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BT add further 148 exchanges to WBC 24Mbps service
Tuesday 20 April 2010 16:05:55 by John Hunt

BT have announced a further 148 exchanges that will be enabled with Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) which will allow the exchanges to provide BT's up-to 24meg broadband service. The exchanges will bring the service to more than 16.8 million UK homes and businesses by Spring 2011 which should see around 75% coverage. More exchanges will be announced this summer, as this further batch only puts coverage to 66%.

"We are delighted to confirm this next tranche of exchanges but it doesn't complete this year's rollout schedule. We expect to announce more exchanges this summer as we remain fully committed to our intention to deliver WBC services to up to 75 per cent of UK homes and businesses by Spring 2011."

Emma Elshof, (General Manager, broadband products) BT Wholesale

BT have also announced that they are improving service level agreement (SLA) targets aimed at the throughput levels across their WBC network. Previous targets were set at 2Mbps for 90% of the busiest 3 hours of the day, and this will change to 4Mbps. Premium lines had a target previously of 3Mbps but this will increase to 8Mbps.

Some interesting statistics have also come from the talk to ISP's today at the BT ISP Forum. More than 1.1 million end users use BT's WBC with more than 55 wholesale customers adding 20-30,000 end users each week to the platform. So far, coverage stands at 55% of UK homes and businesses including all BT line's in Oxford, 90% of London, Manchester and Brighton/Hove, and 80% of Plymouth, Leeds, Northampton, Bournemouth and Southampton.

Update 18:10

The full list of WBC exchanges that have been announced so far which will offer BT's Wholesale Broadband Connect services by 31st March 2011 which offer broadband speeds of up-to 24Mbps can be found here.


Posted by snakeeyes over 7 years ago
What a load of Rubbish.... LLU operators in Cheltenham have been offering up to 20 meg services for years. So in just under 12 more months they will introduce their "competitive" product which will no doubt be traffic shaped /throttled and limited to the point of being useless or at least far less than 24meg.

BT are holding this country back, and their retentions department are a load of liars who told me no other operator could provide better speeds (lie) and they would offer the 24meg service by march this year (lie).

BE broadband are about a million times better and also cheaper!
Posted by timmay over 7 years ago
Pointless. Just get on with Infinity roll out now. BT WBC will be 911 exchanges come 11 months. Be*/o2 have 1236 NOW, Sky have 1190 NOW and TalkTalk have 1723 NOW.
Posted by tobykim over 7 years ago
Still not on the list we can't get LLU either, one day in the next 20 years we might get something some hopes
Posted by evilpie1992 over 7 years ago
HaHa still no Oswestry on the list. What a joke.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Couldnt have put it better than snakeeyes did
Posted by adslmax over 7 years ago
F**king crap BTW
Posted by Gamerwillz over 7 years ago
Oh for god's sake, where is Tadcaster exchange?!?! COME ON!!!
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
BT is just wasting just money on 21CN which should be going to FTTC deoloyment.

Also does anyone know when LLU style backhaul is coming to FTTC? Until then LLU > FTTC even if it's 40Mb vs 10Mb.
Posted by cmgangrel over 7 years ago
Well, even though Wrexham isnt on the list yet... neither is it on the list of *other* LLU services; I still place the bets that BT will do it before BE/O2/Orange etc do it (hell when i was working for O2 and they bought out BE, we were *hoping* that they would actually offer it in my town... shame they didnt/havent yet)
Posted by timmay over 7 years ago
BT's customers are not who you would think, BT's customers are its shareholders NOT its end users!
Posted by bernard_ric over 7 years ago
I had this stupendous offer of up to 20Mb. Checked the website and was told as expected teat the bets they could offer in my area was about 2.3Mb. Strangely enough the online sign up wizard still allowed me to proceed with the sign up - until I aborted the operation.
Posted by KarlAustin over 7 years ago
lol, all the people complaining about this - do you not realise that 21CN is needed for them to offer FTTC/FTTP? 21CN is the national backhaul network connecting exchanges - it needs to be in place to offer the capacity for future services. It just so happens that most of the DSLAM kit is ADSL2+ ready right now, so they might as well enable it when it's connected up to 21CN - it's basically "free" for them to do so (ignoring backhaul costs etc.).

Posted by KarlAustin over 7 years ago
I doubt we'll see many providers doing their own backhaul from cabs for FTTC - will cost them too much. We've seen the opposite, a lot of LLU going back to BT WBC, as they realise it'll be cheaper to aggregate it all on to WBC with FTTC + DSL than run two networks.
Posted by junipurr over 7 years ago
If an LLU operator is present in an exchange that has FTTC deployed then it is trivial for that operator to offer FTTC services. It's just a fibre cross-connect to an Openreach termination switch, no BTW involvement at all. I would be surprised if the likes of Be/CPW don't start offering FTTC products in the next 6-12 months.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@timmay:It makes no difference. BT shareholders haven't been getting a good service lately, either.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@bernard_ric:Not sure what you're saying there? 2.3Mb/s is a perfectly valid speed from an 'up to 20Mb/s' service. There is no reason why BT shouldn't let you sign up.

Most motorways in the UK support speeds up to 130mph but my car's top speed is 95mph - it doesn't make it inappropriate for me to drive on them.

Unfortunately if you only get 2.3Mb/s from ADSL then upgrading to ADSL2+ is unlikely to make much difference as the gains diminish on longer lines.
Posted by timmay over 7 years ago
@ that is true, so none of BT's customers get a good service. Although I think you'll find legally the speed limit is 70mph, although more often 50 or 40mph because of road works.
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
The doubling of the peak hour throughput planning rule from 2Mbps to 4Mbps for 90% of peak 3 hour period, is a significant change.

Interesting to see impact on applications during peak periods.
Posted by Rocklett over 7 years ago
Most of the negative comments posted probably could have been avoided if the article had bothered to clearly point out it was BT Wholesale that announced the additional exchanges and this is NOT the same as BT Retail (i.e. the ISP that serves just 4 million people of the 12 million BT Wholesale broadband end users).

BT retail consume the BT Wholesale ADSL2+ (and FTTC/P) WBC product as will virtually all the other ISPs out there.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@timmay:Well yes. I suppose that the speed limits are a bit like ISP throttling :)

When I mentioned 130mph I was referring to what I believe was the original design specification for UK motorways. Clearly they were designed to support speeds above the legal speed limit otherwise police pursuits would be impossible.

Anyway my main point remains. An 'up to 20Mb' service that only delivers 2.3Mb/s on certain lines is quite normal and - currently at least - regarded as valid by the ASA and Trading Standards.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
..cont. In my view there isn't anything particularly wrong about that. It's just the nature of the English language, the nature of advertising and - sadly - the nature of consumers.

If people sign up to services without reading the contract and doing some fairly basic research then it's their fault. ADSL and variants all have known distance limitations after all.
Posted by rasczak over 7 years ago
Rocklett, a lot of those comments wouldn't have been avoided as they were made by those with an agenda to put a downer on all things BT. What this does show is that BT Wholesale is rolling out WBC to further areas, not far enough for my liking, but how many of the cherry picking LLU providers are expanding their footprint, not even counting those LLUOs who are reducing theirs.
Posted by wifigeek over 7 years ago
aargh BT. you have enabled "IRVINE BOURTREE Scotland" just like C&W are about to, but you are not enabling *THE MAIN EXCHANGE* in the centre of town (WSIRV) that covers all businesses etc... and myself!

oh well, looks like my 2nd line is pointless yet again. I *want* a second 24M circuit.. not 8m pile of crap.
Posted by gobbybobby over 7 years ago
No fair. When will people living in the Countryside get this faster stufff. Prob won't make my connection that much faster even if they did the Miseden Exchange. only get at best 1.5 meg now.
Posted by Matchstick over 7 years ago
gobbybooy, users on Rural Market 1 exchanges will get faster Broadband the moment OFCOM decides that letting BT rip off customers by charging more and exploit their monopoly by failing to invest in these exchanges is actually bad for customers.

That isn't likely to happen anytime soon.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Cool I'd rather get faster speeds now than wait for FTTC which I'll be waiting for - for ages. And my exchange is now listed.
Posted by gobbybobby over 7 years ago
@matchstick yer u are prob right. :/ I will have to move hosue to get a better speed. Fed up of having to wait ages to download PS3 Updates, Try watch online TV or download stuff off steam. At least BT don't throttle Torrents as much anymore. Used to be blocked from 6Pm till Midnight.
Posted by warweezil over 7 years ago
So again the largest exchange in this county misses out on WBC while other (smaller ones) nearby have had a date set since last year. Maybe it is time that we were given price parity with the cheaper WBC services until such times as the ability to upgrade exists ONLY THEN is it fair to impose "leverage" pricing on IPSC connections. Ofcom seems to be content to allow BT to continue to abuse its market 1 monopoly.
Posted by uniquename over 7 years ago
It seems Matchstick and gobbybobby are on non-LLU'ed exchanges and think BT Broadband with its throttling is all they can get.

They are mistaken. They need to go the the Which ISP? forum here and ask for advice.
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
@ warweezil .The idea of waiting for a WBC upgrade in order to get a cost reduction in bandwidth is a bit odd. New platform, new capital, and lower prices!
If assets are fully depreciated and the existing transmission gear would become idle, then it shows many of our limitations arise out of cost allocation mechanisms from BT regulatory accounts.
Posted by Capvermell over 7 years ago
My exchange in Capel, Surrey (THCP) has around 1950 lines but despite this surely being enough lines for BT Wholesale to do well providing an ADSL2+ service via companies like Zen, Newnet, IDNet and Murphx etc as well as through its own BT Retail brands it doesn't bother and leaves us in the internet slow lane.

What is the point of BT simply emulating ADSL2+ provision that already exists so late in the day when most of its potential customers willing to pay extra for ADSL2+ on those exchanges have already signed up with its rivals.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
what has me baffled as why are they rolling out WBC and FTTC alongside each other, they should at least concentrate WBC on non FTTC exchanges only.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
karlaustin FTTC allows ethernet handover at exchange, so LLU isps such as O2 and sky can basically have openreach from cabinet to exchange and then use LLU backhaul from exchange bypassing WBC. I very much doubt WBC is cheaper than their already in place under utilsied LLU backhaul.
Posted by foxsilver over 7 years ago
And still Chippenham is not listed. how does BT decide who's in and who's out? BT ids pathetic - I'm lucky to get more than 1 Mbs and pay extortionately for it but am still bombarded with mail and emails claiming 'up to 20 Mbs'. Ha! - not this decade!
Posted by machanch over 7 years ago
What is WBC? Basically it the name BT Wholesale have given to the product it is deploying with ADSL2+ technology and the enhanced backend into it core network..
BT Openreach owns the Local Loop, and they are the once rolling out FTTC.. that product will be available to all the Customer Providers (O2, Talktalk, BT retail, etc) who currently rely on Openreach to deliver the service to the end user.
Posted by machanch over 7 years ago
I do not expect WBC (ADSL2+) will make a great difference to my broadband speed, distance from exchange to my house is 5+ miles. The benefit of ADSL2+ would come when FTTC is deployed locally to me.. I have a BT Openreach cabinet approx 30 metres from my front door.. If FTTC is deployed to it, then I will have the full benefit of what ADSL2+ can deliver.

I have no virgin cable in my area and it has been like that for since the cable network started.. I cannot see that changing anytime soon.. So I am satisfied with my lot until FTTC is deployed..
Posted by amforbes over 7 years ago
As usual BT upgrades the cities that already have 20mpbs or more and the rural areas that really would benefit from a fast connection are overlooked again.
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