Skip Navigation


Openreach FTTC upstream speed increase
Friday 09 October 2009 12:04:13 by Andrew Ferguson

In addition to announcements of increasing Fibre to the Home coverage, Openreach may have heard some of the moans about the upstream speeds from its Fibre To The Cabinet roll-out. The up to 40Mbps downstream, 5Mbps upstream product is to be replaced by a 40Mbps down, 10Mbps up product while retaining the same annual rental of £88.08.

A special offer will also apply to the 40Mbps/2Mbps product, whereby the £10 regrade fee will be waived on all upgrades to the 10Mbps upstream product by 31st January 2010. This offer comes into effect from 23rd November 2009.

It is interesting to see the pace of fibre roll-outs changing in the UK. All that needs to happen now is to make the products compelling to the general public at the retail level. The higher the demand is in areas with the fibre products the higher the probability of increased roll-out. If the commercial firms such as BT and Virgin Media see a profit they may very well make the proposed 50p broadband levy irrelevant.

Comments

Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
That's a good improvement.

I don't think we should be dropping the price at the retail level though. It's already too low to support decent levels of service or investment in most cases.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
About time BT realised they can't fool all the people all of the time. On other sites this morning openreach are admitting it isn't gonna cost as much as previously quoted, as they can use existing ducts and poles, and fibre is cheaper than copper. Wh00t, Power to the People. At last, it starts - and now we play catchup with other countries... We Can Do IT.
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
Any indications on the backhaul planning rules associated with this service? Specifically the peak hour allocation currently at about 30Kbps if every user was on line.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
Backhaul area - providers have a choice, but BT Wholesale WBC based services, or accept an Ethernet handover and buy their own connectivity out of the exchange. This backhaul could be an Openreach BES, or onto their own fibre backbone e.g. EasyNet and others
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
And immediately of course Mr. Magic starts whining about scame because BT have decided. after testing that they can increase a product's upload.

This is what testing is *for*.

PS, please provide proper estimates for laying down copper vs fibre in real-world situations, including all relevant costs and products, to prove you contention on fibre. Don't forget to include the Ofcom approval time.
Posted by Aqualung over 7 years ago
Perhaps BT are bashing on with this because people are leaving the 21cn failure in droves and they need a product that works...I still havent got over the 50% cut that suddenly appeared.

Just me being cynical of course happy friday :)
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
So Openreach can roll out 150% more FTTH/FTTP for the same price than they thought they could. Great.

I guess it isn't that expensive to roll out after all...
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
mikeblogs - in between cabinet and exchange all lines will have dedicated to them at least 20Mbps or their sync speed whichever is the highest.

No idea about the BT Wholesale backhauls or the LLU operators, that's all up to them I guess.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
ElBobbo - When you're doing research into actual rollout costs, sometimes you're too conservative. This is perfectly normal, and dosn't mean you won't be throwing billions at it.

Billions is expensive.
Posted by drteeth over 7 years ago
I just hope that FTTC is not so cheap that any allowance can be used in less than a day on a cruddy line. I don't want my truly unlimited 6MB LLU connection to start looking too good <g>!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
The FTTC is uncontended to the actual telephone exchange, so if your LLU provider has sufficient backhaul they can continue to offer unlimited.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
So the FTTC cabinet->exchange link is uncontended? How can that be financially viable if backhaul is not?
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Not quite uncontended but minimum of 20Mbps or line speed, whichever is lower.

It's viable because it's a lot cheaper to backhaul from cabinet to exchange than it is thousands of exchanges to interconnects with other operators.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
FTTC by definition has multiple cabinets to one exchange. If this goes ahead, there will be an order of magnitude more cabinets than exchanges.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Yep, but still even 90 strands of fibre down local ducting which can be merrily blown through as per BT's patent on it are far easier to deal with than microwave links, undersea fibre, 10s of KM long fibre links out to the sticks, etc. They also don't need datacentres full of infrastructure, BRAS, AAA, etc to support them.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
OK Let me put it this way. Check the pricing of dark fibre versus alternatives, that's what this solution is.

Oh there is also that BT aren't allowed to provision too much backhaul to exchanges for regulatory reasons. Margin Squeeze Test.
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
90,000 green cabinets and 5,500 exchange buildings I believe. Puts the mean lines per cab at ~300. Even 1000 FTTC lines per cab = 20 Gbits/s committed rate so not a massive amount of fibre required even if only 1G fibre.
Posted by uniquename over 7 years ago
@Aqualung. You could be right about why people are leaving 21CN (WBC/WBMC), but FTTC will not necessarily help them.

Handover in the exchange is by Ethernet connection to the ISP/Wholesaler kit. So any BT Wholesale ISP will still be via WBC/WBMC.

LLU operators in the same exchanges should benefit though so long as they make sure their backhaul stays ahead of the game.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Indeed herdwick, relative to the copper already pumped out to the PCPs if the ducting space is there the fibre to carry even 20Gbps isn't too consequential. BT deploy fibre cheaper than most thanks to being able to blow the stuff as well. No regulation at all to control Openreach provisioning backhaul and it's in their interests to deliver as much bandwidth as possible to ISPs so they can sell more interconnect capacity.
Posted by partymarty over 7 years ago
Dawn_Falcon = CARPETBURN

Wouldn't surprise me.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
^^^ LOL If you had the sense to look back at previous news stories i hardly ever agree with anything Dawn Falcon has to say, I suspect in this instance though we will both agree you are dumb.
Its not often i say well done to BT either, but in this instance they deserve credit. Though ill hold back on full praise until we see if the actual product meets the spiel.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
partymarty - Are you an idiot naturally, or did you work on it?

And well, it all depends on backhaul. So..
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
"Not quite uncontended but minimum of 20Mbps or line speed, whichever is lower."

The FTTC paperwork says 10Gbps link back from each cabinet, and uncontended. So presume if a cabinet has more than 10,000 / 50 = 200 users they'll use another strand.

The 20Meg refers to the VDSL2 segment, i.e. Openreach expects its D segments to support 20Mbps sync speed as a minimum.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Ah my apologies, I was going by old paperwork.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote andrew "So presume if a cabinet has more than 10,000 / 50 = 200 users they'll use another strand."

Hmm plan our next house move to a street with not too many houses and its own cabinet perhaps :)
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
You could aim for one of the FTTH areas, Carpet ;)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
^^^ I dont believe FTTH will be rolled out in mass and will only be to limited areas for many years to come.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Nope, BT are very clearly cherry picking.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
If you look at other countries by and large FTTH coverage is patchy in them too
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
What's the alternative to not 'cherry picking'?

Go for the 'low hung fruit'?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"If you look at other countries by and large FTTH coverage is patchy in them too "

Exactly if it hasnt happened in areas way ahead of us in mass its not going to happen here, the best we can all hope, for the next 10 years or more is FTTC
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
..Although actually BT are planning to, in absolutely numbers, do as much as any country in Europe in terms of FTTH and add FTTC on top.
Posted by njalondon over 7 years ago
10% of the counytry having 10% FTTH and 30% FTTC by 2012 is a good start, I imagine thatonce BT evaluates the economics they will readily deploy more, Verizon found that opex was a major saving in it's fibre network versus it''s legacy copper.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Is that right, Dawn. Finland's government has guaranteed 100mbit to ~99.96% of the population. Doesn't sound either patchy or like cherry picking.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
Starting next July, every person in Finland will have the right to a one-megabit broadband connection, says the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Finland is the world's first country to create laws guaranteeing broadband access.

The government had already decided to make a 100 Mb broadband connection a legal right by the end of 2015. On Wednesday, the Ministry announced the new goal as an intermediary step.

Some variation will be allowed, if connectivity can be arranged through mobile phone networks.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Mmhum. Right, go pull up a population density map for Finland. And then look at the actual numbers involved.

Right.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Why not:

UK population density: 246/km².
Finland population density: 16/km².

That's what, fifteen times more densely populated?
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
Think about it...
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Population. Density. MAP.

Some people's reading comprehension skills, I swear...

5.3 million people total, over 20% in Greater Helsinki. By 2015, BT will very probably have 5 million homes passed by FTTH as well..
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Oh, well, seen as the population density maps look similar I figured you didn't have a clue what you were talking about so I gave you some real numbers.
London itself has a population density of 4,758/km², and 7.5M people - more than the entire population of Finland.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
You did bother to look at some population density maps, didn't you?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Well yes, get back to me when you've done so.

Also, you mean "Greater London", not "London".
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
If all else fails, deny reality?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Yea, seems to be that you're doing it as hard as you can.

...

Actually looked at the density map yet?
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
You ignored me when I pointed out the population density maps looked similar.

The UK has a population of 61M versus 5M for Finland, yet the Uunited Kingdom has that all squished in to just 244,820km² and Finland is 338,424km².

You did account for that, didn't you? That's what "population density" means. Probably not, your arguments are rarely thought through fully.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
No, you never said they look similar. And they are in way even remotely so, which you would know if you'd actually looked at a density map, rather than dramamoted over one.

The vast majority of the Swedish population lives in fairly densely populated cities, then there is a wide very low-population area. The UK, on the other hand, has relatively low-population urban sprawl.

If understanding the issues means "rarely thought through properly"... wait, it's not. You're wrong, again. (Spot a theme!)
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
"Oh, well, seen as the population density maps look similar" is what I said 21 hours ago. Are you blind? So much for calling me a liar.

What does Sweden have to do with Finland? Why are you blathering about Sweden?

35% of households in Finland are already passed by 100Mbit. How many are passed in the UK? Sweet fanny adams, that's how many.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
It's not as simple as population density across whole countries is it?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
No, it's not. But expecting ElBobbit to realise this.

The population density maps are NOTHING LIKE EACH OTHER, which you'd know unless..well, appoligies if you're colour blind, but otherwise you're acting like a freaking moron.

And yes, they didn't have the government regulating FTTH out of the market in price terms, so have allready done it in their major cities. Get on with lobbying the government for less regulation on BT allready.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
I thought I'd link some population density maps here just so that people can see:

Finland: http://is.gd/4n70O
UK: http://is.gd/4n73P

Looks to me like the UK population has several large areas of extremely dense population - perfectly viable for FTTH.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
When you take into account that the UK is significantly smaller and it has nearly ten times the population, I really don't see how even you can believe what you're saying.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Sorry, I happen to be both grounded in reality, and have experience working in the 'net industry.

What I'm saying is neither unbelieveable nor especially news.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
Well, that _is_ a good argument.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.