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36km of fibre brings FTTP to Dinas Mawddwy
Friday 28 November 2014 08:45:17 by Andrew Ferguson

There are several ways reaction will go to the news that 36km of fibre (including 16km of overhead fibre) has been deployed to bring FTTP to Dinas Mawddwy. Either scoffing at the noise being made about 164 premises now getting access to superfast broadband in Wales, or people calling it a waste of money or complaints that why FTTP for that part of Wales and not their part. What we know is that the service is now available to order from those retailers selling Openreach GEA-FTTP, but generally for consumers this means the Infinity 1 to 4 products ranging in price from £10 to £50 per month (plus £16.99 voice line rental).

This deployment involved 16km of overhead and 20km of underground ducted fibre to link the village to the new core network and increases the amount of FTTP available in Gwynedd to around 0.5% of households with the addition of another 164 properties able to get the service.

"This is excellent news for the residents and businesses of Dinas Mawddwy and shows the lengths the Superfast Cymru programme is going so people can enjoy the benefits of fast fibre broadband.

The sheer distance of the overhead fibre to reach the village is an achievement which hasn’t been realised before throughout the UK and shows our commitment to connect rural communities in Wales.

Bringing superfast speeds to Dinas Mawddwy is a symbol of how ambitious the Superfast Cymru programme is and by Spring 2016 we aim to reach 96% of properties meaning people will have access to faster internet speeds quicker than the rest of the UK.

We are committed to seeing Wales become a truly digital nation and the Superfast Cymru scheme is vital in making that vision a reality.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James

The network has been live for a few weeks so hopefully we will start to see much faster speeds than the 1 to 6 Mbps than we have previously seen as people order and get the service installed.

The deployment of FTTP is key to ensuring that the 90% superfast (96% fibre based) target is met across Wales as a whole and while we are not expecting anything like the level of coverage achieved in Cornwall it is becoming more widespread.

Comments

Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
I don't think scoffing or claiming a waste of money are the only two reactions. Another one is to note that if such communities are to be serviced, it will have to be heavily subsidised and fibre is the most cost effective solution in this case.

It does not mean fibre is the most cost effective in other cases. It's a matter of working within available funds.
Posted by MCM999 over 2 years ago
This just goes to highlight the "divide" given that there are areas of (central) London with no access to FTTC, FTTP or Virgin Media and, more importantly, no BDUK funds to help provide such access.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
@MCM999

The only way to tackle such divides, should it be decided that they need to be remedied, is to have a plan in place to fix it. The market will always leave gaps. Either it needs public funding, or some economic model that funds it through cross-subsidisation from profitable areas. Easy enough on phone lines. Far more troublesome in the complex broadband market world.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi 999 and other Broadband Watchers.
Please remember it is up to BT or the Council to spend their money where they wish it looks like your area they are not interested in no money no profit.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@Blackmamba Incorrect.

London was excluded from previous funding as London has so far made the grade in terms of coverage. Of course because the targets are not 100% there are going to be gaps in coverage.

Also with Relish now covering a good number of the not-spots there is a faster than ADSL2+ solution for people too.
Posted by csimon over 2 years ago
@MCM99: From BDUK site, the aims are: Phase 1 ..provide superfast BB 90% of UK. Phase 2 95%. Phase 3 will test options to rollout superfast broadband beyond 95%.

If London has already got 90% coverage that's why BDUK is currently not doing any more. But regions like Wales still have a long way to go to reach 90%. SF Cymru's initial target by 2016 is 96% with access to Next Gen services. I think it's more an indication of the "divide" that you are complaining about the smaller gaps in London rather than the more considerable gaps elsewhere.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrew Staff.
If the Area had been viable the Cabs would have been provided the devides have been driven because customers do not want to pay this is proved by the low take up rate (17%) QED.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
Given that Openreach / BT were expecting take up after 5 years of 20% I can't see how you'd call the take up 'low'. It exceeds their expectations.

More likely some cabinets don't pass many premises and BT don't want to spend the money deploying FTTP to them hence no coverage.

As far as take up goes this is in part due to BT's deployment decisions. Deploying to areas that were cheaper to cover over those with poor xDSL will obviously cause a lower take up rate.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
I must admit some jealousy here however I must also acknowledge that I have been spoiled in the past hence my current FTTC service feels quite pedestrian.
Posted by MCM999 over 2 years ago
@Blackmamba May I suggest you learn how BDUK operates. No money was made available to London. As for individual councils they simply aren't allowed to help outside of BDUK or other EU approved mechanism.
Posted by MCM999 over 2 years ago
@Blackmamba "If the Area had been viable the Cabs would have been provided" as is the case for every cab enabled via the BDUK project. You really do need to comprehend the various mechanisms.
Posted by MCM999 over 2 years ago
@csimon "I think it's more an indication of the "divide" that you are complaining about the smaller gaps in London rather than the more considerable gaps elsewhere." I'm not sure that I was complaining but rather pointing out the difference in treatment across different areas in the UK. In our case we (a cluster of 75 EO lines) have chosen to pay approaching £20K for an all-in-one cab to be installed.
Posted by George99 over 2 years ago
I would be interested to know how this "coverage" is actually measured?
If you live in a house in then getting fibre is relatively easy in cities like London - however in London the majority of residents live in blocks of flats.

If it were measured in relation to dwellings then I strongly suspect that the figures would reflect how the residents actually feel in terms of "coverage"?
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Dix
If Openreach planned on only 20% after 5 years I think they were putting the responsibility on the Goverment and they took it with hook line and sinker are you shore it was not 5 months or 5weeks.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@BlackMamba look at the take-up figures for Wales recently posted. Believe extrapolating local cabinet experience to a wider picture is clouding your thinking.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@George99

Other than say the 100m vertical distance in a tower block getting FTTC is no harder than in a suburban street, in fact density of households per metre of copper wiring may actually be higher.
Posted by csimon over 2 years ago
@MCM99 "...pointing out the difference in treatment across different areas in the UK". It's the same as far as I can see. Certain areas, yours and mine, were ignored by the commercial rollout of NGA becuase they're not viable. What's your current ADSL service like? Mine is 0.5Mbps and has been for 10 years. In fact, it was four years after rollout of ADSL before we got that, and I was still on 48K dialup in 2004. How long after 2000 did your exchange get ADSL? Perhaps you're right - certain areas *are* treated differently!
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
Blackmamba - I am talking about Openreach's expectations for the commercial rollout. Their pricing model is based around that take up and that it looks like going higher is giving ammunition to TalkTalk et al as far as petitioning for lower prices goes.

This is nothing to do with BDUK.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
Blackmamba - I could happily say that the take up rates elsewhere are rubbish because here they were ~60% in 4 months of availability but that's ridiculous as there was a ton of work, in no small part by me, on raising awareness and take up here.
Posted by MCM999 over 2 years ago
@csimon "What's your current ADSL service like?" Acceptable given we're (only) 2Km from the exchange. Far better than your abysmal 0.5Mb. Fortunately despite not being in a "posh" area of London (Stockwell postcode) thanks to good financial management we are able to fund a new all-in-one PCP/FTTC cab from the reserves we have built up over 25 years for maintaining services on the development.
Posted by MCM999 over 2 years ago
@csimon "How long after 2000 did your exchange get ADSL?" Clearly much earlier than yourself. SamKnows claims March 2000 but I feel it is mistaken. I was first able to order ADSL in March 2001.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
It will be interesting to see how FFTC takeup goes. I suspect when (and I think it's when) it gets towards the 30% mark, then wholesale price cuts might emerge. FTTC viability is very sensitive to that as the fixed costs are high and marginal costs are low. Ofcom forbearance on pricing regulation won't last forever, and I'm sure that GEA-FTTC wholesale costs will come down in a couple of years or so.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
So 36km of fibre on existing infrastructure, what's the cost and how much the public subsidy?
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Dix
Could it be the take up rate is not correct could it be trailing by six months after the Cab is open or is the % against the total D sides or against the working Premisis.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
@Blackmamba

A ISPreview news item had stats which showed the average takeup on BDUK cabinets gradually rose over a year to a little short of 20%. It will be interesting to see if the trend continues as, presumably, it will flatten off in time.
Posted by jumpmum over 2 years ago
Andrew, You need to up date the info against the exchange flag on your map to show FTTP
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Euler
I think the % will rise very quickly in Surrey as the Cabs are finished ,this afternoon I had an email that vast amount of Cabs have access to Fibre on Demand also the change over times have dropped to 10 working days from 15. I think it has been stated that under 10% customers under 2 meg out of 450k customers in Surrey that is complety incorrect I am having trouble on Thinkbroadband maps to locate them as the results are being dropped off daily.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
@Blackmamba

It would be nice to see takeup rates from BDUK projects. At the moment information is really thin on the ground. I think we can see some of the results on this site's performance stats, but something along the lines of what has been produced from the Welsh project would be nice.

However, it's good news if sub 2mbps results are disappearing off the map.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
The rates are measured against working premises, Blackmamba.

That's the way one measures takeup. Avoids distortion from those who don't have an Openreach line connected and those who may have more than one line.

I find your commend on vast amounts of cabs having access to FoD amusing. I'm sure all the residential premises will be clamouring to pay £200 a month for broadband, ignoring the massive install charge.
Posted by brusuth over 2 years ago
I'm pretty sure that the fibre will also be used elsewhere and will have not just been wholly paid for out of the BDUK pocket. I know for example 4G roll out in Wales out with the two major Cities is being hampered by the lack of fibre from BTOR & Fujitsu VM.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
That's not exactly a good think if the taxpayer just subsidised BT's leased line and mobile backhaul products brusuth unless they ensured the charge to the taxpayer reflected this.

Fujitsu / VM? This was a small joint venture. Fujitsu and VM are quite different things.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
@brusuth @Dixinormous

It would clearly be an abuse of public money (and a breach of EU state aid rules) is fibre laid for BDUK was utilised for leased line businesses. I doubt it happens.
However, there's a grey area where ducts have been cleared and new leased line fibre is run on shared routes. Very tricky accounting.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Dix Broadband Watchers.
Hi Dix I can conferm that many Cabs in Surrey have access to Fibre on Demand customer are running at 50k+ this has been in the last month many cover small exchanges codes 01428,01252,01306,customers are ordering see Elstead on Thinkbroadband.maps AOL. I have a feeling that this line was ordered in advance. Thanks for the premises rule that brings my % 96/135 not 96/175 D sides up in 9 months.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
50k Fibre on Demand customers? Impossible. One assumes you meant 50k FTTC customers and I hope that is just BDUK cabinets otherwise a very poor take-up for Surrey.

Not sure where AOL fits in as they don't sell FTTC. User picked TalkTalk, but block was with AOL as they run network. As always there is more to data analysis than a simple peek.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
As for the line being ordered in advance, well cabinet went live in September so one would expect people to have ordered by now surely.

Think only cabinet 2 is not live on that exchange

Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrews Staff.
Maney thanks for the information that the Cab was open for Fibre on Demand in September you are also correct that Cab 2 is not open yet fibre is required across the river.I think this is on Elgin for (Feb 3 month lag time) then the Exchange area will be complete. I have a feeling that one of the Cabs will provide fibre to an area that has speeds below 2 meg and it will not cost much.
Thanks again for information.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrew Staff
I have found that codes 01344,01483 are showing Fibre on Demand on Cabs so this gives 100k+ customers the option to have this service if they wish. There are I think 450k lines in Surrey.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
Doesn't change that hardly anyone wants the service due largely to its pricing. Prior to the increases, especially the rental increase, it was viable for home office usage.

Add that to the silly caveats making it impossible to order it for MO buildings and it gets a PITA.

Availability of it is realistically nothing more than having an OLT available at the headend. Nothing to get orgasmic about. For a company wanting to use one as a cheap 30Mb CIR line using 2 x FTTC lines is a more resilient and cheaper option.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Dix
All I am interested in is to have the goods in the shop and to be advertised so the customer knows then it is up to them. ( buyer beware )
Posted by baby_frogmella over 2 years ago
Hi Black
Would you pay 200+ quid a month for FTTPoD? Not to mention a few thousand queens notes in installation costs. FTTPoD is priced out of financial reach of nearly every residential punter. Thanks BT/Openreach!
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Babe
I would not pay on your quote but there are many customers that will in the Surrey Area at today's prices they are close to the Cabs which effects the price
I think the market will determine the price as the contractors eat into the FTTC section as the ports are used. There is no reason that the connection charge cannot be reduced I have a feeling these connection will be done by contractors our friends from the EU.
Posted by baby_frogmella over 2 years ago
Hi Black
Distance to FTTC cab does not determine your installation costs on FTTPoD. On FTTPoD you are connected to the nearest Aggregation Node (AN), which for many people is further away than their FTTC cab. I read somewhere that most people would end up paying at least 2000 notes for a FTTPoD installation as things stand. So ask your Surrey neighbours to get their wallets out...
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Babe
All New FTTC that i have seen have the node fitted very close to the Cab I have seen the works order and many being fitted ,one customer was very happy to pay £1000 for 50 mtrs from the node. I will tell you if he takes up the offer and even the local school. When I was out with Openreach on Cab7 in Hindhead this was picked up by the engineering staff because the node was over 1000 mtrs from the Cab so they fitted it in the main Cab Box.
Posted by mdar5 over 2 years ago
See this thread on plusnet for a example at the other end!
http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,125120.0.html

cost quoted for FTToD was
£8750 plus VAT
an "install fee" £750+VAT
plus further unspecified "excess construction charges" were likely
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
They fitted the aggregation node in the main cab box? Really, there is not room for splice trays etc.

There is also the design idea that by the AG node being slightly separate in 15 years time when cabs are removed and FTTP is rolled out an easier upgrade.

If I was advising the school I would highlight that a 300 Mbps leased line would cost more but perform better. FoD only has a CIR of 40 Mbps, that is the important figure for schools and large business.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrews Staff and Others.
I am refering to the foot way box they did not put it in the carriage way box the reason for this they would require traffic lights if they had a fault.
I am not advising any person or the schools what system they should have I have always let the customer make the decision.
On a Frensham Cab provide I sat with Openreach Staff and they showed me the trays and the fibre terminations and the 100 pair ties they also made me wear
A yellow jacket.in case a manager turned up.
Posted by therioman over 2 years ago
Has ThinkBroadband become sponsored by BT? Because it's a bit of an obviously biased article linking exclusively to BT packages.

Whilst they might be the most popular, it's no wonder because they've still got a clever link in branding - it would be nice if a site like TBB actively promoted the options to help consumers make an informed choice!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@therioman Unfortunately for the consumer because most of the other providers are not selling GEA-FTTP BT Consumer is the only option, so is a pragmatic link to the packages people can order.

PlusNet has just re-started its FTTP trial but only to existing customers.

Zen, AAISP are options for SME but generally their pricing is outside what the average consumer would pay.

Maybe I should adopt BBC style wording - broadband is available from other providers too, but in this case you would be wasting your time searching for a price that suits you.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@Euler
The dividing line between leased line & standard is getting blurred. eg. You can buy 10/10 and 20/20 leased lines that use guaranteed core speeds, but uses GEA-FTTC in the access network. FTTPoD will blur things further - making use of NGA-based fibre for similar products.

BDUK seems to be subsidising dark fibre as far as the AGN, some of which is bound to become a component in business leased lines in the future. This seems to fit within the state-aid rules ... indeed the ERDF funding for some LAs is meant for businesses.
Posted by Dixinormous over 2 years ago
Kinda takes the point away from an aggregation node if said node is being fitted right next to a cabinet and serving just that cabinet.

Not a heck of a lot to aggregate.

Not even any point in sticking an AN that close for FTTP. FTTP only requires a single fibre per 32 or 64 properties.

I guess it's not impossible that it's being done for BDUK, however this seems extremely unlikely as it adds a ton of cost and reduces coverage.

The AN for the cab was over 1.4km of duct away from it and over 1km radial.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Dix
The node next to the Cab will provide fibre to local customer plus can be used to run alongside areil cable in all directions a very cheap option. It should be called a node distribution point. This I would think would be paid by BD under future proofing and finish at that location.
Posted by PaulKirby over 2 years ago
Well I would like to say even being part of the 66% commercial rollout means squat, we was part of that 66% back in 2011 for FTTP where they just fibred up half of my road and half of our side roads and even fibred up our poll etc to then just stop and then to be told nothing until 3 years later where they say we are not viable for FTTP.
Posted by PaulKirby over 2 years ago
We are about 3km from the exchange to our phone cabinet and then about another 470m to our homes, so if we was down rated from FTTP (due to not being viable) to FTTC, that would enable approx. 388 homes with FTTC instead of the lower speeds of ADSLx, but NO, we have been put on indefinite hold.
Posted by PaulKirby over 2 years ago
And they installed 36km of fibre for just 164 homes, THIS REALLY MAKES ME BLOODY MAD, how the hell is 36km for just 164 viable and homes and approx 3.5km for about 388 not.

Are BT / Openreach really that thick and cannot do math, or are they really that gready?

Anyway end on my rant.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@Blackmamba you are aware that what you described is an aggregation node.

The principle of network build is the same for commercial and BDUK, since after build the network is commercial with no on-going subsidy.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrew Staff.
Yes I do understand what I have described but it gives the council the opertunity to use the clawback money on the CAB to extend the range to customers that are not covered by SFB speeds if they wish to get in their contract speeds.eg Surrey 15 meg down on Post Code. These aggregation nodes give Openreach flexibity in their network and will be used like the MDF/IDF in the OLD EXCHANGE.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
Yes, but they are not specific to the BDUK roll-out, which those with less knowledge believe to be the case from your comments.

http://www.coolwebhome.co.uk/fibre-milton-keynes/wgc_media/source/IMG_4374.JPG two years old but still the architecture. FTTC not shown but is fed from the aggregation node.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@Dix
I think an AGN is just a point on the fibre spine where a bundle of fibres can be split off the spine, with the rest looped through to continue.

If the cab is near the route of the spine, I guess it is near an AGN. If it is spurred off the spine, then I guess the AGN can be some way off.

At the AGN, some of the fibres are destined to support the FTTC cab as P2P, some for future GPON use, some for future FTTRN/FTTdp use, and some for future leased line use. With plenty of redundancy for breakages.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@Dix 2
Dimensioning guesswork: The average cab probably supports 300-400 lines, which could end up with between 5 and 10 splitter nodes for GPON.

Perhaps they'd allow 24 or 36 fibres to support this ... but when the cables can support up to 288, you can see that most fibres will loop through to the next AGN in the spine.

Perhaps a spine would service 5-10 cabinets in one direction out from an exchange.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@BM
The AGN isn't really like an MDF, as the GPON fibres it holds will all be shared ones at that point, and there will be a mix of P2P fibres in there too.

The splitter node (deeper in the network) is the first point where you see "one fibre=one property", which is a little more akin to the MDF; each SPN can support 4 32-way splitters, so is for max 128 properties.

The best picture I've seen is on page 10 here, even if BT aren't actually following the grid idea: http://www.ecoc2010.org/contents/attached/c20/WS_5_Rafel.pdf
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
@BM 2
In that picture, each gap in the L-R cable is the "remote flexibility point" that is an AGN.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Andrew Staff
My remarks are based on what I have seen on my visit to Openreach, planning, fibre ,ducting ,road crossing , power road ducting provion , 240v power connection ,contract work,pole and overhead cable running I may use old saying because the OLD TYPE Exchange works on the same principle as broadband even down to the Post Codes. Thanks Wombat for the up to date formate.
Posted by csimon over 2 years ago
Breathe also does FTTP, according to a reply I received from them in January, and their current prices on the web site are £20 for 80Mbps unlimited, and £15.40 line rental (BB price reduces by £1 if taking line rental). This might undercut BT?
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