back to article BT fibre-to-the-premises trial takes 7 hours per install

BT's new fibre optic upgrade is delivering better real world speeds than the company's old copper-based network when compared to advertised "up to" broadband rates, according to the latest figures from Ofcom. Meanwhile, the UK telecoms giant is continuing to test out its latest fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) kit. As part of that …

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  1. JasonW

    Come to my house...

    I will dig the trench myself & supply as many cups of tea and chocolate hobnobs as it takes to get me FTTP. By the time 21CN gets here (remember that?) the rest of the UK will be on to the next-but-one big thing.

  2. Adam Trickett
    Linux

    I won't complain, please do my village next

    If some posh people don't want cabs in their back gardens, I'd be more than happy to have one in mine. Anything would be better than the pitiful 5Meg I get from BT's ADSL service. I'd even make the engineers mugs of warm tea!

    1. Brian Morrison
      FAIL

      5Meg? Pitiful?

      Bah! I used to have nearly 6Meg until something went wrong with BT's cabling, now I get only 2Meg.

      Like most others I would gladly provide a complete comestible silver service with tablecloth, napkins and background music for any installers that came my way, but I can't see it happening any time yet in my village, if ever.

      Just think how much oil we could save if everyone could work from home more often, fast infrastructure is an essential to achieve this.

      Total failure of anticipation on the part of the nation....

      1. Captain TickTock
        Joke

        2Meg? You were looky...

        We got 150 baud through our piece of wet tinfoil,

        where we live in t' shoe box in middle of road...

        You tell that to kids these days, and they won't believe you.

        1. Dapprman
          Joke

          Tin Foil !

          You had tin foil ! ee luxury we had to make do with sweet wrappers collected from pavement round local corner shop

          1. Ted Treen
            Happy

            You 'ad a corner shop?

            Kids today don't know they're born!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Brian Morrison

        "Bah! I used to have nearly 6Meg until something went wrong with BT's cabling, now I get only 2Meg."

        Do I smell BS?

        When your line is installed BT do a baseline on the performance. A lower limit is set at the fault threshold. If you were getting 5Meg it is likely that your threshold would have been set at somewhere between four and five meg. If your synched speed were to fall below that threshold and you reported it to BT the fact that it had fallen below the fault threshold would kick off a process that would involve testing the line and trying to get it back up above threshold.

        This may involve a lift and shift (changing you over to another copper pair) or it may involve finding the fault and repairing it. I generally find they prefer to lift and shift as that's cheaper and easier than the repair if a spare pair is available.

        Granted in some circumstances they will, after testing, reset the fault threshold at a lower level. I have, however, only had this happen to one of my customers and that was where the speed had dropped from 1.6M to 1.2M (and therefore below threshold) but no amount of testing could find a specific fault and a line of that length should only have supported about 1M anyway. The only solution would have been to replace about a mile of cabling to her house.

        So have you bothered reporting your loss of speed? What action did BT take? Is it really a drop in sync speed or is it a drop in download performance?

  3. David Webb

    I'm due

    I'm in Cornwall so this spring I find out when my exchange is due for upgrade, though aren't BT currently trialing 1Gb lines somewhere in Suffolk?

    1. Naughtyhorse

      indeed

      at Martlesham, which by an amazing coincidence is where BT have a mahoosive research site.

  4. Mike Hanna
    Grenade

    What a surprise...

    "BT has committed huge man hours to the project, while its main rival Virgin Media says it sees "no compelling reason why" it should heavily invest in FTTP at this time."

    Especially not when it can wait 18 months then complain to OfCom (or whatever replaces it) that BT has a Monopoly on FTTP, using skill-sets and everything else it earned from the Post Office sell-out, and how they should be able to use that infrastructure for free.

    But yes please, like most people I'll sign off the wayleave so that BT can put one of the gren cabinets in my front garden, and I'll not only provide tea and biscuits, but coffee too for the more cosmopolitan engineers, and enough bacon butties to see them through their seven hour shift installing to my house.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Errr...

      "Especially not when it can wait 18 months then complain to OfCom (or whatever replaces it) that BT has a Monopoly on FTTP, using skill-sets and everything else it earned from the Post Office sell-out, and how they should be able to use that infrastructure for free."

      Or perhaps their existing co-ax infrastructure doesn't *need* upgrading, given how much faster it already is than the copper loops BT is replacing....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Unhappy

        but maybe if VM had FTTP

        then they could properly claim to be supplying superfast fibre optic broadband and not the HFC network they have now?

    2. Martin Gregorie Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Sadly, VM is not the answer

      Here in Harlow we had one of the first fibre-to-cabinet installations in the UK. It was a community service that replaced the old copper co-ax community system, which was intended to eliminate roof-top TV and FM antennae. When it first went in it was great, giving a much better FM signal than was available from a standard type antenna. This standard was maintained while it was successively sold to Cable West and then to NTL. I don't have TV, so the FM signal is important to me.

      However, now the network belongs to Virgin Media and both its performance and their service stink. Back in December the cable FM signal quite suddenly degraded until it was much worse than I could get from 2m of unterminated co-ax. Did Virgin give a damn? Hell, no! When I rang to report the fault I was told that they would do something if I was listening to radio on TV but since I was using a stereo system I could get lost.

      My neighbours eventually decided that the VM TV packages were over-expensive and lacking in channel choice, so they migrated to FreeView. They say the channel selection is better and that they're getting a better quality signal than the cable provided. That's true: when I visit them its obvious that the picture is no longer as grainy as it used to be.

      1. Greebo
        Coat

        @Martin Gregorie

        Over here in Newhall, most of the building on North Chase were pre-cabled with Sky and TV/FM sockets on the wall, provided by a underground cabling system from a shared dish/Aerial system somewhere on the estate. We get a full-strength signal on all signals, and rarely get any jitter. VM never got a chance to run any cables, and it's just as well. I've been bitter since they killed off RedTV.

        Sadly, the broadband is utter tosh, we're lucky to get 2Mb, probably because we're so far from the exchange at Sainsburys. If BT wanted to put in FTTC here, I'd supply them as much tea and bacon as they could handle, but they'd have trouble finding space for a cabinet, as there's barely enough room to park!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          VM Joke

          VM are a joke. When they cabled us up they knocked a hole in the garden wall at ground level fed the cable through and then started to lay cable straight up the middle of a flower bed about three inches below ground level. I pointed out to the engineers that it would last about five minutes laid there and suggested several better routes. They told me they were under instruction to use the shortest fastest route into the property to save time and money.

          I told them they could go back to base and explain to their bosses that I would be cancelling my order until such time as they could send somebody to do a proper job. A couple of days later we got an engineer in a subcontractor's van who did a decent job of running the cable to the property.

          At least Openreach engineers can generally be trusted to do a proper cabling job, even if they don't document it properly.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Reskilling?

    Does that involve telling the engineers "thicker stuff is copper, thinner stuff is fibre and breaks more easily - don't get 'em confused"?

  6. Danny 14 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    This also exists in Penrith too

    And it doesnt take 7 hours per install - I know this for a fact. The newer housing estates around Penrith also have FTTP as standard too. Oddly enough the main exchange in Penrith wont have FTTP or even to the cabinet (since all the old aluminium cable pretty much goes back to the exchange anyway).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      close

      Solder is for copper, glue is for fibre...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for picking my exchange

    I live in the area where this is currently being setup and the amount of manpower BT is employing to do this is insane. Not that I'm complaining, I think it's fantastic and if I wasn't already getting a perfectly adequate 6-7Mbps connection I'd have already signed up.

    Great article, it's interesting to find out how it all works.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    FTTC

    "...FTTP cabling under and sometimes over streets throughout the land as it attempts to get its £2.5bn 100Mbit/s downstream broadband fibre optic tech rolled out to two-thirds of households and businesses by 2015."

    Isn't the target a slightly less exciting FTTC to 2/3s?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    FTTC

    Life would be a whole lot clearer if people (BT included) would start giving FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) its proper name, which is VDSL. The important bit, the bottleneck, is the DSL bit not the FTT bit. Which is why they do their best to avoid mentioning it.

    Oh and the ISP might be a bottleneck too if you pick the wrong ISP.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    homes that don't have a cooper line

    I'm on a whiskey diet. I've lost three days already.

  11. Sir Adam-All
    Thumb Up

    To infinity and beyond ...

    I have BT Infinity (FTTC), and i have to say its very very good.

    I get around 37Mbit/s pretty much consistently.

    I'd highly recommend it to anyone if its available in your area. Much better than standard ADSL and also doesn't come with VM's nasty STM.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      terminology

      nasty STM ? sounds like a disease...

    2. Apocalypse Later

      Corporate lexicon

      BT have a history of renaming standards to suit themselves. Anyone remember "Home Highway"?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Home Highway?

        That was half an ISDN wasn't it? Even so they didn't rename a standard. They gave a name to a product. That's what everybody does. They give their product a snazzy name in the hopes that the name will make it sell better than the opposition.

        Fibre to the cabinet and fibre to the premises are perfectly sensible names. They are very sensible when you compare them to EES, FEES, GEES, EAD and the like.

        1. Terry Barnes

          highway

          Highway used ISDN-2 (note - not "an ISDN" - ISDN is a network not a product) - but it added capabilities to it beyond the vanilla product. These were intended, I think, to make it usable by an average human and not just techies. Essentially a fairly clever Terminal Adaptor.

    3. Danny 14 Silver badge

      but

      there ARE other providers out there if you are lucky. Some of us can get 100mb without virgin - check out smallworld cable.

      1. The First Dave

        BUT

        there is only one provider where I live - not even got the option of VM...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Real World

        100Mb without Virgin. Most people who live in the real world have a choice of ADSL on BT copper or ADSL on BT copper. If you're dead lucky your line my go straight into your provider's kit at the exchange, but there are still plenty of poor punters out there on BT wholesale.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Danny14

        "there ARE other providers out there if you are lucky. Some of us can get 100mb without virgin - check out smallworld cable."

        Smallworld? Smallcoverage. I've put in postcodes of friends and family who live all over the country and found that I don't know a single person who can get their services. Where do they actually cover?

  12. Mark Wilson
    FAIL

    You Forgot Me

    We live on one of the newer estates covered by Bradwell Abbey and are at the end of a 6km phone line giving us a thunderingly fast 1.5mbps, are we getting fttp during the trial? No. So we also don't get FTTC due to the trial going on and OpenReach won't commit to installing anything afterwards either.

  13. DisgruntledWebDesigner
    Thumb Down

    What about FTTC?

    I don't hold out much hope for FTTP after the whole FTTC debacle. Living in a FTTC enabled town i have yet to meet one person who has actually benefited or able to actually use the infinity service. Infact most have noticed a sudden downturn in the stability since work was started (and never finished properly in my opinion) many months ago.

    According to BT themselves you can't get infinity unless you are already pushing 15mbit on a standard copper connection as it is - so only people with already more than double the national average speed can actually use the service and that only leaves one hope for my measely 3mbit connection and thats FTTP.

    As they seem to be unable to negotiate local councils and install FTTC properly in a relatively small town like mine i don't see how FTTP, which would truely benifit those of us who have substandard connections, will ever become available considering how much larger and complex the installs would be.

    the phrase "Sort it out BT" comes to mind, but they'd only subcontract it out to the cheapest bidder and we'd be back to square one again!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Cost difference between UK and Aus

    BT will supply FTTP to 66% of UK (pop. 62m) for £2.5bn.

    NBNco will supply FTTP to 90% of Aus (pop. 22m) for £27bn.

    The difference can't all be in the distances between cities, surely? Does fibre optic string really cost that much?

  15. Dabooka Silver badge
    WTF?

    Sod the "2/3rds of the households"

    It's about time they resolved the problem for the remainder who always fall outside their catchment areas for upgrades. Let's get everyone up to something decent (and I'm not talking 2mg here) then worry about uber quick for the cities.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge
      FAIL

      @DisgruntledWebDesigner

      Yeah, you don't really get the whole 'cabinet' part of 'fibre to the cabinet', do you?

      The purpose of FTTC is to reduce the distance from customer to DSLAM, which is a fancy modem that talks DSL. In standard adsl, the DSLAM sits in the exchange, in FTTC, the DSLAM sits in the cabinet.

      Synch speed on DSL is proportional to signal strength, which largely is inversely proportional to line length.

      Therefore, synch speed on DSL is irrelevant to synch speed on FTTC - if your cabinet is 100m away, and your exchange a further 6km away from the cabinet, you would currently have a shitty synch speed of ~1Mbps on ADSL, but probably 40Mbps on FTTC.

      What is more to the point is that FTTC/FTTP is *STILL* a fucking BT monopoly. I wouldn't pay those chancers one penny for internet service, and they seem not too keen to offer other ISPs wholesale access to FTTC customers. Fucking sort it out OFCOM.

      1. DisgruntledWebDesigner
        Thumb Up

        Fair enough

        That's fair enough, I don’t claim to be a technical genius when it comes to the inner workings of FTTC, but from my consumer point of view BT are spending all this money to benefit only a small number of people – they aren’t improving the situation for anyone but those who already receive fast connections.

        BT monopoly’s are nothing new – you should be used to that by now!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Check your facts...

        It's completely untrue that there is no wholesale access to FTTC. It's provided on the same basis to other ISPs as to BT Retail as it's an OpenReach regulated service. Of course it means the DSLAM is an OpenReach one, but alternative service providers can use their own backhaul from the exchange or via their own POPs.

        It's also open to other operators to put their own cabinets in the street via something called sub-loop unbundling, but that requires a monumental amount of investment and the field force to cover it. Not suprisingly there aren't many ISPs willing to do that as the investment for a reasonable coverage will be in the several hundreds of millions. It has, however, been done in a few villages.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge
          Flame

          Check YOUR facts

          Oh really, Mr AC (BT worker perhaps?). Name one ISP I can get FTTC from who isn't using BT's infrastructure and pipes.

          Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology. Maybe 'wholesale' means 'still using BTs shitty overloaded and overstretched infrastructure'.

          Where is the LLU equivalent of FTTC? Sub-loop unbundling is clearly a non-starter, no council is going to allow multiple cabs on a street.

          Only one company is offering DSL speeds faster than ADSL2+, and that is BT, or operators using BTs infra. Nice little monopoly.

          1. Steven Jones

            As you can't be bothered to find links

            If you could be bothered to do a bit of research, you'll find this (which is the product set)

            http://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/products/super-fastfibreaccess/fibretothecabinet/fttc.do

            Also, if you could be bothered to do some more research you'd find things like this where TalkTalk are taking registrations using the OpenReach FTTC network. There are other trials, not sure how many are yet taking orders - there's work to be done to integrate into SP networks, order systems and so on.

            http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/4535-talktalk-to-launch-fibre-broadband-boost.html

            As far as no council allowing further cabinets, then they have no choice (outside conservation areas). Appropriately licensed telecom companies have a right, subject to certain safeguards to install street furniture like cabinets.

            And here's an example

            http://www.wlga.gov.uk/uploads/publications/6070.pdf

            Of course the real barrier is the huge cost, but basically you seem to have got pretty well everything wrong.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              And Underground

              "As far as no council allowing further cabinets, then they have no choice (outside conservation areas). Appropriately licensed telecom companies have a right, subject to certain safeguards to install street furniture like cabinets."

              They certainly do, just so long as they don't cause an obstruction. They can, however, also install underground. Sure it's not preferred for electronic goodies, but it's not out of the question and it gets them round the conservation area constraints.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not Quite

          "It's completely untrue that there is no wholesale access to FTTC. It's provided on the same basis to other ISPs as to BT Retail as it's an OpenReach regulated service. Of course it means the DSLAM is an OpenReach one, but alternative service providers can use their own backhaul from the exchange or via their own POPs."

          It isn't an Openreach service but a BT Wholesale service. Wholesale sell it to BT and to other ISPs too.

    2. Simon Neill

      Costs.

      Its not so much the cable as the hole/pole to carry it.

    3. Greg J Preece

      Or...

      ...you spend the least amount of money to hit the highest number of people, and the upgrades trickle down through the network. You know, as if you were a company or something.

    4. Steven Jones
      WTF?

      Cost difference

      As has been pointed out, the BT 66% target is a mixture of FTTP and FTTC, not FTTP alone, so that explains a lot of the cost difference. You might easily find that going from two-thirds to five-sixths coverage might require double the capital expenditure.

      The other issue is that it is disproportionately more expensive to service smaller and smaller groups with further coverage. There is a nice irony that those who have the slowest ADSL speeds due to the length of line also require the highest capital and maintenance costs. All those extra poles and cable runs. Indeed rural telco customers are cross-subsidised by town dwellers. Same is true on power, sewage and gas infrastructure, albeit to differing levels (pipes cost a lot more than cables to lay).

    5. Terry Barnes
      Stop

      Bust

      I think that would be a good, quick way to go bust. Spend a fortune to provide service to a small number of customers for a product with a low selling price.

      Companies have to borrow to invest and they need to explain their plans to the banks when borrowing it - who'd lend you any money for the plan above?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Cooper line??

    Is that like...

    "So I rang up my local swimming baths. I said 'Is that the local

    swimming baths?' He said 'It depends where you're calling from.'"

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For those of us not in line to get fibre

    Perhaps a mesh MAN of some sort might work. Shame Ronja doesn't get anywhere near 100Mb/s, but a microwave link will approach it and symmetrically too. Club together with a few neighbours to bond some adsl lines and install the microwave antennae on the mast with the TV aerial.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    gash

    So how is this any different to BT blowing in ISDN30 fibres, which they've been doing for years?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the trial soon.....

    I just happen to live in one of the areas that had fibre laid last year and am awaiting an engineer within the next few weeks having been contacted to be part of the trial. Unfortunately there does not seem to be any means to apply to be part of the trial, at least through BT, you just have to wait and hope they call.

    I recently had a decent conversation with one of the experienced Openreach engineers who performs the fibre installs. Most of the trained install staff have apparently only recently had their training and had not actually performed any real-world installs as part of this, so are currently hitting "new" issues to work around. For the engineers who are now "old hands" at these installs they usually take much less time.

    Understandably (I think) I cannot wait to give this a full rundown. It's not that I download much normally, but on my current (poor) DSL connection I can't even stream things like iplayer content so it's going to be some leap.

  20. Mike Shepherd

    Not a problem

    'BT's "superfast" broadbrand programme director, told El Reg that the company was still waiting for clearance from local authorities in Haringey to let the company install 18 of its cabinets'

    Clearly, the local residents don't want it. Why is this a problem when there is demand elsewhere and we are invited to believe that the current limitation is how fast that demand can be met?

  21. Simon Neill

    FTTP

    All well and good giving me a bazzillion gigabit line to my house if all you are going to have is a dial up modem at the other end and cap me to 20 bytes per decade and all.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    This article is a minefield

    blowing fibers, blowing cables, customers getting blown.

    I think I need to sit down.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Mesh networks are looking more attractive all the time...

    I live in a large town in southern England, on an estate which was a field ten years ago, so one might think we'd have superfast broadband from BT (soon, if not today).

    Ho, flipping ho. Our connection generally tops out at around 1.5MB, giving us a ceiling of about 250Kb/s with a following wind (which, to be fair, is an improvement on the 512KB-ish we had for the first couple of years here, until BT plumbed in a new exchange up the road).

    Yes, we can do most things comfortably - SD-resolution BBC iPlayer (but no HD), for instance - but even the likes of 8MB sound like a distant dream, never mind into the "tens". Moreover, the BT Web site tells me there are "no plans" to extend Infinity here. And I thought this was supposed to be a "high-tech hotspot" town...

    There's been serious talk of rolling out a WiFi mesh network here (and by now, you can probably guess where I live, if you want to), but it's been stymied by various issues, not least the local councillors fighting like rats in a sack over the business technicalities. Honestly, if the mesh WiFi could offer >10MB speeds where BT can't, I'd look into it if the thing ever goes live (if it ever does).

    Ah well - welcome to the Britain of the 2010s...

    1. Terry Barnes

      Hmm

      Your mesh would give you good speeds to the next mesh node - but who provides and pays for enough aggregate backhaul to give you the throughput you'd all need? Who maintains it, manages it, resolves config issues - all that? Unless all these things are thought through you'll end up with a disappointing white elephant.

  24. demat
    Boffin

    Re-skilling:

    " No you can't twist the ends together!"

  25. Peter 39

    Verizon FiOS

    Verizon's similar scheme in the U.S. doesn't involve any splicing in the field as far as I could tell. It uses specific lengths of pre-terminated cable that connect to splitters etc.

    That's more involved in that you have to measure fairly carefully and stock various lengths rather than bulk cable. But it does solve the problem of field splices etc.

  26. dak
    Boffin

    By "engineer"

    I take it you really mean "installation technician"?

    1. david wilson

      @By "engineer"

      ...they mean the van they drive has an engine in it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "...they mean the van they drive has an engine in it."

        BT can afford that now?

        Good for them.

    2. Terry Barnes

      Engineer

      ...is not a protected term in the UK - anyone can call themselves one.

  27. Adam 19
    Alert

    MK Broadband Action Group

    As the guy that runs the long standing MK Broadband Action Group (MK BAG, www.mkbag.org) I'd like to point out that MK council has been *extremely* helpful to BT and others in getting the trial facilitated. Not a single one of the MK BAG members, MK council or anyone else in the trial has come across ANY opposition from local residents, not even about vans "swamping" streets - that's simply untrue.

    The local paper, BBC local news on both TV and radio and ourselves have been campaigning for years to get the infrastructure of MK upgraded. As the fastest growing city in western Europe we have some of the most shoddy telecoms infrastructure. A lot of the existing phone lines aren't even copper, but are aluminium, and broadband speeds of 512k with frequent drop outs are common - swathes of MK don't even have ANY broadband access, which is shocking for a city of nearly a quarter of a million people, based on high tech industry and telecommuting.

    Now while we're very happy that 1/3rd of MK (by exchange area) / 11k premises (1/8th of MK's 90k homes) has got a trial of FTTP we'd love to see that trial extended to permanent basis and offered to everyone on that exchange (33k lines out of Bradwell Abbey exchange) and the rest of MK covered in at least FTTC. As it stands, the rest of MK will get some areas in FTTC, some left with sub-1Mb copper and some with nothing at all - an even worse divide and patchwork than we have at the moment.

    If you're in MK and want to help campaign for a clean FTTC/P mix for every premises, join up at www.mkbag.org

  28. Alfie
    Unhappy

    high-speed - my erchie

    As someone that moved from a village into the suburbs of Glasgow I went from 4Mb+ to a 1.5Mb max connection.

    I'm thinking of installing a clacks tower to improve throughput. I cant even run BBC iPlayer in SD cleanly. I'd probably get it built before BT pay any attention to my town.

  29. Greebo

    @Martin Gregorie

    Over here in Newhall, most of the building on North Chase were pre-cabled with Sky and TV/FM sockets on the wall, provided by a underground cabling system from a shared dish/Aerial system somewhere on the estate. We get a full-strength signal on all signals, and rarely get any jitter. VM never got a chance to run any cables, and it's just as well. I've been bitter since they killed off RedTV.

    Sadly, the broadband is utter tosh, we're lucky to get 2Mb, probably because we're so far from the exchange at Sainsburys. If BT wanted to put in FTTC here, I'd supply them as much tea and bacon as they could handle, but they'd have trouble finding space for a cabinet, as there's barely enough room to park!

  30. Dwayne

    Verizon FIOS - Redondo Beach, USA

    Verizon FOIS to the house which provides Digital TV, 4 POTS Lines, and currently Internet at 25Mbps down, 5Mbps Up requires pulling a fiber from the splitter hanging on a pole across the street to the roof and down the side of the house to a box which splits out the various services. An install takes 4+ hours if you also figure in the TV DVR and any funky internal wiring. Certainly 7+ hours is not unusual. Once its in, its rock solid. Just takes time to pull old copper and replace with fiber.

  31. Chris Evans
    Unhappy

    Comparison with South Korea.

    Does South Korea with their 1000Mbps network have these problem?

    and why is BT going with 100 rather than 1000Mbps?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "and why is BT going with 100 rather than 1000Mbps?"

      Because they can roll out 100 now, do nothing at all for 12 months, then switch their gear into gigabit mode on a Tuesday night, and charge everyone 10 times the price for their broadband on Wednesday morning.

      Then they can get a BT-branded troll on Newsnight to waffle on and on about the great job they did "upgrading" to gigabit. When in reality the person who pushed the switch was an "apprentice" who spent the rest of his time making tea for gruff telecoms technicians who would pinch his bum and buy him ice cream to freak him out.

      Then the building will catch fire and they can pretend that they are just the poor victims of another elaborate fire scenario that is totally not their fault because keeping things not on fire is "not their department" etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Why?

        Because there's no need for a domestic 1Gb internet connection, that's why you numpty.

        Secondly have you seen the current cost of a 100Mbit business internet connection, let alone 1Gb?

        But there really is no point in everybody going to 1Gb becuase non of the servers you access would have the link speed or even the hardware performance to provide data to all their users at that speed.

        An analogy might be a car with a 230mph top speed. You can't cruise down the M1 at 230mph in the morning rush hour. So you're doing 50mph with the capability in the background to do 230mph. Sure it's nice to get bursts of high performance, but for the most part you never get to use it in the real world.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whole picture

    I have a new 30MBit/s service from Virgin Media. I get 30 Mbit/s according to speetest.net - however, I tried to watch the iPAD2 video on Apple's site last night and it was juddery. I then investigated and what appears to be important is the network response time -there is a pintest site which I used aand VM fared very poorly (it got an F).

    So, it's not all about throughput...

  33. Stu_The_Jock
    Go

    Eller bruke norsk systemet . . . (Or use the norwegian system)

    We had to wait till they were going to cable our entire area. Only if there was sufficient interest did they dig up the road and lay the fibre carrying tubes. "Self install" was about 150 quid, and meant we dug our own trench across the garden, and fed the pipe into house, lay the "inside" thinner tube to where it was to go, then they came and connected the tubes, and blew the fibre through to the local cabinet. Engineer in house for about 30 mins, then 20 mins later after a trip to the cabinet to connect the "loose" end of the fibre, we were online.

    Speeds not great, we're on the entry lever 15Mbit each way, but that's getting boosted to 40Mbit each way in the next 2 months. Speeds on offer go up to 400Mbit each way, for a price.

    1. Stu_The_Jock

      <title>

      Should maybe have added that that fibre cable provides not only the interwebs, but our TV system (which is then sent from fibre transceiver to decoder over a cat 5 cable) and a pair of VOIP lines.

  34. foofightin
    FAIL

    Ridculous

    Whilst FTTP might be useful a decade or 2 down the line, surely we should concentrate on bringing everyone in the country up to sub FTTC speeds rather than offering 100 or even 1000mbps services - useful only to the most intensive business processes.

    I'm in Milton Keynes. I laugh when I hear people complaining of their 4, 5, 6 mbps lines. I'm lucky to get a stable 1mbps, like a lot of people here. Honestly, BT, provide FTTC to ALL areas in a town, and down create digital divides. And please leave the FTTP 'til a few years down the line. The Jones' a mile across time should not get their internet ONE HUNDRED times faster than me.

    1. Terry Barnes
      Stop

      Err

      And why should PC manufacturers be allowed to sell quad core machines when not everyone has got even a Pentium4 yet? Also, we should turn off the nation's gas and water supplies until every property is supplied with these from the mains.

      I'm just off to tell my neighbour that he can't use his Audi until my Citroen C8 is capable of 160MPH.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    I am on the Fibre Trial

    I am in Milton Keynes and I have been on the Fibre Trial for 3 month now. The speed is always between 60 - 90 MB down and 15 MB upload all day and the line is very stable only 2 reboots in 3 months. The problem with this kind of speed is the download limits are reached to quick. It is fun downloading an episode of Top Gear in 60 sec. but at 700Mb in standard quality on a monthly 40GB limit and you will never view any Hi-Def channels or downloads. Also you have to put up with speed restrictions during buisy hours on some services unless you go with the Pro package and a 20GB limit a month. On my install the engineers (5 vans all day loads of coffee and cakes) they spend 1 hour doing the cable and the rest of the day they were sitting in there vans having breaks and 2 hour lunches. So time wise they could get it down to 3 hours unless there are blocked or brocken ducts.

    Anyway I am happy with the speed currently 65MB down, 15Mb up and a ping of 5ms.

    http://www.speedtest.net/result/1183339813.png

    P.S. The engineer said they are trialing 400MB on this kind of Fibre at the moment and Sky are in talks with them to deliver TV down the fibre cable.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge
      Stop

      wha?

      40gb cap.

      hah ahahhaha haha

      sorry. What a complete farce. I had no idea infinity was that restricted.

      1. Erroneous Howard

        40GB cap

        Well yes, if you choose the broadband contract with a 40GB limit. They DO sell an "unlimited" service as well (certainly for infinity), which of course is "subject to fair usage". Quite what fair usage entails on a trial of "up to" 100Mb fibre is anyone's guess.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Badgers

        Lulz

        eek I can hit 40GB in 6 hours on my 24mb adsl did you point out to BT that there are 24 hours in a day and at least 28 days in a month...

        as an aside I recently mirrored a remote NAS over a VPN to my location and pulled down 500GB over about a week.. I could have taken the box into work and done it quicker but I wasn't in a hurry, and wanted to see what the ISP would say when I really used the 'unlimited' connection.. turns out that it is unlimited, they didn't make a peep.

  36. Grim2o0o
    FAIL

    Business As Usual

    Ahh, so in typical BT fashion...

    BT: "Here's your new 100Mbit line sir, now make do with that 10GB a month cap - it really lets you experience 'up to' several lo-res Youtube videos!"

    CSTMR: "But I want to watch rich web-content? Hi-def etc etc, and download my games from Steam?"

    BT: "Sorry sir, you cannot actually use this super fast pipe for anything that the extra bandwidth would show gains from - but if you look closely, your Facebook page will open a hundredth of a second quicker!"

    CSTMR: "Oh... might as well stick with the erm.. up to 8Mbit then"

    Since the internet likes car analagies: It's like having a 6.0 V12, with a 5 litre petrol tank - useless.

  37. A 31
    Thumb Up

    RE:I am on the Fibre Trial

    GIT !!!!

    ;-)

  38. david 12 Bronze badge

    Fibre to the Cabinet - AUS

    Fibre to the Cabinet is ADSL. In AUS this is not understood as Fibre. Here, 'fibre' means fibre to the home.

    In AUS the cabinet is called a RIM, and being on a RIM often means that you can get high-speed ADSL only if from the national supplier (Telstra). Apart from that, most people would have no idea if they were being served with Fibre to the node.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Cabiniet worker

      Does that mean the guy putting the cabinet in has a rim job?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Passed

    "So far the FTTP infrastructure has "passed" 11,500 homes and businesses in Milton Keynes and testing has gone smoothly in the area, said McQuoid. BT uses the "passed" terminology to point out that its infrastructure sometimes passes homes that don't have a cooper line."

    They use the term passed because they are talking about fibre infrastucture going passed the pemises, just like the road does. The link to the property is not part of the infrastructure.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FTTP vs. FTTC

    I live in an area that won't be getting either any time soon, but...

    A while ago I had a line fault (an OLD, if you must know) the PTO who came out to fix it told me I had a direct single line to the exchange. He told me that since I was getting 8Mb rock solid ADSL he would instruct to repair team to fix the line as it stood, rather than connet it to the frames in the cabinet at the end of the street. His reasoning behind this was that several nearby houses could only get 5 or 6Mb and were connected to the cabinet. After the repair I still have 8Mb/s. Which is nice.

    The point is, however, that should FTTC ever come to our area my neighbours will probably see a huge boost in speed. I, on the other hand, won't unless my line is dug up and reconnected to the cabinet. And no doubt they will charge for that.

    So I'd prefer FTTP thanks very much. Not because it's faster than FTTC, but because an FTTC rollout in my area will do nothing to improve my broadband speed.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @foofightin

    I'm also in MK and yes, I laugh (or rather cry) when I see people moaning about their 6Mbit broadband - having only a slightly better broadband service than yours by the sound of it. Sorry to say though that I will have FTTP very soon, so will be one of "The Jones".

    Look out for the wireless network titled "DSLSucksWang"

  42. This post has been deleted by its author

  43. Phil 64

    Are you sure thats not a pic of a fibre blower

    Looks nothing like the Corning Optisplice CDS I use

  44. Fozzie Bear
    Linux

    Fibre blower

    That looks exactly like the blowing head on the back of my van!

  45. The Splund
    Pint

    I too am on the fibre trial in MK...

    ...and I get 12-15 Mbits upload about 60 Mbits down. My install took about a month as the BT Openreach engineers had to contend with two blocked ducts and one with a sharp right angle at each end which they couldn't getthe cobra down never mind blow fibre.

    Through it all, the engineers were cheerful, friendly and helpful (as well as determined) which is what I've always found BT engineers to be.

    The rubbish bit of BT (in my experience) are BT retail broadband who never know what's going on and aren't helpful at all. To the extent that while I was a BT broadband customer (with 1 Mbit down and 512k up) I couldn't sign up to the FTTP trial with them even though I knew there was fibre in the street outside my house.

    So I switched to Andrews & Arnold who got me on the trial and have been nothing short of brilliant since.

    So not all parts of BT are the same - and at least they are investing in these trials, which is more than I see the likes of Virgin Media doing.

    A pint 'cause I like beer.

  46. chrisjw37
    Headmaster

    Aylesbury 'already has the fibre facility' BT tells me

    Aylesbury Bucks,

    BT tell me we already have fibre-optic capacity - the average broadband speed is currently 2mb, often less on the south and eastern side of town.

    Of course everyone is on Virgin cable DSL at 10mb basic instead.

    BT offered me a sample cost - roughly twice the monthly price - installation is extra and the supplied bandwidth still does not match Virgin.

    The thing is - there has been no local work on fibre installation - it has been seen to be installed on the high street (at night) but not to any residential area; so the theory that I could have it installed is about 1 mile short of geographical reality.

    Locals who are still on dial-up - 33k

    No bull !

    This is the Home counties, County town of Buckinghamshire, a very middle class area, with thousands of commuters and 42 miles from London with direct train and road access (paying customers); but an extremely poor local loop network.

    You'd have thought it an ideal location.

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