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Ofcom grant BT exemption to EOI on 20CN DSLAMs
Wednesday 30 November 2011 14:30:43 by John Hunt

Ofcom have agreed to a proposal from BT to extend an exemption which allows BT to connect its old BT Wholesale 20CN DSLAMs directly to the main distribution frame (MDF) in exchanges without having to go via a handover distribution frame (HDF). The exemption was set out to allow BT's existing equipment to be exempt from the Equivalence of Input (EOI) processes required by LLU providers until 31st December 2011. BT's new 21CN equipment is connected through the HDF, so this only affects the legacy equipment.

BT proposed that the exemption be made permanent as it now has no plans to withdraw the 20CN network in all exchanges, work that was originally thought to be completed by the end of 2011. Some growth is expected in the rollout of 21CN to exchanges, reaching 90% by Spring 2013 and demand for 20CN is expected to reduce at those sites, but additional DSLAMs may need to be deployed at 20CN only exchanges.

Ofcom has accepted the proposal as it believes that forcing BT to adopt EOI would be disproportionate to the benefits, particularly with the disruption to end users that this would cause. The majority of the remaining homes are also in Market 1 exchanges, i.e. those that do not have an operator present providing broadband other than BT. There is no perceived detriment to this proposal on end customers or other communication providers. Sky did however express a concern that the granting of exemptions may undermine the 'integrity and original objectives' of the proposed arrangements.


Posted by Alchemyfire over 5 years ago
What exactly does this mean for those of thus that are still stuck on a 20CN Market 1 exchange? No incentive for BT to upgrade it?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
The incentive to upgrade is down to BDUK funding and the final third projects, and the subsequent 2 Mbps USC.

Posted by TavistockSFB01822 over 5 years ago
BDUK - Broadband Delivery UnKnown. The quango that isn't a quango. Not much of a chance of an upgrade then, unless it is a political favour type one...
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
OFCOM really shot itself in the foot here.

Where Market 1 has been in existance for a while and no operator commit to LLU, OFCOM should allow true monopoly to occur, but demand upgrades take place. The monopoly situation provides for recovery of investment.

By maintaining that wholesale is required to other ISPs, then BTs ROI is made even longer and upgrading is less attractive than leaving money in the bank..

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
If Ofcom did that it would upset the cart with respect to the BDUK bidding process I suspect.

Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
More historical griping on my part, rather than current griping.
Posted by chrysalis over 5 years ago
market 3 doesnt guaruantuee much, whilst my exchange is 21CN, there is no real advantage as most of the lines connected cannot exceed 6mmbit anyway. It also has no planned FTTx date.
Posted by rich44 over 5 years ago
Great so that's all of us on rural exchanges screwed forever then. BT won't put more capacity into creaking VPs presumably because they don't want to waste money on the "old" kit but then they won't upgrade us to 21cn either.

So Market 1, no 21cn so not only do we get screwed for various other economic reasons we now get stuffed on higher broadband prices along with a slower service - GREAT
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
But other ISPs don't want "to waste money" on these exchanges either...

So like I said in a earlier thread, historically OFCOM should have put a cut-off for competition to occur, then hand a monopoly to BT if they were prepared to make upgrades.

No incentive financially otherwise. Margins are small if BT has to wholesale. And, the fact no ISPs have LLU'ed shows that they don't consider these exchanges profitable.
Posted by warweezil over 5 years ago
the usual tosh about finace being talked here.. BT are putting in WBC on two smaller exchanges near me... Talk talk are doing most of the other exchanges in the county.. but the largest exchange here? Nothing.

Its about time such bargain basement service was reflected in a bargain basement price tag... recognising the total lack of investment that sees this sort of exchange being at least 2 steps behind the current tech.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
usual tosh about spending for the greater good....if there is no competition and no hint of competition why spend money?

You need to get away from your idealistic social society and view this as what it really is, a commercial enterprise. OFCOM screwed up and the competition they tried to "encourage" never happened. They should have that and allowed a monopoly, but enforce upgrades upon the incumbent.

BT is doing what any company would do in the same situation, maximise return on initial investment. It's that simple...
Posted by Ruralvoter over 5 years ago
BT have just said I can have any cable to a new house I've built for myself as long as it is 4-wire telephone cable. Continuing with this prehistoric technology is building in obsolescence since other exchanges are now replacing this type of cable by fibre optics ... or have I missed something?

Even Estonia has more of a coherent plan than the UK to provide the entire country including the rural areas with high-speed internet access. Just do a quick search. It's pathetic.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
Estonia has wonderful demographics for fibre... 1.3 million with 400,000 of them living in Talinn the capital. 750,000 living in just the 10 largest urban centres. This makes any roll-out logistics relatively simpler... more importantly, the whole infrastructure is a open access model... OFCOM and UKgov doesn't get this kind of policy, they're more into restrictive regulation. Hence why the largest UK ISP was only allowed to begin domestic fibre in mid 2009... many years after the rest of europe.
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