Update for those in Leamington Spa
Ours forums and email show a steady stream of enquires about people who have a telephone line provided via the BT TPON system. TPON is a system whereby a length of fibre optic cable is used to link an estate back to a distant exchange, this fibre optic cable is then broke out using hardware in a grey street cabinet to provide each house with a normal copper telephone cable. This stretch of fibre optic cable stops DSL technologies dead in their tracks, and BT in many cases is slowly adding copper cabling all the way back to the exchange so people can have ADSL in these areas.
Leamington Spa deserves a small mention in the news, since it is in the middle of a complete conversion back from TPON to pure copper telephone lines. This work is occurring in phases and currently is expected to be completed by the end of January 2006 - of course if there are problems this date may shift. The good news is that if you live in the Leamington Spa area and get the dreaded special fibre message when checking ADSL availability at www.bt.com/broadband, then keep checking because in the next few months your line may change to allow ADSL to work.
TPON based lines only amounted to around 45,000 lines around the UK, and we believe that well over half these lines now have access to ADSL. If you are in a TPON area, it is worth checking the availability checkers periodically, or placing an order for ADSL. We should point out that some service providers will not even place an order with BT Wholesale if your line is TPON based - this is the wrong thing to do, since the ISP should place the order with BT Wholesale who will then double check whether spare copper is available in the area.