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Latest Berkshire broadband progress update reveals survey locations
Wednesday 16 April 2014 17:10:02 by Andrew Ferguson

Berkshire and its broadband project is continuing to publish information on the roll-out and the latest update reveals 39 locations that will be surveyed between April and July 2014.

Crowthorne cabinet P29,
Bourne End cabinet P33,
Wraysbury cabinets P1, P2, P3,
Colnbrook cabinets P40, P46,
Reading South cabinets P63, P65, P67, P70,
Burghfield Common cabinets P1, P8,
Arborfield Cross cabinets P1, P4, P7,
Eversley cabinet P13,
Twyford cabinet P12,
Woodley cabinet P17,

Exchange Only areas within the following exchanges:

Ascot, Littlewick Green, Windsor, Reading Central, Langley, Slough, Burghfield Common, Chaddleworth, Chieveley, Great Shefford, Hermitage, Kintbury, Lambourn, Mortimer, Pangbourne, Theale, Woolhampton, Spencers Wood, Wargrave, Wokingham

Superfast Berkshire Cabinets for survey between April and July 2014

An area appearing on the survey list does not guarantee that superfast broadband will be available in the next few months to the area, the surveys are carried out to check what is viable and which cabinets represent the best in terms of value for money for a project.

The usual solution for clusters of exchange only lines is to install a new telephone cabinet and add a fibre twin to then provide a fibre based broadband service. For those who do not know if they have an exchange only (EO) line check using the BT Wholesale, any result that does not mention a cabinet number next to the phone number or address is an exchange only line. For those in an EO area beyond physically spotting the work, you might suddenly find the checker reports a cabinet number where it previously did not. Occasionally an EO area may be cheaper to upgrade using FTTP (full fibre to the home) but this situation is relatively rare, but we do know of some areas where it is happening.

People often wonder why the VDSL2 (FTTC) cannot just be run directly from the exchange and the reason is that to avoid undue crosstalk and interference to existing ADSL and ADSL2+ services the rules require cabinets to be located outside the exchange. There are also additional rules on the power levels used at cabinets to stop VDSL2 slowing down existing ADSL2+ services in an area.


Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
Why does this mysterious exchange-only lines issue not exist in other countries? At least I have never heard about it elsewhere, except in the UK.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
Have you forgotten the answer again?
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
What eo line issue are you referring to? The article seems to explain everything ?
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
I am aware of Ofcom's official rules on this, and the crosstalk issue.

This was a genuine question: Why do other countries do not have this problem with EO lines? Surely there are other ways overcoming VDSL crosstalk issues.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago

Which other countries have eo lines
Which other countries do you actively in depth monitor their vdsl rollouts (re your why haven't I seen this being a problem in other countries ) I just find this one a strange question really , why assume it isn't a problem elsewhere ?

I'm still not sure what the issue is that you are referring to? Having to put a cab outside the exchange?
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
GMAN99: I take it you are not on an EO line, otherwise you wouldn't be puzzled by my question, or this article.

I have been more often than enough to places in Germany or the United States, and never ever heard about people not being served with nextgen broadband because of being on an EO line. Hence my question how they addressed this issue abroad.
Posted by TheEulerID over 3 years ago
The ANFP is actually defined by the NICC, not Ofcom (although Ofcom mandates its use). All countries have to use spectral management on xDSL, and it's extremely unlikely the UK is the only country with EO lines.

Spectrum plans have to be defined to suit local countries. This paper tells of 30 such plans.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
I understand eo lines but you have yet to tell me what your 'issue' is , I've asked numerous times now ?

What I don't understand and why I think your question is so strange is why exactly do you think you would get to know if a person on another country could not get next fen services for being on an eo line , I doubt it would make sky news! There is a solution already noted in this article , it's usage will be a financial one
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago

Who has the time or knowledge to learn the detailed architecture of multiple countries' access networks? It is hard enough to know even *this* country's!

It is barely worth spending time on, because the truth is that every country is different. More than a century of different geography, population, politics and economics all plays its part. Plus at least two world war "opportunites to rebuild" for some places.

Knowing Germany's situation doesn't help fix your problem in this country.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
Good to see its not just me struggling with his argument , the crux if his argument is that because he personally hasn't seen any reports of this being an issue in other countries - it cannot be an issue.

Try that argument on any other subject and see how absurd it sounds.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
@TheEulerID: Thank you for the details. I'll look it up.

@GMAN99, @WWWombat: No need to be so sarcastic, this was a genuine question. So, do you have an answer?
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
I'm not being sarcastic I'm trying to show you how odd and unrealistic the question is.

You are saying that the issue doesn't exist elsewhere, I would argue that it does but you are simply unaware if it.

If the issue is crosstalk , power levels etc of course
Posted by TheEulerID over 3 years ago
I did a quick hunt on EO lines internationally. I did find out Ireland has the same ban on VDSL from the exchange, but no doubt some will object that their telephone legacy would have derived from the GPO too. Of course, I'm searching in English, and the terminology will no doubt vary (e.g. in the US telephone exchanges are called central offices).
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
Same situation in the USA. With AT&T's uVerse the VDSL signal comes from a remote DSLAM; no remote no VDSL just ADSL 2+.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
So based on these quick searches

Why isn't this an issue in other countries - Answer it is an issue in other countries
What is the solution - Answer , no vdsl possible or a cab with vdsl, same as in the uk

Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
Some answers your question, then:

Ireland: has the exact EO issue as the UK. Some lines are direct-fed, and they have the same restriction that forbids VDSL2 DSLAMs within the exchange.

Australia: Has a copper access network with pillars instead of PCPs. Many lines don't go via pillars, so are EO. However, their FTTN deployment is only just being trialled, so we don't yet know how they'll deal with the EO lines.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
New Zealand has Cross-Connect cabinets, but many premises are still wired direct. They went for FTTN earlier, but with ADSL2+ DSLAMs, so have gone about the rollout very differently. They do allow VDSL DSLAMs in both the exchange and cabinet.

Sweden has EO lines too. The picture of VDSL DSLAMs in the exchange isn't so clear, but they do exist in cabinets.

That's with an English-language search. With a knowledge of French, German or Spanish terminology, I'm sure we'd find more cases too.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
Note that the countries with the biggest restriction on putting VDSL DSLAMs in the exchange tend to be the ones who have LLU unbundling, and regulations to deal with that (which is what our ANFP is for).

Countries with monopolised exchanges ironically have greater freedom for the monopoly incumbant.

Countries willing to throw away LLU and create a new monopoly (like the Australian NBN Co) equally have great freedom.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
Germany is big on both LLU and SLU.

So, in Germany, the focus on VDSL2 Vectoring has required a big discussion on how to remove or restrict the SLU unbundling from cabinets.

I haven't found a definite restriction that says "No VDSL in the exchange" there. However, Deutsche Telekom has plenty of material that describes the VDSL2 vectoring rollout - and that always highlights ADSL from the exchange with VDSL from the cabinet.

Their deployment pictures also happen to show premises that are directly connected to the exchange, as well as ones connected via cabinets.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
One other problem highlighted by BT is that there is a lot of cable distance within the exchange building. In 2001 (when considering VDSL1) they reckoned that putting a VDSL DSLAM inside the exchange (for E/O lines) can add up to 200m to the distance.

That suggests that inserting a PCP outside the building is considerably better for end-user speeds.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
@WWWombat: Thank you for your explanations.

I am glad we don't have to rely on BT :)

They have a huge local exchange building, which is nearly empty, I always thought they would aim at reducing the number of exchanges, seems like the opposite is true by adding more and more remote VDSL DSLAMs in our county (though fortunately not in our area).

Just curious: Do bonded VDSL or ADSL (e.g. you have 5 or 10 bonded xDSL lines) cause severe crosstalk issues, too?
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
I assume you are now happy this is an issue in other countries then?

As for closing exchanges what has adding a vdsl cab got to do with that? The vdsl cab is fibre fed so could be fed by fibre from a different exchange many many miles away
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
@GMAN99: Not sure why you have to be so sarcastic, what has being happy or unhappy about the VDSL issues in other countries got to do with answering the questions?

We are not using a BT ourselves, but we know of many end customers who were told by BT that they can't have a VDSL service because of being on a so-called EO-line.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
@WWWombat: "They do allow VDSL DSLAMs in both the exchange and cabinet."

So how exactly have they in New Zealand overcome the crosstalk issue in their exchange buildings then?
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
JNeuhoff, there wasn't even a hint of sarcasm I was asking, you asked why it wasn't an issue elsewhere and @WWWombat and others have researched it for you and found it is. So... I was asking if that has now provided your answer. As for " can't have a VDSL service because of being on a so-called EO-line." it depends whether its financially viable or not. EO doesn't mean no VDSL, there is a solution as per the article
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
What I do not understand is why you have an aversion to the VDSL DSLAM being outside the exchange, surely its better closer to the customer?

Why would you (or any other customer) want it in the exchange?
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
@GMAN99: In our town, narrow Victorian roads in half of the town where the EO lines are located wouldn't permit any obstacles such as big cabinets or other street furniture. Other than that, I couldn't care less about where the DSLAM equipment is located.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
Arr ok fair enough.
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
BT retiring exchanges is problematic. They would if they could just as they would retire copper where they could. In fact retiring copper is the big issue but Ofcom prevent it right now because of LLU.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
On NZ:

The Exchange-based VDSL2 issue is a mix of technical and political, and is related to LLU (same as for @Dixi).

Technically, exchange-based VDSL2 signals would interfere with cabinet-based VDSL2 signals, if allowed to mix on cable bundles, making for a useless service.

In a monopoly, the incumbent can make sure this mix doesn't happen by correct management of every subscriber.

In an LLU environment, competition rules preclude this kind of management: any ISP can sell any service, to anyone, without regard for physical cabling.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
What does NZ do differently?

In the UK, LLU competition rules were brought out long before the idea of cabinet-based VDSL2. Nowadays, any decision on VDSL2 has to take account of the pre-existence of LLU, and the fact that Sky et al have equipment in the exchange building, with a right to sell services.

In NZ, the rules for UCLL (aka LLU) were drawn up at the same time as they started a programme of rolling out active cabinets (though they were for ADSL2+).
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
As I understand it, the NZ rules allow for UCLL to be ceased in an area where cabinetisation takes place - which neatly avoids the interference problem.

In the UK, we need to change our LLU philosophy before we can allow VDSL2 to work in the exchange. The question is exactly how that LLU philosophy should be changed.

To summarise: In NZ, the competition rules take second place to technical realities. In the UK, free competition trumps everything else, even if that leaves a technically-reduced service.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
Australia has already decided that they will overide the competition concerns for NGA, by creating a new monopoly in the NBN Co.

However, they are now contemplating how to implement FTTN, and have a similar problem to deal with:

Interference between cabinet-based VDSL2 and basement-based VDSL2 in MDU's.

They don't envisage exchange-based VDSL2, but otherwise it is the same problem... and they need to work out how to ensure that VDSL2 signals from the two differently-located DSLAMs don't end up in the same cable bundle.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
New Zealand allowed cabinetization to occur, which risks stranding an exchange-based LLU operator.

To overcome this, they allowed for SLU to happen; one option allows LLU operators to co-locate equipment in the cabinets -which presumably could be their own DSLAMs.

Unfortunately, that decision doesn't work well with vectoring. NZ will have *that* political decision to make: SLU or vectoring?
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
Finally, you can read for yourself...

Here's a technical description from NZ on the effects of "dual feed" for ADSL2+, showing the impact on speeds if you allow exchange-based DSLAMs to feed an area covered by cabinet-based DSLAMs.

The graphs in there suggest that mixing ADSL2+ is a bad idea, with compromised speeds for everyone.

There is a section on VDSL2 too, which indicates the biggest problem there is in the higher upstream band. Things would be even worse!
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
"In the UK, free competition trumps everything else, even if that leaves a technically-reduced service."

I think that is a good summary. Thanks for your explanations.
Posted by dragon1945 over 3 years ago
I'd like to know where I fit in. My address is Windsor, but our phone line is from Egham. BT and Tt have both advised me I can have "super fast" broadband now. Estimated at 18 MB. TT want £10 per month extra for this. Here's the problem. I know that there have been no fibre cables put in within a couple of miles from here, so the last couple of miles would be over 50 yr old copper cable.Neither BT nor Tt seem willing to tell me how close the fibre cable is to my house. Is that too much to ask? Phone calls frequently drop out, and the noise on the line is sometimes dreadful.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
You might not see much of an improvement at all, compared to e.g. ADSL2+, if you are 2 miles aways from the nearest VDSL cabinet.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
It may get worse - ours dropped from 0.8m to 0.5mb when the cab was enabled
Posted by ccxo over 3 years ago
@ dragon1945, post on the forums as its easier to answer your question their.
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