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Rutland Telecom gain access to Openreach cabinet data
Friday 06 August 2010 16:26:58 by John Hunt

Rutland Telecom have hailed success in getting crucial data from BT which they had up until now refused to release. The information held by BT Openreach details which properties are connected to each street cabinet providing phone and broadband services. This will allow companies like Rutland Telecom to work out the best locations to site its equipment for sub-loop unbundling, which allows providers to offer fibre-to-the-cabinet services to rival those from BT. Rutland Telecom are also keen to see the adoption of duct and pole sharing as this would enable them to run fibre cheaply from the local street cabinet to end user homes.

"Only now will we be able to tell which premises is linked to which street cabinet and then we can target those cabinets which have businesses on them which are suffering poor speeds and who are paying high prices to BT. The whole community will benefit if we can adopt this approach. The significance of the release of this data should not be underestimated.

BT Openreach should be a facilitator of all this but unfortunately that is not our experience. It took 8 months for Rutland Telecom to fight for the basic post code data which we secured for the benefit of industry in 2009. They tell us it will take at least 3 months to extract this latest data from their database (23 million lines of CSV format files) so in total it will have taken us 2 years to get to the position we wanted to be in. They have agreed to supply smaller areas [region by region] on request and so we have already put our first request in."

David Lewis, (MD) Rutland Telecom

The data in question was previously only available on a case-by-case basis but Rutland Telecom had been trying to get access to a more automated system which Openreach claimed was not economically viable.

"Following discussions with industry on their exact requirements we will now be providing this data on a regional basis to help smaller players better plan for their broadband roll-outs. The extent of our fibre roll-out across the UK means that this is a major undertaking, so it will be a few months before this data is available."

BT Spokeswoman

Comments

Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
Let the LLU cherry-picking begin...
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Yep... the vultures are circling
Posted by wirelesspacman over 6 years ago
Led by BT themselves of course
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
How are BT cherry picking? If they were cherry picking they'd be concentrating on areas with very low speeds they clearly are not seen as they biggest deployment area is inner London.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
BT are damned if they do and damned if they don't.
All LLU to date has been cherry-picking, it's economics... however when BT states "economically viable" in roll-out it is vilified, oh the hypocrisy!
Posted by tedsloan over 6 years ago
If Virgin Media get access to the ducts I hope their conscience will prick them sufficiently to spend some money and use the privilege.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I can't see Virgin getting access unless the favour is returned.
Posted by wirelesspacman over 6 years ago
@gman - it was their deployments in inner city areas I was thinking of. Rather than go for deployments that would improve service but not revenue, they are going in general for areas where they are "under attack" from Virgin Media's cable service and are thus liable to otherwise lose revenue.
Posted by wirelesspacman over 6 years ago
Oh, and I am in no way "blaming" BT for doing this - it is perfectly rational business thinking. :-)
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
I wonder what data Rutland Telecom would provide to 3rd parties about customers connected to its monopoly voice and internet FTTC service :-)
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
even rutland are cherry picking, since they targeting businesses currently paying high prices. Is a community only existing of businesses now then?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"23 million lines of CSV format files"

Definately a BT filing system LOL
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
@Herdwick isnt it just information about what house number is uses what cabinet?? I doubt its any information about customers You could have in future number 5 Imaginary Street all using Virgin who wish to switch to a FTTH service, and the only way to know up until now which cabinet that house would use is to go through BT. Legally i imagine Rutland and anyone else is allowed this data, and BT just made it awkward for them to get it, i assume thats the case anyway as i dont see any mention of messing court arguing or Ofcom complaining from either party.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Let the pole sharing commence and true unlimited, true high speed, true non line managed FTTH begin. Superb news.... Was going to happen sooner or later, just a shocker it wasnt Sky or similar that went after info like this and its happened this soon... Cant wait for my LLU style FTTH
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
cb - what's the problem with CSV, maybe that's how Rutland want it.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
CB- the reason sky or similar large companies are not interested is because it's not worth their while..a large company won't make enough money out of small comunity projets to bother, and if they did a large scale roll out they would have to open the network and share it like openreach
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
and there is no point im going to an area openreach are already going to cover with FTTC/FTTP, and the places openreach are not going to are the places that are too expensive to supply
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
But where are these areas, the 'final third'?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"cb - what's the problem with CSV, maybe that's how Rutland want it"
It doesnt sound that way... quote"They tell us it will take at least 3 months to extract this latest data from their database (23 million lines of CSV format files) so in total it will have taken us 2 years to get to the position we wanted to be in."
Unless you think they are happy to wait 3 months for BT and then spending a total of 2 years wading through the bureaucracy and data provided.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
@CaptainHulaHoop.... Who says now this information is up for grabs its only small community projects that will happen? LLU nowadays is anything but small business.

As somerset also hints at, BT dont even know what this "final third" is.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I don't think anyone knows who the final third are.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
the final third are all the people whose line length is more than a few km which means they can't get the USC. many are in urban areas. BT will know roughly who they are. Fttc may help some of the urban ones. It won't help the rural ones.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
^^^ No it is not and you are confusing several different subjects there cyberdoyle. GMAN99 is right (pains me to agree ;)) as is Somerset with the hint they made... Nobody knows exactly who the so called final third are.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
"Openreach claimed was not economically viable." - Openreach: it isn't, and it doesn't. Conflict of interest just perhaps?
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
@MH&CB wouldn't that involve generating a new client for accessing the BT database/s? One that limits it to the information that Rutland would needs to access? These aren't cheap to do you know. BT has to make sure that no other data becomes available to Rutland, otherwise they get stuffed by the ICO. It's not as simple as people may think.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
"isnt it just information about what house number is uses what cabinet?? I doubt its any information about customers" - err the data about being connected to a phone line is data about customers. Similarly the line checkers don't directly disclose if you have ADSL for reasons of data protection / confidentiality.

Openreach would have previously have no reason to have a system to make the data available to 3rd parties, so I don't see any conspiracy here just inertia.
Posted by PeteK over 6 years ago
Seems like a lot of hot air to me. Was no issue for Leeds or Belfast a few years ago when we needed it.. Perhaps they need a better account management team.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
@PeteK

If you are doing a discrete search, like you did, it's fine. But this looks like Rutland want to cherry pick "final third" cabinets, which means trawling the database... as an aside, looks like "final third" may join FTTC in having different meanings to different people...
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
It's the 'middle sixth'© that's interesting. The areas in the Openreach 66% and not in the VM 50%.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
What would be interesting is some more roll-out exchanges, things have been pretty quiet for since the last lsit cam out a couple of months ago.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"err the data about being connected to a phone line is data about customers."

I dont see the issue herdwick, if i live at 10 Imaginary Road why would i care if a company knows my phone line is connected to the cabinet at the top of Imaginary Road? Maybe im missing something but why does that matter?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
I also dont understand all these accusations of cherry picking. If BT thereself are only doing 2/3 of the country isnt that "cherry picking" already? Ignoring a third of what they dont think will be profitable or what costs too much to deliver to? The whole defence that blah blah company is cherry picking is pretty poor now, they have all been shown to some extent to do it.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
@themanstan...
If BT use CSV files for the information, and its been done right it would be very easy to produce a report containing as much or as little customer data as required. The information to a degree must already be available otherwise NON BT checkers where you put in a postcode only wouldnt know if you can or are going to get FTTC. BT retail certainly know which cabinet im on and when FTTC will be available, and so much more so theres no reason Openreach cant provide that info to other companies if they can provide it to BT Retail.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
@CB
I don't think BT do use CSVs, they use Oracle databases. Hence, it's just a RAW data dump. As for the checkers that tell you about FTTC, that would be a seperate database, already a new automated client so that BTRetail and other ISPs can tell you what is happening (economic viability is there).
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
continued
What Rutland wants is completely different. Also, BTRetail would still come under the BT PLC with respect to information, any personal stuff would still be internal per se. I don't dispute that this gives BTRetail an advantage, it's simply that for data protection Openreach would need to generate a new client to provide the information, limiting it to the relevant allowable portions of the database.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
"I dont see the issue herdwick, if i live at 10 Imaginary Road why would i care if a company knows my phone line is connected to the cabinet at the top of Imaginary Road? Maybe im missing something but why does that matter?"

Two words = Data Protection.

"I also dont understand all these accusations of cherry picking. If BT thereself are only doing 2/3 of the country isnt that "cherry picking" already?"

I will agree when another company chooses to cherry pick 2/3rds of the country rather than just 5%.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
"it would be very easy to produce a report containing as much or as little customer data as required"

Maybe on areas which are included in the FTTC roll-out are included in the current info? Rutland wants it all...
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
@themanstan - BT Retail do not get to see any Openreach info that others can't, if they could there would be fines involved.

Compliance and such like.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
Yep my fluff on info sharing
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
:)

They really should stop using 'BT'... 98% of the population don't understand how the whole thing works becuase of this confusion over names/suppliers/wholesalers sharing the same name and yada yada
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
Although, thinking about it BTRetail don't need the info that Rutlands needs. Which would make it expensive to access as the undertaking is equal price to access commitment. BTRetail just waits for Openreach to rollout and sells it, end of story. Virgin's LLU via telegraph poles won't, as it doesn't use the cabinets. All other ISPs appear to be using the virtual LLU (for now), so don't need it.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
themanstan - what advantage do you think BT Retail have?
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
Somerset, none, TaRkADHi pointed out my fluff which i admitted.
Posted by mattbibby over 6 years ago
@Somerset

Not alot! Truth being BT can't even communicate within their respective divisions let alone cross company lol!

As said above... let the cherry picking commence!

Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
@mattbibby - Its not that they can't, its that they are not allowed to....
Posted by DigitalRegion over 6 years ago
This is welcome news from our side, given we're installing 1500+ VDSL cabinets in South Yorkshire to 80% of the population in phase 1 of our build, and a further 17% in phase 2. Being able to identify what address is served by what cabinet is only going to enhance our ability to keep people more informed about when they can get connected.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
@themanstan and TaRkADaHl If Openreach do not share information with BT Retail, how do BT retail know if its possible for me to have a new phone line or not? Also as it would or CAN BE BT Retail which bill me for work openreach may do they must be sharing information.

Also which part of BT organisation produces the phone book... Is that Openreach? Clearly customer data sharing does go on within the BT corporation and therefore data protection doesnt come into this if customer information is already passed around.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
How do various departments within BT get hold of my phone number??? And ring me up trying to sell me their broadband? Which area of BT is doing that and where do they get my phone number? I assume it is not oopenreach ringing me? Im ex-directory, on the telephone preference scheme and never ever share my home number with anyone except friends or relatives, never wrote it down for any company in my life. Various departments at BT seem to have shared it around though.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
@ TaRkADaHl quote"I will agree when another company chooses to cherry pick 2/3rds of the country rather than just 5%."
How is any other company supposed to decide what 2/3rds they should unbundle if they dont know what cabinets the 2/3rds they MAY want to unbundle are connected to? You cant unbundle 2/3rds if you dont know how many connections or cabinets or connections to those cabinets there are to start with.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Whether a company rolls out a service to 5% (Which i assume is an example what you think Rutland will possibly do) or 66% (thats BT aka 2/3rds) its still cherry picking. To defend cherry picking on one hand because you like the company but not defend another companies cherry picking is a tad hypocritical.
Either you support cherry picking or you dont, if you dont critisise it all not part of it.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
@ themanstan..... Oh and even if BT use oracle that is easily converted to CSV files and as stated before as much or as little data can be passed as needed.

BT obviouly dont have a legal leg to stand on with regards to sharing the information Rutland have requested (whatever it may be) otherwise they would had said no and if needed challenged it all the way... They didnt though. Its also obvious data protection act does not come into things otherwise Ofcom and the like would had stepped in and said NO
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
This story is great news it means possibly more choice for the future broadband services to the consumer. The only downside i see is the more services other companies put out there the less revenue for BT. As i dont have shares in BT or work for them or am a ex-staffer or in any other way financially motivated by BT i couldnt give a rats bottom about their revenues. Apart from that i cant think of any reason anyone would see this as a bad thing (Seriously i cant see why anyone would moan about this unless they have BT links).
Posted by wirelesspacman over 6 years ago
I agree with Carpetburn. We all try to cherry pick - it is a natural business practice. As a small (W)ISP we have to work out where we can hit hardest and best and then to cherry pick those areas and customers. We just concentrate on different types of cherries to the big boys!
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
"@themanstan and TaRkADaHl If Openreach do not share information with BT Retail, how do BT retail know if its possible for me to have a new phone line or not? Also as it would or CAN BE BT Retail which bill me for work openreach may do they must be sharing information."

Yet again twisting words to fit what you want to think...

What I said was:

"BT Retail do not get to see any Openreach info that others can't".

There is a big difference bewteen what I said and what you said. Get your eyes tested.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
@CB

http://www.btplc.com/Thegroup/RegulatoryandPublicaffairs/Codeofpractice/BTPeople/CoP_BTpeople_Part_one.pdf

This is what BT is required to do. I admitted i was wrong with respect to sharing, lets see if your big enough to admit you are too?
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
@themanstan - You must be new here... CB is never wrong!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"@themanstan - You must be new here... CB is never wrong!"

What? I didnt accuse anyone of being wrong, and i appologise for previously missing your post that corrected things and stated "BT Retail do not get to see any Openreach info that others can't". All i did was ask questions about information which is obviously shared among the BT groups. Your statement is correct BT retail do indeed share info with Openreach and vice versa and now Openreach will be sharing SOME of that same info with Rutland.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
@themanstan, appreciate the link. Looks like its mainly specific customer details they dont give out to others and rightly so. Though it does make me wonder how other areas of BT get peoples phone numbers to call them with "special" deals. Interesting read though thankyou.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
What information is obviously shared among the BT groups?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
See section 3 of themanstan link Somerset.
quote"Customer confidential or commercial information can be shared with anyone if it is:
- needed to build the next generation network"

Rutland for the purpose they wanted the information (quote from the story above "This will allow companies like Rutland Telecom to work out the best locations to site its equipment for sub-loop unbundling, which allows providers to offer fibre-to-the-cabinet services to rival those from BT.")
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Further more even if people here disagree it doesnt matter the link in the story above to Ispreview clearly states... "The U-turn apparently came during a meeting held in London last week between RT, BT Openreach, Ofcom, the OTA and some other operators."

So everyone is obviously happy its within the rules of data/information sharing.

Even if it wasnt as i previously said dunno why ayone would be against this, so any arguement is mute.
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