Broadband News

Is VDSL2 from the street cabinet on its way?

The Financial Times has published an article featuring Sir Christopher Bland discussing internet services that may eventually deliver speeds of up to 50Mbps.

Discussion of Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) technologies within BT is nothing new, Paul Reynolds (CEO, BT Wholesale) talked about this in April 2007. Technically FTTC and VDSL2 are a very attractive combination, but it is the estimated £4bn capital expenditure and issues like equivalence of access to the 85,000 street cabinets that are likely to cause concerns for BT shareholders.

Convincing the money men to come up with £4bn in an environment where the average consumer is only prepared to pay the current going rates for broadband services means the payback periods will be very long unless value-added services such as video-over-broadband start to generate significant income for companies. One comment by Sir Christopher Bland in the article has been voiced before by others in the industry, this was that as ever higher speeds were offered to consumers that the existing service speeds were more than enough. As the number of households with more than one home computer, plus games console and other devices such as streaming music players increases, the demands for bandwidth continue to rise. So while 50Mbps has no single application that needs it, the combination of a variety of things possible using an internet connection mean people will expand to fill it relatively quickly.

VDSL2 is an ideal solution for a cabinet placed deployment as it can manage speeds of 50Mbps on lines that are 1km long between the home and green street cabinet, for those with a distance of 0.5km to the cabinet it may even manage 100Mbps. Alas the money situation puts BT and other providers in a quandary since they need things like video over broadband to be a money spinner, but if applications like BBC iPlayer and BT Vision are too popular in the short term they could bring existing networks to a halt at peak times.

In the best traditions of Tomorrows World we would suggest a timeframe of perhaps 2010 for trials, with a limited roll-out in 2012.


Cant see this happening for years if ever, BT are tight asses and so are their share holders. The money involved £4bn for 85,000 street cabinets when you take into account how long BT have been around and been milking consumers for is basically pocket change. Its nothing more than another poor excuse from BT for not upgrading technology which could if they so wanted be done within a year.

  • over 13 years ago

4bn and then forced to allow competitors to use it? Can't see it happening without government funding.

  • danman7_200
  • over 13 years ago

Why are they still talking about these slow speeds ? Well 50Mbps will be slow by the time BT gets it rolled out just as 8Mbps is today!

  • Foggy_UK
  • over 13 years ago

And they taking the p*** by charging £4.50 just because you don't pay your phone bill by direct debit!

  • g-bhxu
  • over 13 years ago

"And they taking the p*** by charging £4.50 just because you don't pay your phone bill by direct debit!"

Although I'm not a BT user I'm tempted to ask why shouldn't those who pay by direct debit benefit from some of the savings that accrue to BT as a result of the reduced administration involved?

  • MCM999
  • over 13 years ago

"Although I'm not a BT user I'm tempted to ask why shouldn't those who pay by direct debit benefit from some of the savings that accrue to BT as a result of the reduced administration involved?"
Some people dont have a regular monthly or weekily income, especially if self employed and some people like to be in control of their money in a bank rather than letting the bank and BT control it, for those people a credit/debit card can be a better option. Also £4.50 is a rip off cos no way in hell does it cost them that much extra per person.

  • over 13 years ago

A direct debit notification still has to be sent out so I'm wondering where the saving in administration charges is coming from, but we digress. The government could have paid for fttc twice with the money they are spending on the olympics

  • kamelion
  • over 13 years ago

There is no need to upgrade all 85k cabinets if every line fed of a street cab has low attenuation then dont upgrade the cab, if 25% of lines already are upto good standard then is it reasonable to assume only 75% of these cabinets may need FTTC? There is a few major obstacles in the way of this mainly BT putting profits above pride of providing a good quality service, and (b) the current one speed fits all wholesale products which doesnt reward BT openreach for selling higher speed ports, its also very unfair on those consumers with poor performing lines.

  • chrysalis
  • over 13 years ago

Given the vast number of street cabinets that have recently "disappeared", just where are they planning on putting some of their kit? :p

  • ste__
  • over 13 years ago

They're probably going to have to implement FTTC at some stage anyway, so why not do it now and reap the benefits earlier.

  • nmg196
  • over 13 years ago

why waste money on produts and services if they cant be used by the end user use high speed adsl+2 or bt vision ect over an ageing local loop doesnt make any sence to me ..there are still lots of pockets where ali is used and in my opinion fttc and vdsl2 would be a the best way forward ..but this still doesnt solve ali cables rotting away on our estates ..alot arnt even ducted ..anybody living fairly close to the exchange can get great speeds with rate adaptive adsl (max product) just think of the possibilites.. BT could lease these high speed lines to other companys

  • 2doorsbob
  • over 13 years ago

The technology has been around for years but there has always been one small problem - electricity. We are so used in a copper environment of having phones that work even when there is a power cut - BT has always had good mains fail systems. But if you then have to supply every cabinet with an uninterrupted and long lasting power supply to make the light based fibre work or suffer from no 999 service in the event of a power cut that means a whole new set of problems in an established network.

  • rjohnloader
  • over 13 years ago

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