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Fibre on Demand, early market deployment areas now known
Monday 29 April 2013 16:34:06 by Andrew Ferguson

Fibre on Demand may not be for everyone and the price will put all but the most seriously interested people off, but as an option for those who work from home or small businesses looking for something more reliable and faster than existing Fibre to the Cabinet services it provides a way to be at the cutting edge.

We have known the prices of FTTP on Demand for a few weeks now, which is in the order of £700 to £1500 to connect, and the monthly connection is a 330 Mbps based service that has a minimum price of £38+VAT per month. The thing that no one knew until now was where it will be available, and that question has been answered. The list of initial locations in the UK where Fibre on Demand will be available (as well as being in the exchange area your street cabinet needs to be FTTC enabled) and will expand in due course is below:

Basingstoke, Blackfriars, Bonvilston, Bristol South, Cardiff, Culverhouse, Edinburgh Waverley, Garston, High Wycombe, Holmer Green, Hook, Keynsham, Manchester Central, Penn (Buckinghamshire), Peterston Super-Ely, Princes Risborough, Redruth, Roath, St Agnes, Turgis Green Chineham, Watford, Leamington Spa, Kenilworth, Southam, Nottingham Longbox, Geding, Ramsbottom, Tottington, Irlan, Oldham, Saddleworth, Tunbridge Wells, Paddock Wood, Tonbridge, Malone (Belfast), Brighton Hove, Brighton Withdeam, Maidenhead, Littlewick Green, Bromsgrove, Droitwich, Hillside (Hereford & Worcester), Falmouth, Penryn

List of initial Fibre on Demand locations

While we know some people are waiting to part with their cash, remember that the service providers have only just learnt about the locations too and may be wanting to connect a few trial users of their own to verify that they understand the full ordering system.

Comments

Posted by Crusiux over 4 years ago
If anyone's with BT and in one of these areas, then I'd recommend going to https://bt.centercode.com/login.html and signing up. You never know!
Posted by adslmax over 4 years ago
Waste of time! It will not be available for anyones who are currently with FTTC and cannot order FTTPoD. Not surprise really as BT Openreach is always very limit!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
@adslmax I don't understand, are you saying its not available for anyone with FTTC?
Posted by speedyrite over 4 years ago
OMG - WMDRO gets something first! Sadly I can't afford it...
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
yeah not sure I understand that statement adslmax
Posted by londonnutter over 4 years ago
£700 to £1500connection That rules out a typical household then.Unless your own the property then want the raise the value.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 4 years ago
It would be good if someone on those exchanges/cabinets at a greater distance posted their excess construction charges. Those near the cabinets probably won't need it yet, and those further away could face charges into tens of thousands. FOD is a bit of a strawman.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
If the cost is too high on the 1% of very long cabinet lines, then surely that means there is scope for an altnet to deliver service at a price that people are happy to pay?
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
Many typical households own their property.
Posted by snake007uk over 4 years ago
If only goodmayes was on there I would be on the phone to IDNET right now :D
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
Many exchanges, even when enabled for VDSL services, will not be able to serve all customers with FTTPoD, because there are too many exchange-only lines, or the costs are way too high for long distances, or only some of the available cabinets are enabled. As usual, it's a postcode lottery here!

Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
The article says: 'may be wanting to connect a few trial users of their own to verify that they understand the full ordering system'.

With all due respect: FTTP is not a new technology, it has been around for many years (albeit not in the UK). There is no reason to do trials. And there is absolutely no reason why FTTPoD can't be made available to ALL premises, including exchange-only or non-FTTC lines.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff - read what I typed, understand the full ordering system, as in let the ISP see how the survey and charging systems work in practice. So not testing the technology but the various back office systems.

FTTPoD is built from the Aggregation node, so EO and non FTTC lines will generally be a daft distance from one of these nodes.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
FoD is not perfect, but its another option in the mix and if it is as bad as some say I am sure we will see the competitors step in to offer something better
Posted by jumpmum over 4 years ago
I don't quite get the list of exchanges. Bonvilston and Peterston Super-Ely are not live yet. In fact Bonvilston shows as under evaluation on the Openreach site. Are we sure these are the correct list?
Posted by jumpmum over 4 years ago
Looking at google maps most of Bonvilston must be EO if not all of it. Only 416 res and 14 non res according to Samknows.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
I will get the exchanges you mentioned double checked in the morning
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
AUBREY ARMS, BONVILSTON, CARDIFF, CF5 6TQ on Exchange BONVILSTON is served by Cabinet 1
Posted by ccxo over 4 years ago
Its interesting to see Littlewick Green on the list as its still a FE exchange on the Openreach list, only a handfull of cabinets have been installed so far.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Where are the altnets come on altnets bring on the competition
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
Aren't altnets better suited to places where the big boys haven't gone?

They would be found in the 10%ish that isn't being covered by FTTC (or the attached FTTPoD) or native FTTP.

And because deployment plans for BDUK-funded expansion aren't really there yet, no altnet really knows where they could go and be effective and profitable.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Not if the costs for FTTPoD are too high, the altnets can swoop in and show them how its done for much cheaper.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
So, outside the bottom 10% who won't get SFBB speeds, the altnets would really be competing for business on true fibre alone, but amongst the cost-conscious - the people who get SFBB speeds via FTTC, but for whom those FTTC speeds aren't enough, but can't afford FTTPoD.

And if they think that target market is sufficiently big enough for them to commit to installing fibre, they've got to be pretty confident that BT isn't going to drop the price of FTTPoD until they've made their own money back.

I'm not entirely convinced this one works
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
In short because BT is doing something the hole for altnets is smaller and bduk to that and even less likely to get local loop competition

Posted by herdwick over 4 years ago
Altnets have had 10 years to supply services to notspots, the people holding their breath waiting are long dead.
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
@Andrew "FTTPoD is built from the Aggregation node, so EO and non FTTC lines will generally be a daft distance from one of these nodes." This isn't true for London and I suspect many other larger town and cities where significant numbers of (infill) properties built in the last 20 years are on EO lines yet surrounded by those able to get both FTTC and cable. I live on a development of 75 properties, all EO and without cable access, where adjacent properties in the same street have access to both FTTC and cable. BT needs to address this problem as many such areas have no access to BDUK funding.

Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
@MCM999
You are right that things are physically near, in the sense of "as the crow flies".

Unfortunately, to actually connect up, you really need to be near "as the worm crawls along the duct."

I'm sure things will change, as BT alter some of the network topology underground, but for opening day, the easiest rule to follow is to only allow connections back towards a cabinet known to have fibre support.
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
@WWWombat. I fully understand that BT currently aren't prepared to look at anything that isn't conceptually simple. In our particular case, which is perhaps unusual, the cable feeding our development is carried in the same duct as that feeding the adjacent properties. I appreciate that the work required is not quite as simple however since FTTP makes no use of the copper network or cabs it should not require anything complicated to allow residents on our development to obtain FTTPoD if required.
Posted by jumpmum over 4 years ago
WWWombat / MCM999 This is what is funny about Bonvilston, Peterston and Littlewick, the former isn't even on the future exchange list and the two latter are not enabled yet. So the cabinets do not yet have fibre support yet they are available for the trial. Does this maen no-one in these exchanges can get FTTPoD which makes a mockery of the list!
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@andrew: You said:
'FTTPoD is built from the Aggregation node, so EO and non FTTC lines will generally be a daft distance from one of these nodes.'
Isn't the aggregation node going back to the local exchange? There absolutely no technical reason why FTTPoD can't be offered for excahnge-only lines. BT has told many strange stories to the public, they live in their own bubble!
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
Many FTTC installations go back to head end exchanges avoiding the local exchange.

FTTC for EO lines is planned for later in the BDUK areas.
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
@Somerset "FTTC for EO lines is planned for later in the BDUK areas." Which is, of course, absolutely no help to those significant numbers with EO lines living in the cities where no BDUK funding is available.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
Lets face it: EO lines are planned for later. The trials are later, the planning is later, and the deployment is later.

In fact, so much is later, that we don't yet know all the financial impacts that dictate what is (and isn't) possible.

Whether they are part of commercial, BDUK, Connected-City, NI or Cornwall, they're all later. Even if there is no funding of any sort, then the work done for the above may well make further EO lines commercially viable anyway... but you just have to wait until later.

Later means just that. It doesn't yet mean never. But it might. We just don't know. Yet.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
Lets face it 2: BT are very reticent to rearrange the topology of their network as it spreads out from the local exchanges. They've been that way for every technology so far, including FTTC.

As the copper network has grown, it has done so organically as needed and as capacity has been available, which means it doesn't all make sense now.

FTTP, as a whole new pipe into each property, can work to a whole new topology, if BT want it to.

But it shouldn't be a surprise that, on day 1, they're limiting it to the current topology. Changing that requires a lot more planning & time.
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
@londonnutter: The problem is it costs a fair amount to dig up roads, etc.. it's not actually a bad install cost to be honest given how much I'm used to paying for ethernet circuits :) .. I'd jump to get FTTH in our office for a mere £1500 setup cost too but we're on exchange-only lines :(
Posted by OldChapXS over 4 years ago
Worked out that my install charge would be ~£2400 in total so contacted BT only to be told NOT HERE :( Further I live too close to the exchange (<400m) so there is no cabinet and therefore no Infinity either)

I'm not so sure it is necessary to dig up much road with so many ducts already in place
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@OldChapXS: Your example is a good illustration of BTs incompetence. There is no technical reason why a fibre line cannot be provided directly from the exchange to the premise. Digging costs are not more expensive for exchange-only lines. Most local exchanges are already connected to a fibre backbone anyway.
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff - why incompetance? Just because you don't like it, maybe it's priorities.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
JNeuhoff, when you are bringing a new product to market do you spend time on tackling the biggest or the smallest customer market first?

Of course there's no technical reason, they just haven't made it an offering yet.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@GMAN99: BT could have introduced its FTTPoD on both exchange-only lines and lines from cabinets at the same time, bigger market, good for business.

In most cases it all originates from the local exchange, which likely has a fibre-backbone. There are no crosstalk issues on exchange-only lines when they are converted into a fibre line. And there are no different road digging costs, nor are the ducts different for the final copper lines. No need to do major network topology changes.
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff - maybe you don't know enough about the subject...
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@Somerset: Since you know more about BT than many of us here on this forum, could you explain to us why, and for what technical reasons, you think exchange-only are to be excluded from FTTPoD?
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
Because the layout of the network is based on the rollout of FTTC for FTTPoD?

In Devon & Somerset (leading the way!) the order of preference is FTTC followed by network rearrangement (for EO lines) followed by FTTP.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@Somerset: Here in North East Essex there are whole towns, or at least large portions of them, with exchange-only lines. The local exchanges though are mostly connected with fibre backbones.

As I said, there are no technical or business reasons for not offering FTTPoD on exchange-only lines immediately. FFTP has nothing to do with network layout, it's purely down to the length of the final copper wires to be replaced by fibre!

As far as I know thinkbroadband will ask BT some questions about the situation of exchange-only lines soon.
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
On long or short EO lines the aggregation nodes will not be in place and also the head ends will not have been installed in current non FTTC areas.

Which towns have no cabinets?
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
Probably more demand for FTTC speeds, and prices, on EO lines than FTTPoD.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@Somerset: You are just repeating BTs stuff off its website.

FTTP has been around long before BT trialled it, and is available in many big cities accross Europe, e.g. Cologne, Munich, Paris and others. To my knowledge, only in the UK do people think that exchange-only lines are cumbersome. They aren't, this is just pure incompetence on BTs part. BTs story that aggregation-nodes can only exist near cabinets is nonsense.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
"BTs story that aggregation-nodes can only exist near cabinets is nonsense"

I don't think anyone is saying that are they, just that they ARE there currently.

I don't know enough about EO only lines really I assume they are as they sound and run direct to the exchange if that is the case there is no aggregation point/node, they aggregate at the exchange. So if that is the case there may be no sound place to put an agg node out in the street if they don't naturally aggregate anywhere (if that makes sense)
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Or to put it another way, the GPON model uses aggregation nodes to take lots of homes , aggregate them and send it back to the exchange. If EO lines only aggregate back at the exchange and nowhere else out in the street you are actually running point to point fibre in that set-up, which isn't the model being used.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
Technically eo fttpod is possible just the costs of doing this and the fact that openreach needs to get used to the majority model first. Then look at the other issues.

For a bduk project is a cluster of eo prems are close then native fttp might be a better price as no power needed
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
Where are these towns in North East Essex with few cabinets?
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@GMAN99: As long as exchange-only lines are of similar length compared to lines running from the aggregation node to the premise (which is the case with many EO lines) there's no difference between the 2 when being converted to fibre.

@andrew: Surely a FTTPoD from the cabinet to the premise doesn't require a power wire either, does it? The equipment at the end-user premise uses battery backup.

I have never heard about the issue of exchange-only lines in other countries. Why are they only a problem in the UK? The issue here is BT, nothing else!

Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
In D&S network rearrangement will enable FTTC on EO lines by intercepting them at some point and installing a cabinet. Presumably that gets fibre infrastructure into the area for FTTPoD.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
"As long as exchange-only lines are of similar length compared to lines running from the aggregation node to the premise (which is the case with many EO lines) there's no difference between the 2 when being converted to fibre."

Of course there is! Firstly are you sure they are around the same length, typical distance to premises from the agg node are 500-1000metres is that the distance to the exchange for EO lines in general?
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Secondly you are missing the most important point. FTTPoD is orderable ONLY because OR have deployed an agg node to serve cabinets. So if there is no agg node for these EO lines you cannot order it and it probably isn't financially viable to deploy one. When an agg node is deployed for FTTC it can serve many cabinets so the potential sign up rate is 1000's just by putting that one node in place and there's a good chance of getting sign ups because the activation costs are low/free.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
If you deployed an agg node for some EO lines how many would it serve in comparison and how does the sign up rate compare (remember its still FTTPoD install costs) as you can see now it is totally different.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
So its two things, a possible planning constraint depending on where the EO lines meet to go back to the exchange, but more a financial constraint. Like any business if the numbers don't stack up....
Posted by callmeleroy over 4 years ago
I thought I read about a year ago to expect large EO solution deployments from Feb 13.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
A FFTPoD is just a more expensive version (installation-wise) of a FTTP.

@GMAN99: While I appreciate your explanations, it doesn't really answer the questions about EO lines. Why does the problem of EO lines not exist in other countries?

Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
I could understand there are VDSL crosstalk issues for EO lines, but this not the case for fibre lines. And there is no reason to make fibre dependent on the existance of a FTTN cabinet. All the EO lines issues are a BT mythology, nothing more. The laws of physics for fibre lines, and their needed equipment at the exchange and end-user premises are in principle the same in the UK as they are in other countries.
Posted by callmeleroy over 4 years ago
About time OR gave an update and a roadmap for EO lines.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Which other countries do you refer to and do they have a private incumbent ?
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
You are right about what you saying I am agreeing with you it's a commercial/roi decision not a technical one. The dependancy is a commercial decision and for the reasons I have explained
Posted by callmeleroy over 4 years ago
To reach the bduk targets for a lot of counties they will have to do something so why not publish where they are at and give us a roadmap for eo. Isn't sticking a cabinet outside the enabled exchanges a way to jump the numbers up by thousands?
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@GMAN99: <<Isn't sticking a cabinet outside the enabled exchanges a way to jump the numbers up by thousands?>> Wrong question. You don't need a cabinet for a fibre broadband, the exchange usually already has a fibre backbone, and any needed equipment for fibre lines could easily be located inside the exchange. BT has been spreading a lot of fairytale stories in this country.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
Apologies, my previous post should have been addressed to callmeleroy!
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
Fibre products are available now, are they not suitable for you?
Posted by callmeleroy over 4 years ago
Fibre products are not available to me. In 2012 OR decided to connect my new line as an EO. An OR engineer tells me if they'd simply connected me from the left pole instead of the right, I'd have FTTC now. I keep hearing about their "topology", etc. but it is really frustrating that they would deploy a solution that currently has no firm fibre route when a different arrangement would have got me FTTC. Doesn't seem very forward thinking.
Posted by callmeleroy over 4 years ago
Isn't it ofcom that are stopping VDSL equipment inside the exchange JNeuhoff?
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@callmeleroy: I am talking about fibre lines, not VDSL, these are 2 different things, unless you believe BTs fairytale stories where managed to call the final VDSL copper a fibre line. BT is known to use many misleading terms ('Openreach', 21CN, etc).
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
@JNeuhoff - why don't you contact www.superfastessex.org
Posted by JNeuhoff over 4 years ago
@Somerset: Already did, several times. Just look at their site to see how useless or clueless they are.
Posted by callmeleroy over 4 years ago
At least Essex has a site. Suffolk has nothing. A barely kept up to date twitter and a page on the Suffolk CC site, with a newsletter that hasn't been updated since February.
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