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BT to announce expansion of fibre-to-the-cabinet network
Monday 10 May 2010 18:00:02 by John Hunt

The FT are reporting that BT are likely to announce an expansion of the rollout of their fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband network from 40% to 66%. Full details are expected within BT's financial results due out later this week, but the expansion is expected to increase the costs past the original £1.5bn budget for fibre based broadband. It's not yet known whether the coverage increase could be achieved in the time frame currently laid out to provide 40% coverage which is due by Summer 2012. BT's FTTC products offer users broadband speeds of up to 40 Mbps downstream, and could see faster speeds in the future.

An increase in footprint would put BT in a stronger position to sell the service to other providers on a wholesale basis to providers such as Sky or TalkTalk who could avoid the high costs of deploying their own street-side infrastructure. BT's only large-scale competitor in high-speed broadband services is currently Virgin Media who cover around 50% of homes with their cable network, however they have no plans to significantly increase coverage.

BT are also expected to make a play to undercut Sky on pricing of live Premiership football matches, an option that has been opened up by an imposed reduction in wholesale pricing that Ofcom have put forward for Sky's Sports channels.


Posted by mattbibby over 7 years ago
Proof is in the pudding...

Let's see BT deliver the first 10-20% first I think!

Good luck to them if they turn it around though :)
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
great stuff, now we just need some cabinets in rural areas then we can run fibre to them? progress. long overdue, but good news.
Posted by mattbibby over 7 years ago

Sadly my friend I don't think Openreach will be running fibre to rural areas anytime soon. They'll be sorting the easy runs first. Running fibre to remote locations is expensive and a planning nightmare!
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
Matt, I think you are right, but my bone of contention is that fibre is already running through the rural areas to get to the towns and cities, we just need break out points... like they do with electricity and water.

Even if they had to run new fibre, it isn't that big a job when they have ducts and poles in position already... no need to dig up the streets. everyone already has a copper wire.
Posted by russianmonkey over 7 years ago
Well BT has he ability to blow the fibre through existing ducting so making the mjaority of digging up the streets as minimal as possible.

I'd hope it comes to Dundee, however we've got FibreCity (at some point) and VM.
Posted by mabibby over 7 years ago

You'd of thought that! But sadly most of the fibre BT run is private circuits, and for obvious reasons these cannot be used.

All FTTC stuff will be new fibre.
Posted by pinshot over 7 years ago
im due to get this service in Leighton Buzzard soon but i will be sticking to my O2 10 meg connection.

I NEED as fast a connection as i can get for my 2-300gig a month data but i find BT an utterly repugnant ISP for the advanced user and their trafic shaping is simply ridiculous.

I know many people that will decling this service until they can get it through another ISP at least. Why would anyone want a 40meg connection that BT will screw with every second they can!!!
Posted by NuttyMucker over 7 years ago
This is great news, unfortunately I am 6.3KM away from my exchange and can only get speeds of 1mb down and 0.6mb up so this is welcome news. I accept the comments above about rural areas but I am connected to an exchange in a heavily populated area and live just on the outskirts in a 'rural' area so if they enabled my exchange will they not feed the fibre to where I am due to costs? I hope that is not the case
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 7 years ago
@ nutty

i think that would depend. it has to be financially viable first, if there are enough customers fed from your cab then they may do it, also if it acn be fed on the same route as other cabs they are doing then also if viable to do so they are likely to..
Posted by timmay over 7 years ago
This is good news and at 66% should see most connected to town/city exchanges getting the service. So should be good news for those in the suburbs who currently only get a few Mbit/s or less.
Posted by jtthedevil over 7 years ago
You only have to look at the N Ireland deployment to see what will happen. Most of the cabinets being upgraded from my exchange are within 1 mile of the exchange. Cant see that being much use to me at the end of an extremely long line on the outskirts of town.
Posted by jtthedevil over 7 years ago
And if VM have 50% coverage why can't we all just get along, get BT to do the other 50% and open up to all competition.

Or would that be too sensible....
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
@NuttyMucker - how far away is your PCP (primary connection point) green box, the possible location of a FTTC end point?
Posted by NuttyMucker over 7 years ago
The green box is only about 200 feet from my house
Posted by themanstan over 7 years ago

200ft... your in for a treat if they do do your cab! Still, looking forward to hear if the FTTC expansion announcement will state some new exchanges also. Somewhat left out in Oxford as i'm on the orphaned Cowley exchange.
Posted by mattbibby over 7 years ago

You seem to forget BT are a private business.

There is a reason why VM have only rolled out fibre to 50%. Obviously the other 50% has no ROI potential. Asking BT to do the other 50% because they morally should has no substance.

If core public utilities such as Telecoms were still publically owned we wouldn't have this problem.
Posted by Thalgrum over 7 years ago
I live in Basingstoke, one of the first towns they rolled out the new service, they missed an awful lot of cabinets out of the upgrades, so even if your town does get done, the chances of you getting the service are kinda hit and miss unless you live very near the exchange..
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"If core public utilities such as Telecoms were still publically owned"

In principle the ownership is less important than the effectiveness of market regulation and the political will to get the job done. At least that's what the piratisation fans have been claiming since they started. Whether the facts support their claims is arguable, based on experience with rail, bus, electricity, gas, water, telecom... etc.
Posted by Drefsab over 7 years ago
Well BT finally marked the new FTTC cab at the end of my road active so my FTTC order completes on the 18th :) Should be nice to see how this performs next to my other lines.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 7 years ago
at thalgrum
must be unlucky, chelmsford has been live for about 2 months and although some cabs had delays due to getting power to them, about 80% of the cabs no have fttc
Posted by Jayprime over 7 years ago
@ c_j_ - I like your comment but I think you probably meant 'privatisation' rather than 'piratisation'?

Living in a rural area, using VM, my usual "up to 8Mbps" supply is less than 400Kbps, normally less than 200Kbps, sometimes as low as 22Kbps.
Posted by Thalgrum over 7 years ago
I'm not sure of the actual % of cabinets that were upgraded, but its far far short of 100%, they tend to concentrate on the most densely populated area's and skip the rest.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 7 years ago
planning permission in conservastion areas is also an issue, is your cab in a conservation area?
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago

if a choice between say easy run - 10000 end users
hard run - 25000 end users, which do you think would be more likely? it seems how easy and short the cable run to the cabinets are have a big impact on rollout. Ironically meaning areas that would benefit more from FTTC get skipped (cabs multi km from exchange).
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
timmay, I will wait and see, I think its a bad assumption to assume towns and cities will all come ahead of rural areas, existing rollout isnt supporting this theory.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
jtthedevil, interesting, so explains a lot why my exchange has been deemed unviable as it is in the top 50 in the country for customer density, but the majority of cabinets are at least a mile away.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
BT says:

We are also announcing that, if investment conditions are favourable, we see the potential to extend our current fibre roll out to around two-thirds of UK premises by 2015 for an incremental cost of around £1bn, while maintaining our annual capital expenditure levels at around £2.6bn.
Posted by Thalgrum over 7 years ago
no, not in a conservation area, as the guy posting after you says, its all about the money for bt, they hit the most densely populated/near to exchange parts of town, and skip most of the rest.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
Thalgrum - and money for the ISPs surely?
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
CD - please explain 'we just need some cabinets in rural areas then we can run fibre to them'.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
so this hope is nothing at the moment, its an announcement BT will invest more if the government changes the rules, otherwise will stay as it is.
Posted by donewalking over 7 years ago
Lets see what happens before making to many comments but i think "don't hold your breath" At the moment BT can't even give me over 100.00Kbps never mind up to 4Mbps.
Posted by NuttyMucker over 7 years ago
I have just done a check on and discovered that my cabinet will be enabled by 31/08/10 yipee!
I have checked using a postcode but still does not show this. I spoke with Infinity and they tell me the fibre is already there just need the cabinet to be fitted. I also noticed that there are quite a few cabinets being fitted so BT are not only enabling the heavily populated areas as I will be able to avail soon with a pop of around 450. In hindsight we cant get anything above 1mb and no VM so a win win for BT. Just ordered my BT BB so I can get a BT line and speed up the process.
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