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back to article BT fibre 'availability checker' looks into FAR-OFF FUTURE. Again

One-time national telco BT misled customers with unsubstantiated claims regarding its broadband download speeds, the UK's advertising watchdog has ruled today. The company slipped up, the Advertising Standards Authority said, by misleading potential subscribers who used its BT.com website to look up whether its fibre optic …

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Unhappy

Same here

November? Our local cabinet was listed as upgraded to FTTC, so planned to go BT Infinity once Christmas was done. January rolls round, go to sign up, not available. Checker says March. March? Checker says April. Now it says May.

To rub salt in to my current 1Mbps wound, I get phonecalls and leaflets proclaiming how joyous life is on 50Mbps from BT about once a week.

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Facepalm

Re: Same here

At least you have a cabinet to connect to.

My town has been "fibred up", but as I'm on an Exchange-only line, I can't get it for the forseeable future.

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Anonymous Coward

@wonko

I don't get why that is, I am in a similar situation, exchange only line... what is the difference to putting the VDSL support in the exchange vs a cab? I can't see what the problem it...

I would happily PAY them real money to run fibre to my house from the exchange...

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Re: Same here

Well. It could be worse. In November 2011 Openreach came out and installed fibre cables to all the local telephone poles (including mine). Hanging around the top, ready to be installed.

The broadband checker happily stated that soon I'd have FTTP installed. My ISP even contacted me to see if I would be interested in trialing FTTP.

Then, everything went quiet. All around me other streets were being hooked up to FTTC. But, the promise remained on the wholesale checker site and it was always promised "soon" with delays cited.

Then, around a year ago it all disappeared. Now the checker states only WBC connection of 3.5-5.5Mbit is possible with no suggestion there will ever be an upgrade (nor that it was ever the case that there would be an upgrade).

This is on the edge of the Urban/Suburban London boundary.

Meanwhile I go to visit Romania often, where in Bucharest you can get 100/100 for €7 or so per month and 1Gbit/1Gbit for only slightly more!

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Re: @wonko

To make matters worse it has been done before, Penrith was the first exchange to trial the FTTC and Penrith "exchange only lines" have VDSL support (again a trial).

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Re: @wonko

what is the difference to putting the VDSL support in the exchange vs a cab?

The industry regulator won't let them. It's to avoid interference between VDSL and ADSL lines in close proximity.

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Re: @wonko

That's right. I've been told that there are 3 options to give me VDSL (in order of likelyhood):-

1: A new cab in the exchange car park - so crap speeds due to my line being approx 900m long.

2: A new street cab (possibly even a pole-top one) - OK. Pole is across street so approx 20m.

3: FTTH - How much?

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Re: Same here

Meanwhile I go to visit Romania often, where in Bucharest you can get 100/100 for €7 or so per month and 1Gbit/1Gbit for only slightly more!

I have Gbit/Gbit in London, it's a lot more than €7/month :)

BT's suite of fibre products are distinctly uninspiring - even on FTTH installations, there is 1Gbit/s coming in to the openreach modem (actually, 1.2+Gbit), at which point it splits it off in to 4 virtual 300Mbit connections, so that you can have a separate BT subscription for each room in your house....

Worse than that, it's fibre, but for some reason that still means an asymmetric connection - 300Mbit down, 20Mbit up. DSL and coax cable by necessity require asymmetric connections - bandwidth is fixed, the asymmetry determines how much is allocated to uploads and how much to downloads - but with fibre there is absolutely no need as there is equal bandwidth in both directions.

BT would prefer that people who buy it's broadband continue to only use it to consume mass media.

I'm sure many people reading this would say "20Mbit up? Where do I sign", but it really is a disservice and stops you doing things like more easily using remote services like dropbox - 20Mbit upload means a maximum remote disk write speed of about 2MB/s, 300Mbit would be more like 25MB/s, and my 1Gbit varies between around 50MB/s and 70MB/s, which is good enough to treat cloud storage like a local disk.

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Re: @wonko

"I don't get why that is, I am in a similar situation, exchange only line... what is the difference to putting the VDSL support in the exchange vs a cab? I can't see what the problem it..."

A commentard on another BT/openreach story explained that there's an industry body (Basically the big ISPs and exchange kit makers) that governs what can and can't be put in to BT's exchanges. Apparently VDSL kit doesn't play nice with other kit, therefore the usual response is to stick a cab just outside the exchange for those lines.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Same here

"Meanwhile I go to visit Romania often, where in Bucharest you can get 100/100 for €7 or so per month and 1Gbit/1Gbit for only slightly more!"

Meanwhile, the average income in Romania is around £320/month. So in relation, their internet access is much more expensive.

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Re: @wonko

Same problem here. I can pretty much see the local exchange, it is set up for infinity but because I'm directly connected I can't have it. Fortunately Virgin Media are in the area and have provided me with a fairly reliable 60Mb/sec line.

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Re: Same here

"Meanwhile, the average income in Romania is around £320/month. So in relation, their internet access is much more expensive"

Meanwhile, the fact STILL remains that broadband at that speed CAN be provisioned in Romania for much cheaper than Britain, in spite of the difference in GDP!

Why are you seemingly making excuses for the poor broadband provisioning in the UK?

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Re: Same here

"Meanwhile, the fact STILL remains that broadband at that speed CAN be provisioned in Romania for much cheaper than Britain, in spite of the difference in GDP!"

The difference is of course with wages that low, your staffing costs are also lower (meaning less cost to pass on to your customer)...

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Boffin

Re: @wonko

For those interested in knowing more it's called the Access Network Frequency Plan

And is created by NICC.

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History repeating itself

And there will be repeated deja vu all over again until the ASA becomes more effective than trying to knock a wall down by throwing small balls of cotton wool at it.

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Unhappy

Virgin as well as BT

Virgin Media keep saying that I will get a doubling of my broadband speed but the date keeps changing to the extend that it is now a year since they first announced it was 'coming soon'.

Not that I want to stay with them after their take-over by Liberty Global (and previous fattening up) has seen a big rise in the price they charge me.

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Re: Virgin as well as BT

Be careful what you wish for via takeovers, our small independant cable provider SmallWorld has been bought out by virgin. Now I can look forward to my very reliable, speedy and cheap service being ransacked and turned into a steaming pile of shite.

At least our local cab is FTTC so I can go elsewhere.

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Re: Virgin as well as BT

"Not that I want to stay with them after their take-over by Liberty Global (and previous fattening up) has seen a big rise in the price they charge me."

Same here. But even near doubling of my speed from 60 Mbit to 100 Mbit isn't much use - when will I notice any difference, unless I was wasting my life trying to illegally fileshare every grumble flick ever made? I've got better things to do with my life. What I'd like is the same service I originally signed up for, at a lower price, not a pointless speed upgrade plus a big increase in costs, who's ulterior motive is really just to bolster the bank accounts of a near-death billionaire.

As usual the problem lies with the ineffectual twerps of OFCOM, itself headed up by an unqualified Blair placeman. VM aren't small any more, they don't need protection, and their local loop should be unbundled to let other people use it. Instead of this, OFCOM wank around failing to shove BT into place (much as the ASA have managed nothing in this sector), and my forecast for the near future sees that berk Ed Richards as a probable successor to Chris Patten, as part of the 1%ers merry-go-round of well rewarded sinecures.

Recognising that the apparatus of state doesn't work for me, and that nothing is going to change, yet envious of the well paid and undemanding jobs at the top, can other commentards suggest how I can get on the quango gravy train? I shall happy put my principles in cold storage for the duration of my "public service".

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Anonymous Coward

Manchester?

They were claiming Infinity was available for our address early last year, but BT were only able to sell me ADSL2 when I moved from AOL/TalkTalk (old ADSL). In fact, the advertising only went up, on our local cabinet, a few weeks back. Last Friday, I got a call from BT who were offering an upgrade. Not sure what I'm going to do with 80mpbs, but I like the idea of being 4k ready.

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Well I'm still stuck looking at a pretty fibre cabinet next to the phone cabinet with the same umber as the one I am supposedly connected to.

ADSL Checker told me that I would have FTTC availability at the end of March. When the end of March rolled around, lo and behold, it switched to the end of September.

this when I discovered that around the corner from the cabinet I am supposedly connected to is another cabinet with exactly the same number !

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Unhappy

Savage Gumming

Another telco gets another serious gumming by the toothless ASA over misleading claims.

Pointless.

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Anonymous Coward

Yet another...

We're barely more than five minutes' drive down the road from an Infinity-ready exchange, but not only does BT tell our street that there are no plans to fibre us up, but they even told our local MP that there was - their actual words - "no demand" for it.

Well, if that was ever true (and that's an Angel-Of-The-North-sized "if"), I bet the news that two miles further down the aforementioned road is one of the streets with the fastest broadband in the UK, has just staked that excuse clean through the heart.

Can't speak for my neighbours, but, BT: you have a waiting customer here, and I'm pretty certain I'm not alone. (And no, we're not a cable-d street, so it's the BT super-highway or... er, the highway.)

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Re: Yet another...

Problem is, that you're only high priority to get fibre if you *can* get Virgin. If you can't, you are a captive audience so they can take as long as they like to fibre you up since Virgin aren't laying any new fibre because they can't afford it (or so i'm led to believe)...I'm in the same position :(

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yet another...

Virgin refuse to provide a service to our village, or open up their conduits that run 1m from my front door for anyone else to provide a service and not being classed as a pseudo monopoly there is no compulsion for them to do so.

Yet Openreach enabled our exchange dead on the due date and my cabinet went live several months "early" - despite there being several conduit blockages plus access point (manhole) upgrades needed. The speeds that came up on the test box when they installed my service exceeded the estimates and despite the "engineer" suggesting that the speeds would "settle down" in the coming weeks, they actually improved slightly - despite the last 50m of cabling being overhead and flapping around!

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Re: Yet another...

We had a similar problem with ADSL2 here. BT maintained that the exchange wasnt financially viable for an upgrade - until talktalk gave notice that they were going to unbundle here, suddenly we had ADSL2.

Now we are just starting to see a fibre roll out in town, publicly funded, the 10k line exchange is allegedly not commercially viable.

Bt really do still act like an abusive monopolist.

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FAIL

Virgin dug up my cable....

Yes, when I moved into my house, the previous owner was on cable, I tried to connect onto it a few years later, they have removed the cable somewhere between the repeater cabinet and my house! FFS, it's like Yorkshire Water digging up the water main when I turn off the tap.

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