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Tendring District Council works to bring FTTC to North East Essex
Thursday 20 October 2011 09:39:43 by Andrew Ferguson

Another thirteen cabinets have been upgraded to provide Openreach Fibre to the Cabinet services, this time in the Manningtree area (10 in Tendring, three in Babergh). This means some 4,000 homes and businesses will have the chance to benefit from faster downloads and uploads.

The Tendring District Council website carries the news, along with various quotes from members of the Council. Of most interest is the following:

"Our Regeneration and Planning Departments have been working very closely with BT to facilitate this deployment, including pre-application meetings and we are now reaping the results of these discussions,

Superfast broadband for more than 4,000 homes is a good start and it will only be a matter of months before others quickly follow"

Tendring District Council Leader Neil Stock

We have featured news about where cabinets have been refused, and seen cases where BT has had to remove a cabinet due to complaints, so to see a council actively engaging to help in this matter must be welcomed, and while the green cabinets are not the prettiest bit of street furniture their presence can have an economic impact meaning businesses stay in an area, rather than gravitate towards towns where faster affordable broadband is available.

More upgrades are due in the area over the coming months, with cabinets being upgraded in the Clacton, Frinton and Wivenhoe exchange areas. The Princes Theatre in Clacton played host to a half day summit for businesses on Tuesday so they could learn more about Superfast Broadband and social media amongst other topics. For those in the area there are contact details for the Enterprise Liaison Office for those firms wanting to find out more about the roll-out.

Comments

Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
All well and good for the areas where the cabinets are, but its opening up a larger digital divide for those outside their limited reach. As more applications get bandwidth hungry the councils are going to have a very big job on explaining why they gave funding to cabinets where the incumbent should have put them without funding and why funding hasn't gone into the areas stuck on 2megabit or less...
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago
Cyberdoyle this is not using fuding -- this is openreach deploying its commercial deployment but council workig proactively to help it deployed faster
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
I think CD mixed up tendering and Tendring...
Posted by mervl over 5 years ago
The good news here is that in South Anglia as far as I can see, and hopefully elsewhere in BT's eastern region, they are getting FTTC beyond the main towns/Virgin areas, to the suburban and small town exchanges and out into their served villages (as in my case). The greater geographical reach of the commercial deployment the better. From what I can see locally though I wish the take up was better, even though it might affect my speeds! Hopefully some of the more rural areas might then be able to secure new subsidised links to these enabled exchanges.
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
Were these cabinets funded by the council?
Posted by m0aur over 5 years ago
A cheap bit of advertising. I should thing one cabinet sorted the lot. Manningtree is the smallest town in the U.K. consisting of a main street about 150 yards long with a couple of sidestreets. It is mostly river and shoreline Any village would be bigger.
Posted by m0aur over 5 years ago
A cheap bit of advertising. I should thing one cabinet sorted the lot. Manningtree is the smallest town in the U.K. consisting of a main street about 150 yards long with a couple of sidestreets. It is mostly river and shoreline Any village would be bigger.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@m0aur hence putting it in news, i.e. BT is not just covering the big towns.

No cabinets were not council funded.

@cyberdoyle As for digital how do you suggest new services are rolled out? Overnight to avoid a digital divide when roll-outs will take years.
Posted by mervl over 5 years ago
m0aur: Manningtree exchange covers adjoining Lawford and Mistley which together make up a small town, and as the report also says it covers cabs in Babergh which is the other side of the estuary in Suffolk (where I used to live, presumably Brantham on the same exchange) it's a significant area and a hopeful precedent as Andrew suggests.
Posted by jumpmum over 5 years ago
CD / m0aur
Take a look at Google maps, This is in the Manningtree area. Seems to cover a large RURAL geography. Lots of little villages maybe each with a Cab, this could improve the BB of over 80% of the population in the area and you are still complaining. Can't you give credit where it is due. I cannot see anyone else ever investing in this area and am surprised BT is without council funding. look on the Map!
Posted by m0aur over 5 years ago
@jumpnumpty
Don't try to tell me about somewhere I have lived on top all my life. 50 yards one side of the main street is Lawford, 50 yards the other side is Mistley, neither are Manningtree or part of it. I suggest you look around. You will find it is recorded as the smallest 'Town' in the UK with a total headcount of 700, which was my point, though as a local you should know that. 2 villages away, Tattingstone are a 200kb notspot, while large villages like Glemsford with near 3,000 properties are forgot about.
Posted by mervl over 5 years ago
I do see a problem though, whilst some villages are served from "town" exchanges and will benefit, in the old days the PO seemed to have a urban/rural mentality which meant remote rural exchanges serve areas which are actually now closer to a town. Hopefully in the future BT will create new links to bring fibre out from enabled areas, but the dual fibre/PTSN services doesn't help with rationalising the network in that way.
Posted by mervl over 5 years ago
I do see a problem though, whilst some villages are served from "town" exchanges and will benefit, in the old days the PO seemed to have a urban/rural mentality which meant remote rural exchanges serve areas which are actually now closer to a town. Hopefully in the future BT will create new links to bring fibre out from enabled areas, but the dual fibre/PTSN services doesn't help with rationalising the network in that way.
Posted by m0aur over 5 years ago
There is a greater problem, when
ever there is a list of proposed updates, Suffolk are always left out. As I said when Manningtree was listed for upgrade, I expect it was due to it being listed as a town.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
I can see there is no pleasing some people, an insignificant rural town and adjoining area gets FTTC. It might be better to follow the Romanian example of urban only fibre and sod the rurals. That way people will be in the right when they complain. Instead of the shallow hypocrisy where people complain when rurals aren't connected and then complain when they are connected, because they aren't rural enough for them.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
Well if no public money was used to get BT to enable Manningtree then I apologise profusely to Tendring council.
Doesn't alter the fact that the digital divide opens up wider, but at least that is one council who won't have to feel guilty.
Posted by mervl over 5 years ago
I'm sure the point is Lawford, served by Manningtree exchange, has a serious amount of new business and residential development, which is what interests both BT and the Council. Same as everywhere else then that's getting FTTC, including South Suffolk towns!!
Posted by m0aur over 5 years ago
A look around seems to show TalkTalk getting the jump on BT on the Glemsford Exchange. http://www.samknows.com/broadband/exchange/EAGLE It may be classed as a villiage, but there is a massive amount of industry such as Cannon Avent that would be interested.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Cyberdoyle, this whole article is about how a council worked with (instead of against) BT in terms of cabinets and cabinet placements. What on earth has it got to do with a digital divide, its about street furniture.
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
At least no mention of 'copper cabals'...

Progress would be to know full rollout details.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
GMAN99 head in sand again?
Cabinets only help those near to them. They open up a digital divide. Councils don't seem to be aware of this. They want to help the majority, which is fair enough, but what about us peasants? surely the telcos can manage to connect the urban sprawl without involving councils? Its their job innit?
Posted by mervl over 5 years ago
m0aur: don't want to prolong the agony and stray further off-topic but is this of interest (spot the Suffolks): http://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/products/super-fastfibreaccess/downloads/sffa_exchange_lists/future_exchanges.pdf ? And didn't BT steal the march with 21CN over TT LLU at Glemsford according to SamKnows?
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
@CD

All that the people need to do is be prepared to pay what it costs to connect them.
There are plenty of companies prepared to do the work necessary or supply the product.
However, most people are unwilling to pay the price... affordable does not mean cheap!
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
cd - what 'job'? Should every village have a Waitrose... A UK list of speeds, availability, plans etc. by postcode needs putting together.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
gosh tell me about it @themanstan - £15 a gig for a family on satellite whose kids went over the meagre allowance using iplayer...

Affordable can be cheap. b4rn will supply a gig to rural areas for £30 a month as a community enterprise. That's the way to go, to provide affordable reliable futureproof access for everyone. The current telco model is a scarcity one. We could change that to an abundance one?
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
Another complication is that ADSL2+ will meet the needs of most close to exchanges.
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
What's installation cost for B4RN?
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Your obsessed by two things CD

digital divide
copper cabal

And never seem to put them in the right context. So what is your answer to stopping this digital divide, just stop rolling out? Stop progressing JUST because its not in your backyard?

Many rural areas don't have gas, should other non-rural areas not have gas lines? If anyones head is in sand its your own I'm afraid.

Councils look after people in their own district, why would a council in Tendring give two figs about what broadband access you have in your farm?
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
What's the speed of core connection for B4RN?
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
People moan BT are not doing enough quick enough and then there's people like yourself saying they shouldn't be doing anything?

Unless its in your favour of course. I wish you would JFDI and let everyone else crack on with progressing broadband.

Once your all fibred up I hope you can stop going on about the digital divide. There's divides in all areas of the UK get over it.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
b4rn is still all on paper its yet to go beyond that and get funding. When you've actually rolled it out and its £30 per month and the project doesn't go under then we'll believe its all possible.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
Gmann you know perfectly well I am saying that BT are not doing the right thing, not that they should be doing nothing. They have done nothing much for a decade.
Progressing broadband is not putting a few poxy cabinets in to help a few folk round them. I didn't know you were progressing GMANN, what are you doing?
Posted by m0aur over 5 years ago
@Merval
"And didn't BT steal the march with 21CN over TT LLU at Glemsford according to SamKnows?"

That's as maybe. But it's a pity their Sheffield branch varient only squirts 'Up to 8Mb' on Eagle. But as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. 'Inexpensive' will always be cheap.
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
cd - How many FTTC cabinets and FTTP connections has BT done so far? 'A few poxy cabinets'?

Let's be realistic, digging up the streets is expensive, which is why the cable TV people gave up.

What's the installation cost and core connection speed for B4RN?
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago
m0aur

manningtree is an exchange covering over 4000 premises -- this is Exchange not just town including a number of mix ur town and rural commuitities -- FYI cabs are now being stood upin mannintree and services prob early 2012
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago
A few cabs - i think it now in the thousands -- sure TB woud have a view
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
They have done plenty in a decade CD, if your talking about fibre Ofcom didn't allow them to do anything until 2009.

BT aren't doing they right thing in your eyes because its not your right thing (i.e. benefiting you). Looks to me like they are enabling faster speeds in areas where they can with their own funding, not a few poxy cabs

If your b4rn project works roll it out across the country and rake in the money?
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
The last numbers I saw suggested over 5 million premises passed by FTTC/P, and that was in the summer, so its a bit strong to say "putting a few poxy cabinets in to help a few folk round them"!

Don't forget that there should be around 10 million premises passed by the end of 2012, all of which will have more underlying bandwidth available than that proposed by the more expensive B4RN project which has yet to even start!

So if 40% of the country is a "few folk" then fair enough, but who else is doing anything worthwhile at any scale whatsoever?
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
Contd

The so-called 1Gbps solution you mention is pretty superficial if there's only a couple of Mbps of actual backhaul capacity.

Oh, and the example you keep giving about the cost of watching programmes on iPlayer over satellite is just silly. You could make the same point if they chose to watch the programme on a 3G mobile whilst on holiday.

Yes its expensive but why would you do it? Why didn't they use a PVR? You have to assume an intelligent customer would use the service they have purchased appropriately surely.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
@CD yes satellite is expensive and has a poor data allowance, but it's getting cheaper.

B4rn is a good ideal, but getting the initial capital is difficult in most community projects. And the crux of the problem for infrastructure rollouts... Capital. This affects both your NFP project and large corporations alike. The ROI required by corporations means they MUST operate where a profit will be returned.

Then, there are alternatives to satellite, NextGenUs for example. A community can get them to install and their technology is good up to 300 Mbps and 5GB daily usage.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
What is the backhaul for B4RN ?
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
Initially 2x 10G.
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago
m0aur - i think Manningtee is around 9 or 10 cabs that are being deployed

Manningtree was announced in September 2011 along with anroung 12 or 13 exchanges in Suffolk asfar as i can remember
Posted by Bob_s2 over 5 years ago
The article seems slighly confusing as it mentions Babergh which is in Suffolk. The Babergh ares currently does not have Infinity unless this artcicle implies additional Cabinets are now going to be enabled in next years roll out to Sudbury
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
20 Gbps, ~662 sign-ups for a roll-out, so ~30 Mbps per customer. Same bandwidth per customer as FTTC (6 Gbps, ~200 cab). Not bad at all for a community project.

CD would B4rn buy another link to EDGE-IX if demand increased or to the Tier 1 provider?
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago
Manningtree exchange whilst sits in Tendring it covers 3 cabs over into suffolk which are in Barbergh Council area rather than Tendring
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
@themanstan I guess so, but the whole point is that it is easily upgradable unlike the cabinets, which will be souped up to 80meg and won't deliver very far. Leaving many on slower connections for decades but ticking boxes for councils and government. That is the bit that is really annoying. If everyone in the exchange area got what was promised it would be different, but like many on adsl they won't get the 'upto' many will get 'down to' the USC of 2megabits. Yet pay for infinity...
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
I understand the design allows for up to 32 links, which is well future proof. What i wanted to understand are the terms of EDGE-IX do they expect equal ratios of Peered to Tier 1 links?

I understand your dislike of Satellite, but the reality is for truly isolated rural communities it is the only option.
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
@CD
According to Ofcom's report earlier this year, the average dowload speed on Infinity was > 30Mbps, so well in excess of the USC. And don't forget that there is a choice of ISP, so no doubt competition will drive down prices and drive up choice, unlike areas where the network provider limits you to a single ISP.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
@cd have you got some crystal ball to hand, why would people be stuck on FTTC for decades?

We've had ADSL in the UK for what.. 11yrs? And its finished now and VDSL is replacing it, so why presume we'll have VDSL for decades? If there's a demand for higher speeds and people will pay new products will appear just like they have in the past.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
@newlondoner, ofcom is a toothless regulator. We have been doing a speedwave, where most results are .38 megabit upload. One result has skewed all the data because it has a score of over 300meg upload. Stats mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. If you just look through the scores http://www.speedtest.net/wave/14c091a047e47a80?o=desc&sb=lasttest you will see what I mean. On cabinets, only those close to them will get high speeds. The rest go a lot slower, and the digital divide grows wider. Look at the average? Then look at all the tests. 3 pages of them.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
@gman99, you may have had adsl for years. many round here haven't. Also Liv Garfield from BT stated that those on cabinets would not be upgraded as they were 'futureproof'. All I am saying is that funding for rural broadband should be spent on proper connections. Luckily it seems that public money has not been wasted in Tendring and the incumbent is upgrading them to 'superfast' from its own profits.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
@themanstan if you send a request in to the website it will go on the FAQ page, I am not techie enough to answer that for you, sorry. All I know is it will work and has a lot of spare capacity and can be upgraded if needed. It isn't a thin copper pipe with distance limitations, and everyone will have a great connection no matter where they live.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Yeah I saw that statement not entirely sure what that means, nothing is future proof in "tech" maybe she meant they could be adapted to provide FTTP later (although cabs aren't needed) one things for sure broadband in the UK doesn't end with FTTC.

She probably meant they'll be no need to upgrade them to FTTP until there is demand, there's not that much demand for FTTC at the moment so....

Funding for rural should be based on how well the money can be spent (VFM) vs technology, there's no point giving 1000 people FTTP and leaving everyone else high and dry.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
there isn't much demand for FTTC because the areas they are putting it are mostly areas which already have fairly good adsl that's why. You know, the urban areas full of customers. The same areas where virgin are already providing up to 100 meg. Homes passed. says it all really. And cabinets can't be upgraded to FTTH. Once you're on them that's it. They have you. One good rural network per county could do the whole county.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Oh course cabinets can be upgraded to FTTH its whether they want to at all like I say you don't even need a cab for FTTH.

Rural areas don't equal profit though, widespread customers and more expensive to serve. FTTC will catch on there's nowhere to go with ADSL anymore.

Products go where most of the customers are, that's the same for any product.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
That is why funding was made available for the rural areas. Not to put cabinets in, because they don't work in the rural areas. Everyone is too far away from them. But most councils (not Tendring) are using the funding for putting cabinets in. Back to the beginning of this thread then...
And you can't update cabinets. they are full of old copper wires. You would just come from an exchange like you said. the cabs are obsolete tech. to protect the... insert your own words here.
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
@CD
Ofcom's regulatory powers have no bearing on its report on broadband performance, which thankfully looks at actual throughput achieved, jitter etc over an extended period, and not nonsense like sync speeds etc.

Its not correct to say that FTTC is being deployed exclusively where cable is already - there is no cable here and I've had FTTC for nearly 18 months.

Its also not correct to say that there is no upgrade path for FTTC. The move from 40/10 to 80/20Mbps shows that is not the case, and its still very early days.
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
cd - Surely one reason for FTTC is that it does not need anyone digging up roads and pavements which is very costly.
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
@CD
Having looked at your "speedwave", it does not provide any data to support your comments above about the inadequacies of the performance of FTTC as virtually none of the tests is performed using an FTTC connection!

Also, the figures given by SPeedtest are interesting but only give you a view of teh peak speed achieved, no idea what sustained throughput is, so are not really useful as an indicator of real world performance anyway.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Of course you can update the cabs, you can just add more fibre backhaul and then fibre from the cab through the ducts to the poles. You could do all that under the cab it doesn't matte what its full of.

No digging needed
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
FTTC VDSL2 30a protocol is 200Mbps, so say ~160 in real life.

FTTC serves very well for communities within 1 kilometer of the cab. So for most villages, it's fine. Where it falls down is outlying properties.

Fit for purpose, simply depends on where you are sited in relation to a cabinet.

Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
@themanstan
Interesting comment on the VDSL 30a profile supporting 200Mbps - and that's before you consider bonding! So a pretty good case for "future proof" I think, and there's always the option to selectively swap out lines to fibre too.

A big advantage of the FTTC architecture over cable is that you don't need to consider congestion on the line from the cabinet to the home or office. This already seems to be causing some issues as a few customers take the 50 and 100Mbps services, so imagine what will happen if there is much demand for 200Mbps on cable.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
And with work on the 10 Gbps GPON standard having been sorted last year, the links back to the exchange should be upgradeable.

So whilst BT may not see and need to upgrade from FTTC to FTTP, the bandwidth capacity of the cabs can be increased and the protocol or other techs like vectoring/bonding for service speed.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Yes I'm sure bonding could be used, most properties get fed multiple pairs anyway, I think if you can get 100Mbps with or without bonding it would be sufficient for many years to come. 1Gbps is overkill at the moment
Posted by alwall over 5 years ago
Blimey! A semi rural area gets help with FTTC and people still moan. Go and have a look at the area if you mistakenly believe its a densely populated environment
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
checked with the council, and this is what they said: "Many thanks for your enquiry. The project you have seen reported recently about the BT rollout in Manningtree was done at no cost to the Council, it is part of BT's national rollout.
The Council facilitated the rollout by making sure there were no problems during the planning process in terms of the locations of the new cabinets and by promoting the scheme to encourage take up of the new service."
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
@CD
Excellent. Looks like the council played a blinder, got investment in their area without spending any of their limited budget. I imagine local residents and businesses will be delighted at this in terms of value for money. Let's hope others follow their lead.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
Local residents and businesses will be well chuffed. Its the rural people at the end of long lines who won't be, but at least if every council did what Tendring have done there would be funding to help them.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@cyberdoyle 90% of phone lines are within 1km of their cabinet and even ADSL performs well just 1km of cable.

I think what you mean is that those with long D-sides (3km or longer) will not benefit. Though if they see line length drop from 6km (60dB) to 3km (40dB) that should still allow speeds of over 7Mbps.

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