Broadband News

FTTH via Fujitsu, Virgin Media and TalkTalk on its way to Greasby

Openreach may be seeing the start of a new competing fibre network, as Fujitsu starts a trial which will see Openreach ducts and poles used for a competitor to deliver fibre based services to homes in the Greasby area of the Wirral (Halton Crescent being the first to benefit).

The network is being designed from the ground up to offer wholesale based services, with Virgin Media and TalkTalk and will use 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) delivery, with services running initially at 100Mbps.

"BT only offers Generic Ethernet Access (GEA) on its fibre optic products at the moment, which means we cannot replicate what we provide across our cable infrastructure as everything needs to be converted into IP delivery.

Essentially everything then fights for the same bandwidth - like how your DSL broadband will slow if BT Vision needs some of it. The architecture of Fujitsu's infrastructure supports RFoG (Radio Frequency over Glass), which enables us to dedicate specific spectrum for each service.

It's ultimately a better, more flexible service for everyone having that passive open network than to try to use something that's tightly managed such as BT.

Virgin Media spokesperson

Fujitsu has a short FAQ on the PIA trial at www.fujitsu.com/uk/telecommunications/pia which will run for 6 months. Hopefully the trial will allow Fujitsu to learn how to work with Openreach and provide a showcase for what an alternative fibre network can provide.

The involvement of Virgin Media and TalkTalk is interesting as both have an interest in using a fast network to provide subscription TV services, Virgin Media with its obvious cable background, and TalkTalk will be looking to leverage the experience gained from its ownership of Tiscali TV.

Comments

I guess if you only understand cable you have to make everything look like cable in order to understand it, from the VM comments.

VLANs can segregate services and surely GEA is Ethernet and need not be IP ?

  • herdwick
  • over 5 years ago

At last some Fuji movement!!!

Yeah not sure what the fuss is about GEA, VLAN for TV, VLAN for Voice, VLAN for Data, standard stuff really.

Lets hope the trial goes well and this rolls and rolls and starts some good competition.

  • GMAN99
  • over 5 years ago

Excellent news but as has already been said - what's with the criticism of GEA? The first letter is 'G' for a reason and the original specs mentioned QoS for various applications. It even mentioned implementing multicasting.

  • AndrueC
  • over 5 years ago

Virgin will be loving this though if it works, I said ages ago PIA wasn't so much about broadband for Virgin it was about TV and Broadband (and phone) if they can do it all like this they'll be laughing

  • GMAN99
  • over 5 years ago

This though is an Opennetwork & not Virgin.
They will though be making the network support voice, data broadband and TV etc as that is the way to make money from it

We do badly need a second network acrosse the UK to compete with BT. Without funding though it will be slow going particularly as BT will have a headstart with FTTC

  • Bob_s2
  • over 5 years ago

Hmmm not so sure, without Virgin interest I doubt it would have gotten off the ground

  • GMAN99
  • over 5 years ago

GMAN99
RGoF enables Virgin to uses exactly the same tools as DoCSIS so they will be able to rollout exactly the same packages as on the rest of the cable network. Makes it very good for them.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Frequency_over_Glass
PON will use different frequencies so can (apparently) be run over the same infrastructure at the same time, running Ethernet / IP services a-la BT FTTP. ( But no 'Broadcast TV')

  • jumpmum
  • over 5 years ago

Looking at Halton Cresent on Google Stret view, one of the two poles looks quite heavily loaded already. I am surprised the Wirral is not already cabled for CATV, looks like prime estate territory for them. But the poles may not cope with the potential (40%) penetration that CATV achieves on top of the existing load.

  • jumpmum
  • over 5 years ago

Cool, well regardless of gov funding of broadband for rural areas you'd think Virgin would just jump all over this themselves? It means they can expand their network above 50% without having to build any new ducting.

As I understand it moving beyond a trial is all down to funding, but surely Virgin could fund it themselves?

  • GMAN99
  • over 5 years ago

Good someone rolling out a new network... taken their time about it. All that hot air about PIA prices was doing my head... if the prices are similar to France, then it's a perfectly good deal. Their regulator has been on top of things since the start and has overseen a perfectly good competitive environment with multiple players. All that has happenend here is delay because ISPs, etc... can't make up their mind to commit.

  • themanstan
  • over 5 years ago

Oh I doubt that's the end of its, its a trial expect more whining about price

  • GMAN99
  • over 5 years ago

Lets see what happens, PIA will help establish if pricing works. but also if the poles are suitable... and if the ducts are intact, if blocked how long to fix etc. Funding won't be a problem, broadband is in demand and plenty want to be in place to supply. Especially VM in areas they have no coverage!

  • FTTH
  • over 5 years ago

Nothing wrong with pricing of PIA, PIA has been working in France for a few years now at approximately the same prices... what people should hope is that the ducting is good shape, but this is likely to be the sticking point.

  • themanstan
  • over 5 years ago

4.5M in that road with ADSL2+.

  • Somerset
  • over 5 years ago

You cannot compare PIA pricing in France with that of the UK.

The informal view of OFCOM are that BT are grossly overpricing PIA on a UK cost model. They are at present leaving it to the companies to sort out with BT. If agreement cannot be reached in a reasonable time OFCOM will step in and set a price

  • Bob_s2
  • over 5 years ago

You obviously have inside knowledge then? I'm not sure how OFCOM can step in and set a price what if the price makes BT no money or even costs them money?

  • GMAN99
  • over 5 years ago

Really, I could have sworn everyone is happy with how cheap fibre BB is in France. So by virtue of the costs in France being lower a similar price in the UK would mean they are well priced. Very obvious to me... obviously not others...

  • themanstan
  • over 5 years ago

Lets put this into perspective. France, has cheaper fibre broadband and generally good infrastructure. I hope we're all agreed on this.
That means the French PIA pricing is a based on this cheap BB pricing.
So if BT comes in with pricing that's similar, then how can it be expensive or overpriced?
Get it?

  • themanstan
  • over 5 years ago

In no way is the proporsed BT PIA pricing overpriced on a UK cost model. If one takes the, perfectly reasonable, assumption that any take up of PIA will render the copper in those ducts or on those poles worthless revenue-wise, then if anything it is underpriced. Bob just chooses to be blind to this for some reason.

  • wirelesspacman
  • over 5 years ago

I can see where you are coming from but it will be a while before the copper becomes worthless, it will happen over time sure but it won't be instant, this Open network will have to spread far and wide before that happens. I'm sure Bob is part of the open network consortium or certainly has very close ties ;)

  • GMAN99
  • over 5 years ago

If PIA is overpriced then competing providers can build their own because it will be cheaper. Simples.

OFCOM didn't achieve a whole lot with SLU pricing I wouldn't expect much for PIA either.

BT Accounts value duct at £4.6bn slightly ahead of copper at £4.2bn

  • herdwick
  • over 5 years ago

PIA on it's own may be fine but if you add things such as Fibre Tax then i'm sure the cost can add up.

It's good to see them actually doing something though and wish them the best of luck.

  • Legolash2o
  • over 5 years ago

Indeed the fibre tax is what brings disparity. BT has their special deal and VM has a set £7.50 per passed property vs £20 for other ISPs.

  • themanstan
  • over 5 years ago

Maybe when another ISP has covered enough ground they can apply for their own deal

  • GMAN99
  • over 5 years ago

GMAN, we can only hope but it would probably be more of an incentive if it was 7.50 or whatever from the beginning.

  • Legolash2o
  • over 5 years ago

Oh yeah for sure... can't see the gov giving up taxes at the moment though even if it does make more sense in the long run

  • GMAN99
  • over 5 years ago

rural area right?

  • chrysalis
  • over 5 years ago

If I understand the fibre tax correctly (a BIG if possibly!) then the £20 is the valuation on which rates are payable and the actual rate paid is around half of this, and is only on homes connected rather than homes passed?

If so, then in the overall scheme of things, I doubt it would put many off. It would certainly not deter me, though I accept I would probably quote it on my price lists!!

  • wirelesspacman
  • over 5 years ago

jumpmum, there's plenty of cable in Wirral. Tends to be in the not so great areas. Whereas the nicer areas don't have it!

Have a look at Halton Crescent on Google as there are some Virgin Media boxes there, and NYNEX manholes.

It seems to me like they started work on that area and never finished? This is the only part of Greasby with any sign of CATV so that may somewhat explain the choice.

  • _Mike_B_
  • over 5 years ago

Just so's ya know... PIA = physical infrastructure access.

Too much untranslated jargon.

Popa.

  • Popa_Mintin
  • over 5 years ago

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