Extra cabinets to bring better FTTC coverage to Basingstoke
There is nothing more annoying than living in an area and hearing it is going to receive better broadband, and then through no fault of your own you find out that your street is not to receive the upgrade. Some residents of Basingstoke have experienced just this with the Openreach FTTC roll-out. Fortunately the local loop arm of the BT Group has announced plans to infill in some areas where the exchange was enabled for FTTC but some cabinets were missed.
The situation in Basingstoke is covered on the Basingstoke Broadband Campaign website. No precise information is available on which cabinets will now be enabled, and while 100% coverage is still not expected, any further coverage has to be welcomed. It also gives some hope for those in other parts of the country where they've seen a FTTC roll-out get very close but pass them by.
In other developments for Basingstoke it appears Virgin Media may be rolling out more of its fibre/coax hybrid network in the Rooksdown area. No dates or sign of cabinets as yet, but it is apparently on the way.
One thing that many may not realise with the Openreach FTTC roll-out, the fibre used to connect the cabinets up, does not have to go back to the same exchange as the telephone line does. This allows for an area that has two or three exchanges in a small area to enable one exchange for FTTC and link the cabinets back to this one exchange. Future developments might see voice services terminating at the street cabinet and using the fibre backhaul, which a long way down the line could see efficiency savings as exchange buildings can be closed. A sticking point with this would be unbundled telephone and broadband services, but at some point in the future a more fibre rich local loop with no direct metallic path to the cental exchange location will arrive.