Broadband News

BT to announce expansion of fibre-to-the-cabinet network

The FT are reporting that BT are likely to announce an expansion of the rollout of their fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband network from 40% to 66%. Full details are expected within BT's financial results due out later this week, but the expansion is expected to increase the costs past the original £1.5bn budget for fibre based broadband. It's not yet known whether the coverage increase could be achieved in the time frame currently laid out to provide 40% coverage which is due by Summer 2012. BT's FTTC products offer users broadband speeds of up to 40 Mbps downstream, and could see faster speeds in the future.

An increase in footprint would put BT in a stronger position to sell the service to other providers on a wholesale basis to providers such as Sky or TalkTalk who could avoid the high costs of deploying their own street-side infrastructure. BT's only large-scale competitor in high-speed broadband services is currently Virgin Media who cover around 50% of homes with their cable network, however they have no plans to significantly increase coverage.

BT are also expected to make a play to undercut Sky on pricing of live Premiership football matches, an option that has been opened up by an imposed reduction in wholesale pricing that Ofcom have put forward for Sky's Sports channels.

Comments

Proof is in the pudding...

Let's see BT deliver the first 10-20% first I think!

Good luck to them if they turn it around though :)

  • mattbibby
  • over 7 years ago

great stuff, now we just need some cabinets in rural areas then we can run fibre to them? progress. long overdue, but good news.

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 7 years ago

@cyberdoyle

Sadly my friend I don't think Openreach will be running fibre to rural areas anytime soon. They'll be sorting the easy runs first. Running fibre to remote locations is expensive and a planning nightmare!

  • mattbibby
  • over 7 years ago

Matt, I think you are right, but my bone of contention is that fibre is already running through the rural areas to get to the towns and cities, we just need break out points... like they do with electricity and water.

Even if they had to run new fibre, it isn't that big a job when they have ducts and poles in position already... no need to dig up the streets. everyone already has a copper wire.

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 7 years ago

Well BT has he ability to blow the fibre through existing ducting so making the mjaority of digging up the streets as minimal as possible.

I'd hope it comes to Dundee, however we've got FibreCity (at some point) and VM.

  • russianmonkey
  • over 7 years ago

@cyberdole

You'd of thought that! But sadly most of the fibre BT run is private circuits, and for obvious reasons these cannot be used.

All FTTC stuff will be new fibre.

  • mabibby
  • over 7 years ago

im due to get this service in Leighton Buzzard soon but i will be sticking to my O2 10 meg connection.

I NEED as fast a connection as i can get for my 2-300gig a month data but i find BT an utterly repugnant ISP for the advanced user and their trafic shaping is simply ridiculous.

I know many people that will decling this service until they can get it through another ISP at least. Why would anyone want a 40meg connection that BT will screw with every second they can!!!

  • pinshot
  • over 7 years ago

This is great news, unfortunately I am 6.3KM away from my exchange and can only get speeds of 1mb down and 0.6mb up so this is welcome news. I accept the comments above about rural areas but I am connected to an exchange in a heavily populated area and live just on the outskirts in a 'rural' area so if they enabled my exchange will they not feed the fibre to where I am due to costs? I hope that is not the case

  • NuttyMucker
  • over 7 years ago

@ nutty

i think that would depend. it has to be financially viable first, if there are enough customers fed from your cab then they may do it, also if it acn be fed on the same route as other cabs they are doing then also if viable to do so they are likely to..

  • CaptainHulaHoop
  • over 7 years ago

This is good news and at 66% should see most connected to town/city exchanges getting the service. So should be good news for those in the suburbs who currently only get a few Mbit/s or less.

  • timmay
  • over 7 years ago

You only have to look at the N Ireland deployment to see what will happen. Most of the cabinets being upgraded from my exchange are within 1 mile of the exchange. Cant see that being much use to me at the end of an extremely long line on the outskirts of town.

  • jtthedevil
  • over 7 years ago

And if VM have 50% coverage why can't we all just get along, get BT to do the other 50% and open up to all competition.

Or would that be too sensible....

  • jtthedevil
  • over 7 years ago

@NuttyMucker - how far away is your PCP (primary connection point) green box, the possible location of a FTTC end point?

  • mikeblogs
  • over 7 years ago

@mikeblogs
The green box is only about 200 feet from my house

  • NuttyMucker
  • over 7 years ago

@Nutty

200ft... your in for a treat if they do do your cab! Still, looking forward to hear if the FTTC expansion announcement will state some new exchanges also. Somewhat left out in Oxford as i'm on the orphaned Cowley exchange.

  • themanstan
  • over 7 years ago

@jtthedevil

You seem to forget BT are a private business.

There is a reason why VM have only rolled out fibre to 50%. Obviously the other 50% has no ROI potential. Asking BT to do the other 50% because they morally should has no substance.

If core public utilities such as Telecoms were still publically owned we wouldn't have this problem.

  • mattbibby
  • over 7 years ago

I live in Basingstoke, one of the first towns they rolled out the new service, they missed an awful lot of cabinets out of the upgrades, so even if your town does get done, the chances of you getting the service are kinda hit and miss unless you live very near the exchange..

  • Thalgrum
  • over 7 years ago

"If core public utilities such as Telecoms were still publically owned"

In principle the ownership is less important than the effectiveness of market regulation and the political will to get the job done. At least that's what the piratisation fans have been claiming since they started. Whether the facts support their claims is arguable, based on experience with rail, bus, electricity, gas, water, telecom... etc.

  • c_j_
  • over 7 years ago

Well BT finally marked the new FTTC cab at the end of my road active so my FTTC order completes on the 18th :) Should be nice to see how this performs next to my other lines.

  • Drefsab
  • over 7 years ago

at thalgrum
must be unlucky, chelmsford has been live for about 2 months and although some cabs had delays due to getting power to them, about 80% of the cabs no have fttc

  • CaptainHulaHoop
  • over 7 years ago

@ c_j_ - I like your comment but I think you probably meant 'privatisation' rather than 'piratisation'?

Living in a rural area, using VM, my usual "up to 8Mbps" supply is less than 400Kbps, normally less than 200Kbps, sometimes as low as 22Kbps.

  • Jayprime
  • over 7 years ago

@Captainhulahoop
I'm not sure of the actual % of cabinets that were upgraded, but its far far short of 100%, they tend to concentrate on the most densely populated area's and skip the rest.

  • Thalgrum
  • over 7 years ago

planning permission in conservastion areas is also an issue, is your cab in a conservation area?

  • CaptainHulaHoop
  • over 7 years ago

mattbibby

if a choice between say easy run - 10000 end users
hard run - 25000 end users, which do you think would be more likely? it seems how easy and short the cable run to the cabinets are have a big impact on rollout. Ironically meaning areas that would benefit more from FTTC get skipped (cabs multi km from exchange).

  • chrysalis
  • over 7 years ago

timmay, I will wait and see, I think its a bad assumption to assume towns and cities will all come ahead of rural areas, existing rollout isnt supporting this theory.

  • chrysalis
  • over 7 years ago

jtthedevil, interesting, so explains a lot why my exchange has been deemed unviable as it is in the top 50 in the country for customer density, but the majority of cabinets are at least a mile away.

  • chrysalis
  • over 7 years ago

BT says:

We are also announcing that, if investment conditions are favourable, we see the potential to extend our current fibre roll out to around two-thirds of UK premises by 2015 for an incremental cost of around £1bn, while maintaining our annual capital expenditure levels at around £2.6bn.

  • Somerset
  • over 7 years ago

@captainhulahoop
no, not in a conservation area, as the guy posting after you says, its all about the money for bt, they hit the most densely populated/near to exchange parts of town, and skip most of the rest.

  • Thalgrum
  • over 7 years ago

Thalgrum - and money for the ISPs surely?

  • Somerset
  • over 7 years ago

CD - please explain 'we just need some cabinets in rural areas then we can run fibre to them'.

  • Somerset
  • over 7 years ago

so this hope is nothing at the moment, its an announcement BT will invest more if the government changes the rules, otherwise will stay as it is.

  • chrysalis
  • over 7 years ago

Lets see what happens before making to many comments but i think "don't hold your breath" At the moment BT can't even give me over 100.00Kbps never mind up to 4Mbps.

  • donewalking
  • over 7 years ago

I have just done a check on and discovered that my cabinet will be enabled by 31/08/10 yipee!
I have checked using a postcode but still does not show this. I spoke with Infinity and they tell me the fibre is already there just need the cabinet to be fitted. I also noticed that there are quite a few cabinets being fitted so BT are not only enabling the heavily populated areas as I will be able to avail soon with a pop of around 450. In hindsight we cant get anything above 1mb and no VM so a win win for BT. Just ordered my BT BB so I can get a BT line and speed up the process.

  • NuttyMucker
  • over 7 years ago

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