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back to article BT confirms broadband upgrades for rotten boroughs

Six communities where an online poll claimed every single BT customer voted for the local exchange to be upgraded will get faster broadband, the firm has confirmed. The "Race to Infinity" called on small towns and villages – about 25 per cent of its national network – to petition BT to be included in its ongoing fibre optic …

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Because...

The reason places with 23,000 people are overlooked sometimes is because FTTC has a per cabinet cost rather than per exchange, so really it's density around the cabs that is most important.

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Yawn

The publicity machine rolls on. BT got what they wanted - a positive image. The campaigners got what they wanted - a faster feed than their brother-in-law. No-one died. And, Frankly, Nothing much happened.

Yawn.

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Will they ever improve?

Still a cheap publicity stunt by BT. What about the millions still lagging? Has the govt. released them any funds for this?

I hate their audacity in pulling this off under the very noses of OFCOM and the Govt.

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"Because .. country bumpkin rural are more likely to create the next Google than us?"

Madingley lies adjacent to the Cambridge University Computer Lab and Caxton is just west of that. Blewbury is 1 mile from the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, so the answer to your question is yes, they probably are more likely to create the next Google than you.

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WTF?

That's right

Stick new fiber in to serve 360k people over six geographically disparate regions. Forget the 2m+ in Birmingham, London, or any other major city who get barely 1/10th the speed they pay for during peak hours.

Ugh...

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Contention

You're talking about contention rather than broadband speed which is another issue altogether. This is a problem that affects a lot of other providers not just BT, indeed those providers who just go through BT Wholesale are generally the worst because they are cheapskates and don't buy enough bandwidth from BT to their own network.

If you're a BT customer on our exchange you will find your speed stays pretty constant 24/7, however many other providers who use BT Wholesale die on their arses every evening because they simply don't have a big enough pipe into BT Central so that gets totally congested.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh ffs

Why do you have a right to better services just because you flock with the millions of other sheeple?

We pay the same in the burbs for our services (those that are actually provided)

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It's just the way it is.

>We pay the same in the burbs for our services (those that are actually provided)

Yup but it's harder and/or more expensive to provide those services. You might as well ask why a Taxi driver charges more to get you to the town centre from an outlying village than from a housing estate within the urban boundary.

This is why human beings invented civilisation. It's much, much cheaper to provide services to a large concentrated population. Those living outside of or a long way from such concentrations have to accept either higher charges, lesser services or some compromise between the two.

Where internet connectivity is concerned the smaller or more remote exchanges (possibly most of those where LLU is not available) are being subsidised by the rest. Personally I think it's acceptable to ensure usable broadband for everyone but there are limits. I view FTTC as a luxury at the moment and I don't see why I have to pay extra for someone to get a luxury.

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Joke

Yeah Well

Your fucked when the zombie apocalypse comes

I on the other hand have a fighting chance !!!

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A little help needed, please

Not sure about that post. Am I to laugh at the bad language, the bad spelling, or the unspotted joke, please?

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Indeed

I was under the impression that these 6 towns were getting local exchange upgrades to support Infinity, allowing for bigger pipes between there and the central exchanges. If they're leaving in the old backbone infrastructure, I'm not sure what these towns hope to achieve. The pipe at your tap may well be 10mm wider than anyone elses, but it'll dribble all the same if your neighbours are all filling their baths.

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I have to agree with Monkey

I live slap bang in the city centre and with BT I get a constant 1.9MBps download speed from my 17Mbps connection whatever time of the day. I'm happy with that.

Thats why I've stuck with BT as at the the end of the day its their infrastructure.

Better the devil you kinow........

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Joke

@jason 7

and with Phorm a devil who knows you better.

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FAIL

Bt Fanbois *sigh*

I think you mean BT centrals ands they are being phased out for 21cnWBC connections - right now many market one exchanges are on IPSC - a sort of half way house, so it isnt a case of being cheapskate - it is more to do with the price hike in excess of 20% imposed by BTw for IPSC bandwidth.

Predatory pricing on Market one exchanges means that BTw can screw large areas of the country who are still on upto 8 meg 20 cn while the luckier ones get the pr spin of stunts like this. Be nice if they finished the 21cn upgrade first but I guess screwing over people on 20cn connections is more profitable than actually investing in an even handed manner.

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Anonymous Coward

This old chestnut again?

Those unconverted 20 cn exchanges get charged charged at a higher rate for bandwidth than the 21cn exchanges - so we are not being subsidised on our old tech "bought and paid for several times" over equipment. I'm so sick of hearing this old chestnut. Many lines only exist because of broadband and the uk requirement to have a voice line to get Broadband. BT should finish the 21cn roll out before starting yet another upgrade - but half a job seems about right for this half assed company

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Concentrated populations

It isn't the density of population but the local demand around a cabinet that makes a difference. Many urban cabinets linked to enabled exchanges do not have FTTC installed because there is no local demand for high end services with everybody going for £8 a month high contention low bandwidth ISP's. If you take a rural site there may well be a much higher level of demand around a cabinet from a small village of less than 100 connections because a £25-30 a month connection that allows homeworking still saves a fortune in travel costs.

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Happy

FAIL Shaun

Whatever makes you think that BT have the customers interests at heart?

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but the BT roll-out is already late

I have just checked the BT Infinity website and originally I was supposed to be reached by 31st March but now it says 1st July.

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Ditto

Mine was meant to be 31Dec now gotta wait till 31 March :(

but hey were lucky enough to already be on the list :)

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Unhappy

Just because your exchange is upgraded....

... does not mean you will get infinity. BT will cherry pick which parts of the community will get the service as well.

My exchange has been upgraded (Basingstoke) but still I have to live with a 0.5Mb/s ADSL connection because they won't upgrade the rest of the infrastructure. And this isn't a small community I'm talking about either but includes at least two major housing developments.

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Anonymous Coward

re: but the BT roll-out is already late

You are lucky Andy, my exchange is delayed from march 2011 to march 2012, but another local town which already has fibre has been done already...

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Take a look at what you would have won!

So will the "commiserations to those who haven’t been successful" involve a reduction in the price to those now blatantly using a 2nd tier service? Of course not silly! Otherwise how will they fund the upgrade to the lucky winners! Congratulations Britlanders - you were a nation of shopkeepers, have passed through the nation of shareholders stage, beaten the nation of consumers bonus level and have now reached the nation of gameshow contestants round. Second prize is a right royal buggering.

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Squeaky Wheel

This was all an excercise in BT pretending to listen. Except of course it was BS from the start. Firstly it's only six exchange. Secondly, and more importantly, BT claimed it was about upgrading smaller exchanges, but of course it wasn't. A tiny exchange with a small number of BT broadband subscribers was never going to get as many votes as a larger exchange with more subsribers. The process was clearly about money and the six exhanges that would be the most cost effective to upgrade.

The whole thing does absolutely nothing to address the problem of slow or non-existant broadband in rural areas which is what BT tried to sell it as.

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Tiny Exchanges

Were all excluded from the exercise.

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Dead Vulture

Eh no.

"For BT, the policy makes some sense, however: Upgrading a large exchange that serves many streetside cabinets to fibre optics would be much more expensive and more risky than a small exchange that serves few cabinets."

Why more risky? The risks are the same, just the probability increased.

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Happy

Hurrah - We won

In Blewbury there was certainly a dedicated campaign to win this competition with reps on every street visiting every home getting people to vote, stalls at every village event from the fireworks to the carols on the village green. The 100% is a real figure.

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WTF?

100%? I think Not

"In Blewbury there was certainly a dedicated campaign to win this competition with reps on every street visiting every home getting people to vote, stalls at every village event from the fireworks to the carols on the village green. The 100% is a real figure."

I doubt it.

You wouldn't get a 100% turnout if you were running a poll to give out free money.

Some people would forget. some people would be too ill. Some people would die. Some people wouldn't understand. Some people wouldn't care less. Some people wouldn't have the internet to start with. etc etc

I think they got Mugabe to run the vote in Blewbury.

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Anonymous Coward

actually not

i doubt very much blewbury have 100% BT customers

So therefore your average Joe with either Sky or Virgin broadband hear that BT are upgrading the Exchange and have heard that they use the same infrastructure they get a tingly feeling down below and Woop for Joy and Vote in the upgrade too in the misbelief that either Sky Virgin etc will be paying for BT Big Fat Hot Pipe Pulsating with Data.

WHAT THE F*CK HAVE I JUST WRITTEN

*better go Anon

well anyway thats how they get above 100% intrest.

And yes the site asks for BT numbers but a street survey does not necessarily, all they need is a name and address with a siggy,.

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"The 100% is a real figure."

Not quite. The Blewbury figure was adjusted down to 99.8% by BT while others scored over 100%.

Towns scored over 100% because the denominator was BT's estimate of premises with fixed line connections (which wasn't always up to date when new houses were being built - we had 65 people move into newly built houses just before the competition was announced and it was clear they weren't in BT's numbers.

The numerator was every business or residence with a separate identifiable address. Since many people, particularly young and single, but also people living in short term rentals etc do not bother with a fixed line, the actual number of potential voters is often about 10% higher. So we scored 104% but tbat should probably have been 104/113 and I suspect numbers elsewhere were similar.

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download caps

I'm tempted by infinity when it's finally available in my area, just for the upload speed, I checked the BT website and they're offering a package with a 40 GB cap. Who is going to want a 40Mb download speed when they can exhaust their monthly allowance in just over two hours?

BT also offer an "unlimited" package, but if their limited package is only 40GB then I can't see their unlimited being too much better.

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Boffin

Fuzz - 40GB

I see this every time faster internet access is available.

Faster != more data automatically transferred.

There are those who just want to be able to do what they do faster, they don't want to do any more, just waste less time waiting when they are doing it, restricted bandwidth packages may well be suitable for them.

There will certainly be those whose usage would increase the faster the speed they have available, and that is why there are other packages available, you have to realise that just because it wouldn't suit you doesn't mean that it won't suit anybody.

BT Infinity Unlimited doesn't have over usage charges, no matter what you download, if you download over 300GB, which is averaging about 2 full DVDs a day, then they do cap your speed for a time though.

Also remember that BT Infinity is just BT Retail's FTTC service, as FTTC is wholesaled, any ISP can offer their own services, pricing and features which may suit you better.

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Boffin

Not the only option

>Also remember that BT Infinity is just BT Retail's FTTC service, as FTTC is wholesaled, any ISP can offer their own services, pricing and features which may suit you better.

And even better there are third party options that LLUOs can go for. GEA allows them to grab the traffic at the exchange and put it straight onto their own backhaul. VULA allows them to grab it a bit further back.

GEA is probably the best option from a technical point of view but VULA is probably a bit cheaper.

It remains to be seen which LLUOs will take up which option. I think TalkTalk have already signed up for VULA - Be is currently uncommitted.

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Dead Vulture

So?

> In raw votes cast, both are in the top six, but because fewer than 12 per cent of BT customers in each community registered an interest in faster broadband, for the foreseeable future they are stuck on ADSL.

But this wasn't the criterium used to select the winners. You may as well have complained "3000 of ADSL users in Malvern had yoghurt and corn flakes for breakfast but they still didn't win"

Why should it always be the big town / city dwellers that always benefit? If it was the most populated exchange, they'd actually see less benefit overall than those on sparser exchanges.

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I agree - sorta

>Why should it always be the big town / city dwellers that always benefit? If it was the most populated exchange, they'd actually see less benefit overall than those on sparser exchanges.

Actually for FTTC I think you may have a point. Take-up where it exists has been slow and I think that's because most people can't see the point. If you already have 5Mb/s then /for most people/ that will be enough. Very few people have a real need for anything more than that. Maybe 10Mb/s if it's a family with teenage kids.

On other hand FTTC could be used to fill in not- or slow- spots. That would surely see a far bigger uptake %ge wise.

The only problem is that a higher %ge doesn't necessarily equate to more people. BT would probably rather have 5% of 10,000 than 95% of 100 :)

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Unhappy

Upgraded exchange is only half the tale

Turbine2 is absolutely right. Having an upgraded exchange doesn't mean that much. Our exchange was upgraded almost a year ago, but I still have no date for access to Infinity. That's because it's the digging up roads to lay fiber, installing street cabinets, etc., that seems to cause BT more problems. In fact we have had a new cabinet at the end of the road for six months, but BT don't know when they can either A) install any kit into it, and/or B) actually connect it up to the fiber network.

And the kicker for me is that my neighbour behind, in the next street, can get it and I can't. His cabinet was connected from one direction on the main road, but BT want to connect ours from the other direction which means a completely different fiber loop or some such, which is nowhere near us at present.

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I would reccomend

20£ a month to your neighbour and a long network cable.

Offer your connection as redundancy equals best of both worlds :)

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*$*%& BT...

BT has recently decided that West London - which had been on the plans to get Infinity - has now been dropped. I had been waiting eagerly. Now apparently they have decided that cabling up the hinterlands is more important.

I think Virgin is beginning to look a whole lot more attractive...

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So it should

>Why should it always be the big town / city dwellers that always benefit? If it was the most populated exchange, they'd actually see less benefit overall than those on sparser exchanges.

Well so it should. If you have access to VM then you shouldn't need (and shouldn't get) FTTC. I ahve always thought it wrong that BT were allowed to overlap. I understand the economics of it but it seems to me that it's putting 'attacking the competition' ahead of 'serving the customer'.

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In other news

BT confirms that each household or street will be connected by fibre to the local exchange which will continue to be linked to the national network by a piece of damp string.

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Some win...

Winning the competition isn't exactly getting them to the front of the queue nor is it a guarantee that they will get the service...

"Winning exchanges will be enabled in early 2012 subject to availability, survey, terms and conditions."

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Hard work

Some of us from Caxton exchange were out in freezing temperatures for hours going door to door. I spent at least 10 hrs doing so. We reached 100 percent for many reasons. As we in Cambourne are a new community from the time of the start of the competition to its end we were still expanding. Several homes simply had no phone service at all and the people there registered interest. All addresses for them were checked and we had a great community involvement. If there was little interest in registering votes in some of the larger places obviously people were either apathetic or were satisfied with what they had. We in Cambourne were not satisfied nor apathetic so we worked hard as a community and we achieved our goal. And we are not at the front of the line as many communities are already scheduled ahead of us but we will at least be heard.

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Stop

Re Robert Hill

At Least You get Virgin as a choice...

I live in Zone 2 (London) no Virgin, no FTTC

I get about 2MBs which is better than some villages im sure.....but not what you'd call great for central London

FTTC is coming by March,but my line isnt compatible so who knows when I will ever get a decent speed

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Go

Just let them have it

Being able to claim that our rural friends are disproportionately well served with FTTC next time one starts complaining he can't get 100Mbps to his shack half way up a Welsh mountain will be worth it, for me at least.

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Welsh

The "shack half way up a Welsh mountain" can get a free satellite internet installation from the Welsh assembly. I had to pay 700 quid for mine in Gloucestershire.

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Joke

Plant food

Haven't those people in the Infinity ad ever seen/read Day of the Triffids?

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Sore loser

I was initially excited by "the race", and actively lobbied my friends and relatives in Malvern. I even entered into the true spirit of the competition, by voting on someone elses behalf. At the end of the day, Malvern was never going to win.

Back in the good old days, we were one of the first exchanges to get ADSL. Hooray. However, we are still waiting for the ADSL2+ upgrade. That's now 18 months behind its initial target date, and allegedly going to happen in the next four months. The nearest cable is in Worcester, about 7 miles away. Maybe we should ask the good people of Blewbury to come and dig a trench for us?

Maybe I'm just a sore loser. Malvern is in a better position that many of the small rural exchanges (or even those on the limit of the ADSL range), but it doesn't make me any less p*ssed off.

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Coat

Malvern

Malvern is unfortunately being punished for unleashing Cher Lloyd on the world... I think the sentence is about 4-5 years. ;-)

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FAIL

A previous government privatised BT....

... now they can do whatever they like.

Their regulator was only ever tasked with ensuring BT could not abuse their monopoly, not with ensuring universal coverage of services other than voice. Hence all the Ofcom bleating about network sharing and LLU (which probably only applies to the physical network as existed at privatisation) and sweet bugger all about making sure that both the chap high in the Mendips and the chap in west London can get high speeds via broadband (which hadn't even been thought of as a possible pipe dream in 1984).

You get what your parents generation voted for.

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