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BT Wholesale ADSL2+ not the answer to Norfolk broadband issues
Monday 16 November 2009 11:39:45 by Andrew Ferguson

Norfolk Future Conference this week will see a senior BT executive address the audience, and if the content in terms of BT pushing its ADSL2+ product as reported by Evening News 24 is true, then it is a case of not much change for Norfolk.

Why such a glum response to something that should see over 50% of properties on an ADSL2+ enabled exchange connecting at over 9Meg? The exchanges where BT is rolling out ADSL2+ in the UK are the ones with ADSL2+ from alternate providers already. This means Norfolk residents living in Norwich, Kings Lynn and the other large towns will simply see more choice, but places like Swaffham will probably be waiting until 2012 to see ADSL2+ and maybe even longer.

The reality is that BT Wholesale by 2011 will have an ADSL2+ footprint (75%) that covers less households than what TalkTalk does in 2009 (80%), and TalkTalk are planning to extend their LLU footprint even further than the current 80%.

The demographics of Norfolk are such that it has around 375,000 people living in urban areas, another 175,000 in towns and the fringe areas, with a very large 265,000 in villages and hamlets. The problem being that by enabling a service on perhaps a dozen exchanges you can cover almost half of the Norfolk population.

Commercial companies of course are free to sell their services where they want to, but if TalkTalk believes it can make money in so many exchanges, what is different for BT Wholesale? If the rules and pricing imposed upon the BT Group by Ofcom mean that BT is discouraged from enabling ADSL2+ and true next generation services in the market 1 areas where no other wholesale providers are available, then perhaps Ofcom and the rules they follow from government need to be looked at more closely.


Posted by Rocklett over 7 years ago
Also FTTC is likely to be deployed in Virgin enabled areas first, it might be helpful if OFCOM were to 'consider' these aspects alongside looking into the digital divide.
Posted by cjbell68 over 7 years ago
Rocklett - good idea, not sure how far BT can be coerced into improving service in market1 areas, rather than chasing competition and return in the other areas - but I think it would be the RIGHT thing to do.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
No ****. Been saying that for years, Andrew...
Posted by systemx over 7 years ago
This is news?
Posted by mishminx over 7 years ago
They are hardly going to discount themselves from potential future handouts. So if regulation and pricing are also against them, then that would be something of a double whammy.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
I thought BT Wholesale could charge more in market 1 areas than 2 or 3?

The 'digital divide' is down to costs of deployment in some part. I'm quite sure that if BT were allowed to charge proportionally to the cost of deployment in Market 1 rather than it being (historically) averaged between all markets some more would happen. This would mean people in Market 1 potentially paying a lot more for next-gen than Market 3 though, sound good?
Posted by Matchstick over 7 years ago
I don't think it's that BT can charge more in Market 1 areas more that it HAS to charge more in Market 1 areas.

OFCOMs reasoning is that if BT has to have higher prices LLU suppliers will find it easier to undercut BT and so will make these exchange more attarctive.

Personally I think that's utter rubbish and is just being used by BT to maximise their profit and acts as a brake on BT investment in these exchanges (but then since I'm on a Market 1 exchange with no WBC rollout date I would think that).
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
Market 1 has regulated pricing etc. Other markets BT can do what they want in terms of pricing, availability and wholesaling. They could, for instance, drop wholesaling altogether in Market 2/3 exchanges.

As markets 2 & 3 have competition the pricing is inevitably lower.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
BT was allowed to reduce prices in Market 3, hence the location price differential of Plusnet products.

Reducing one price, can be viewed as increasing the one that was not decreased I guess.

If the average broadband price was £30 a month then investment might be different in next gen, but then we'd have a lot less broadband users, so maybe smaller first generation footprint.
Posted by infinidim over 7 years ago
I have a problem with BT currently. When I type in my post code they say that the BT Wholesale ADSL2+ service (up to 20 Mb) is available in my post code. When I ask BT for it they say I can't have it until April 2010. I know the exchange has had it implemented since March this year but BT Retial will not offer it to me.....

Infinidim (Fareham, Hampshire)
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
use the number checker, postcode one is the worst of the three options. If one retail ISP won't offer it then move to another. "MAC please".
Posted by timmay over 7 years ago
The funniest thing is that BT's checker says 7Mbps for my line however I already have 15Mbps from O2. And BT's adverts about 20Mbps broadband that is consistently faster even at peek times really need banning!
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

I thought when people find this site they realise how bad mainstream ISPs are and avoid them or do people just like being screwed??
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
norfolk people at that meeting should pressur about FTTC not adsl2+, the fact even BT is starting a FTTC rollout shows that adsl2+ is now obselete as a new tech.
Posted by cjbell68 over 7 years ago
I completely agree Crysalis!

ADSL2+ isn't the way forward. They should be focusing on reducing impact of distance on service - FTTC. Not rolling out ADSL2+ - I'm sure that any exchange where ADSL2/2+ gives a benefit already has LLU presence...
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
So the exchanges which don't currently have FTTC should wait on ADSL1 until they do rather than getting ADSL2+? Very self centered, again.
Posted by cjbell68 over 7 years ago
I though the implication was increased choice of ADSL2+ provider, not provision of ADSL2 where they can currently get only ADSL1?

Push for FTTC is with the intent that everyone benefit from an improved service, including market 1.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 7 years ago
@dawn_falcon so how many bt exchanges have fttc ? about 5 lol.. i don't know why you get so touchy when someone states the obvious about BT the top and bottom line is it should have never been privatised
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
Disagree on privatisation, I think we would be in a worse state, probably with 0.5Mbps at £60 a month and very little choice even on the larger exchanges.

Where a state run teleco is in place it generally is not a pretty sight.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
BT playing catch up... Meanwhile is real new news....
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@2doorsbob:At the risk of starting another debate - you're wrong. The GPO was being starved of funds by the government, BT was a big improvement on that. Far from perfect but a helluva lot better.

I mean /listen to yourself/. You are actually claiming that the countries telecoms infrastructure would be better run by the government. Get a grip! When was anything ever better run by the government? And the ones we get these days? Sheesh. Read a newspaper. We want less government control not more.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
2doorsbob - Touchy? No, just pointing out how self-centered many people are when they have a deacent connection.
Posted by cjbell68 over 7 years ago
Dawn_Falcon - I haven't a decent connection and whilst understanding why BT want to deploy ADSL2+ to compete with LLU, it's frustrating it doesn't improve speeds for Market 1. Unless I've missed something?
Posted by cjbell68 over 7 years ago
PS...of course it's all relative (when I say I don't have a decent connection).
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Yes, you've missed that ADSL2+ is being deployed to exchanges where there's full 21CN support, there's no need to wait for FTTC deployments to boost the speeds to "Up to 20MBit", and coverage is going to be wider than FTTC.
Posted by cjbell68 over 7 years ago
if availability of ADSL2+ is over and above LLU availability then that is an improvement.

I've not checked for coverage in any of the exchanges in Norfolk though, so I don't know if that's the case or not.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
dawn_falcon am I understanding you right in your last comment? are you saying adsl2+ is a good substitute because the marketed speeds arent too different. Even tho the actual achieved speeds especially on longer lines will be very different. Norfolk an area which is likely to have a lot of long lines. FTTC will be very different to adsl2+.
Posted by cjbell68 over 7 years ago
IF they enable some market 1 exchanges then some customers at those exchanges on short lines will see a benefit.

As, like you, I believe Norfolk will have a lot of rural, and so I think also Market 1 exchanges), the long lines need FTTC.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
No, I'm saying that simply because there will be a rollout of FTTC to some exchanges dosn't mean the ADSL2+ rollout shouldn't occur, especially because it's earlier and to more exchanges.
Posted by cjbell68 over 7 years ago
I hope that FTTC rollouts DO occur for some exchanges, and not JUST ADSL2+ for BT, where it's already available LLU...
Posted by Jayprime over 7 years ago
I'd just like to get ANY decent service!
My Broadband (Virgin) last night was a pitiful 18Kbps, nowhere near the "Up to 8Mbps" for which I am paying!
Posted by clive4 over 7 years ago
Just the same here in Dorset, Jayprime. But is it BT's fault, or Virgin's - very fast when we signed up, but now often in the slow lane or hard shoulder due to heavy traffic on the information 'super highway'. I swore never to leave BT again after leaving TalkTalk.
What's the alternative?
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