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TalkTalk to increase capacity and coverage
Monday 19 April 2010 12:12:50 by John Hunt

TalkTalk will be boosting their LLU network to cover 90% of the population according to a statement received by ISPreview. TalkTalk plan to unbundle a further 300 exchanges which will take them to over 2,000 in total. There are almost 5,500 BT exchanges in the country, so a large number will still remain not connected to the TalkTalk network, but these are largely in rural areas where line density is lower.

TalkTalk also plan to increase network capacity with an expected 50% year on year rise in data consumption over the coming years.

"We've currently unbundled just over 1,700 phone exchanges around the UK, meaning that our customers near these exchanges are on our own fibre network rather than on BT's legacy infrastructure. This gives us coverage for about 80% of the UK population but our aim is to increase this over the next year. We're planning to unbundle a further 300 exchanges, taken us to over 2,000 in total, and pushing us to coverage of nearly 90% of the population.

We're also upgrading the capacity of our network in anticipation of ever-higher internet usage. The industry expectation is that consumption of data online will increase by a whopping 50% year on year over the next few years. We're enhancing our network to cope with this explosive rise in demand.

This upward trend is being boosted by the rise of online TV and video services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and, of course, YouTube. Soon these will be joined by Canvas, the online TV service we are a part of, which will provide an iPlayer-style catch-up service on your TV set, while also giving you additional content and features.

TalkTalk Statement

2010 is likely to be a bumper year for broadband usage with the Winter Olympics providing online content and the World Cup likely to increase broadband data usage as the BBC and ITV will be streaming matches live online. Many people are likely to take advantage of catch-up services such as iPlayer to see missed games, and users should be careful to monitor their broadband usage using tools such as our Broadband Usage Meter to ensure they don't exceed their broadband usage.


Posted by dafratb over 7 years ago
Talk Talk just gets slower slower.
February 6Mb March 3-4Mb April 2-3Mb.
My rural exchange is unlikely to be unbundled soon and I pay a £15 surcharge for the privilege.
Posted by Gamerwillz over 7 years ago
I'm hoping the Tadcaster (MYTAD) exchange is one of those 300. I'll join Talk Talk Pro LLU package when they become available.
Posted by nmg196 over 7 years ago
Not really sure why people want to join the worst-rated ISP on this site (TalkTalk) just to save a few quid... I guess there are people who just don't really need decent internet access and perhaps just want a slight upgrade from dial-up.
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
You wonder, why they would not test a little FTTC in this expansion! First to install FTTC in a patch means no one else is likely to go there!
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
"on our own fibre network rather than on BT's" really? So they have their own fibre into every exchange? I have my doubts. I'd have thought they pay BT to backhaul it to the nearest TT POP.

Anyone know?
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
Ah. Interesting:

Good for them. Nice to see someone trying to become even more in dependant of BT.
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
So peak hour capacity = 100Gbps, 4.2m customers, so peak hour allocation if all on line per customer = 23Kbps. They will need a 50% increase just to catch up with the other more typical experience of 33-35+kBps.

That web page has some good possibilities for exposing the actual resources allocated per user.

I still cannot actually see it's their fibre, costs still seem driven by the need to cover Openreach connection fees and mountain of one off charges.
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
Sorry, now I see, the implications is 1Gbps connectivity has been added to 700 exchanges, with a promise to establish that connectivity to all 2000 exchanges. That would be a 10times increase per customer, more than the allocation for FTTC.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
Yah. It actually makes them a true and serious competitor to BT. All they need now is their own local loop.

Tbh though based on my experience of their customer service I wouldn't touch them with a barge-pole.
Posted by timmay over 7 years ago
"... meaning that our customers near these exchanges are on our own fibre network rather than on BT's legacy infrastructure."

I really don't like how they have worded that! Makes it sound like BT don't use fibre. Which is not true.
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
Agree with you timmay, but recently gone through BT ESS charges and connection fees, Openrach remain very focused on walking backwards very slowly. There must be a lot of capacity in the middle and they seem pretty determined we do not get to use it.

If Carphone are finding a way around these charges, and I would love to know how, then they could improve the underlying ability to transport bits and do very well.
Posted by huwwatkins over 7 years ago
I'd like to know which 300 exchanges they are enabling!
Posted by wirelesspacman over 7 years ago
What confuses me is that it seems to imply that for most of the LLU exchanges the backhaul was (is) only 100Mbps. Given the products being sold, this seems very low to me.
Posted by chris6273 over 7 years ago
Yes but remember that not everyone maxes out at once. Also, BT Backhauls can be shrunk and made larger when BTw intend to. When an LLU provider rents Backhaul Capacity BTw basically reserves that capacity on the backhaul for that LLU. That is backhauled to the nearest TT POP where it joins the 'Fibre Optic' TT Network. If an LLU rents 1Gbps backhaul capacity, BT have to make that available to the exchange if possible.
Posted by ElBobbo over 7 years ago
mikeblogs - the actual quote from the link says, "They carry over 2.5 billion voice minutes across the network every month and over 100Gb/s of internet traffic run over the network, at peak times."
That's peak traffic, not peak capacity.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
My limited experience with TT was very good, simple line replacement, phoned up, said phone was crackling, they did a quick test, sent an engineer on scheduled day, all fixed.

I think the real problems/source of bad reviews people get are on their non-LLU connections and people who can't RTFM, either way you're asking for problems.

For me it's the 18 month contract that keeps me away.
Posted by wirelesspacman over 7 years ago
Hi Chris - I am well aware of that. It is just that it seems strange to me to have most(?) sites on only a 100Mbps backhaul as it would only take a few customers max-ing out their connections to fill the pipe, and surely TT has loads of customers in each LLU area.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
wireless - in practice you probably don't get that happening and therefore don't buy bandwidth that isn't needed. The majority of people spend most of the time looking at the screen and it evens out over time.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

I have LLU, tbh you can't think of what to download after a while, even with usenet + torrent.
Posted by chris6273 over 7 years ago

That's why there is contention. At peak times (When the pipe's are most likely to be full) They apply it for that exact reason - To give customers they fair share (Well 50:1 isn't that fair but you get the point)therefore they can for example: 50:1 on an 8mb bandwidth block.
155mbps backhaul divided by 8 = 19.374 - 19 rounded.
Therefore 19 x 50 = 950 connections.
And bear in mind that most big exchanges may have several 155mbps backhauls and some may have gigabit backhauls (21CN) due to capacity needed for LLU suppliers. So you can see that the figures add up once calculated.
Posted by wirelesspacman over 7 years ago
@otester - wish my bandwidth consuming customers took that view! :-)

@chris - my point remains. 100Mbps with customers on 20Mbps products means that it only needs five doing something heavy at the same time to fill the backhaul. So, no I do not see that the figures add up if TT wish users to see a good service at peak times.
Posted by chris6273 over 7 years ago
@wirelesspacman And as I said, BT are starting to equip 21CN Exchanges with 1Gbps backhauls to support the new products. Remember that also not everyone will be getting the full 20Mbps speed because of their distance from their exchange. You can't expect TT to have the capacity so everyone would have the ability to max out at once. If there is a 21CN exchange handling 10,000 lines and everyone was able to get the full 20Mbps speed, it would need a 200Gbps backhaul for everyone to get their full speed at the same time.
Posted by krazykizza over 7 years ago

Not everyone is at home, doing the same data intesive things at the same time. Virgin Media say 1% are heavy customers, so it would only mean doubling capacity would further ensure full speeds all the time. If you want full speed all the time guaranteed then get a leased line, otherwise put up and shut up with the UPTO 24mbps speeds you sign for.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
If they got rid of their crappy BRAS system and made it like LLU then I'd be able to get 4Mb+ not 2Mb.

DMT + unstable line + BT BRAS profiling isn't cool.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
if you think TT 100mbit backhaul is bad then consider VM cable typically think nothing of having 400 10/20mbit customers sharing a 50mbit pipe. At least typical connections speed on TT are probably close to 4mbit so thats 4mbit users sharing a 100mbit pipe, not excellent but not that bad either, when they have them all upgraded to gigabit they will be on the same sort of level as easynet were.
Posted by westonmale over 7 years ago
Since Talk Talk messed with the Brixham,Torbay,Exchange on 1st April,that's right Fools'day, I have been without a telephony service despite having a fluctuating broadband service.All seem incompetent in remedying the proble.Has anyone else experienced similar at this exchange please?
Posted by asrobs over 7 years ago
there appears to be a lot of negative comments about talktalk why do these people waste their time complaining?????
Posted by MobyDick38 over 7 years ago
I've been a TT customer now for several years without major issue. Line rental, broadband, 24 free calls to UK 01,02 and 03 numbers plus EU, Australia, Canada, New Zealand & USA for £22.48 / month. What is there to complain about? It's sad these complainers have nothing else to do with their time!
Posted by MobyDick38 over 7 years ago
My previous post should read 24 hour free calls.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
I complain because I don't like to see companies getting away with shoddy service. In this case it's my Dad that suffers since I'm with Be. But it's taken TT nearly a month to admit to moving him onto a more expensive package without his permission and as far as I know the refund still hasn't reached their account.

Companies like that deserve to be complained about until they mend their ways.
Posted by westonmale over 7 years ago
Hi MobyDick38,
It's even more sad when one is left with no telephony service for 26 days and no one at TT seems competant to remedy the fault which has been at the exchange (according to Customer Management Team ) since 1st April.By the way, I have been a satisfied customer for 5years up until recently.
Posted by ChrisatBRIL over 7 years ago
Moving from Tiscali to TalkTalk (they are the same company now, but I moved to get more international calls free) has resulted in a serious diminution of service. The speed when tested seems much the same, but there are constant drop outs when I am trying to transfer files (never happened with Tiscali) and it can take minutes to load a webpage.
Posted by alantt over 7 years ago
Moved from tiscali to talktalk speeds went from 6.2 avg to 4.9 ave plus lots of times when the service is droped out for hours at a time..trying to get in touch with customer services via email nim 10/12 days to reply , then the reply just points me to the FAQs no real help
Posted by casique over 7 years ago
Why does not ThinkBroadband comparison invitation clearly tell subscribers here that BE Broadband is in fact O2?
Posted by westonmale over 7 years ago
Just thought I should update everyone who may be interested.
It took Pipex/Talk Talk 40 days to repair a fault of their own making at the Brixham exchange and thereby restore my telephony service which I had been without since 1st April.
I am still left with one problem and that is since work was carried out at the exchange on 1st April my internet service has disconnected each evening at around 9pm and I have to resync to restore the connection.
Has anyone experienced a similar problem please?
Posted by toonshorty over 7 years ago
Do a samknows broadband checker - if TalkTalk shows up as "TalkTalk (CPW) has not yet unbundled your exchange" then your exchange is most likely one of the listed 300.
Posted by chris6273 over 7 years ago
It's all good with Talk Talk adding 1Gbps backhauls to exchanges but correct me if i'm wrong but won't actual BT Centrals which the Talk Talk network uses to transport data TO and FROM the Internet still obviously be an obstacle? It would be, more or less upgrading a Home Network's LAN speed up to 1Gbps but keeping the actual internet connection speed the same.
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