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|
|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|
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.