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Suffering an Exchange Only line, there is some hope
Tuesday 02 October 2012 18:53:33 by Andrew Ferguson

We covered developments for Exchange Only lines back in June, when Openreach indicated that the most likely solutions for these lines would be a FTTC or FTTP solution. A meeting in North Yorkshire for the BDUK/Local Authority project has revealed some more detail.

As things stand in North Yorkshire the estimate of what they hope to deliver, and it must be emphasised that this is before detailed planning has taken place is that 80% of the EO lines will be served by a hybrid cabinet to provide a FTTC service and the remaining 20% would receive FTTP. No indications of the areas that will get the pure FTTP service as yet. The hybrid cabinets have been trialled in Steanalees, Cornwall, whether a similar split is possible in other counties will only be known as plans are announced.

For those not aware of what an Exchange Only line (EO line) is, it is a telephone line that goes directly to the telephone exchange without using a traditional green street cabinet at all. The reasons for lines like this are many, some are close to the exchange and some are some miles away, with each exchange area having something like 5-10% of its lines served this way, providing service to these lines is crucial to meeting the 90% and higher targets some local authorities are setting.

Superfast North Yorkshire has a YouTube channel which has several videos from the meeting on 29th September. The North Yorkshire project is rare as they have gained EU State Aid Approval ahead of the other BDUK projects, by applying directly rather than via the BDUK umbrella scheme.


Posted by vicdupreez over 4 years ago
The other reason for having exchanges like this is in very small towns where there are 500 or less premises to serve. This is also why they usually fall in the commercially not viable bracket...

Posted by bbluefoot over 4 years ago
It's not only small towns and isolated areas.

The ENTIRETY of Bath's City Centre and CBD is exchange only. This means that all residences and businesses not able to afford a leased line suffer ADSL, often with less than stellar performance.

From my discussions with engineers, they estimate that a 'solution' from Openreach is 2-3 years away. It's a total farce.

Of course, it's not entirely BT's fault, the council is famously inept and were forced to reverse their decision not to bid for BDUK money, after a public outcry.
Posted by vicdupreez over 4 years ago
Well, you all know how I feel about BT. I truly believe that they are specifically delaying the exchange only lines because it WILL eat into their leased line business. They did the same thing with ADSL when ISDN just became available on all exchanges. Can we not just for once skip a step and go for the bleeding edge? Why do we HAVE to go through all the steps? Instead of upgrading more exchanges to ADLS2+ why not skip it for those exchanges and just go FTTC or FTTP.
Posted by vicdupreez over 4 years ago
Anyway, I am getting a local wireless service on the 11th, and if it is as good as it says on the site, my BT line is going...
Posted by bbluefoot over 4 years ago
If latency bothers you, it'll never be anywhere near as good as any kind of line.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
Is the 5-10% an estimate, or based on some facts somewhere?

The Superfast Cornwall website quotes 20% EO lines (see the FAQ page), but it isn't clear whether that number applies to Cornwall alone, or is a national estimate.
Posted by bbluefoot over 4 years ago
Either an estimate or average. Fairly sure there's massively more variance than that.
Posted by vicdupreez over 4 years ago
Latency pobably no worse than 3G right?

Posted by glaidler over 4 years ago
After cheekily applying for a network re-arrangement via openreach as a residential customer rather than an ISP, someone at Openreach responded with the following:

“EO planning is underway and this is very much one of the solutions that will be considered for your area. EO solutions are very new, and we do not yet have any definite timings on when they will be rolled out, but we expect large deployments of EO solutions from Feb 2013 onwards. If you have signed up to receive our email updates ( we will inform you as soon as you can place an order.”
Posted by gadgets over 4 years ago
Hi - just curious if there has been any new development on the EO planning. I am in Birmingham and just got confirmation that I am on an exchange only line.
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