Skip Navigation

BT's 20meg broadband will reach 80% coverage by the end of 2011
Monday 04 April 2011 13:15:32 by John Hunt

BT have announced today expansion plans for their 21st century (21C) broadband platform which will see around 80% of homes and businesses have access to 'up to' 20meg broadband by the end of this year. The continued roll-out will be of great benefit to people who are still stuck on old 8meg broadband products and are unlikely to see any form of upgrade to either fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) or fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) in the coming years.

Work by BT Wholesale is progressing steadily with 1017 exchanges now enabled for Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC), the platform used to deliver the 21C broadband network which enables ADSL2+. It's worth remembering that BT are not the only people who are using this technology as many broadband providers who use local-loop unbundling (LLU), such as TalkTalk, O2, and Sky, are deploying this technology. Currently, BT coverage reaches over 15.5 million end users with 2.25 million currently connected and around 30,000 lines are being upgraded each week.

"This announcement is further evidence of BT's commitment to deliver next generation services across the UK.

Running over BT's 21st Century Network, WBC offers communications providers the ability to provide their broadband customers with greater control, choice and flexibility as well as higher speeds. It supports the growing demand for high-speed broadband access to a range of online services – including TV, gaming online and multiple voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services.

BT's Ethernet deployment has advanced from an early adopter to a mainstream purchase for businesses looking for a cheaper, faster and more versatile single platform solution for their wide area networking or local area networking needs."

Cameron Rejali, (Managing Director - Products) BT Wholesale

BT still have a lot of work to do if they want to withdraw the old equipment still in use on their network that powers broadband for the final 20% of the country who connect using IPStream. This old ATM equipment currently only offers broadband speeds of up to 8Mbps using standard ADSL, and making the migration away from this should in the long run save BT money through the efficiencies gained of their 21C unified IP network.


Posted by cuthbei over 6 years ago
Are BT providing a list of target exchanges for their upgrades?
Posted by sobranie over 6 years ago
Bit pointless really as they keep changing the goalposts!
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
more for those who have, and less still for those who have not. ADSL2+ doesn't even go as far as adsl, so even more folk will find themselves in notspots. even more will go slower.
Posted by cuthbei over 6 years ago
I could be wrong, but I thought the reach of ADSL2+ was better than ADSL
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
BT should be ashamed of themselves, next generation? having a laugh. So I will be jumping up and down at a product where just 3% can get the speeds and for many people adsl2+ wont offer much of an improvement.
Posted by thelynxeffect over 6 years ago
A target list of the exchanges that they a proposing to upgrade would be good, as the town I live in is unlikely to see FTTC or FTTH for a long time.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
@cyberdoyle care to provide any evidence that ADSL2+ results in more not spots?

ADSL2+ falls back to ADSL2 and then back to ADSL standard, so those at 60dB and upwards will remain on ADSL mode mainly. They will gain from improved upstream speeds.
Posted by michaels_perry over 6 years ago
I wonder how BT define their 80%? Do they mean most urban users but almost no rural users? If so, why? Do not rural businesses and others deserve the same opportunities as those in towns?
Many rural users are seeing noise figures close to or above 60 dB and noise margins can be as low as 2 dB! ADSL sort of works but is not reliable at these levels and speeds frequently drop (ours fall as low as 64 Kbps from an more usual 2.4 Mbps when it rains! We're supposed to be on 'up to 8 Mbps'!).
Posted by WalterWillcox over 6 years ago
Those on long lines are usually strongly advised NOT to upgrade to ADSL2 so they will continue to be stuck with the mediocre to lousy services they have now. The only advantage I've seen is that a new Infineon based MSAN syncs at marginally higher ADSL1 speeds and is also just a bit more stable when using a high performing modem such as the 2Wire 2700HGV.
Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago
BT Wholesale has also reached 1,000 live fibre Ethernet nodes in the UK - giving it the largest customer-ready copper and fibre delivered network of Ethernet in the UK market, with plans to reach 1,090 fibre nodes by the end of the year.
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
@krazzykrizza - Indeed, but what do they mean by "fibre Ethernet node"? I think they are referring to exchanges that can do business fibre type products such as a LES/WES, rather than FTTH/C. Have asked for clarification.
Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago
They refering to the Fibre MSANs, which all connect up to the inner and outer core metronodes
Posted by TheGuv over 6 years ago
@john - If you are asking for clarification it would be great if you could ask if they can outline the exchanges being considered for this. Not after dates just would like to know exchanges as those outwith the FTTC/P upgrades are just hanging on with no info.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
An extra option on the table would be nice.

My only ADSL2+ option is TalkTalk LLU via a reseller, unlike other LLU providers they are pretty stingy with usage.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
@chrysalis:Yeah, I thought that. How the *bleep* can they refer to it as NGA? I've been on ADSL2+ for four years. This very month in fact.
Posted by UKCodeMonkey over 6 years ago
Given my exchange hasn't got 21CN or FTTC, I'll be stuck on 2Mb/s for the foreseeable. :(
Posted by hallaig over 6 years ago
When will the list of exchanges be made available?
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Don't expect technical facts from cd! Looking at graph that shows ADSL2+ better than ADSL up to 4km then similar.
Posted by mikeluff over 6 years ago
Well I can tell you Pembrokeshire is getting an ethernet node in May/June timeframe, but no seen it on any list.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

At 4km I saw a jump of 2Mbps, 3.5 -> 5.5Mbps.

So cd is full of ****.
Posted by spetznaz over 6 years ago
Great news if I'm in the 20% but I bet it is areas that already have cable.. (strange that?).

My line is 2km (22db) so would probably go from 8mbit to 14-18mbit.

Posted by darren_mccoy over 6 years ago
I live near a FTTC enabled village. I've been getting 1meg broadband for the last 6 years. My house is half a mile away from the exchange but my stupid phone line takes 5.5 Km to get back to the exchange. Im starting to really consider moving house. I can barely watch youtube videos without it pausing.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

Move completely out of the village?

Or you could well end up in the same situation again.

I am connected to an exchange 4km away when their is a nearer exchange 2km away.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
On upgrading to ADSL2 (did you mean ADSL2+)?

The ISP has a choice of what standard of DSL the line is configured to support. If an ISP fails to look at what works best, then the consumer can force the mode on most CPE.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
The 80% is 80% of telephone lines, this will largely be urban, since most of the country live in urban areas.

TalkTalk already offers ADSL2+ to a higher proportion of phone lines on a higher number of telephone exchanges.
Posted by NilSatisOptimum over 6 years ago
michaels_perry Spot on there, English language is not owned by people it is defined and owned by corporate business and bankers. Very little interest in this article, what BT say and what they deliver is beyond my comprehension of English and integrity.
Posted by adslmax over 6 years ago
When will the list of exchanges be made available? BTW is once again kept us in the dark! Pretty useless! They ought to be ashameful themselves. ADSL is now out dated. Times to move ahead with DASL2+, FTTC, FTTP and Fibre Optic
Posted by adslmax over 6 years ago
DASL2+ (mistaken) should be ADSL2+
Posted by adslmax over 6 years ago
Come on TBB - where the exchange list of 80% ? I bet it on the BTW website but only for private ISP's and business only to access it,
Posted by copperheadrode over 6 years ago
hi just join up to night. really suprised by the stories i,m reading. i,m an engineer and have been installing fttc for a few months and the up take is crazy. can,t believe darrens only 1 meg and ur 5.5km to local exchange sounds like a task i wud like to challenge. the amount of people who say to me it,ll never work only for the kids i wudn,t have bb in the house. and then 15 to 30 meg speedtest and all laptops 12 meg. ( would u like a cup of coffee now ) THANKS YES. please go easy on your local bt engineers as its a nightmare at times for us, but we do are best
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

When people bash BT it's really aimed at those at the top of the power pyramid, aka. the ones making the bad decisions.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
If the list was available we would publish it, or link to it if available on the BT website
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
@copperheadrode I have never seen a comment on this blog criticising an openreach engineer, you are all mega. The main criticism is about the hype your superiors put out. We know you are all doing the best you can for us. Its not your fault this country is working on a scarcity model and trying to deliver NGA through a phone network.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
@cyber:Hmmm. That's the second sensible post you've made recently. Are you feeling okay?

Posted by Alchemyfire over 6 years ago
I found a link here:

Although, it isn't the current list - it's dated 7th March 2011. Just have to keep checking for an update
Posted by creakycopperline over 6 years ago
adsl2+ and i'm no were near 20mb or 8 for that matter, bt are ful of it
Posted by Frank22 over 6 years ago
How do BT know that it is going to be 80%? I am in Crawley. THis place is Infinity enabled. Of course, my cabinet, is not (yet) converted. I contacted BT and they dont know when, or if, i can use Infinity. Anybody any ideas?
Posted by airds over 6 years ago
So doing the approx sums, that is 15.5m - 2.25m /30,000 x 52 (years) to get round everybody???? ~8.5 years = Not Good. And they are shouting about it??? Disgraceful.
Posted by hilco3 over 6 years ago
I've got BT up to 8Meg but rely get more than 2meg so I'd love to get 8Meg
Posted by rkimber over 6 years ago
I bet there won't be 80% coverage in West Wales
Posted by ellerdch over 6 years ago
This is all very well, but what about us rural customers that are lucky if we see 1/2 Meg!!!!!
Posted by ctone over 6 years ago
I'm in Ealing, a London suburb, and the best that I've ever been able to get is 0.4 meg. (Yes, 0.4)
And BT tell me there is no intent to improve it!
Posted by ccxo over 6 years ago
Any news on this?
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.