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Openreach upgrades line checkers to reflect faster FTTC product
Sunday 29 January 2012 16:52:33 by Andrew Ferguson

For some weeks we have seen people anticipating how much faster their fibre to the cabinet product from Openreach will run, and with the database updates taking place on the 28th and 29th January 2012 people will be able to receive an estimate that reflects the adoption of VDSL2 Profile 17a which can run at up 80 Mbps downstream, and up to 20 Mbps on the upstream.

We should emphasis that no lines are going to start running at over 40 Mbps, the trial to unleash people is still underway. Those providers taking part in the FTTC 80/20 trial will be able to add a lot more people to the service from Monday 6th February 2012 when the final pilot prior to full product launch commences.

As providers may not be ready to sell an up to 80 Mbps service, they have the option of capping estimates at 40 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps for the upstream. The Openreach system will only produce a single set of figures, i.e. the number will be for the ANFP ADE17 plan. For those who have FTTC already, those getting close to 40Mbps now will see the largest improvements, but slower lines may still see some improvement, but it will be incremental rather than a simple doubling of speed.

The BT Wholesale checker can be used to get an estimate of what is possible using FTTC if it is enabled in your area. The checker works best when you supply a telephone number, estimates based on postcode are known to be less reliable. The Openreach estimates that BT Wholesale use are generally worst case scenarios, with most people exceeding the estimates, which is in contrast to ADSL and ADSL2+ estimates which have often proved difficult to exceed. In some situations Openreach are estimating speeds slower than what is possible over ADSL2+, in this case the actual speeds should match or exceed that of an existing ADSL2+ service.


Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
Interesting if the checker is accurate. Waste of time if it is anything like the ADSL checker which still says houses round here which have had 3 engineer visits can get broadband when its been proved they can't.

At least when folk realise very few will get the top speeds and start reporting it in government will realise we are a long way from being a digital britain and leading the world.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
On the lines that cannot get it, if you really want them flagged as red - no ADSL/ADSL2+ possible, then very much down to the provider submitting the information correctly.

Plenty of real world people posting, estimates and actual to say that the Openreach checker is under estimating. So much so that some don't order FTTC because it seems to offer little improvement, when reality can be very different.
Posted by Kr1s69 over 5 years ago
Will the 80/20 be a new wholesale/openreach product like the 40/10 and 40/2? Or will it replace one of the existing products? Either way, has any wholesale pricing been announced?
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Very few will get the top speeds, what are you basing that on?
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
Visited my mums today, BTs guestimator said 32, reality is 36 @480m... I'm not shallow enough to be jealous... Okay so I'm shallow.
Posted by drteeth over 5 years ago
My initial FTTC estimate was about 15-17MB/s IIRC. On initial provision got 30MB/s and some tweaking by OR (profile changes) got it to the max of 40Mb/s
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Price wise, need to wait for the next pilot to get underway.

Also while Openreach may announce their price, there is the additional costs for backhaul, unless provider is using usage limits to limit your ability to create an Internet backup.
Posted by weesteev over 5 years ago
I get 40/10 currently, speedchecker now says I can get 40/20!
Posted by TavistockSFB01822 over 5 years ago
Wonderful news if you happen to be in a superfast fibre broadband area. Otherwise it is another pin in the torso for me. Not being on any plan or in any funding does not help...
Posted by AndrueC over 5 years ago
Rather odd change for me. Cab installed but not live yet. Went from 33/15 to 40/20. I'm just over 500 metres away by cable route.
Posted by WWWombat over 5 years ago
@cyberdoyle: "At least when folk realise very few will get the top speeds"

BT's 2009 primer on VDSL indicated "typical" lengths from home to cabinet of 25m + 420m (home to DP, then DP to cabinet) making a total of near 450 metres. Does the word "typical" here mean "average"?

My line is 450 metres, so might be classed as the average. It currently gets 40/10, and says that the max is 90/26.

There will be people who still live at "bad" distances, but if that is *average* performance, then your idea of "very few getting top speeds" seems flawed.

Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Correct, the vast majority of people are sub 500m to the cab, so as long as the copper is ok you should get close to the 40Mbps or 80 or beyond.

Not "very few"
Posted by WWWombat over 5 years ago
@cyberdoyle: "At least when folk realise very few will get the top speeds"

My old line was 650 metres, and seems to be the top end of the distances on this town-sized suburban exchanges. It got (with the 17a profile) 40/10, and reckoned the max was 65/15 - and on a non-perfect line.

I know you have issues with the rural areas being left out of deployment (a proper concern), but I don't think you are going to win any arguments trying to persuade people that the deployed areas are all slow too.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Old figure but something like 90% of cabinet to premises lines are UNDER 1000m
Posted by Khan over 5 years ago
I'm literally 20m from the dark green cabinet opposite to my house yet BT's line checker says my line cannot do FTTC. :(
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