bring them £1bn in savings per year - so they are using that to allow a reduction in the costs to ISPs. As for wholesale LLU - it's been available for years via several providers.
Posted by BITS over 7 years ago
Dawn_Falcon thanks for your mention. You're privileged to have had such a good experience with your ADSL. Just to clarify, I have previously experienced rates of 8 meg with another ISP (PlusNet) with my existing configuration. I made a business decision to move to Nildram bonded ADSL around 3 years ago to experiment with that option. I had the bonded ADSL removed after about a year and replaced with an upto 8 meg option with Nildram. I had a variable experience of both performance and quality, with data rates only of around 6 meg at best down to 500k but on average around 4 meg.(continued)
Posted by BITS over 7 years ago
I have also been waiting over 9 months to have an issue with the connection dropping on inbound and outbound telephone calls; that has only just been fixed. My internal and external lines and equipment have been checked several times during that period. Just to put to rest any doubts about my technical experience, I am an ICT professional with over 20 years of experience. So I think that I have some idea about the issues that I have. But thanks again.
Posted by BITS over 7 years ago
PS. My data rate has just this week crept back up to a 5.5 meg maximum but around 4 meg average.
Posted by BITS over 7 years ago
Appologies Dawn_Falcon, misread the postee with regard to my statement about 'good experience' should be directed to Blood-Donor

Line length 2.3km currently 30db
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
http://nga-uk.blogspot.com/2009/10/more-about-adsl2.html
Explains it all very well.
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