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VDSL2 has not given up yet and set to go further
Thursday 05 February 2015 14:25:31 by Andrew Ferguson

'Death to copper, long live real fibre' is a nice snappy twitter sized sound-bite but while FTTH and FTTP is the ideal solution the cost and time to deploy it to the many millions of premises in the UK has lead us down the VDSL2 path. Of course there are various operators embarking down the FTTH/FTTB route (Openreach itself has over 160,000 FTTP premises passed) and cities like York may be the test bed to see how VDSL2, FTTH and DOCSIS manage in a head to head battle.

We have covered the news about an expansion of the Vectoring trials before, current testing suggests 9 Mbps of extra speed on average, though at the expense of sync times, i.e. the time for the modem to negotiate with the DSLAM has increased from around 54 seconds to around two minutes. There has also been the news of offering ultra fast speeds, but to a smaller footprint and one of the chipset manufacturers now claims to have doubled the range with speeds of 200 Mbps out to 400 metres from the node.

If Openreach where to just deploy from all its cabinets it would enable ultra-fast speeds for around 26% of UK postcodes, with the Sckipio range doubling that jumps to 56% with 200 Mbps connections. Cabinet based deployment is not likely to be the sole use of nodes, but you can get a very quick idea of the change possible, with DP and mini-cab deployments pushing the figures higher, how high will depend on how many nodes get deployed.

An interesting snippet of information about speed improvements for VDSL2 has emerged and this is that amplifiers may be considered for pilot/trials in Q3 2015/2016. Broadband amplifiers have been around for a while, but often not deployed due to ANFP issues previously, but with just Openreach FTTC hardware in the local loop this may become a lot simpler (there are some exceptions to this). Performance wise one supplier of line powered amplifiers is claiming a doubling of the distance, making 25 Mbps possible at distances of 2.4km when vectoring is also used.

Do not forget the concept of mini-cabs with small VDSL2 nodes that can be placed in-line for long exchange-only line clusters and it appears that the technical problems of getting superfast to 100% of the UK are resolved, all that is needed is for it to be built and paid for.

So while the 3% to maybe 10% who are connected to a VDSL2 enabled cabinet but do not get superfast speeds currently may feel neglected and angry the path for further speed improvements is very much open, and for the phase 2 BDUK projects there is an awful lot of options. The challenge is for Openreach to assess what is the most cost effective way of deploying all these options.


Posted by kijoma over 2 years ago
the most cost effective option is to have the tax payer pick up most of the tab surely? It has worked so far..
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
Is that Q3 2015/2016 a quarter in the BT financial year?

If so, that would make it sometime September-December this year.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
BTW. This’d be the first concrete example I've seen of the “NGA Amplifier” concept, originally aired in a presentation to NICC by George Williamson late 2013, though the image looks suspiciously like a splice bullet.

The section on BDUK infill can be found the end of this link:

No mention of either FTTRN or there, either.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@wwwombat probably very very small scale i.e. like the early vectoring stuff. So very wait and see what develops.

Who knows someone might split Openreach off and we have delays while new firm gets up and running fully.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 2 years ago
@andrew: What makes you think that Openreach might be split off and become an independent company?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
@JNeuhoff Well lots of people seem to want it to happen
Posted by herdwick over 2 years ago
"Auto compliance with Spectral Regulation" allegedly
Posted by cyberdoyle over 2 years ago
Gfarce is a complete waste of public money. Far too inneficient to maintain long term. A stop gap. A time waster. Copper is so yesterday.
Posted by Somerset over 2 years ago
Neil uses a single cabinet in Slough to explain speeds and does not discuss the costs of installing FTTP.

Why is it 'inefficient'? Engineering and financial answer please.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
Engineering & finance aren't Chris' strong points.

She seems to think that public money is already being spent on

Meanwhile Neil's argument pretty much boils down to "yes, but the consumer won't get a guaranteed speed".
Posted by GMAN99 over 2 years ago
You mean lots of rivals would like to see openreach split off

EOI was put in place for a reason....
Posted by AlexaM over 2 years ago
An interesting article that confirms some of WarwickNet’s own findings. Our own live vectoring trials are very promising where we have been pushing 100 Mbit/s out to 500m, with all customers seeing varying degrees of improvement. These include upstream speeds of 50 Mbit/s up to 250m.

In addition, our bonded vectoring pushes out 100/40 comfortably to 800+ m. In parallel, we are also running live trials on 4+ pair bonding which is successfully delivering 200+ Mbit/s downstream.

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Posted by AlexaM over 2 years ago
In terms of G.Fast in the SLCP (as opposed to the DP), this is an interesting concept, which would almost certainly require vectoring integrated with the existing VDSL2 deployment to avoid crosstalk issues. It would be fair to say that G.Fast on the pole is probably where it's at.

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