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Fluidata call out BT and Virgin on fibre broadband claims
Wednesday 18 August 2010 12:23:29 by John Hunt

The managing director of Fluidata, a UK based service provider, has questioned claims by BT and Virgin Media that they are offering fibre based broadband where the whole product is not delivered over a fibre connection. This is not a new argument as it has been raised before both with the ASA (advertising standards authority) and with Ofcom but neither seemed particularly bothered to do anything about it.

The concern focuses on the products being mis-sold as neither Virgin Media's cable broadband or BT's fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) service actually offer customers a fibre connection in their homes, even though they market it as such. Both companies rely on fibre being run to a street-side cabinet where a copper cable is then used to connect the end users home. In BT's FTTC products this is generally a short run of a few hundred metres which uses VDSL2 technology over a phone line. Virgin run copper coated aluminium or steel coaxial cables from the cabinets for the last 500metres or so of the connection.

"Call me old fashioned but I believe in a world where what you sell is what you get and that calling something you are selling one thing but delivering another is surely illegal? So why do the majority of consumer internet providers, namely Virgin and BT, believe it is ok to tell consumers they are buying fibre technology when, in fact they aren't.

Surely they can't then tell you that you are getting the 'power of fibre' or so on? Yes it is faster but only because they have shorten the distance of the copper, but the delivery is no different to that of ADSL where the cable is just longer going back to the telephone exchange. From here the network is, and for a very long time, have been fibre supporting high levels of bandwidth."

Piers Daniell, (Managing Director) Fluidata

The ASA ruled on this back in February 2008 when Sky, TalkTalk and others took issue to adverts Virgin ran which claimed they provided broadband by fibre optic cable.

"The truth is this ... right now, in terms of broadband, there are two types of household in the UK. Half of us can access cable broadband. This is delivered via a fibre optic cable - meaning it is officially the fastest and most reliable available ..."

Virgin Media National Press Advert

The adjudication on this by the ASA stated that they didn't believe the use of "delivered via a fibre optic cable" would mislead as the coaxial part of the cable network was a small proportion of the overall fibre connection. This therefore leads little room for complaints if this will be the argument used as defence by the advertising regulator. Perhaps one of the only ways forward is for broadband providers to raise a complaint about every misleading advert and hope that they finally take heed that something is amiss here.

Of course the current use of fibre advertising may lead to issues in the future when broadband operators are actually delivering a full fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service as it may become a bit more difficult for them to market this full fibre product when they've been using fibre to describe the existing fibre hybrid products. One imagines at that stage the marketing will shift away from the technologies used and focus on the service that the products offer instead.

Comments

Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
I complained to ASA a few months ago about these adverts, and they just trotted out the same excuses they made in their 2008 adjudication. It is clear the ASA do not know their ASA from their elbow. Another useless quango? It isn't fibre broadband unless its fibre to the home. End Of.
Posted by junipurr over 6 years ago
When we launch our 3G product I think we should call it "3G mobile fibre broadband". It is backhauled by fibre, after all ;)
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
^ That's going to make 4G expensive isn't it?

Fibre-ing all the masts.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I had a massive moan about this when Virgin's "fibre network" came along, the same network as it had been for years until the PR team decided to call it a fibre network. The thing is, if Virgin are allowed to call their offering fibre broadband, so are BT, either allow them both to carry on or stop both.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Pfhaw. My ADSL modem is mobile. I can pick it up and move it anywhere within two metres of the master socket. I could hang it out of the window if I wanted :)
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
This is clearly a PR stunt for Fluidata.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Yeah... like... "Fluidata?" Never heard of them who are they? Oh the guys that tried to get extra customers by making a fuss about Fibre Broadband... I know who you mean now. Look at their basic website, it doesn't look like a very big or pro outfit.

I think your bang on Somerset
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
As for Piers "Call me old fashioned" Daniell, how old fashioned can you be at 28?
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
And TBB picked up on it...
Posted by 303pedro over 6 years ago
Somerset: Think you've mis-interpreted whats actually gone on here. I read Piers' Blog and clearly the Editor's of ThinkBroadband and ISP Review do as well...clearly they think Piers' point is valid enough to both write about it.
Posted by piersdaniell over 6 years ago
I think you are both somewhat misinformed. The comments I made came from my personal blog on a subject that sits outside our own market - so where is the PR benefit, especially if people, like you, haven't come across us before?

We supply businesses and other carriers so we do not sell to consumers. In terms of judging a book by its covers, why don't you come down and visit us and then decide if we aren't a ‘big’ or ‘pro outfit’? You can use the opportunity to educate me on the industry.
Posted by jeep over 6 years ago
I personally agree that these products are being mis-represented, either you have a fibre connection all the way to the home or you dont & this should be made clear, as for the asa & the rest that seem to endlessly churn out documents of gobbleygook & seem to do very little else they should be replaced by one body with powers to sort broadband/cable/fibre out.ps the southwest really does exist honest:)
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
don't feed the trolls Piers.;)
There are many on here who think half a meg is sufficient for 21st century needs. They think all that will happen if we get more speed is more games. They can't see further than their noses. tek no notice. You are right, and the ASA is wrong to let anyone call anything but fibre to the home 'fibre broadband'.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
cd - what matters is what speed you get, not how it gets there. Anyway, this is old news about the last (or is it the first) bit being copper.

If it's a personal view why do we need to know the name of the company???!
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
call it what it is. If it's fibre end to end then call it fibre. If it's wireless with fibre backhaul or fibre with wireless backhaul then call it wireless. Cable is HFC - Hybrid Fibre Coax. FTTC VDSL is FTTC VDSL. Not that hard, and think of the savings you could make in the creative area.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
The PR benefit is.. I didn't know who you were before today, but now I do ;o) If you are that concerned about this why not do it formally by raising it with the ASA/Ofcom again?
Posted by wirelesspacman over 6 years ago
I tend to agree with Somerset here to a certain degree. In our area we now have two (small) business parks we refer to as "fibre optic broadband". In both cases, the delivery to the customer is fibre. However, in one case the backhaul to our main PoP in Gloucester is fibre, in the other it is microwave. The backhaul to Gloucester for both is 100Mbps, so really there is no difference in terms of service provision.

I have to admit though that the main reason I started to refer to them as fibre optic broadband is due to the increased coverage this term is getting in the press! :-)
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
I have no objection to the term 'fed with fibre optic broadband'. I do object to virgin's adverts all over the place saying 'fibre broadband for a £10er a month' etc. That is the advert I raised with ASA last month, and the reply was that because the majority of the delivery was fibre they held to the 2008 adjudication. Dinosaurs. and Ofcom haven't improved either. You get the same old same old back if you complain.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
"If it's a personal view why do we need to know the name of the company???!" Yes very odd, so ISPReview picked up a personal blog comment and published it and then that was posted as a story here, odd. As for Piers comments on his blog about "BT risks everything to become a media company" the only risk is if they do nothing, traditional telephony is dying, they have to deliver new services to survive.
Posted by 303pedro over 6 years ago
The Editors chose to use the company name, as you'll notice GMAN99, Piers doesn't mention his company on his blog. So, go steady with the conspiracy theory.
The point here, is clearly the use of language and how companies (regardless of size) use that language in the advertising of the services they provide. Surely consumers would be a damn sight better off if they were sold 'what it says on the tin'....
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
cd - need to reword 'a chain is only as strong as its weakest link' for the broadband world.
Posted by wirelesspacman over 6 years ago
@cd - to be honest "fed with fibre optic broadband" would mean pretty much the same thing to the average customer.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I know your right pedro I didn't track it back, but that's how it looked initially. I'm still bemused by it to be honest, Fluidata don't even work in the home sector so? I'm not sure why ISPReview took his personal comments and made it into an article that did mention their company name (that sells to business only not home consumers) I assume some permission must have been sought.

I'm all for the argument of what this is about its just how it came about that is weird.
Posted by wirelesspacman over 6 years ago
perhaps ISPReview had got a quiet day and were scratching around for something newsworthy? Taking things out of context just to wind people up is after all what most [not all, I hasten to add] news sites/papers are all about! :-)
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I hear that :)
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Piers doesn't mention his company on his blog.

http://piersdaniell.com/wordpress/?page_id=2

A few years later Fluidata (www.fluidata.co.uk) came to fruition
Posted by 303pedro over 6 years ago
Ha Ha, Somerset, you have clearly got a lot of time on your hands. I had not seen that entry, so I guess I will be struck down and damned for ever, for 'not' knowingly misleeding readers.
Posted by 303pedro over 6 years ago
Getting back to my point,I have been in Business Development for 10 years, working in Banking, Tech Rec & Telco's and have encountered 'spin' in all, frankily it makes my job that much easier that there are 'providers' out there who mis-sell, which inevitably leads to a short term gain, followed by a high rate of attrition of the newly acquired customer base as the customers realize they have been lied to and have a product that falls short of the 'billing'...Keep it up BT and Virgin..
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
So having flitted through a few of his personal/company blog articles it seems its just an airing ground to dig at the competition (most digs at BT) and big up Telefonica O2 group who they are clearly in bed with. Unprofessional IMO, keep work and personal views separate or if your going to publish them ensure there's no link to your business.

As far as I'm concerned the views expressed in the blog are that of the company.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Technically speaking shouldnt BT if they had any morals agree with his claims...... BT did after all before their so called FTTC became available complain about Virgin calling their service "Fibre". I guess they think dishonest is wrong for others but not there self.
I fully agree with Piers.... NEITHER Virgin or BT should be allowed to call thir services "Fibre" and all it does is confuse things when real fibre solutions come along in the future.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
No they shouldn't be able to, but either stop them both or let them both carry on.

I can't see the ASA going back on their ruling though. As for morals well if Virgin could call their product fibre broadband why shouldn't BT if the ASA says its ok you go for it.

They are both wrong though
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Are many people that bothered about the fibre claims? Surely the key point here is the bandwidth you get rather than the medium it is delivered by?

Okay, you could expand that to include latency, upstream as well as downstream, reliability etc, but all of this is about the performance not whether it is a fibre or copper cable.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Its just a buzz word, I can't see anyone going back to them after getting the service and saying "Err hold up, this is copper/coax, where's my fibre?"
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"No they shouldn't be able to, but either stop them both or let them both carry on."

Agreed so why attack this guy his whole attitude is aimed at both BT and Virgin, he wants them both to stop.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Its just a buzz word, I can't see anyone going back to them after getting the service and saying "Err hold up, this is copper/coax, where's my fibre?""

Some that get poor speed from Virgin or BTs so called fibre products though may well indeed ask if the speeds dont exceed what normal copper can do. Personally I think they should both stop it for a variety of reasons with regards to both companies.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I'm not attacking anyone? His "whole attitude" is aimed at getting digs at his business competition it would seem
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
@GMAN99: We've been critical about the 'fibre' references but I think I certainly personally have come to the conclusion it's now so inherent in people's minds, fibre means FTTx.. not FTTP.. that it's too late to really change anything.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Sure seb, its too far down the line now. And as has been pointed out above I think most punters probably don't even know or care that it terminates in the cab. If this new "fibre thing" means faster broadband that's all they hear and probably want to hear, whether its more fibre than it was before or all fibre I don't think most people will be bothered.
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
"all of this is about the performance not whether it is a fibre or copper cable."

In the short term, yes.

Now take a slightly longer term view. When a DSL service breaks between punter and DSLAM, the failure modes are many and various, and far too often the provider's fixit folk are quickly out of their depth.

What can be said about FTTP? No last-mile EMC issues for a start. Fewer degraded failure modes (mostly it works or it doesn't).

Is there any worthwhile benefit to anyone in that? The ISP? The end user? The connectivity provider (Openreach/Virgin?).

Just wondering.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@c_j_
Agree with your comments which all broadly equate to reliability from a end-user perspective. However why not sell it as a more reliable service, not as a fibre service? You coudl say the same about being more "future-proofed", or perhaps "upgradeable".

In my view the industry is still too product orientated, could do a lot worse than communicate with its customers in their language for a change!
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
By the way, what elements have to be fibre to qualify something as a fibre service? The cabling in the exchange, the backhaul, the termination point etc? To change things you'd need a pretty tight definition.

The assumption being made in the original story is copper is bad, fibre is good. This may be true in principle, but surely better to focus on the quality of the service being delivered etc as you can easily deliver poor services over fibre too.
Posted by mr_doody over 6 years ago
Working both in the advertising and technology industries, I think Piers makes a very interesting point. Due to their size and brand penetration, BT and Virgin think they can tell the market something that is simply not true. Speed is important, but so is the delivery platform - they can't sell it as fibre if copper is used in the delivery process.
To say that Fluidata, can't have an opinion on this flagrant act of deception, just because they're B2B, is ridiculous. At least they're drawing attention to something that will definitely become an public issue very soon. More please, Piers!
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
"all of this is about the performance not whether it is a fibre or copper cable."

but as the performance depends to a large extent on the delivery medium some clarity about the medium is helpful.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Yes Piers, keep the information coming, we have to convince these dinosaurs some how.
chris
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
for me "Fibre Optic" broadband is FTTP. So if BT/Virgin are calling if Fibre even though it connects to the cabinet... i wonder what they will call it when it is FTTP, i can imagine something like "trueFibre" or whatever crap they name it. Will be confusing and misleading once FTTP is properly available.

Its pretty much the same as saying Unlimited but its actually not unlimited.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
No dinosaurs here! Just people saying this is old news.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
"Yes Piers, keep the information coming, we have to convince these dinosaurs some how.
chris " What information? This argument is over 2yrs old! And we all agreed it was a bad ASA ruling first time around.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"I'm not attacking anyone? His "whole attitude" is aimed at getting digs at his business competition it would seem"

LOL like BT, Virgin and the other big boys dont do that to each other anyway?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Hmm so lets see. Fluidata offers businesses ADSL, SDSL and bonded ADSL (2down/2up, 20down/2.6up, 60down/8up). BT Infinity Business variant is launched which directly competes in Fluidata space and is faster than the majority (up and down) of their products and I would assume cheaper (bonding lines means more rental?). Most of the FTTC rollout is in London at the mo which is where they and their customers? are based. Just me being a cynic that's all :)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
^^ So what your are saying is BT are trying to pinch their customers?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Pinch? Is offering another product pinching? I thought you were all for choice?
Posted by rickhodger over 6 years ago
GMAN99 said: "Yeah... like... "Fluidata?" Never heard of them who are they? Oh the guys that tried to get extra customers by making a fuss about Fibre Broadband... I know who you mean now. Look at their basic website, it doesn't look like a very big or pro outfit."

For your information, Fluidata are the wholesale branch of Be/O2. They are by no means small or unprofessional.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Ok, not small then. But unprofessional IMO, using a personal (anything but) blog to dig at their company competition while praising their partners? Hardly personal comments?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I correct myself. Small... 16 employees is what I'd term small. I said it didn't look like a very big outfit. Just my opinion of course.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Pinch? Is offering another product pinching? I thought you were all for choice?"

I am all for choice, as long as the choice of products are advertised correctly.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Ok, not small then. But unprofessional IMO, using a personal (anything but) blog to dig at their company competition while praising their partners? Hardly personal comments?"

Dont some high ranked BT staff also have blogs, facebook and similar? They certainly used to... Is that unprofessional also the way they try to dig at the competition and the way BT staff lie on this very site (i can give an example if needed).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"I correct myself. Small... 16 employees is what I'd term small. I said it didn't look like a very big outfit. Just my opinion of course."

Sounds good to me, small providers are often very good providers, unless you are saying all the other providers that get mentioned here with small staff numbers are also not worth considering because they are small?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
"Dont some high ranked BT staff also have blogs, facebook and similar? They certainly used to... Is that unprofessional also the way they try to dig at the competition " If they are doing that yes it certainly is, if its a personal blog the views are personal there should be no tie to your company, unless its made very clear on the blog itself. Even then you can't possibly tell me someone's personal views of their professional workspace completely change when they enter the office.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Now come on CB let's not make this sizest. I've no problem with small providers at all, I agree smaller outfits usually give a better more personal service.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
I have nothing more to add except from your last 2 posts we are now both in agreement. :) Totally agree ANYONE that has a personal blog or social network account should use it only for that and not to pimp their company in any way. Unfortunately top to bottom it rarely happens :(
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
It might not be FTTH but realistically the last leg is not going to bottleneck connections on current products such as 10-50mbit, so the point is a bit moot really.

Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
^^ Thats not entirely true, Virgins cable product does seem to suffer from contention like affects in some areas and there is no reason the same or similar cant happen with BT FTTC products. (If it couldnt they wouldnt already state P2P is throttled). NO product is perfect unless you have a dedicated 1:1 line no matter who it is BT, Virgin or a smaller firm. Though smaller firms with fewer customers do seem to manage their networks better (atleast the smaller well knowns).
Posted by mr_doody over 6 years ago
Piers is simply pointing out something that gripes him about the industry in which he works, GMAN99. We all do that, I do it all the time. And how exactly is he slagging off his competition in the process? He runs a B2B shop, whereas BT and Virgin are selling this rubbish B2C.
Piers is simply a disgruntled consumer, but coming at it with the point of view of someone that knows about the industry...
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
@CB

Contention has nothing to do with the technology used, contention is always going to exist on a shared service like broadband.

When I say the last leg (meaning the copper run) wont bottleneck connections, what I mean is that the speed across this distance should be fast enough so it doesn't limit the total speed.

That may change at 100Mbit+ speeds however, but for somethign like BT's rollout of 40mbit I can't see it being a problem for everyone except those who happen to be very far away from their cabinate.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
^^^ That makes no sense.
Posted by xb0xguru over 6 years ago
I don't see what the issue is here. Virgin and BT are clearly mis-informing the consumer as to what their product is. As already mentioned, if it's fibre from end-to-end then yes, call it fibre. Does only speed count? Ask yourself if you'd rather have a Ferrari or a kit car with a Ferrari engine. Would you buy the latter if it was advertised as a Ferrari and was the same speed? No, because it's false advertising, plain and simple. There are more components to broadband than bandwidth and these must be addressed if you're going to call something fibre that isn't 100% fibre.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
The only point in complaining about something being fibre only a certain % of the line distance is that it wouldn't provide fast enough speeds. There's no other reason to complain, it's just nitpicking.

In real deployment of FTTC most people achieve the full speed on the line, so in real world use it makes no difference.

It's a moot argument, it's only being made as a marketing stunt. When we're all running 200-300mbit and that last copper leg is a bottleneck, then it might actually matter
Posted by psgk over 6 years ago
I'm just a normal home customer of BT but twice recently they have contacted me trying to get me to upgrade to their FTTC Infinity service, and both times their sales staff have claimed that what I'll get is FTTP despite me telling them that I can see the copper wires linking the house to the Pole and are they really going to replace those just for me? I was assured they would, which is of course total rubbish. I suspect their sales staff have been improperly briefed on the product they are selling or there is commission involved so its OK to bend the truth to get the sale.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
psgk - what matters is the speed etc. you get, not how it is delivered.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"In real deployment of FTTC most people achieve the full speed on the line, so in real world use it makes no difference."

Complete and utter nonsense again. Most people do not get the full 40Mb BT FTTC supports, even those in ideal circumstances only seem to hit around the 30-36ish mark.

quote"It's a moot argument, it's only being made as a marketing stunt. When we're all running 200-300mbit and that last copper leg is a bottleneck, then it might actually matter"

Im not even going to entertain that with a response.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@psgk
Might be worth checking about FTTP because this is being piloted in a number of locations - four I think. If I recall from the last FTTC release, it indicated that around 25% of "fibre broadband" deployment for the project as a whole would be FTTP, the balance being FTTC.

In other words, are you sure you are not getting FTTP?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
All FTTP from BT AFAIK at the moment is only trials, apart from small pockets like ebbsfleet.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I'm not going down this road again but.. no-one can get 40Mb because of the overheads involved its just not possible, just like you can't get 50Mb broadband bang on the nail from Virgin.

And yes FTTP is trial only at the moment
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
I was including overheads, if everyone was getting full FTTC speeds as anon123456 suggests, everyone would get over 30Mb, not just those with ideal circumstances.
Without going over things again surely you are not going to argue everyone on FTTC gets full possible speed (excluding any overhead) surely? No service be it BT FTTC or Virgin 50Mb delivers full rate to EVERYONE, which is why i said the remark was utter nonsense.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
"No service be it BT FTTC or Virgin 50Mb delivers full rate to EVERYONE, which is why i said the remark was utter nonsense." Yep.... I agree
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
People not getting the full speed may not be to do with the copper run in the last leg, certainly if the absolute max people are getting is 36mbit

I'm quite a run from my cabinet, one of the furthest in my street I would say, my 50mbit vigin line runs flat out 50mbit.

Probably just BT's crap network, or contention thats causing them low speeds. I have 3 other friends on virgin 50mbit, all get 50mbit flat out.

I never said EVERYONE would get full speed, i said everyone who wasnt very far away from their cabinet. L2read
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
Or at least everyone who is not very far away from their cabinet will not be bottlenecked by the last copper/coax run.

This does not gurantee full speeds however, you need to understand that low speeds on their own do not identify where the bottleneck is, it could be contnetion from the cab to the exchange (BTOpenReach only gurantee up to 15mbit uncontended) or BTs backend network which is the more likely case.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@anon123456
Suggest you wait until you have a few more "friends on virgin 50mbit" as you may start to experience contention on your cable segment. My understanding is that a single coax segment supports > 1000 properties, and does not have enough bandwidth available for broadband should all the properties subscribe to cable TV and cable broadband. The newest speeds that are being trialled will exacerbate this.

Contd.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
The advantage of the network topology used by FTTC is that you can selectively replace links to individual properties with fibre as user needs increase, not sure cable if "future-proofed" in the same way due to the inherent limitations of the architecture.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"I never said EVERYONE would get full speed, i said everyone who wasnt very far away from their cabinet. L2read"

NO you said most get full speed, or to be more precise and requote you "In real deployment of FTTC most people achieve the full speed on the line, so in real world use it makes no difference."

Which as i said and maintain is utter nonsense. Most do not get full speed, most get BELOW full speed, and you thinking otherwise be it from BT or Virgin means the conversation is pointless.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote".....not sure cable if "future-proofed" in the same way due to the inherent limitations of the architecture."

Virgins system it could be argued is far more scalable than FTTC and not as limiting. Not going to bother to explain why as its clear you will come down on BTs FTTC side no matter what. Either way neither BT or Virgin are currently perfect and as i maintained previously we will soon see how well FTTC speeds compare to Virgins 50Mb services... I look forward to slinging that mud.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
anon please run a speedtest.net/thinkbb test and provide links, unless Virgin are supplying over 50Mb so you end up with 50Mb after overheads I can't see how you are getting 50Mb on the nail.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@CB
Future proof comment was related to ability to swap out copper links for fibre if individual customers requirements exceed the bandwidth available on copper.

I'm not convinced selective upgrading is possible on cable in this way. Ditto not convinced that the cable segment can support large numebrs of customers wanting high speeds as the coax is shared, unlike FTTC/P.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
"Suggest you wait until you have a few more "friends on virgin 50mbit" as you may start to experience contention on your cable segment."

my friends aren't local, and this is irrelvent anyway, I have already said that slow speeds are possible due to contention (in some cases this may even be likely).

This was not my point however, my point was that the coax/copper run from the cab to the house is not currently a bottleneck with fibre (for most people who are not far from their cab, as I originally said)
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
"NO you said most get full speed"

Then you go and say that I said and i quote "EVERYONE", which isn't right at all, you even capitilize "everyone" to make your point. You've created a strawman of my argument, I aknowledged in my comment that some people far away from the cab might have that bottleneck but we're talking quite a large distance, as I said I am one of the furthest from the cab in my street and still get max speed, everyone i know on VM50mbit get full speed.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
"anon please run a speedtest.net/thinkbb test and provide links"

http://www.speedtest.net/result/881210811.png

That was from last month, I actually tried to run one now from work RDC back to my computer at home but RDC seems to knock a few Mb off the speed test and I only end up with like 48mbit. Fundamentally the line is capable of it either way.

VM are doing 100mbit upgrade in Q4, why would they even bother with this if a majorety of their users cannot even reach 50mbit? Doesn't make any sense.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Can't argue with that result :) Sure I know the tech is capable of 100mbit
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
I never said you stated everyone, i was talking to and replying to GMAN99, do try to keep up with the flow of conversation.
Try to twist it whichever way you want neither "EVERYONE" or "MOST" get full speed from the services you mention. Just because you do doesnt mean "MOST" do.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
This news story if you still want to argue
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/i/4325.html
shows you are wrong, MOST do not get full 50Mb on Virgin, infact for MOST the speed varies throughout the day.
Speed varies for people no matter if the service is LLU, NON-LLU, FTTC or Virgin cable. Neither 'most' nor 'all' nor 'everyone' or whatever you think it is or insist i quoted you on in your next post get full speed.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
@New_londoner, upgrading Virgins network if they saw fit to be fully fibre would just be a case of running fibre where the coax currently lies. In areas where its ducted (which i would hope is most) it would be a pretty simple procedure, BT on the other hand to get Fibre to someones home would have to do considerably more work the way things stand.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Both services when it comes to future proofing have positives and negatives, to try to paint either as being a better solution is a bit silly because they both have drawbacks.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
That link you provided actually proves my point quite nicely. It show that the average speed during 2am to 6am is 45.9-47.4 Mbit

The speed decreases during the day are likely down to the load on VMs network and nothing to do with the coax run from the cabinet.

My point need I remind you again is that the speed across fibre rollouts (for the majorety) is not limited by the coax/copper run from the cab to the premsis, these short runs can operate at very high speeds.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"That link you provided actually proves my point quite nicely. It show that the average speed during 2am to 6am is 45.9-47.4 Mbit"

Seriously are you on something, since when is...
1 That full speed on Virgin
2 Full speed to most people
3 Its only a matter of 4 hours its running at that speed the rest of the time it averages in the 30'sMbps

quote"The speed decreases during the day are likely down to the load on VMs network and nothing to do with the coax run from the cabinet."

So "MOST" DONT GET FULL SPEED DO THEY... ill repeat for a third time you speak Complete and utter nonsense.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"My point need I remind you again is that the speed across fibre rollouts (for the majorety) is not limited by the coax/copper run from the cab to the premsis, these short runs can operate at very high speeds."

NO your point was MOST people get full speed, and that link proves you are wrong, and now you are trying to alter your initial arguement.

4 hours a day, most get full speed...... Bwahaha
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
NO. My original point (my FIRST comment in these comments, which you can check if you scroll up) was:

"It might not be FTTH but realistically the last leg is not going to bottleneck connections on current products such as 10-50mbit, so the point is a bit moot really."

When I said

"In real deployment of FTTC most people achieve the full speed on the line"

What I was referring to is the potential (maximum) line speed, I didn't say they'd get it all the time. People not getting full speed all the time doesn't invalidate my original point.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"When I said

"In real deployment of FTTC most people achieve the full speed on the line"

What I was referring to is the potential (maximum) line speed, I didn't say they'd get it all the time. People not getting full speed all the time doesn't invalidate my original point. "

Oh please just talk to the hand now, seriously you expect people to believe in one breath you say most get full speed and in the next expect us to believe you only meant for a few hours a day, Yeah right whatever of course you meant that, talk about upgrading a spade to a JCB to dig a hole.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
For a FOURTH TIME... You speak Complete and utter nonsense.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
Nope, it makes perfect sense.

The line speed you get is only as fast as the slowest link, if fluidata is complaining it's not fibre all the way then that only matters if they can prove the last leg (the copper/coax run from the cab to the home) is a bottleneck for speed.

Which it's clearly not. So their point is moot. if they replaced that last leg with fibre with the current 40-50mbit speeds it wouldn't be an improvement.

If you dont understand that, thats your problem lol
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Are the two of you in fact in violent agreement? Are you both saying, in different ways, that contention is the issue? Whether it's contention on the coax for cable, or contention on the backhaul for both cable and FTTC/P?

Speed drops at different points of the day would tend to suggest that contention is the current bottleneck - although if the contention is on the coax then the point by Fluidata would still be valid of course.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
Im not talking about actual speeds at all, im talking about the potential of the technology in general.

Fluidata argue that it's not fibre all the way, I'm saying it doesnt matter because the run that isn't fibre (the copper/coax from house to cab) is not a bottleneck for speed.

Im not talking about actual speeds people get, they're reduced from the potential max speed of the line for many reasons, at many points of contention. But the copper/coax run isn't one of them.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Im not talking about actual speeds people get, they're reduced from the potential max speed of the line for many reasons, at many points of contention. But the copper/coax run isn't one of them."

No of course not having copper in any hybrid fibre/copper system doesnt reduce speeds at all....... Just jump in your well dug hole now please, put yourself out of the pain... On a planet far far away....... Copper is just as capable of fast speeds as a full fibre run, fibre is totally pointless ADSL over copper is capable of a gazillion Mbps.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
This is another strawman attack. I never said it was the case for all fibre systems, in fact I specifcally stated that it may not always be the case. 2 of my previous comments include:

"That may change at 100Mbit+ speeds however, but for somethign like BT's rollout of 40mbit I can't see it being a problem for everyone except those who happen to be very far away from their cabinate."

and

"When we're all running 200-300mbit and that last copper leg is a bottleneck, then it might actually matter"
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
ALL said after you stupid quote that most get full speed...... Just fill in your hole!
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
When I said

"In real deployment of FTTC most people achieve the full speed on the line"

What I was talking about was the theoretical maximum of the line, not actual speeds what customers get.

I said it was achievable, not necessarily sustainable...you only need to hit max speed once to prove the copper/coax run isn't a bottleneck.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"you only need to hit max speed once to prove the copper/coax run isn't a bottleneck."

Yeah and the 99.9% that it doesnt whats the issue there then?
Seriously just toddle off.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Clearly anon123456 is right here - if the copper line hits the top speed once then the line is not the limiting factor, which means the bottleneck must be elsewhere.

It is not a secret that there is contention on the backhaul - speed drops at various times of day with different ISPs show this is the case. This shows that the copper line is not the primary limiting factor at present, although that may of course change as/when more backhaul is put in place.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Contd.

NB As above, the exception may be on cable's shared coax segments if lack of bandwidth is leading to contention on the actual cable before it gets as far as the exchange.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
So do "MOST" get full speed or dont they?
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@CB
As explained several times now, the limiting factor for ISPs currently is clearly contention, otherwise all broadband lines would run at a constant speed all of the time.

When lines do run at a constant speed all of the time then it would be reasonable to suggest that the local loop, be it twisted pair, coax or fibre, is the weakest link in the chain.

I do not belive that is the case at present, do you?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Ill ask again..... Do "MOST" get full speed?
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
Let me be as exact as I can be.

Most people have cables from their house capable of current reaching current FTTC speeds (40-50mbit), that is to say the coax run from the cab does not limit the ability of the home to receive 40-50mbit

What speed they actually get is down to the ISP, how heavy the contention is, what load the backbone is under...but i'm not talking about actual speeds...I'm discussing the theoretical max the physical line can handle.

Fluidata complained that it wasn't fibre all the way to the home, I'm saying that with current speeds it doesn't actually matter.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
third time DO "MOST" get full speed?
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@CB
Your question is only relevant if everyone gets constant speed 24x7. If they do then you can rightly point to the local loop as the weak link in the chain, if they don't then contention is a problem and anon123456 is correct.

I don't believe people current get constant line speeds so agree with anon123456's point.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
Yes most people can get full speed on their line, the link you posted a while back clearly demonstrates that under the right circumtances the lines are capable of the full 50mbit.

Do you get that all the time? No.
Is that the fault of the coax run? No.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
QUOTE"Yes most people can get full speed on their line, the link you posted a while back clearly demonstrates that under the right circumtances the lines are capable of the full 50mbit."

Oh please you cant even remember what you said which was "In real deployment of FTTC most people achieve the full speed on the line"

The link i pointed to doesnt even have FTTC results and the Virgin 50Mb results shows NOWHERE AT ALL that most get the FULL 50Mb.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
@New_Londoner...... Ill ask again irrelevant or not.

DO MOST get full speed? Answer the question with a simple yes or no or hush... You answer comes down to 2 things, being honest for once and admitting im right MOST do NOT get full speed. Or continuing evading and looking an idiot like the other user.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Oh and before you answer New_londoner, and try to just annoy me rather than just admit im right, if you are gonna say most do get full speed, than while you are posting you can also explain why dont you yourself get full downspeed on your very own connection.... This is your speedtest you post around the forums isnt it....
http://www.speedtest.net/result/908187474.png
34Mb does not equal FULL speed from a FTTC service.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Is that contention or is that due to the length of the copper run to the cabinet, doesnt take a genius to know it isnt because of contention if it were you wouldnt even be getting a steady 34Mb.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@CB
I think you keep missing the point that has been made several times. To be the weakest link in the network, the local loop would constantly be running at full speed, with the implication that things would be faster if the local loop was better.

However, currently numerous posts suggest that people see speed drops at various times of day, irrespective of the speed of the line itself. Therefore contention is clearly the limiting factor in the performance being experienced rather than the line itself.

Hope that clears things up for you.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
I never said that was a sustained speed, or the speed people get ALL the time, all I said that it was achievable. The only reason I said that was to demonstrate that the coax run isn't a bottleneck.

The link you gave showed an average of just below 50mbit under good conditions (overnight with multithreaded download)

You're demanding a yes/no answer for something that is not a yes/no question, yes people can achieve full speed, but they dont get it all of the time. I never claimed people got 50mbit sustained speeds, i simply said the line was capable of 50mbit.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
If I said most cars can achieve 60mph would you deny this claim because a car cannot always travel at 60mph, sometimes due to external reasons like speed limits.

Can I ask you...Do you actually understand the difference between measuring:
1) the speed of a technology is capable of
2) the actual realistic throughput during normal use

I am discussing 1) and I am not discussing 2), do you understand that?
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@CB
Unfortunately you seem to keep misunderstanding the point you are trying to make, hopefully the above posts will clear things up.

Now, were you to pose a question about whether contention on coaxs segments was able to cause speed loss then I'd be inclined to agree with you. This could indeed be why some cable users experience lower speeds at some times of day, making the shared coax the weak link in a cable "FTTC" architecture. :-)
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
I think in most circumstances the coax from the home to the cab isn't shared, I'm fairly sure everyone gets their own line to the cab.

From the cab to the exchange is another matter, BTOpenreach only gurantee an unconteded 15Mbit. I dont know specifics about VM they will also have contention from the cab to exchange. This is all fibre in FTTC though, so when I say the last run being coax im talking about cab to home only.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Ill ask again "DO MOST get full speed?" ill also ask you again New_londoner, if you agree with the tool that thinks most people do "Why isnt your FTTC running at its full possible speed?"

Answer the 2 simple questions, each time you dont and try to skirt around them you look even more stupid.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Not even bothering with the other clown which cant even remember what they said which was ""In real deployment of FTTC most people achieve the full speed on the line""..... Your line isnt New_Londoner and it isnt contention, so dont even try to pull that one. If it were contention i assume at another period during the day or night you can post a speed test of it going at its "FULL SPEED" which is more than 34Mb.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@CB
SOrry but your question is not relevant to the point being made, thought that was made clear before. Best to stick to the point to avoid getting confused.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Wheres your faster than 34Mb speed test???
The user you agree with thinks "In real deployment of FTTC most people achieve the full speed on the line". Prove me wrong or forever look an idiot! Show me a speed test of your fibre running at its "FULL" speed. You cant, if it were contention you would be able to as the speed would according to you and him be faster at certain times. YOU BOTH LOSE, of course if im wrong and you can get full speed from your FTTC all you have to do is post a speed test prove me wrong and shut me up, FACT is though you cant.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Way to make yourself look stupid, agreeing with someone else that is stupid, just because you dislike me being right. Bwahahaha
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
Please note that I did say "most" and not "all", new_londoner may happen to be an exception. If you read back to one of my early posts I did specifically say if someone was unusually far away from their cab then it may be a bottleneck. I've already aknowledged that.

The fact is you linked to a survey of 50mbit lines and the average during favourable conditions was 46-47mbit, taking into account all the variances of doing live tests I think it's safe to say the average is at least 50mbit. (that upper limit of that "average" is capped at 50mbit so isn't an average of true potential)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Please note that I did say "most" and not "all", new_londoner may happen to be an exception."

In that case please explain why his connection never hits full speed.

quote"If you read back to one of my early posts I did specifically say if someone was unusually far away from their cab then it may be a bottleneck. I've already aknowledged that."

And thats complete nonsense, where does the mysterious bottle neck occur in this magical long distance to the "cabinet"... You have no clue at all.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"The fact is you linked to a survey of 50mbit lines and the average during favourable conditions was 46-47mbit, taking into account all the variances of doing live tests I think it's safe to say the average is at least 50mbit."

You failed at maths at school also obviously.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
If his connection has never hit full speed it could be down to any number of reasons or faults, it is possible if his line to the cab is particuarly long or for some reason is low quality then it's the bottleneck.

Line length generally decides line quality, if the coax run is too long it may not be able to support 50mbit in which case it would be a bottleneck for getting full speed.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
No, I didn't fail maths.

The maximum speed is capped at 50mbit, the average in the report is 46mbit, since the lines are capped at 50mbit the chances are high that the actual real average of the lines is way higher. When VM enable 100mbit the average isn't going to stay 46mbit, it will obviously increase.

And you think I failed at maths, dear god xD
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"If his connection has never hit full speed it could be down to any number of reasons or faults, it is possible if his line to the cab is particuarly long or for some reason is low quality then it's the bottleneck."

Err not when he gets 34Mb nope none of that. Try again.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Line length generally decides line quality, if the coax run is too long it may not be able to support 50mbit in which case it would be a bottleneck for getting full speed."

Oooo slowly getting warmer
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"The maximum speed is capped at 50mbit, the average in the report is 46mbit, since the lines are capped at 50mbit the chances are high that the actual real average of the lines is way higher. "

The actual real average is actually higher on something that is set at a specific maximum.... Yep maths issues
Line is fixed at 50Mb, average speed for a 4 hour period of the day is 46Mb..... There is no fantasy maths involved.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Oh and dont confuse the 2 products Virgins system with coax is different to BT FTTC.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
New_Londoners line is not suffer contention. A Virgin system on the other hand running slower than its max may well be. Virgins system involves the router/Modem syncing at its max possible (in the cases you are talking 50Mb) that does not mean the person gets 50Mb though.
BT FTTC on the other hand doesnt have to sync at its max (ie 40Mb) for someone to connect.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
The result incase you are still confused is "MOST" do not get "FULL" speed.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@CB
Apologies, missed your earlier request for an alternative speed test result.

http://www.speedtest.net/result/930936580.png

As you will see 37.49Mbps downstream, 8.25Mbps upstream. Allowing for the BT Vision overhead, 2Mbps I believe, I think you wil agree that the line speed is very close to the quoted maximum for FTTC.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
We have been discussing theoretical maximum speeds of the lines/technology, not day to day actual speeds of customers.

If they're artificially capped at 50mbit then their maximum possible speed is undetermined. Its not a true average of the capability of the lines/technology because it's limited, if we had unlimited connection speeds we might see the average top out somewhere way above 50mbit.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
Purely as an example if I have 10 test lines and I measure the maximum data rate on all of them uncapped (in Mbit) as (40,65,75,45,55,80,60,70,50,85) then the average the technology can reach is 62.5 Mbit

If each is capped at 50mbit and we do the same measurement we get (40,50,50,45,50,50,50,50,50,50) which is an average of 48.5 Mbit

When I talk about the cap skewing the average, this is what im talking about.

These numbers are just made up for example sake, i have no idea what the actual likely line speeds are, we'll have a better idea when VM release the 100mbit upgrade in Q4.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@Anon
You could make the same point regarding the proposed upgrade of the FTTC product from 40Mb downstream / 10 Mb upstream to 60Mb / 15Mb.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
I asked about this whole topic in the TBB forums here

http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/general/f/3893599-how-to-work-out-max-cable-modem-connection-speed.html

The answer seems to be that cable modems aren't rate adaptive they simply operate at full speed which basically means my point is valid.

Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
^^^ No it doesnt your point was "MOST get FULL speed", just because you sync at full rate doesnt mean you get that in throughput. And that applies to any service be it cable, FTTC or ADSL/2/+
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
@New_Londoner, nice downspeed, what happened to the upstreem though? Your previous test was....
http://www.speedtest.net/result/908187474.png I spose it could be down to the server in that case though. Definately closer to the max though :)
So much for the contention theory (both tests done at around the same time of the day) As i said your line doesnt suffer from contention ;)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Still not "FULL" speed though is it? Close but no cigar as they say
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
"just because you sync at full rate doesnt mean you get that in throughput"

Finally you display understanding of the difference between these concepts. I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT THROUGHPUT, I'm talking about what the line is fundamentally capable of. Actual throughput at any one time varies because of contention etc

I am talking about the technology itself, the various line materials are all capable of various maximum speeds depending on line length and quality. My point was that the last leg being copper/coax doesn't matter at least for the current 40/50mbit services (for most users).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
^^^ Go back to your forum thread where myself and 2 others have told you that you are clueless.

Frankly its hard to understand anything you have to say..... because none of it makes sense.
Posted by anon123456 over 6 years ago
I notice you still sidestep the point at hand. The same thread that has "told me" that I'm clueless has also shown that VM connections sync at full speed and prove my point exactly.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
YOU HAVE NO POINT HAVE YOU NOT READ REPLIES TO YOUR FORUM POSTS
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
What something syncs at is irrelevant... Id explain why but it will only confuse you further and lead to you then dribbling on about something else entirely random and unrelated.
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