Broadband News

BT Wholesale broadband checker revamped

The increasing number of products available from BT Wholesale had led to an increasingly wordy checker, it seems to combat this a simpler format has been launched which offers most information in a tabular fashion.

Telephone Number hidden on Exchange BIGGIN HILL is served by Cabinet 7

Available Products Downstream Line Rate (Mbps) Upstream Line Rate (Mbps) Downstream Range(Mbps) Availability Date
Featured Products
WBC FTTC Up to 80 Up to 20 -- 31-Mar-13
WBC ADSL 2+ Up to 17 -- 10 to 19.5 Available
WBC ADSL 2+ Annex M Up to 17 Up to 1.5 10 to 19.5 Available
ADSL MAX Up to 8 -- 7 to 8 Available
WBC Fixed Rate 2 -- -- Available
Fixed Rate 2 -- -- Available
Extract from new BT Wholesale checker

A very useful change for those keen to find out information on possible speeds of an FTTC service is that the street cabinet number is given for a specific telephone line (exchange only lines will have no cabinet number), this allows people to identify if they are connected to the cabinet they think they are and thus assess how realistic the FTTC estimate is.

A few words should be said about availability dates for FTTC services, dates that are end of a quarter e.g. 31st March, 30th June etc are generally holding dates where the cabinet is on the plan, but no firm date has been set. It is the cabinets that have one of these quarterly dates that are most at risk of slipping back in time, with FTTC coverage under the commercial roll-out only going to reach two thirds of the UK, having at least some date indicates a very high probability the cabinet will be offering FTTC before millions of other people have access at least.

One aspect that may worry some people is the following section, which will have different dates for different exchanges:

The Stop Sale date for Datastream is from 30-Jun-2012; the Formal Retirement date for Datastream is from 31-Oct-2013. The Stop Sale date for IPstream is from 31-Oct-2012; the Formal Retirement date for IPstream is from 31-Oct-2013.

This appears on exchanges where the WBC (21CN) network is available and refers to the previously announced plans to decommission the old IPStream (20CN - ADSL Max and Fixed Rate) services that were first rolled out in 2000. No one will lose their ADSL service, providers have known about this change for sometime and with the WBC service being cheaper to buy will have already moved people onto the newer platform.

After the ASA ruling last week retail providers will have to be more circumspect in how they present future availability dates to consumers. The frustration of those that see dates pushed back is understandable, but consider the greater frustration of those who have seen politicians promise so much for three years and still nothing of substance has to appear in terms of faster broadband.


What does "Fibre Multicast" mean? (as shown when I look my number up)

  • Tanaka71
  • over 8 years ago

Multicast allows the same data to be broadcast to all users.

This is an option on the FTTC service by Openreach, and not used yet but expected to be used for the broadcast of IPTV. Very useful for live events, or overnight delivery of content - like how Sky+ boxes get some movies sent to them at night.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 8 years ago

What does Exchange CUCKOO OAK is served by Cabinet 8 mean ?

Is BTWholesale had Cabinet 1 to 12 ?

  • adslmax
  • over 8 years ago

It means the telephone number goes via a green street cabinet that in the case of that number is cabinet 8.

Each exchange has a variable number of cabinets, which act as a junction point for the main cables from the exchange, with smaller cables branching out from the cabinet to the various streets/homes.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 8 years ago

The cabinet number is a VERY useful addition!

Still no fibre when I checked my number, tho... :(

  • hypertony
  • over 8 years ago

So my number comes back:

Our records show the following FTTP network service information for these premises:- Single Dwelling Unit Residential .

Does that mean my house has FTTP? I don't seem to be able to order it.

  • ukmountie
  • over 8 years ago

It means the plan is to give you FTTP at some point.

Not via the expensive Fibre on Demand, but GEA-FTTP, where install fee is the same as for the FTTC services.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 8 years ago

Ah, I've thought that might be the case for some time. One of he cabinet by cabinet spreadsheets said as much.

Unfortunately that was a year ago, would be nice to have a ballpark of when. Mind you if they missed it I might go and complain :-)

  • ukmountie
  • over 8 years ago

50 more exchanges in north added today.

  • Somerset
  • over 8 years ago

Please forgive my ignorance but what does WBC stand for and how do I find out where cabinet 24 is?

  • Seeker100
  • over 8 years ago

The note re Datastream and IPstream stop sale dates came up for me but swepk via samknows does not show that 21CN is available or even a upgrade date.?

  • lmschuffer
  • over 8 years ago

WBC stands for Wholesale Broadband Connect. I was puzzled as well, wondering what on earth the (rather better known) World Boxing Council had to do with FTTC - or anywhere else for that matter.

  • MikeCR
  • over 8 years ago

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