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BT to withdraw IPStream products by Spring 2014
Thursday 30 June 2011 21:52:12 by John Hunt

BT Wholesale are planning the phase out of BT IPStream products which should be completed by Spring 2014 according to Trefor Davies, CTO of Timico. BT IPStream was the initial starting block of ADSL broadband in the UK which was released mid-2000. The original broadband products were available at speeds of 0.5, 1 and 2Mbps with a 256Kbps upstream speed. Later upgrades to the platform have allowed users to reach broadband speeds of up-to 8meg (IPStream Max).

BT IPStream is currently delivered over BT's old 20th century network (20CN) and by migrating away from the platform, it will help the company provide a more unified service over 21CN, whilst ensuring the older exchanges finally get updated. There will also be cost savings from not having to support the old network, particularly with the old hardware vendors (Fujitsu and Alcatel for the DSLAM's) ceasing support. DataStream, which provided a handover point at the ATM layer, is also being withdrawn, and there are to be industry discussions about the withdrawal of SDSL products.

This sounds like good news for users who are currently on older up-to 8meg products as they should see an upgrade to the now industry standard up-to 24meg broadband which is available over ADSL2+ on BT's 21CN. It's possible some exchanges could skip straight ahead to fibre products such as fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) or fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) (which offer up-to 100meg and up-to 40meg respectively which may also act as the replacement for SDSL. The withdrawal of the older products will be the end of an era, but also signifies the progress that has been made with broadband in the UK.

Update - 01/07/2011 11:30
We have been advised that of a correction to the above. Whilst Datastream is being withdrawn nationwide, the IPStream services are only being withdrawn within the 21CN WBC footprint. This means that exchanges that haven't been upgraded with 21CN will continue to receive IPStream services into 2014 and beyond. Unfortunately this does mean that some of the country may be stuck on 'up-to' 8meg ADSL for some years to come.

Comments

Posted by otester over 3 years ago
This would explain why my exchange is getting 21CN by the end of the year.

Could also be that TT unbundled it...
Posted by GeeTee over 3 years ago
It would be interesting to see some leaks about what "commercial agreements" are being come to for those providers being forced to close down Datastream networks. That could be argued to be financially detrimental to those SPs. To be clear - I wouldn't expect TBB to carry any coverage of any such leakage.

This should also mean the end to BTW resorting to the "downgrade the user to a fixed speed product" response when faced with long running intermittent connection issues. I hope they are ramping up their REIN investigation forces in preparation.

Good news all round then. :-/
Posted by Alchemyfire over 3 years ago
/me sends more encouraging emails to BT to upgrade his exchange seeing that it hasnt even been scheduled for an upgrade yet
Posted by chris6273 over 3 years ago
This is great news if the date is not made longer (Which it might). I just hope that BT actually do some upgrades to the 21CN network first because lots of people (Who get 8Meg) at the moment could end up closer to 24Meg when the upgrade completes. Here I can see major slowdowns on smaller exchanges taking place due to the limited backhaul BTw are likely to provide small exchanges.
Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
Not so good perhaps for people on longer lines. ADSL2+ doesn't always perform as reliably. Hopefully BTw will provide a way for ISPs to drop the user back to ADSL.

Of course even better would be for BT to do upgrade the longer lines.
Posted by amforbes over 3 years ago
This is bad news for me, I'm on a quite a long line and the performance is already quite bad BT need to get a finger out and splash some cash upgrading the longer lines or the problems will just rise.
Posted by adslmax over 3 years ago
I don't care BT. As why on earth does the rest of us who still on old product ADSL up to 8Mbps will be phased out in 2014 to ensure we will upgrading to 21CN ADSL2+ up to 24Mbps before 2014. That's far too late, too late by the time 2014, all broadband will be fastest probably 100Meg. What the point of ADSL and ADSL2+. Shame on you BT for far too slow on times frame and well outdated.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
IPStream and other BT products have always had a 3 year notice period for withdrawal. So there is little for those forced to move from Datastream to 21CN equivalent.

Posted by amforbes over 3 years ago
Britain is so far behind the times on broadband it's not even funny, we're a laughing stock compared with the rest of the world. Successive governments have dragged their feet with their promise of getting Britain on the digital map. It's rural communities like mine that suffer the most from this with some not even able to get broadband at all, serious investment should have started long ago with the ageing BT infrastructure the longer it's left the more it's going to cost to bring us up to date as we fall further an further behind.
Posted by adslmax over 3 years ago
I don't like 21CN idea at all. Many of us still suffered ADSL up to 8Meg with slow speed and again ALSL2+ up to 24Meg still slow speed.

BT should upgrading the whole of UK 100% to get FTTC up to 40Meg/100Meg with a minimum speed of 25Meg right now up to 2014.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
adslmax they will put FTTC where there is a profit to be made, like any business does
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
I suspect that if you on "copper" and have long lines, BT will take the same view as a connection. Anything over 3K for fibre install costs and the customer has to cover the rest, just like any other utility supply. USO is only for telephony...
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
And who pays for the 100% FTTC coverage?

Or does 100% actually equate to just a handful of peoples lines to keep the complainers happy?

FTTC roll-out if it makes BT money may well in future years go further than current plans.

Remember other countries always look good, but so does the UK to them with 100Meg available to millions of homes.
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
A correction is in order due to some mis and misleading information! IPStream is only being withdrawn within the WBC footprint. That means those that can't get 21cn services at the moment, will continue to receive their existing broadband services.
Posted by KarlAustin over 3 years ago
21CN != ADSL2+. 21CN is the national backhaul network that connects the exchanges and hands off to ISPs, without 21CN there is no FTTC or FTTP either.
Posted by Talk1968 over 3 years ago
I don't care about higher speeds, 5.5mbp/s is fine, what i want to see is an improvement in the infrastructure so that speed capping and throttling is eliminated, that would be preferable because what is the point of higher speeds if you can't actually use them during peak times to download content or in the future to watch high quality HD content, note how i say in the future because current so called online HD is poor or at least it is when viewed on projection screens, too many background artifacts.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
Have you shopped around Talk1968 , not all ISP's throttle/shape
Posted by Talk1968 over 3 years ago
I'm with Zen, i'm not talking about me i'm talking in general, they should fix the current issues before adding speed.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
But its not an "issue" its just ISP's not renting enough backhaul to give all of their customers uncontended (or close to uncontented) access. This will always happen whether its ADSL, ADSL2, FTTC, FTTP, ISP's still need to rent backhaul and most ISP's want more bang for their buck, some more than others. Its not a capacity issue, its just ISP's wanting to squeeze more customers down pipes.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
What current issue? ISP's are free to buy more capacity to avoid contention at peak times.

If users want this, then they need to be prepared for the prices to go up.

Online HD - as in XBox/PS3 downloads are on par with Sky HD over a satellite. Not all HD is created equal.
Posted by Talk1968 over 3 years ago
Andrew: Thats simply not true, online downloads are NOT upto blu ray standards, thats what i use as a judge of quality, i have a 104inch calibrated projection setup, i take my home cinema very seriously and i have tried PS3 downloads, the quality is not great, background artifacts are the issue, you see the same thing with Apple movie trailers.

As for the throttling and speed capping issues, c'mon. they exist on many providers and they should be fixed ahead of speed increases, if that means realistic prices then so be it as i'll take quality over quantity any day of the week.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Since when did I say blu-ray standards, I said Sky HD which when I last looked was NOT blu-ray.

Quicktime trailers, PS3, XBox downloads all run at around 8Mbps for 1080p, which is only just below the 9 to 10Mbps for Sky HD.

Look at EFM for quality if that beats price.

Blu-ray show artifacts at 25Meg. Uncompressed HD needs 1.6Gbps.
Posted by Talk1968 over 3 years ago
Blu Ray artifacts are very minor and not an issue on the better releases, usually its older masters that are the issue and cause most of the image problems, i have a site that reviews all this and i look at these things indepth, its www.darkrealmfox.com, trust me i am very picky about quality.

Posted by Talk1968 over 3 years ago
A good compressionist can do a great job with 25mbp/s, 8 to 10mbp/s for 1080p....Pathetic really, BBC have been getting many complaints because they used to have it at around 16 to 18mbp/s and dropped it down to those levels, now yes compression has improved but not that much unless you filter the content to remoe the higher frequency info which is where all the gorgeous HD detail resides, on a typical tv it may not be noticeable, try having a wall as your tv ( ok a projection screen really ) and you will notice.
Posted by spetznaz over 3 years ago
Oh suprise let down by BT again.. wonders never cease. 8mbit (7 if I'm lucky) for the next 20 years. Surely now its apparent that BT are not part of the solution but part of the problem!!.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
Go with Virgin media spetz, 100Mbps problem solved
Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
Most people seem happy to accept 10Mb/s HD. officionados seem to think 12Mb/s is adequate. Given enough post processing 5Mb/s is fine.

Is it Blu-Ray - no. But frankly most people don't care. The fact that iPlayer and YouTube is so popular (on smartphones ffs!) proves that.
Posted by Talk1968 over 3 years ago
I know they don't care Andrew, thats why crap MP3 has taken over the world, do you care. ?
Posted by Talk1968 over 3 years ago
Yes we can get into an argument about the quality of MP3 at 256kbp/s being roughly equal to CD, so what, its such a pity formats like SACD are effectively killed stone dead by downloads and the MP3, the same thing may well happen to home movie formats.
Posted by Talk1968 over 3 years ago
Oh and when i say roughly equal to CD i don't mean the bitrate, sample depth or resolution but in pure sound terms a well mastered MP3 at 256kbp/s is said by many to sound like CD, not by me though, not if you have excellent equipment and its a well mastered CD.
Posted by Talk1968 over 3 years ago
Anyways, this is way off topic, sorry folks.
Posted by Alchemyfire over 3 years ago
GMAN99, thats all very well saying go with Virgin, except they also seem to concentrate on they more densely populated areas like BT, so, most places that currently have 8mb don't have Virgin either, or Sky for that matter
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
BT are everywhere they don't concentrate on dense areas for DSL. What I was trying to get across is that he may have a low speed line from BT but nothing from any other telco? And there's nothing stopping Sky or any LLU going into any exchange
Posted by spetznaz over 3 years ago
Alchemy you fell into his trap!, he is BT's #1 fan on here.

I suspect all the BDUK money will go to BT with a nudge and a wink and end up being spent on towns that would probably have got FTTC anyway in the medium term, then they will proclaim how they are 'bridging the divide' or some other bs and leave everyone else with satellite.

There is no point talking about Virgin - two wrongs dont make a right.
Posted by Alchemyfire over 3 years ago
GMAN99, and how much do BT charge the other providers to put equipment in the exchanges? A fair bit of vaseline and some stretching exercises I would be guessing
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
Come on spetz you spend your time bashing BT but don't think to question other providers. If you start to understand why Virgin don't supply your street you might understand why BT haven't brought you FTTC yet as well. Like everything its about money. @Alchemyfire no idea, it should be a standard rate approved by Ofcom probably based on the class of exchange
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
You might think I'm BT's no 1 fan just because I don't jump aboard the bashy bus. I'm just realistic. The facts are BT have no remit to provide broadband to anyone, they don't OWE you anything like so many people think. A voice line that's it. As for broadband its a service like any other and services go where people will pay for them. I'm not saying you should thank or applaud BT, but you wouldn't have broadband without your line would you? You'd be on 3G or Satellite.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
..cont

I'm not saying they are amazing - they aren't but why not start griping at Virgin to come to your door, BT aren't the only telco in this country others should step up
Posted by camieabz over 3 years ago
Twaddle.

BT have the power and they know it. They're just happy to keep supplying sub-10Meg speeds to the 20% that want 4 Meg or 8 Meg, never mind 40 Meg. In five years time the cities will have FTTx and the countryside will still be on ADSLmax. If BT wanted to, they could do it, but apparently there's no money in it (plenty of money in the ADSLmax though).
Posted by otester over 3 years ago
The government created artificial competition to shut the largest amount of people up (largely urban folk), the rest don't have a large enough voice to rattle the cage, so nothing gets done.

BT isn't a state monopoly, it's a state-backed corporate monopoly.

They owe you nothing, so don't expect anything.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
The power? What has power go to do anything?
Posted by russianmonkey over 3 years ago
Camieabz, if you had the money to roll out a network, would you roll it out to everyone or just those that could make a profit, as that's BT's situation. They don't HAVE to roll out fibre, but they are and they're doing it with little to no government (EU included) funds to achieve this.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
Correct, they don't have to roll out anything, most people confuse the fact they have to provide a voice line to most properties with they have to provide broadband to most properties. They don't.

BT broadband just like Virgin with their cable network and Sky, BE, Talk Talk with LLU operate where they will see returns, and don't go where they won't. How hard is that to understand?
Posted by adslmax over 3 years ago
I do agree with camieabz that BT (British Telecom) is the most powerful private company. No ones cannot controlled BT, only BT do that, the only one can do is BT only.

That's why I do hate BT for many reasons.
Posted by Alchemyfire over 3 years ago
adslmax, having a bit of a festive Sunday there?

Or maybe you just have the right idea and figure seeing that't the only thing we can do to drown our sorrows
Posted by camieabz over 3 years ago
So what connection do you chaps have?
Posted by russianmonkey over 3 years ago
adslmax, BT own their network... Sorry the shareholders do.

Virgin own their network, through various A&Ms.

Rutland is rolling it out.

C&W still have their own network.

Thus still have a network (I believe)

So, is it just because the BT network is bigger, or is there another reason you've got a chip on your shoulder? :-p
Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
Talk1968:I care somewhat for music. The reason I still by CDs is because I want to rip them to a lossless format. Lossy compression is okay for my portable players and car but at home it has to be lossless. I don't need SACD though.

As for video I'm quite happy with satellite bit rates. Even the BBC channels are fine for me. So I'm not super picky..but I am more picky than most.
Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
While part of me understands your perfectionist view point the fact is that you're in a minority it really doesn't matter. There is no rule that requires people to appreciate the best things in life. If people are happy with 128k MP3 audio and 1080i squeezed into a 10Mb/s stream then so be it. It's not going to cause the collapse of civilisation.
Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
Anyway back on topic I hope the savings BT makes by withdrawing 20CN will be ploughed back into the network to extend 21CN and/or extend FTTC.
Posted by b4dger over 3 years ago
Re. TBB update where 20CN 'only' exchanges are being left.

This doesn't sound good for those of us unlucky enough to be on one of these 'forgotten' exchanges!
Looks like I'll have to wait for 22CN :¬(
Posted by otester over 3 years ago
@AndrueC

You can get music in lossless format via torrent/usenet...
Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
@otester:How do I pay the artist for their endeavours?
Posted by Talk1968 over 3 years ago
You do know that CD is not lossless therefore changing it to lossless is pointless, SACD and DVD Audio are two examples of true lossless fidelity, but its all in the mix, if the mix is poor then it makes no difference whether its lossless or not, crap in and crap out as they say.
Posted by otester over 3 years ago
@AndrueC

-Concert tickets.
-Donations (not always available).
-Merchandise.
Posted by adslmax over 3 years ago
Posted by b4dger about 20 hours ago
Re. TBB update where 20CN 'only' exchanges are being left.

This doesn't sound good for those of us unlucky enough to be on one of these 'forgotten' exchanges!
Looks like I'll have to wait for 22CN :¬(

22CN - we all be dead by then !
Posted by Talk1968 over 3 years ago
Yah, i'm most certainly on a forgotten exchange, i don't think the Scottish Borders or at least Jedburgh is going to be getting super fast broadband anytime soon, stuck on 8 meg products here, i did read that in late 2012 we were supposed to be getting upto 20mb enabled, since then things have gone quiet, hopefully that will still be happening, i'd likely get around 16mbp/s if it did and that would be good enough for me.

Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
@Talk1968:Now you're splitting hairs. Sure the A->D conversion technically loses information but that's a world away from what MP3 and WMA do. A->D is just a loss of precision. MP3 and WMA deliberately remove things and adjust wave forms based on how they think the human ear and brain work.

In any case since I'm talking about ripping from a CD it's irrelevant as to what is actually on the CD. If I perform a lossless rip I get a more accurate copy of what's on the CD than if I rip to a lossy format. There is a big difference between ripping a CD to lossless and ripping it to lossy.
Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
But yeah - a lot of music (esp. the pop CDs) is badly engineered. Often using dynamic compression to try and sound 'loud'. Perhaps a lossy copy can mask the worst of it in those cases. But we really are in the wrong place to be discussing the pros and cons of the modern music studio output.

The bottom line here is that most people don't care and/or can't tell the difference so trying to suggest that we need BluRay bandwidth for HD video is wrong. 10Mb/s is fine for the mass market.
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