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Two rural Lincolnshire villages to get fibre-to-the-home
Tuesday 01 June 2010 10:37:58 by John Hunt

Fibrestream are bringing fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) to two mystery rural villages in Lincolnshire, which have been identified as Ashby de la Launde and possibly Bloxhom by an ISPreview reader. In an interview with BBC Lincolnshire, Guy Jarvis of Fibrestream discussed their progress of getting the villages connected up and how much they expect things to cost.

Fibrestream are around two-thirds of the way there to getting enough interest from the villages which will allow them to proceed with the install. They are following a community led system which means the community have been at the forefront of getting this project going and their assistance will help keep costs down. Two options are available for deployment in the village. If there is a large amount of interest, a full fibre-to-the-home based system will be deployed connecting up each home by fibre optic cable. This is expected to cost around £150 to install (although cheaper if you are willing to help with the work by digging trenches for the cables) with an ongoing cost of around £20-£30 for the service a month. The second option is what they call FiWi- fibre delivered to a central point in the village and then distributed using Wireless to people who want to connect. The FiWi options works out cheaper to deploy, and any money raised over the cost of running the service will be reinvested to give people a direct fibre to the home (FTTH) connection. They are expecting to be able to deliver speeds of up to 100Mbps using FTTH.

It's good to see small villages taking the initiative to get high-speed broadband services deployed where they would otherwise be left off the map by the large broadband players. Other rural projects such as those from Rutland Telecom which include the Rural villages of Erbistock in Wales and Lyddington in Leicestershire should help to prove that you don't need to be a large national company to get fibre broadband rolling.


Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
"FiWi" sounds a lame alternative to FTTH. No wireless technology comes close with its shared bandwidth/spectrum issues and cost of external antennae for reliability.

Will this be an open access system with multiple retailers or a local monopoly like Lyddington I wonder ?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
Its well worth listening to that interview, fibrestream explain how it is all going to work.
FIWI is sometimes the only way to get a connection to these people in the short term, and the revenue from it helps to get the fibre to them all eventually.That is the beauty of a CIC - the profits are reinvested in the network and not in shareholder pockets. or million pound bonuses for firing people.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 7 years ago
Prices come down if you install it yourself... conjures up images of old 'dig for victory' posters. Fantastic, thats the way to do it :)
Posted by timmay over 7 years ago
This really just goes to show BT could loose 1/3 of the UK population as customers if projects like this are successful and are replicated all over the UK where BT refuses to admit there is demand. Why on earth is BT wasting it's time with FTTC!?
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
Wow - that really does sound good. The devil might still be in the details but other rural communities (and perhaps all of us) should take note.

The economics of scale are hard to estimate but it's a far cry from the huge amounts normally bandied around.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 7 years ago
@Timmay. Please provide evidence that BT refuses to admit their is demand? I can provide evidence that they have spent £2.5 Billion in the last 6 months with intentions of a lot more, and remember, BT are a private company, all other projects worldwide with Fibre have been gov funded. Can you name another private company that has invested this much into the UK network?
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 7 years ago
Also, they are not wasting time with FTTC, by rolling this out get sets up the infrastructure and gets everything ready for FTTH. Getting Fibre to EVERY house is really expensive, so they are hoping that the gov will step up and cover part the costs. FTTC is a perfect stop-gap, its not too expensive and gets the network ready for the big expensive push.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 7 years ago
The other option would be that BT just keeps storing its cash for the next 10 years then rolls out FTTH to everyone at the same time, least this way 2/3rds of the population get serious improvements very quickly rather than everyone being stuck in the same situation just to make you happy.
Posted by Capn over 7 years ago
I thought the FTTH is on a completely seperate network to FTTC? Wouldn't that mean all these cabinets would be redundant as soon as people start getting FTTH?
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@Capn:Sort of. The cabinets will still be useful as aggregation points I think but the VDSL equipment in them will presumably be pulled if/when FTTH is rolled out in that area.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 7 years ago
Half of the cabinet would be removed, currently the cabs operate as small DSLAMS, they take the copper signal and put it into Fibre to go back to the exchange. once switched, they would have Fibre terminating, getting combined in a big switch then getting sent down more Fibre back to the exchange. It cuts down distances, if you have 22,000 people on an exchange, it would be too expensive to have each one with a dedicated Fibre going straight back to the exchange.
Posted by tikka69 over 7 years ago
GPON is the term your looking for........
Posted by rob808 over 7 years ago
while at least you in britain are getting vdsl.Im in ireland and are going to get 8mb which eircom calling NGN broadband.My country Ireland going dam backwards because you had 8mb broadband since 2001.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
fibre is supposed to go to most exchanges already, (colossus) so if it is already there then the expense is going into the equipment in the cabinets? for a stop gap solution?
has anyone any facts on colossus? I can't find any online apart from here:
Posted by krazykizza over 7 years ago
ffs. im 20miles from Ashby de la Launde.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 7 years ago
Fibre is going between all 21CN exchanges (T2/3 MSAN), and each one of them connects to roughly 3 large exchanges (T1 MSAN) it then goes to the PoP's, metro's, outers and finally inners. Even all old 20CN exchanges are connected into the IP network via Fibre. *Technically* colossus isn't used anymore, its more a term used for the IP Stream network...
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Yes and no cyberdoyle. The expense is going on the equipment in the cabinets along with the cabinets themselves and getting the fibre to them. The access layer is by a mile the most expensive however it is provisioned.

About 50% of the FTTC investment will be reusable for FTTH.

You run a network as you remind us from time to time, this should be old hat to you.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 7 years ago
I'd say a lot more than 50% of the investment can be re-used, wouldn't be suprised if it was as high as 90%, the only part that cannot be re-used is the copper terminating points in the cabs, apart from that its all good for FTTP/H.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
hi dixie, I help to run a rural wifi network, but I have never claimed to be an expert. I think these days experts are very hard to find don't you?
times are changing fast, and its good we have companies like fibrestream to push the boundaries and help areas like the final third, otherwise literally a third of the country would be without decent broadband. Just sayin. (and before you make sarky comments about moving, I would just like to remind you where your water comes from. Howsabout moving to the rural areas for a bath?)
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 7 years ago
Cyberdoyle lays plans to pee in everywater source in the country just to spite Dixi... :)
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
haha TaRkADaH, I wouldn't do that, its not the way I work. but rural people need access to next gen just the same as urban ones. We all have our uses. Ours is food and water. We send you clean water, cities send us piss internet lol.
Regarding next gen, and the fibrestream approach this is a good conversation about it and what it is:
- its a copy of an email thread.
Posted by offcs over 7 years ago
Everyone here seems to be missing the point. I paid £128 for a copper connection that I only use for data, even though BT have given me a number. If the figures are right, these people are charging £22 more for much faster fibre. Given the choice, I would have chosen fibre. Of course, BT won't give me the choice, being the dinosaur that it is.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 7 years ago

Ah but we can't have telephone and broadband considered as separate services, that wouldn't do BT any good - the regulator would never permit that!
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@offcs:But it wouldn't just be you. Probably everyone in your area would have to be prepared to pay an extra £22 - even those that already had a telephone line. If it was just you that wanted the fibre it'd be a lot more than £22.
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
there's nothing about a cic that stops lavish remuneration of its employees etc any more than there is about a plc. A cic can't pay a dividend but equally it can't use shareholder capital so that's swings and roundabouts.
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
FTTC is largely money wasted in terms of FTTH. The tin box might be some use but that's about it. All the labour used for wiring up FTTC connections is lost, etc etc. FTTH with GPON and passive splitters may not even need the tin box. Kerbside electronics are so last century.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 7 years ago
@offcs Im sure that extra £22 will more than cover the cost of installing the Fibre to your area and upgrading the exchange. Why not write a cheque for £22 and send it to BT marked 'to assist with the FTTC rollout'.

Clearly another person who has no concept of how a private business operates. Enjoy going bankrupt.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 7 years ago
A private business operates by offering stuff people want and competing in a marketplace.

Since BT don't do either (the VM cabled areas have no competition from BT and will not have until at least after 2015, and the non VM areas have competition only from 3G as the last mile is a private monpoly) BT's business model relies entirely on the market continuing to be tipped in their favour in order for them to continue to exist.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 7 years ago
BT has more customers than any other ISP = they offer stuff people want.

BT opened up all ducts and allow LLU whereever you want = there is competition.

Is it their fault that people don't want to pay up for being their own ISP? The choice is there. Take it or leave it.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 7 years ago
The fact that millions of people have archiac copper and aliminium telephone wires does not mean that millions of people want archiac copper and aliminium telephone wires.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 7 years ago
And all the other countries that have nice shiny Fibre were heavily heavily subsidised by the gov, and BT aren't, go figure.

Name another company who have invested £2.5 billion of there own cash in 6 months to upgrading to Fibre...

Also, loads of people want shiny new BMW's, it doesn't mean they get them by paying £20 a month, you get what you pay for. You do realise that the internet in the UK is pretty much the cheapest compared to other EU countries? And that is including countries which are 99.9% copper as well...
Posted by MarkHampshire over 7 years ago
I believe I made this comment before, but if the thousands of miles of ancient wire BT laughably describe as a "network" were not so archaic, it would not require such a major investment right now just to make a half hearted attempt at getting somewhere near what Virgin Media have had for a decade.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 7 years ago
It might be the cheapest, but the UK is far from being next-gen ready whereas other comparable countries are. Might there be a connection between those two things?
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
MH - and how did these other countries fund an upgrade?

MH - the VM cabled areas have increasing competition with FTTC from potentialy loads of ISPs.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 7 years ago
I don't believe we will be able to have next-gen rollout extended without public subsidy. However I'd be vehemently opposed to public subsidy for the privatised monopoly that is BT Openreach. As rgds VM competition, who else is going to be supplying widescale FTTC and at the least, co-ax to the home with next-gen speeds before at least 2015?
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 7 years ago
but cheap is what people want, less than ten yrs ago it cost £30 for 512k fixed rate, now you can get 40meg from bt for £19.99, and people still moan at hat, they then complain that usage allowances etc. are too low, but don't want to pay for their bandwidth, and most of the high users are just illegal file sharing anyway.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 7 years ago
also, demand is a key issue. people on this site need to realise they are a minority.. most people just want the internet for facebook and to check the weather...a national company has to cater for the masses, ftth for everyone is not yet what the masses want and so is unjustified expense
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 7 years ago
MH -with regards to VM, they are not as great as people think, if they were they would cable more areas, but they don't want to and can't afford to. they dont even do new estates being built next to areas already cabled were costs of laying duct and cable are a fraction of fitting into an old estate
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
MH - What's the problem if BT win a competitive tender, they have huge experience of networks?
Posted by jimmyroamer over 7 years ago
The point appears to have been lost in this thread. BT is investing a substantial sum of money over the next two to three years to implement both FTTC and FTTH where it can. However that investment is focussed on metropolitan and urban areas not the rural areas that suffer from poor service today.
Both Fibrestream and Rutland Telecom are showing that if the rural communities want it then high speed next gen broadband can be made available for a price, the interesting bit is that the price is much less than that which BT is telling us it will cost them.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
jimmyroamer, afraid not. BT for whatever reason are skipping at least a few city areas, including my city. With a very vague "not commercially viable" reason given. VM rolled out here in dec 2009 and demand was so high they had to ship in install engineers from coventry to cope with the demand. BT are scared to take risks, and are likely picking areas that are more affluent (since fttc is priced higher retail), and where customers have been lost to VM,LLU There is a pattern emerging as well that they seem to be picking areas with short average local loops (including some rural areas).
Posted by wirelesspacman over 7 years ago
Hi Chrysalis

Did VM "roll out" as in install cable into a new (ie previously uncabled) part of the city
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Posted by cyberdoyle 1 day ago
hi dixie, I help to run a rural wifi network, but I have never claimed to be an expert.

Posted by Somerset 24 days ago
Yet again Chris shows she does not understand how networks work.

Posted by cyberdoyle 24 days ago
Somerset, I do understand, I run a network ffs.

I'll pass on playing the urban / rural game again.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Wirelesspacman - it was a digital overbuild of an analogue area. It was already cabled, they upgraded the existing architecture.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
Dixy, enjoy your bath. Enjoy your broadband. don't worry about the rurals, they have a lovely view.
And part of the time I do run the network,granted it is only a small one and I am a small part of a great team, I don't know it all and am not an expert. Is that clear enough for you & Somerset now? I do know that until we all have fibre to the home we have not got 'superfast' or NGA. We have souped up dial up.I just hope the villagers in Ashby pull this one off with fibrestream and prove it to the dinosaurs.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
Why have Fibrestream chosen these areas when there are thousands more wanting fast broadband? Is it becuase the installation is relatively straightforward and hence low cost?

CD - the definition of NGA is not when all have it.

If it's so easy why aren't all the 70? companies who can dig up the road getting on with it or putting LLU into villages?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
I think fibrestream are doing several villages, this is just one of the first who have got their act together instead of just moaning about lack of access. If they are prepared to do some of their own dig they will get it long before the telcos will provide it. If telcos ever do. Also they must be fairly close to a pop perhaps? The VOA tax prevents many getting long fibre runs in. The definition of digitalbritain is when all have NGA not just those that make telcos lots of easy money leaving everyone else on narrowband. Good luck fibrestream bringing power to the people.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
Where do the get the definition that says 'all'?
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
Where did you get the definition from that says 'all'?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
hi Somerset. I made it up. Cos its true. We won't have a digitalbritain until all can have access. Like phones and mobiles, they are only of use when others have them too. So it is with NGA. Once everyone has it then we can rock. Unless you think NGA is just for urban areas and everyone else can eat cake?
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
So there is 100% mobile coverage across the UK?

Be realistic. What you actually mean is connectivity at a reasonable price.

Many villages with exchanges have people close to them happy with 'up to 8M'.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
haha, you got me there Somerset... true, we haven't got mobile coverage in many areas too. To be realistic yes I do mean connectivity at a reasonable price ie not satellite. But once people get 'using' they will want and need more, and so any USC buildout to the havenots should be done using fibre. Cos copper is not the answer.. I agree with this analysis and I also think that much could be achieved without funding like Ashby are doing if we had a level playing field.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
You have a level playing field, just not one that compensates for the lower population density and increased cost of deployment in rural areas. What you actually want is a playing field skewed towards you.

I would suggest speaking to local authorities in that instance for subsidies. Where they've agreed with a JFDI attitude it has worked.

In the interim the rest of us will live in the real world where we're stuck with copper for now. I'd adore fibre directly to my home, in the interim I'll take what I get while quietly pulling strings behind the scenes :)
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
cd - so who pays for 'a centrally funded fibre into the village with a 1/10GbE backhaul, charged at a nominal fee'? How many (min/max) would this size of link serve?

And how many would be needed across the UK?
Posted by Jayprime over 7 years ago
herdwick - do you live in a town?
The likelihood, of getting FTTH in most villages is akin to watching the squadrons of flying pigs! And the costs if it were attempted, would be beyond the affordability of most villagers (other than those using village properties as 'second' homes!)
However, my phone line connection, nominally "up to 8Mbps", is, in practice, usually less than 200Kbps, so I also have problems withthe comment by "Somerset" that "Many villages with exchanges have people close to them happy with 'up to 8M'"! Afraid that it doesn't apply here in this village in South Norfolk.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
jp - clearly the problem with ADSL is that the speed depends on distance and how to find a way of improving connection speeds at reasonable prices.

Would a solution be to find a way of providing a 1G link, which some seem to think is needed (with no justification) into every exchange (5500 in the UK) and then local organisations find a way of connecting to users.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
Somerset, I think most exchanges already have the fibre in them (colossus). Its just that villages can't have access to it. No POP. It isn't a gig of backhaul they are wanting, its a reliable connection that works. Faster speed isn't always the issue. If we are going to get connectivity to all we have to start somewhere, and a village pop seems like a great idea, and each community can start to help itself if the telcos don't wanna do it.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
cd - rent an internet link and it will probably use that fibre. Actually a dedicated fibre connection.

You seem to be, wrongly, obsessed about access to existing fibres which be used for private circuits, exchange links etc.

What you seem to want, at minimal cost, is a dedicated internet connection from an ISP - correct?
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