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.
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 …
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.
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.
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........
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.
>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.
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
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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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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... 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.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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,.
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.
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.
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.
>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.
> 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.
>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 :)
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.
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...
>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'.
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.
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
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.
... 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.
..well doesn't have to be. Change to a different ISP or package. One that isn't offering bargain basement prices would help.
Throttling occurs because an ISP doesn't have network capacity. In the case of wholesale ISPs (and that includes BT Broadband and Infinity) it's because they have chosen not to buy capacity. All you need to do is find an ISP that is prepared to buy sufficient capacity. There are some that manage it even with wholesale charges.
As for the charges for BTw products - I blame Ofcom for a large part of that. I know they have to keep an eye on BT but I think they are overdoing it. Low prices are great in the short term but they tend to stifle investment.
The point is that if you are 4km from your nearest exchange you may get less than 250k bandwidth with ADSL, so 80Gb bandwidth is not an issue.
If you are 4km from your exchange but 500m from your nearest cabinet, you are going to get 20Mbit+ under VDSL/FTTC, so the 80Gb limit (actually I think it is 300Gb) is one you can live with.
You haven't paid for a 10Mb/s service. That would be called a leased line and you're bank account would know about it if you had.
You have paid for 'up to 10Mb/s'. Everyone who signed up has been told that over and over again. Even cable services don't guarantee throughput.
The fuel analogy as you've stated is flawed because fuel in that context is a good. It's a measurable quantity. Internet access is a service. As with all services the law accepts that the customer is paying for the effort not the results. Can't get a refund from a doctor just because you weren't cured. You can't get a refund from a private detective just because they failed to find the person or evidence you wanted.
As long as you haven't been misled, haven't been overcharged and as long as the ISP followed common industry practice the law won't care.
Is there a better way to describe/market internet connections? I don't know. It's been discussed to death and beyond over the last decade and no-one has ever come up with a better way of doing it. Once a packet leaves your router /anything/ can happen to it. It's a nasty world out there for data packets :)
Can we put the old 'why do I have to pay for Xmb/s when I only get Ymb/s?' complaint to bed. It is brought up in every broadband conversation, and it's gone beyond boring.
The fact is you're not paying for Xmb/s, you're paying to use a certain technology that just happens to have a theoretical limit of Xmb/s but a practial limit of Ymb/s. As far as I can tell, whether your modem manages to talk to your exchange at 2mb/s or 20mb/sdoesn't change their infrastructure costs . It's how heavily you utilise the connection that ends up putting strain on the infrastructure and increasing their costs.
There's never going to be a discounted priced for people in your situation. If we were to return to the dark days of different pricing for different speeds, it'd be us being held to random with a choice between rip-off prices at higher speeds or artifically capped speeds, not bargin prices for slow connections.
If you want an anology; your desire for a price-by-connection-speed is akin to motor manufacturers making a cheap family hatchback that can do 100mph then giving you a choice of paying 9k and having it speed limited to 45mph, or paying 20k. Neither of those represent a fair price.
When did community spirit and hard graft translate to rotten? We worked incredibly hard to have our exchange reach the top 6 and there was no cheating etc, just a lot of people on the streets and a well run co-ordinated campaign. The reason for the 100% an above results is simple, there are new houses and houses with no phone line, all of whom had an interest in voting and rightly were allowed to vote. Our broadband is currently terrible, 0.5 if you are lucky! So I am very much looking forward to an improved service. Well done to all the winning exchanges, I for one understand and applaud the sheer level of effort that everyone has gone to.
Two months ago I was on Sky Broadband. The connection was so severely throttled between 5pm and midnight that I often could not even open webpages. I definitely couldn't SSH anywhere.
Now I'm on BT unlimited broadband. I'm getting a sustained 750KB/s download during PEAK TIMES. I can SSH during PEAK TIMES. I'm VERY HAPPY.
Honestly, who really needs fibre? ADSL is great.
So the Race to Infinity is over and BT have congratulated everyone on a good fair contest.
This is not sour grapes just dismay that this competition ( con) was allowed to run at all. We all played by the rules and can say we carried out all our voting in a honest manner. Knowing that they voting system was flawed (as shown in the link below) perhaps we should have just cheated as it was apparent that this was happening on December the 30th by the top groups.
The voting on the December 30th was a joke! with towns obviously sitting there typing in any rubbish to get a vote. I was told that someone tried voting for a pub in one of the areas that had got 100% votes and found they hadn't voted!
The voting system was called into question by the computer press back in October.
The whole competition was a joke from the start but we all hoped our concerns were just that, and that things could not really have been allowed to go the way they did. We are the highest scoring medium sized town that achieved the 100 votes and have nearly 6000 lines on the exchange. All those above us had around 1000 to 3000 lines, but what have we got from the competition nothing. In fact it has cost me personally something like £350 and a friend another £100 to stage this advertising campaign for BT.
I asked many times ( via Porter Novelli) if Bt could check that people were not cheating etc and was told that Bt were monitoring the voting system very carefully and that one town had some of their votes taken away or cheating. I wonder if they then went on to win?
Having spoken to some of the other campaign groups we all feel let down by the poor organization of this competition and the manner in which Bt have tricked us to pay out for their advertising.
We did hear that Bt were to announce another list of some 20 to 40 new towns that would be getting upgraded in early January but nothing so far.
Having spent hundreds of man hours, tramped around for miles in snow ice and freezing temperatures to get votes let alone the financial hardship, I am furious that we have just been cast aside.
Unless something changes pretty soon and Bt at least try to help a little I suggest that we all ditch Bt as an Isp , its just a pity we still have to use their hardware to get to the house.
Campaigner for our local town will I ever help Bt in any other scam they try to run. Never!http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/joke_32.png
BT did check the valiity of votes, not just email addresses but also IP addresses of posters. We jknow because Castleton which was up with the leaders 2 weeks before the end of the contest had its score cut from 78% to 22% and Inner leither lost 15% of its vote. All towns lost a few votes because voters had double voted at the same address, but anybody who followed any of the winning teams and their progress saw that their vote was growing at a steady and consistent rate.
The reason they all got over 100% was because BT took the number of premises with fixed lines at some point earlier in 2010, but any new homes occupied by Dec 31 were allowed to vote as were any homes without fixed lines, probably 10% in many places. So the true scores were closer to 90% than 100%, and 90% isn't difficult to achieve in places where ther is a 75% turnout at the General election.
Based on the 12% signup for Infinity in towns that have been upgraded It's laughable when you think most of the winning villages will have mabe...... 160 to 170 people signing up to the service based on the approx 12 % sign up. Bet Bt cant wait to get ALL that revenue!
I am pleased for Baschurch who seemed to collect votes in an orderly manner and teh website showed a steady flow of votes. The irratic voting on Dec the 30 by other groups was nothing short of a farce.
Glad its all over
BT........................ words fail me!
Sorry I disagree.
I rang and spoke to Porter Novelli at least twice and emailed then on at least two occasions to ask if we would be ok using a single computer on a single but dynaic ip address to put the votes up to the site. Likewise I called them and discussed concerns some of the voters had raised about vote rigging after reading the magazine article. On each occasion I was told that everything was fine and that BT were encrypting the votes being sent so they could not be intercepted and were using that wonderful captcha facility so they knew it was a human entering the votes... and..... and... oh... nothing else then! No checking of Ip addresses just monitoring voting patterns. What was that going to prove. When we did events we got 100 200 votes where as some days we got none so how anyone could make sense of that kind of data god knows.
I was told that it dint matter about the IP address they were looking for postcode and only allowing a single vote per house. I must have put at least 400 votes from my one Ip address then about another 150 from a new ip.and a few of the other members had done likewise.
Having had an email with at least 900 other emails included in the email then to have someone try to drag it back again by sending out another email asking for it to be withdrawn! I did start to wonder if I could actually believe anything about this farce. Bt would not talk to us directly at any time (nothing new there then).
I guess you could try and put rubbish in and click not a bt user then it would be lost and did not check their records. I have been told that this is what was happening with a lot of the strange voting.
How you manged to get two votes for one address is amazing, I never managed to do that!
Re the towns that had votes removed they should have been instantly disqualified instantly!
Yet at least one of them went on to win!!
As only about 12% seem to sign up for the service it has been a total flop and nothing more than a publicity stunt which I worried about to start with but thought they would never get away with that.
Sorry I am not accepting anything favorable has come out of this competition.
I and over 1400 other users are up in arms at the poor standards and practices that have been adopted throughout the competition
As far as Infinity goes, they can stick it as far as....... Infinity!
If I get one more call offering me Vision I will scream the exchange can hardly support broadband let alone their poor mans cable.
BT Just how much damage has this done to you?
Ok there are 6 winners and thousands of looser's with millions of customers.
These are your customers, so I guess the biggest looser here is BT?
we on the madingley exchange had a big campaign to raise awareness with people doing leaflet drops, a stall at the school christmas fayre, and posted round the village.
sure, there may be only 2000 premises, but the ONLY service is 8M adsl over BT, virtually none of the local villages are unbundled, there's no virgin/nthell and never will be, so BT know they have a captive audience.
a lot of people work from home in this area, to save fighting the traffic every day into Cambridge
population density within the villages is medium, and I imagine running cable won't be too hard for BT.
if I'd ever won the lottery, not that I could as I consider it a tax on the mathematically deficient, then I would have paid some ISP to unbundle/upgrade the exchange to adsl2+!
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