back to article Networks in 2016: A full fibre diet for UK.gov

Blighty’s post Brexit diet must include a "full-fibre" eating plan, or so says the UK’s new digital minister Matt Hancock. Amid all the political noise over the last 12 months, the volume for infrastructure investment was dialled up to 11. In the Autumn statement, chancellor Phillip Hammond announced a £400m "full fibre" …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is that speeds of 24 mbps or speeds of up to 24 mbps ?

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Of what conceivable use is 24 millibits per second?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No need to be facetious.

        Commswonk - We all knew what he/she meant, you're just been facetious. There is a big difference between 24Mbps and 'upto' 24Mbps, BT love to obfuscate / bamboozle and (revolving Jobs door) Ofcom approves of this bullshit, because it keeps the regulator in a job.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In other news...Estonia rolls out 10Gbps Everywhere. {facepalm - BT}

      Starman - Estonia, announce they are rolling out 10Gbps EPON Everywhere, after buying Finnish telco Elisa, rolling out the tech from the lab into the field.

      Entrenched BT (and Ofcom regulation of it) is such an embarassment to the UK. Split Openreach and be done with it, Ofcom.

      What do we have proposed? A 10Mbps USO. Not even implemented or agreed. BT have Ofcom wrapped around their little finger, with BT doing exactly as they please.

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    An easy first step

    would be that all those new 'Starter Homes' and 'Garden Villages/towns' (and even all new homes) must be built with

    - Fibre to the Premises

    - Solar PV on the roof.

    FTTP should be easy to do with new developments. Instead of laying copper, just lay Fibre.

    Just issue a directive to the planning departments up and down the country to make those a pre-requisite to granting Planning Consent.

    A second step could be to direct the Mobile providers to allow roaming in the 'Not Spots'. That will save an awful lot of masts being built where there is already at lest one network providing coverage. Then make the providers not building duplicate masts fill in the 100% Not Spot areas. Should even out the costs a bit.

    but those are far too simple and reek of common sense to have any hope in hell of being done.

    1. Known Hero

      Re: An easy first step

      Been saying this for years.

      people complain about who has to pay for it .... well one can simply take it all out of the builder's profit for all I care, the fuckers are fleecing everybody at this point.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An easy first step

        one can simply take it all out of the builder's profit for all I care

        And who do you think pays for that profit??

    2. Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

      Re: An easy first step

      Indeed - it should be compulsory for all new developments (housing or commercial) to have empty ducts or whatever to each premises, back to a central kerbisde point where multiple operators can install their cabinets onto their backhaul. Developers have to provide water, power, sewage, etc.,as part of the development so it is simple and cheap for them to do at the build time, but unless it becomes a requisite it will not happen. And no-one wants to dig up new streets a few months later... The Building Regulations (if anyone has ever had cause to read) are full of some unbelievable fluff (for instance - you are required to have a flushing toilet and running water in a bathroom!) but no mention of what is quickly becoming an essential feature of peoples lives (and probably will be for the next 50-100 years).

      Elsewhere, there are plenty of little industrial units and places (such as converted farm buildings) where there is sweet FA connectivity, and I have seen quotes of £20,000+ to get 100mb/s connections into such premises, yet cities are to get gigbit FTTP. We all know that cities are congested polluted gritty places to live and work and are only going to get worse unless we can get business in rural areas connected onto a decent backbone. In some of these small business premises, even a 10meg connections needs to have 4 or 5 bonded pairs back to the exchange as the line lnegths and cable quality are so poor - and there is probably only a 20 pair cable to the site, installed 50 years ago, so once a few companies take up broadvand and phone lines, the capacity is all gone.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: An easy first step

      "FTTP should be easy to do with new developments. Instead of laying copper, just lay Fibre."

      How are you going to explain to the new occupiers that they're going to have to pay monthly FTTP costs when they only wanted FTTC service and costs?

      The suggestion of specifying ducts so the occupier has the choice makes more sense.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An easy first step

        DoctorSyntax...

        After spending avg. 300K-500K. plus on a brand new build, are you really suggesting new homeowners want a pair of copper wires from BT just so they have a matter of choice? Most today wouldn't buy a new build unless it had true Fibre FTTP, or would be bloody annoyed to find out all they had was shitty 'upto' copper.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: An easy first step

          "After spending avg. 300K-500K. plus on a brand new build, are you really suggesting new homeowners want a pair of copper wires from BT just so they have a matter of choice?"

          You're showing a serious reading comprehension here.

          Firstly who mentioned the house price? The Beeb report says "built as a response to meeting local housing needs - especially for first-time buyers." You're making an assumption about the house prices and hence on the income of the occupants on no basis.

          Secondly, if there are ducts and they want to pay a monthly fibre subscription they can have fibre. That's choice. If only fibre is installed they don't have choice, they've got to stump up for fibre subscriptions even if they don't need or want Gb service.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: An easy first step

            Its not choice at all. The two (Copper v pure Fibre, FTTP) are not comparable regards a new build. It's a chalk and cheese, comparison.

            The point I'm making is if I'm buying a brand new house, I'm looking for everything to be brand new, and that includes internet connectivity.

            I'm not looking for BT to supply me a bamboozled, obfuscated 'upto' service over outdated legacy copper. I couldn't give a shit if BT is able to connect me via copper if there is true Fibre to the Premises available, and why would I? I'm paying a riddiculous amount for the new build. I'm not looking to save £10 a month, to move house and have poor 'upto' copper based connectivity.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: An easy first step

              "The point I'm making is if I'm buying a brand new house, I'm looking for everything to be brand new, and that includes internet connectivity."

              OK, you do and presumably you're willing to pay. But if you imagine everyone else is like you how do you explain TalkTalk's customer numbers? If FTTC is good enough that's what they'll pay, not a penny a month more and they wouldn't thank you for committing them to do so. They'd agree with your comment that it's chalk and cheese, it's just that they'd see it differently.

        2. Commswonk Silver badge

          Re: An easy first step

          "Most today wouldn't buy a new build unless it had true Fibre FTTP..."

          And your evidence for this assertion is what, exactly?

          It it were true then there would be thousands of new builds standing empty for want of FTTP.

          Can I propose that AC postings are banned for any topic involving broadband speeds?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: An easy first step

            Commswonk,

            Can I propose any 60+ yo retiree is banned from commenting on Broadband, because their working career is over and FTTP v shitty copper 'upto' connectivity and penny pinching over cost no longer affects them. We need to concenrate on Millennials or less, when planning future true fibre optic FTTP connectivity.

            1. Commswonk Silver badge

              Re: An easy first step

              Can I propose any 60+ yo retiree is banned from commenting on Broadband, because their working career is over and FTTP v shitty copper 'upto' connectivity and penny pinching over cost no longer affects them.

              Wrong! While I would wholeheartedly agree that "up to" speeds are dishonest, I fail to see how you can eliminate retirees from concerns over broadband costs; while the capital outlay to provide any sort of B/B may come from the taxpayer, over time that cost is recovered by selling the product to end users. Your "argument" (if it really can be called that) would force not just retirees but everyone to pay more for their service than they might be prepared to, and if customers (retired or not) decide to vote with their wallets then the entire dream of universal connectivity risks failure. I am at a loss to understand how you can suggest that the cost of broadband no longer affects retirees; the cost of more or less everything affects them*. Perhaps your argument boils down to "let's disenfranchise everyone who disagrees with me".

              As it happens I have no argument with the idea that where it is reasonably practical to do so FTTP should be offered to users, but trying to flood - wire the UK with FTTP only on a "big bang" basis is a non - starter.

              * I will allow commuting costs as an exception, but as a trade off we probably have to pay more for our heating because we're at home more.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: An easy first step

                The example was in relation to new builds. (The flippant remark regarding retirees was with regard to your comment to ban people from the forum, nothing gets my back up more).

                It's hardly trying to flood the market when (as a Nation), we are hardly building any new homes/properties. It's like saying (in terms of Copper v Fibre) you can have the choice of Candles or an Electricity supply. Why would you choose Candles for a new build in 2017 (even though it would save you the standing charge), when the house has Electricity.

                We've just (as a Nation) paid BT Billions to install hybrid 'Fibre' and we still rely on a copper twisted pair for the final leg, even for new builds. That's the non-starter to me. It's completely ridiculous idea, having to stimulate the market (as taxpayers), yet carry on with obsolete technology because the incumbent BT sits on their hands, because it suits their plans/entrenches their position.

                The house been built doesn't just have to cater for you, it has to cater for everyone who is going to own that house at a future date for the next 100 years. The time to make that future switch to pure/true Fibre is at the point of build.

                For the monthly amount you save on line rental, choosing 'upto' copper over pure fibre cabling would de-value the house by a greater amount, far more than you save in monthly payments, in choosing Copper over Fibre.

                Have you even heard of WhatsApp? There is no good reason to be rolling out Copper to new builds. In 3-5 years avg. (max 8 years according to BT) the call will made via VoIP and transmitted across the UK as IP Packets.

                It's a pointless notion that Copper is somehow more resilient to make an Emergency call when you need to, as said at most you have 8 years before BT transitions to a full IP Network, in many places its already the case/underway.

                1. Blotto Bronze badge

                  Re: An easy first step

                  @Phil

                  BT's network is already enabled for VOIP

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_21CN

                  analogue calls are digitised and sent across their mpls backbone before being converted to analogue angain

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: An easy first step

                It's not a non-starter. It's what is absolutely needed to bring the UK's telecoms infrastructure into the 21st century.

                A lot of the rollout cost can be offset by the reduced maintenance costs after you dump all that copper, once you sell off the bulk of the exchange buildings (assuming BT still owns them, if not, their rental costs), once troubleshooting costs plummet as you're no longer having to troubleshoot someone's line because it's got a bit wet or corroded, or is experiencing RF interference.

                Simplifies the network too - no horrendously expensive electronics being rained or snowed on, frozen or baked to death. Allows for a high quality service during power outages if the CPE is also suitably backed up.

                It's too late now, but the billions we spent on crappy old VDSL (and will spend on G.fast) would have also helped pay for a good chunk of FTTP.

                It's the future, though it really should be the present - and constantly saying "too expensive, can't do it" contradicts what other telcos (of similar size and stature to BT) have been saying.

                Besides, all those lovely 5G small cells will need fibre run to them anyway. Might as well carry on and bring it to the home too.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: An easy first step

                  after you dump all that copper,

                  Hmm. What about all the other infrastructure that still uses the copper: the traffic lights, burglar alarms, ATMs, etc.? Or do you think that phones are all it's needed for? Much of that copper will still be there for decades, even if internet traffic is caried by fibre. "Just pull out the copper and blow in fibre" is a favourite suggestion from people who have no clue what's actually underground, or what uses it.

                  no longer having to troubleshoot someone's line because it's got a bit wet or corroded,

                  Have you spent much time debugging fibre, and it's own unique set of problems?

                  Allows for a high quality service during power outages if the CPE is also suitably backed up

                  So does copper. So what?

                  Besides, all those lovely 5G small cells will need fibre run to them anyway

                  You're somewhat fixated on 5G, I get the impression that you have to have the latest everything. 4K UHD 3D TV, electric cars, FTTP, 5G. All very clever, but not necessarily wanted or required by everyone.

                  I believe L'Oreal has a hairbrush you might like.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: An easy first step

                    They get modernised - because that's what you do.

                    Burglar alarms - move them to 3G/4G, or plug the POTS port into your fancy new FTTP modem instead. Even the Blessed BT now advertises IP as being just as good enough as a traditional redcare line, along with cellular backup.

                    ATMs - many of these already use IP over DSL, or over a 3G/4G data connection, so the type of bearer doesn't matter too much

                    Traffic lights - if it's a dialup modem still, then FTTP accomodates telephony too. If it's IP, no real issue.

                    Re fibre faults: Such as? We're talking about PON networks here, for the sake of argument. How common are they in relation to copper faults which are ten a penny, especially after bouts of "extreme" weather? Because telcos around the world have gone on record as stating that their maintenance costs have plummeted. I'm sure even BT has the spreadsheets saying the same thing.

                    Re power outages: Actually, no it doesn't. The VDSL cabinets can only run for a matter of hours before their batteries conk out. Exchange based ADSL can run for as long as the generators, but that's 20thC technology now grandad.

                    Re 5G: It isn't just me, it's every one of the mobile network operators, it's the phone manufacturers. But it isn't just about 5G, it's also about increasing 4G or even 3G coverage. Small cells are the only way you do that, and they need to get backhaul from somewhere. That could be an insanely expensive dedicated fibre, it could be a slightly less expensive microwave link if LOS is available, or it could be a matter of plugging into the existing FTTP network.

            2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: An easy first step

              Can I propose any 60+ yo retiree is banned from commenting on Broadband, because their working career is over and FTTP v shitty copper 'upto' connectivity and penny pinching over cost no longer affects them.

              Yet those very retirees make up a huge proportion of home internet users, seeing as how they're at home most of the time. If they can be disregarded as not needing GB speeds doesn't that simply demonstrate that a large and growing part of the population has no need for FTTP speeds? Will Gbit/s FTTP really make the online shop at Tesco a better experience? Will those retirees be willing to pay for it?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: An easy first step

                You're assuming Tesco's online shop continues to look as it does. Given the past, it certainly looks nothing like what it did when we had 33Kbps and now generates a massive amount of the overall business for Tesco.

                Who would have thought? Certainly not BT.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An easy first step

        Well done for missing the point.

        The beauty of FTTP is that it gives everyone what they want. A cheapskate on TalkTalk can have 2Mbit on FTTP if they like, while the power user next door can have 1Gbit, and the business down the road can have a 10Gbit leased line without BT (or A. N. Other Telco Ltd) having to spend forever digging up the road to give it to them (at enormous cost). If the TalkTalk cheapskater decides to join the 21st century, they too can upgrade their speed virtually instantly - and they'll get what they pay for, no distance issues

        Telcos who have been a bit more forward thinking than BT have already admitted that FTTP is much cheaper to maintain than the masses of aging, rotting copper (and/or aluminium in BT's case).

        The only way this stuff works economically is to have one network. The mobile networks have proven what happens when everyone is trying to duplicate each other's work. Patchy coverage and cherry picking of profitable areas.

        Basically, we need an Openreach-like organisation, only one that is determined to do FTTP and perhaps without BT owning it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: An easy first step

          The beauty of FTTP is that it gives everyone what they want

          Really?

          I want 50Mbit/s on my smartphone. How does FTTP give me that?

          I need 10Mbit/s just for email & shopping, and I want it as cheaply as possible. How does FTTP give me that?

          I want to live out in the country away from a town, how does FTTP work cheaply for me?

          FTTP everywhere is an unnecessarily expensive pipedream which could be superseded by 4G and 5G even before any rollout could be complete. It makes no sense to try and second-guess what people might need in 20 years, and to spend taxpayers money on it now. The sensible approach is to invest in what most people will want for the next 5-10 years, and keep it under review, not to throw billions of taxpayer cash at a "futureproof" solution for a problem most people don't yet have, and may never have.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Clueless

            "I want 50Mbit/s on my smartphone. How does FTTP give me that?"

            You must work in BT/EE Sales/marketing and clueless at that. At least learn how 4G/5G mobile coverage works before spouting such nonsense.

            Blanket FTTP rollout is the ONLY way you'll ever get 50Mbps "5G speeds" on your mobile, because the mobile mast itself needs FTTP backhaul to deliver you the 50Mbps. You can't achieve concurrent users each receiving 50Mbps any other way. You certainly not going to do it with Pointless G.fast technology between two points over multiple copper cores, even if BT were to further develop this. (and why reinvent the wheel? Fibre Optic is tried and tested, works, Copper G.fast is unproven)

            Have you every thought how they get the data to/from these wonderful 4G/5G mobile masts you talk of?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Clueless

              You must work in BT/EE Sales/marketing and clueless at that.

              No, I'm a Chartered Engineer with a background in telecomms. Are you?

              Blanket FTTP rollout is the ONLY way you'll ever get 50Mbps "5G speeds" on your mobile

              5G again!` Even 4G/LTE is specced for 300Mbit/s.

              the mobile mast itself needs FTTP backhaul to deliver you the 50Mbps.

              Of course, and you can put those masts in places where it's easy to get the fibre. That's a completely different situation to trying to get fibre to arbitrarily-placed houses that aren't near convenient ducts/wayleaves/roads etc.

              If we followed your arguments we'd be building 3 new runways at Heathrow, running HS2 to Aberdeen, and making the M25 24 lanes in each direction. Sure, it would look great on paper, but why should my tax money be squandered on it?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: An easy first step

            Example 1: by providing cost effective and easily provisioned backhaul for all those 4G/5G small cells that will be needed to do that. Though I think you knew full well that we're really talking about wired connections here.

            Example 2: by configuring your FTTP ONT (modem) to give you a 10Mbit service. How simple is that, eh? Then when you want 100Mbit, they just reconfigure it in seconds. Such simplicity.

            Example 3: same way you got an electricity or water supply - by contributing to the cost, if it's going to cost a disproportionate amount (like if you chose to live on a country pile). If you don't want to pay, no service for you. But then, if you're that rural, FTTC would likely have missed you anyway. Even 5G is unlikely.

            Like I said, that wonderful 5G network will need small cells everywhere to have any chance of working properly. That means fibre near homes - with small cells on telegraph poles etc. If you're going near, you might as well go in. Why use flaky wireless when you can use wired solutions? It just doesn't make sense.

            The sensible approach is to stop wasting money on bodges. We haven't done that, we spent billions on VDSL - which we're now about to spend billions replace with copper bodge mk2 - g.fast. Why? Because it's been realised that 80Mbit (if you live next to the cab) ain't cutting it. The people for whom BT has already deployed FTTP, meanwhile, have no such problem. BT's about to give them 1Gbit without any fuss, and the now-laid fibre is capable of virtually any future requirement even if the equipment at the ends is not.

          3. rh587

            Re: An easy first step

            It makes no sense to try and second-guess what people might need in 20 years, and to spend taxpayers money on it now.

            WTF?????

            That is literally how all major infrastructure planning is conducted - whether you're talking roads, railways, power grids, sewerage systems or - indeed - communications networks. Start out with projections of future demand and then make sure the system you're going to be build will be easily interoperable with the system that will succeed it. You don't build for today when you could build for tomorrow at no additional cost (e.g. laying fibre to new builds instead of already-redundant copper).

            Also, whilst past performance is not a guarantee of future trends, 20 years ago (1997) most people didn't have internet access at all. In another 20 years they'll be streaming stereo 20K streams for massivley immersive virtual reality gaming or movie viewing, or skype will be conducted through holograms. Maybe.

    4. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: An easy first step

      "would be that all those new 'Starter Homes' and 'Garden Villages/towns' (and even all new homes) must be built with

      - Fibre to the Premises

      - Solar PV on the roof.

      Can someone remind me what the appropriate emoticon is for long, uncontrollable, hollow laughter?

      My home is close to the proposed location of four of these "Garden Villages" each of which will be several times the size of any of the nearby market towns. There are no services and there's no consideration that Hampshire is short of water. The infrastructure planning is non-existent.

      The locations seem to be so poorly chosen (one is in the green belt and is an ex-military test track) that there's more than a whiff of "big bung may be associated with this decision" about the whole business. For "Garden Village" read "packed-in cardboard boxes without gardens".

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An easy first step

      Downvote for "Solar PV on the roof"

      If it has a working lifetime of say 25 years, and (without subsidy) doesn't pay for itself from the cost of electricity used in 25 years, then it's just a waste of money.

      If you think solar PV is the solution to electricity generation problems, then at least put them in solar farms where there are economies of scale and they can be steered for maximum efficiency.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An easy first step

        How about offsetting the cost of charging your Electric Car?

        You know the ones that apparently we will all have within the next 10 years.

        Even on a sunny winters day, my small PV array can generate enough KWh to give my car enough charge for around 10 miles of travel. That's fine for local journeys which burn petrol at higher rates than longer ones. In the summer I consume no grid electricity at all (measured over 2-3 months)

        If every house had PV panels then we'd need a few less gas fired power plants.

        soon it will be economic to have your own electricty storage device. Then you can go off grid if you want.

        Oh, and where I live it puts at least £5K on the value of your home. That's almost the cost of the installation.

        1. itzman
          Facepalm

          Re: An easy first step

          Even on a sunny winters day, my small PV array can generate enough KWh to give my car enough charge for around 10 miles of travel.

          How many sunny days are there in winter?

          about 5 in December...

    6. rh587

      Re: An easy first step

      FTTP should be easy to do with new developments. Instead of laying copper, just lay Fibre.

      I've wondered for the last few years why this is even legal. Overbuilding the copper network is expensive, but all the cost exists in paying people to physically dig up the road. If you're laying new lines into new builds, it is insane that OpenReach have been laying copper in. All the cost is in the trench, fibre costs sod all per metre.

      Presumably they're working on the principle that in 10 years time the Government will pay them to dig it up again and lay FTTP.

      In the meantime, G.Fast is great, except for rural dwellers who live long distances from cabinets or even the drop points, exacerbating the ruralurban split.

      As Dan Howdle says, gigabit is massive overkill for almost all home and businesses and points out even 4K only needs 24mbps (easily covered by current FTTC or DOCSIS 3.0 offerings, never mind G.Fast). As he says, the difficulty is the final 5% where it's 1Mb by copper or anything else by fibre. Having laid FTTP you can be churlish and introduce differential tariffs and artificially limit people to 10/50/100/250mbps, or do as B4RN and Rutland Telecom did and just run everyone at their line speed and be limited by backhaul. So you'll get full gigabit off-peak and still manage better than 100mbps on-peak. It;s not about gigabit, it's about anything better than megabit!

      How are you going to explain to the new occupiers that they're going to have to pay monthly FTTP costs when they only wanted FTTC service and costs?

      The suggestion of specifying ducts so the occupier has the choice makes more sense.

      As I recall, BT's "FTTP On-Demand" service actually didn't let you have just fibre, you got fibre and your copper line would continue to operate alongside for calls.

      In any case, fibre costs sod all, the big money is in digging the trench to lay it in. You're quite right - every new house should be ducted (rather than direct bury) for easy upgrades, but I'd say just lay the copper and fibre in any way.

      There's also nothing stopping BT setting a sane pricing strategy for FTTP if they're rolling it out as the standard install for new builds (if you're building an entire estate which will have FTTP, then costs per house are much lower than if one solitary customer on a FTTC cabinet is requesting an FTTP install, providing consequently lower prices to customers).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An easy first step

        BT actually does have a sane FTTP pricing strategy - for the places that got BT FTTP from the off instead of FTTC, not as "FTTP on demand".

        For installation and a 40 or 80Mbit service, Openreach charges identical prices to FTTC. So at retail you're talking free installation and not too much per month, it'll be the same pricing for Infinity 1 and 2 in terms of BT's own offerings.

        Openreach also offers 200 and 330Mbit tiers too (and 1Gbit at some point). The pricing is very reasonable, and certainly at retail I think BT charges £50 a month for 330Mbit (plus line rental, which is odd).

        They've thought that out well enough. It's just a shame that the coverage is so poor.

        The FTTP network already has the capability to provide voice service too. The "modems" have phone ports on them, and Openreach sells a product called "fibre voice access" to the ISPs.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An easy first step

      How about we just virtualise (as in VMware) low usage rural masts.

  3. g00se
    Headmaster

    Floral direction

    he says the plans are really just "guiding the lily."

    In that case, though i applaud the sentiment, he needs to be slapped: it's "gilding the lily". Or does Kit Hall need a slap?

  4. AndrueC Silver badge
    Megaphone

    The not-spots definitely need to be sorted out - and they aren't all in rural areas. The main problem with these has always been cost. Unfortunately all too often the not-spot debate descends into bashing BT and claims that rural residents are being treated like 'second class citizens'.

    What's needed is a debate that acknowledges that:

    * Every property in the UK ought to have a decent connection. I'd currently define that as A minimum of 20Mb/s usable bandwidth during peak hours.

    * It's difficult and very expensive to provide these locations with such a connection.

    And here's a New Year's resolution: Before anyone engages in BT-bashing they should first ask themselves what have the other CPs done to help.

    That's not so much a defence for BT as it is an attack against the entire industry of Communication Providers. Because 5% of the country is not being adequately provided with communication services.

    1. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Hmmmm

      Well you may think it's BT bashing but OpenReach have shown some bizarre behaviours in recent years. For example I recently saw OpenReach pull fibre along 12 miles of country road that passes through a number of villages, none of them with decent broadband. I asked one of the engineers if this meant a possibility of getting FTTP along the route. No, of course not. OpenReach wanted to join a city to a large market town. No plans for anyone in the sticks to benefit from the pipe that runs just 24ft from their home/the local exchange. Since then I've been told that the plan to provide fibre to any of these villages is "never".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmmm

        I can do one better than that.

        Here in Cornwall BT has done a good job on FTTP, something like 1/3rd of properties have access to it (instead of FTTC). I think that any FTTP is a good idea.

        The only problem is that they've relegated areas onto FTTC that really could have had FTTP very easy, while spending tons stringing fibre to select ultra-rural properties - "my neighbour lives 3 miles away" territory. I may be slightly bitter, because I'm on FTTC (overhead wiring, old houses) while the next road over (also overhead wiring, old houses) is on FTTP.. even though FTTC would have been feasible for them. It's a lottery.

        My favourite is FTTP all the way to a telegraph pole in the middle of a car park. There are no copper customers on the pole, let alone potential fibre ones. Not sure of the return on that investment...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      BT's FTTC/Pointless G.fast is a selective 'cherry picking' tech, will never achieve blanket 80Mbps

      Hey BT, if you don't want BT bashing, give up the local loop. Instead of BT trying desperately to hold onto it and refusing to do anything decent with it. Ofcom just bite the bullet, take it from them.

      Pointless obfuscated bamboozled 'upto' sweated Copper Carcass G.fast is not the future and shouldn't be used as an interim technology, because it will become an entrenched Cul-de-sac technology (due to apathy,obfuscation) that we can't move away from, and BT know this.

      And on the point no one is requesting speeds higher than 80Mbps. You can't achieve blanket coverage of real 80Mbps speeds with anything other than true FTTP. Due to the sheer exponential number of 'carpet bombed' Infill cabinets using FTTC/G.fast, costs would be more than FTTP rollout to achieve blanket 80Mbps speeds (not 'upto'), throughout the UK.

      Blanket true 80Mbps using FTTC/G.fast (not 'upto 80Mbps) is just not practical, in any shape or form and Pointless G.fast an obsolete technology before its even out the door.

      You can bet for every 1 installation of Pointless G.fast that achieves more than 'upto' 160Mbps consistently, there will be 9 installations that don't for some reason or another (copper, alu cabling, poor damp connections, low frequency 'pump noise', Power supply faults, supply noise transferred through, ADSL interference, incorrectly matched equipment firmware issues etc, and ABOVE ALL DISTANCE from the cab and the prohibitive cost of the sheer number of actively powered FTTrN/FTTdP nodes required.

      All the time spent fault finding, would have been better spent laying true FTTP in the first place.

      G.fast is Pointless tech, that will require vast resources to sort out the post installation problems, especially as more connections come on-line, equipment gets older, firmware updates on older stuff still in use ceases/fails to get updates. It will end up in a real 'ball of wool' mess going forward.

      BT know this, just don't want to admit it. All the technical 'puff pieces' / (you really can't call it valid reasoning) is completely biased towards utilisiing their own outdated copper carcass infrastructure, getting further handouts, control/artificially restrict bandwidth limits by controlling the final mile connection by utilising copper, rather than upgrading their networks to true fibre to stay current themselves.

  5. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Facepalm

    You only need 24mbps for 4k ultra HD TV. Most people don’t need a lot beyond that. There is currently simply no need or use for 1Gbps.

    And 640K RAM should be enough for a personal computer, eh?

    1. Gideon 1

      You're watching 4k TV on your main set in the living room. The kids don't want to watch what you are watching so go watch 4k TV in their bedrooms, separately from each other. Then your partner watches more 4k TV in the kitchen while making the dinner... Apparently there is simply no need or use for 1Gbps.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        your partner watches more 4k TV in the kitchen while making the dinner.

        Wow, talk about 'first world problems"...

      2. John Sager

        Multiple 4k

        Exactly. There seems to be a dastardly plan to stop broadcast TV at some unspecified future point & put it all on 'broadband'. At least that's what a woefully under-advised House of Lords committee suggested a year or two back. If that ever happens, then 'broadband' will need to carry multiple decent quality TV channels for those houses that have multiple viewers with different tastes. So there's your FTTP use case right there (and a properly engineered multicast network). Of course, the HoL were totally out of their tree but I can imagine the lure of filthy lucre from mobile companies for the UHF spectrum might precipitate the same end result.

        1. Blotto Bronze badge

          Re: Multiple 4k

          don't forget the government banned BT from mlaying fibre when the cable companies started up in the uk.

          http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/how-the-uk-lost-the-broadband-race-in-1990-1224784

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Multiple 4k

            Yes, but 20 years on, things change - we need to move on. We need FTTP not G.fast.

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: Multiple 4k

              We need FTTP not G.fast.

              Why?

              How does your "futureproofed" fibre roll-out fit with a future where more & more people are using smartphones and tablets for their internet access?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Multiple 4k

                Phil, Do you even understand how those smartphones and tablets stay connected? Get their data to/from the device? It's not by magic.

                All that wireless/mobile data to/from the mobile mast eventually ends up on a fibre backhaul. If you want each phone to 'magically' have 5G connectivity speeds, the only way to route that amount of backhaul data is with a fibre optic backhaul. If you want/expect blanket 5G mobile coverage, that requires masts spaced at <1km intervals across the UK, depending on the topology/population density/cities, even higher densities of 5G masts.

                Once the connected device signal reaches a mobile mast/(or a Wifi hotspot), its transmitted from there by a fibre optic backhaul. To route that amount of 5G traffic is a job in itself. If you want faster 5G speeds, you're going to need a lot more Wifi Hotpots, a lot more Mobile Masts to get blanket coverage, and a lot more fibre backhaul.

                In places like football stadiums (high concentrations of devices), you need smaller mobile cell sizes with little overlap, vast numbers of fibre backhauls to cater for sheer numbers of devices/amount of traffic.

                Unless you have an underlying fibre network to put all this data on, re-transmit it, you're not going to get very far with your Smartphone/Tablet in terms of 5G connectivity speeds. Above all its going to be very expensive per MB pricing, when it doesn't need be.

                1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                  Re: Multiple 4k

                  Phil, Do you even understand how those smartphones and tablets stay connected?

                  Funnily enough, I do. I've even written some of the software for it. Do you have any actual technical point to make, or will you just stay with the ad-hominem, anonymous, insults?

                  if you want each phone to 'magically' have 5G connectivity

                  Who mentioned 5G? And what does the provision of fibre backhaul between dedicated, carefully chosen, radio sites have to do with FTTP links to arbitrarily sited homes with no nearby infrastructure? Getting fibre to central hubs and exchanges is the easy bit, and is what BT are doing. It's the "TP" bit of FTTP that is expensive and, so far, mostly unnecessary.

                  In places like football stadiums (high concentrations of devices),

                  All streaming video? I don't think so. No need for 5G, or even 4G speeds there.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Multiple 4k

                    Isn't the 5G methodology to use lots of small cells? Isn't 5G supposed to be fast - hundreds of megabits, or even gigabits per site? Quite a lot of capacity needed there.

                    I wouldn't want to be the network planner in charge of building lots of bespoke microwave backhaul links to try to do that (and the resultant increase in height of telegraph/light poles to get LOS). Not when it's actually simpler to just use fibre, where they could have even 100Gbit to every small cell if they wanted (yeah, probably not needed, but at least it's possible)

                    I mean, "no nearby infrastructure" is kinda missing the point. The point is that we build the infrastructure, one that happens to work for those seeking wired access as well as wireless! Why can't a small cell just be another node on the same PON network as everyone's home broadband and phone line? Or on its own dedicated PON network with all the other small cells in an area No reason at all.

                    But then, you seem to be missing lots of points. Including the one where you build infrastructure for the future, not to barely keep up with the needs of today.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Multiple 4k

                      Including the one where you build infrastructure for the future,

                      Can we borrow your crystal ball?

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Multiple 4k

                    Phil, its the Government trailblazing 5G (in the news), its a standard that isn't even finalised. The problem with all the trailblazing of 5G, no one in Government is discussing the practicalities of delivering 5G, which involves lots of fibre backhaul.

                    For someone working in Telecoms supposedly, mentioning 300Gbps on 4G, makes you look like you work for EE marketing, with no technical understanding of real world throughput of 4G LTE Advanced, or how its delivered.

                    We're not stupid on this forum. 4G speeds average at best around the 15Gbps mark, not 300Gbps whatever theoretical crap you wan't to spout that 300Gbps is within the 4G LTE Advanced standard. In the real world its about 40Mbps max (clear line of sight).

                    50Mbps was mentioned elsewhere (someone wanted 50Mbps download on their mobile), hence I'm assuming 5G standards there, because its outside the practical download rates of the best 4G LTE-Advanced can achieve in real terms and is more realistic of a 5G standard in the real world, looking forward.

                2. Roland6 Silver badge

                  Re: Multiple 4k

                  @AC "Do you even understand how those smartphones and tablets stay connected?"

                  Clearly you don't, as otherwise you would know the rollout of fibre-to-the-mast is very different to FTTP/H!

                  For you information, Virgin Media signed a contract with Three to deliver fibre-to-the-mast, so BT Openreach delivery of FTTP/H has even less relevance to the creation of the 3/4/5G backhaul mesh.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Multiple 4k

                    @Roland6

                    "Clearly you don't, as otherwise you would know the rollout of fibre-to-the-mast is very different to FTTP/H!

                    For you information, Virgin Media signed a contract with Three to deliver fibre-to-the-mast, so BT Openreach delivery of FTTP/H has even less relevance to the creation of the 3/4/5G backhaul mesh."

                    Actually it shows the complete opposite, Virgin Media's network was laid originally as a cable network to deliver Domestic TV services into the home. It has transitioned into providing other services such as commercial Fibre/coxial backhaul for three/other biz, as the Fibre/Coxial network has developed from a Cable only service, into a bidirectional Broadband Service. It provides the Backhaul/Wifi contract to London Underground as a another example (Central London where it has infrastructure already laid).

                    These tyoe of contracts are generally only areas where Virgin Media have Infrastructure - Fibre/Coxial in the ground, mostly concentrated to UK Cities.

                    Elsewhere, Virgin Media will be using BTWholesale to enable VM to provide additional fibre to provide that contract to three outside VM infrastructure areas. In many/most cases BT have a monopoly on this additional Fibre. BT have often been accused by other Operators of abusing its monopoly in this area of Fibre backhaul.

                    That's the crucial point here, Just because Virgin Media are providng the contract to three doesn't mean Virgin Media aren't using BTWholesale for the backhaul where they don't have coverage/infrastructure to service the three contract themselves.

                    1. Blotto Bronze badge

                      Re: Multiple 4k

                      @AC in addition VodaFones cable & Wireless assets are the other large uk fibre backhaul. If your not VodaFone or EE/BT who can you go to that won't just be benefiting your competitor? Just leaves Virgin & SSE for pan uk mast backhaul & yes any and all ISP's will use openreach in areas they don't cover (Off net).

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Estonia to roll out 10GBps Network, after buying Finnish telco Elisa

                "We need FTTP not G.fast.

                Why?"

                Maybe to compete with Countries like Estonia where Starman are rolling out 10Gbps everywhere, taking the tech from the lab to the field (as of now, not some future thing). Just a thought.

                What does it take to get entrenched BT to stop sitting on their hands, waiting for taxpayer handouts? Telling everyone (Copper Carcass Pointless) G.fast is wonderful, when we all know its baloney. G.fast is too little too late, its obsolete. BT bet on G.fast technology and failed. Taxpayers would be absolute fools to back G.fast with more handouts.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Multiple 4k

          What your saying it not new, I've have been saying this since 2008. I even said the digital switch over was a waste of time, we should have moved directly to iPlayer IP technology and sold off the 700/800Mhz frequency for general mobile use.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Timing is important though, no?

      How successful would the IBM PC have been if it came specced with 8GB of RAM in 1983?

      Get too far ahead of the curve and you just go bust. Most British consumers buy the cheapest broadband on offer, they buy solely on price. It's hard for telcos to justify spending on new tech when customers won't pay any more than they do for the thing that's already installed.

      1. Adam Jarvis

        The Internet has proved its usefulness both rurally and urban, stop faffing, its here to stay.

        Regulators Ofcom, including a whole industry of so called experts has formed/grown up around trying to decipher bamboozed, obfuscated 'upto' ADSL/FTTC Internet speeds. It's all just become so bloody complicated no one can actually see a way of getting competition back in the market place with the current BT Openreach local loop infrastructure. BT is utterly entrenched, in part by market regulation, CMA allowing takeover of EE.

        In terms of your 1983 IBM its like sticking with a 10BaseT 10Mbps Coxial Network within an Office Environment, spending hours monitoring transfer speeds, putting in place hundred's of manual procedures (copying to external devices etc) to provide a work-around because of the slow 10Mbps network speeds. Being completely frustrated, knowing that replacing the cable, network card, you can have 1000Mbps, for pretty much the same cost, if you go about it correctly.

        Let's get rid of all the waffle, Pointless G.fast based on BT copper carcass tech is obsolete before its out the door.

        Upgrade the local loop to true fibre, which enables households to take multiple services from different telecom providers. Job done. Follow Swiss model of 4-6 (redundant) fibres to the Premises for future proofing/wholesale open access.

        Stop pampering/agreeing to a pointless USO limited to BT current legacy copper carcass infrastructure. Apathy will mean no one with an ADSL connection of 5Mbps upwards is going to pay BT £5000-15000+ for 10Mbps USO. It's utterly pointless regulation.

        It's a situation Ofcom is never going to win against BT and will cost just as much in handouts/regulation costs. The only way is providing the redundancy to enable true choice, true fibre optic FTTP with wholesale open access to redundant fibres.

        At least start now (because its going to take a long time at this rate) insist all new installs/end of life upgrades are FTTP from now on Openreach's local loop. DO IT NOW OFCOM, enough is enough.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Internet has proved its usefulness both rurally and urban, stop faffing, its here to stay.

          Upgrade the local loop to true fibre, which enables households to take multiple services from different telecom providers.

          1Gb/s to every home? There are 18m homes in the UK, to make that Gb/s dream work you're talking of an 18Pbit/s backbone. That's a lot of cat videos...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ... 640K RAM should be enough for a personal computer,

      It was, before GUIs.

  6. Duncan Robertson

    What about EO lines?

    I live in rural Aberdeenshire and am connected to the local exchange via an EO line. Whilst I currently enjoy 18Mb/s Down and 1.5Mb/s Up, I would like a higher upload speed so that I can keep my data out of the cloud and enhance my current behind-the-tv RPi server setup.

    I have tried in vain to find out what is being done to fibre-enable EO lines. The exchange is fibre-enabled and most of the village has fibre, apart from us poor sods connected via an EO line. Surely it can't be that difficult?!?!

    For us rural types, mobile such as 4G is out of the question; 3G is a luxury and dependent on where you are in the village or valley.

    I am sure that EO lines also affect some in urban settings as well.

    Is the business model not there?

    Is it technically challenging?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about EO lines?

      In Wales, to meet the contract requirements, exchange only lines have been re-channeled to brand new installs. These new installs consists of new FTTC cabinets away from the exchange with new ducting/channeling+new copper cabling, then routed back to the houses near the exchange (in a roundabout way). It's because FTTC can't be installed directly in the exchange buildings due to interference with ADSL/LLU technology.

      Upto now BT have mostly 'cherry picked' cheaper locations, only installed FTTC where there is an existing POTS (Plain old telephone system) Cabinet, so 1:1 mapping with those, to save on new installs/ducting/cabling.

      BT intend to do the same with G.fast, i.e. install next to existing FTTC cabinets, to enable a G.fast add-on. Future G.fast rollout won't help EO lines either, as G.fast improvements above FTTC 80Mbps max, will only be available to a very small subset of an existing FTTC coverage area, very close to an existing FTTC cabinet, within ten's of metres by twisted pair copper. Hence why its known as Pointless G.fast. As always, its distance dependant, speeds drop off much closer to the cabinet than VDSL2 (FTTC).

      Unless your EO line is re-routed, moved to an new FTTC cabinet install, you're stuck with what you have, ADSL2+ at present.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What about EO lines?

        The solution isn't just to retrofit a cabinet. BT could also decide to FTTP it.

        Even though BT patently hates FTTP and all it represents, they do have chunks of it here and there.

        (this is not FTTP on demand, it's FTTP instead of FTTC, with the same £80-ish install cost charged by Openreach to the ISPs, and 40/80Mbit are available at the same price as on FTTC)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What about EO lines?

          I don't know of any EO Lines getting FTTP in market towns in Wales, its all been new FTTC Cabinets reroutes of EO line installs into the town themselves, fed back to the houses near the exchange as far as I'm aware. Maybe someone here can point to examples where EO lines got FTTP under the Welsh contract, but I don't know of any (yet).

          There is some FTTP rollout now taking place, but this is generally on longer lines to meet the contract targets. Many of these now (hopefully) getting FTTP had delivery dates constantly knocked back, some over 5 years late, multiple times. To say it hasn't gone to plan is an understatement.

  7. Peter Cochrane

    Such a Pity The RoW Has Got IT All Wrong

    FTTP cost in against copper under all circumstances in 1986 let alone in 5 years time - less of course you see glass as another variant of copper and continue with the same old practices. I do wish these folks would step out of their offices, go see what other countries and companies are doing. 24Mbit/s is a joke - just try it for Cloud Working - and especially when the upload speed is only 6Mbit/s. But don't worry, the good old UK will lead the world from the back by concentrating on yesterdays needs....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Such a Pity The RoW Has Got IT All Wrong

      Fundamentally FTTP with redundant fibres (4-6, with wholesale access to these) is the only way ahead to step over the new 2017 BT drunk blocking the entrance.

      Rurally we may need to involve local communties i.e. B4RN type projects to get the coverage for a cheaper price, taking advanrage of the good will, trust, honesty involved in rural rollouts. But true FTTP is the only way to go.

      We need to nip BT G.fast bullshit in the bud right now, they are talking complete bollocks regarding G.fast in terms of blanket ultrafast broadband.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Such a Pity The RoW Has Got IT All Wrong

        "i.e. B4RN type projects to get the coverage for a cheaper price"

        I read that B4RN have a £150 connection charge and £30/month rental. Cheaper price than what?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Such a Pity The RoW Has Got IT All Wrong

          Many pay BT £18.99 a month for basic line rental, yet haven't made a single call on their line last quarter or more probably, the last few years, because the line is just not needed for anything other than as a carrier for Broadband.

          Where would BT's income be coming from if they hadn't had billions in handouts to rollout ADSL/FTTC especially in rural locations (with this farce of BT line rental held in place by Ofcom), if more B4RN type projects had taken place instead.

          Will be interesting to see how the Gigaclear rollout affects BT in Devon. I'm sure many will say good riddance BT.

    2. EnviableOne Bronze badge

      Re: Such a Pity The RoW Has Got IT All Wrong

      BT had the best network in the world in 1978 and then sat on its arse for 20 years while the rest of the world kept innovating and overtook it. If they had attempted to maintain the number one spot, we would have had a fibre infrastructure in the late 80s and universal 100Mbps by now.

      Having worked for several BTW suppliers, I found myself on several occasions fixing lines at 500kbps just to get people some sort of stable connection for rural areas.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Such a Pity The RoW Has Got IT All Wrong

        "BT had the best network in the world in 1978 and then sat on its arse for 20 years while the rest of the world kept innovating and overtook it."

        You do realise, don't you, that when the great cable roll-out of the 1980s happened it wasn't BT sitting on its hands. It was HMG sitting on them. BT was specifically forbidden from doing it. So we had a period where the cable companies cherry-picked where they wanted to cable for best ROI. Whether the ROI was really adequate I'll leave you to work out but there was a lot of consolidation in that sector.

        Then, way after the other telcos had failed to deliver, BT is told to get on with it and being blamed for not doing what it wasn't allowed to do. The non-Virgin virgin areas are where the less good ROI was expected to be and where the better ROI was there's already an incumbent with which to compete.

        So how does BT do the job ASAP and at an economically feasible cost?

        Does it (a) ignore all its installed plant and fibre-up all existing premises, slowly working its way across the country replacing what already exists or does it (b) make maximum use of its installed plant and get FTTC out ASAP. As an FTTC user I reckon that if, instead, I'd had to wait for FTTP I'd be waiting still because BT's resources would still be occupied dragging out redundant cable to premises that already have copper in some of the earlier exchanges to go fibre.

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    There seems to be a belief that because particular individuals want FTTP the rest of the country does and it's BT's refusal that's blocking it.

    Can we go back to this article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/12/22/gov_claws_back_440m_for_rural_broadband/

    The clawback occurred because uptake for the existing product was greater than the anticipated 20%. Surely this proved that huge, pent-up demand? Well, AFAICR the unexpectedly large take-up was 30%. That's 70% of those who could have bought the existing product don't want to spend the extra money to do so. It doesn't bode well for any realistic take-up of FTTP at a still higher price. Maybe the real block isn't BT, it's the lack of customer interest beyond the vocal minority. And all the other companies who've failed to step into the alleged breach to take advantage of BT's reluctance seem to think the same.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The above post is a good example of BT using the rollout of FTTC as a means to show that no further investment is required in an area, because of low uptake. I've said many times that people need to take anything BT gives you with both hands, because if you don't they will use the lack of uptake against them at a later date. Doctor Syntax (banding the BT line) proves the point.

      Let's face it. In BDUK areas, its not in BT's interests to promote the rollout of Fibre, because of this clawback. Many are lucky to even see a sticker on the cabinet 'Superfast Broadband is here'.

      In rural locations just as FTTC came online. BT did vast amounts of promotion/leafleting of £5 a month ADSL on 18 month contracts. BT locked customers in, just before they looked to change providers/move to FTTC, BT knew it would delay FTTC take up, which suited BT in BDUK areas.

      Often the contract lengths act as a barrier to uptake, in the initial months, either people thinking they can't change/upgrade until the contract finishes or they'll be cost involved in switching.

      There is a lot more to why uptake can be low (and BT certainly don't help), get the right community support and explain what's happening, the uptake can be extremely high.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Doctor Syntax

      You seem to be weirdly obsessed with the idea that if something doesn't get 100% take up 5 minutes after deployment, then it's totally unnecessary and shouldn't have happened. That's typically British thinking. Head in the sand, shortsighted, "invest for today, not for tomorrow". Even when the lead times are such that you need to be thinking 10 or 20 years into the future, today.

      You're also obsessed with rural rollouts even though BT hasn't exactly bathed urban areas with FTTP. It's the same FTTC service as anyone else, just that it isn't competitive at all (Virgin offers higher speed). Strangely enough, the county with the most BT FTTP is that well known urban metropolis, Cornwall! (1/3rd of premises, including lots of rural ones)

      You do realise that where BT has FTTP, the price of the lower speeds (40 and 80Mbit) are the same retail price as on FTTC? The only difference is that you will get that speed no matter what.

      As for "well why isn't anyone else doing it", you seem to forget that only BT has the network of ducts and poles to make that possible in any sort of cost effective manner. Ducts that, until very recently, BT tried its hardest not to let others use. So it is on BT to sort it out, not on some random alt-net firm.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Doctor Syntax...So much smoke and mirrors.

      What are you classing as the minimum throughput cut-off for FTTC here in terms of the coverage area? 10Mbps?

      How are you measuring this 30% take up of FTTC? Because its a distance dependent product, speeds drop of rapidly the further from the FTTC cabinet. Of those 70% not taking the service, how many are at the outer extremes of the coverage of the FTTC cabinet, where they aren't going to see any real benefit to paying for FTTC due to very low throughput.

      A large percentage (most) of the 30% taking up the service are likely to be the ones going from circa 17Mbps+ ADSL Sync Rate to close to maximum FTTC 40/80Mbps, where the gains are greatest.

  9. Bill Buchan

    Some fun fibre-cabinet factoids.

    1. Fibre cabinets are the only tool in BT Openreach's toolbox. Urban, Rural, who cares. The answer is fibre cabinets. (Well that sucks). Do you know that the total capacity into each box is rumoured to be 1gb/s. Think how many 80mb/s connections you need to consume that? (13?) How many G-Fast? (3?). Wouldn't it be fun to confirm that these magic fibre cabinets actually have the capacity to deliver all the connections that they're selling?

    2. VDSL (80mb/s) has an even shorter working range than ASDL2 (24mb/s). Think line length of 1.5 miles. G-Fast ? 500 meters.

    The point being, only faster speeds are available nearer the exchange or fibre cabinet. Rural people often aren't. Even townies might find that although their fibre cabinet is within 200mb, the cable route literally takes it round the houses for a kilometer or more (We have a line like this - promised 80mb, delivers 30mb/s, BT says 'it's within estimates, tough').

    The estimates you get from the BT Wholesale ADSL checker are basically useless. Good luck wriggling out of that year contract.

    3. You can do it yourself.

    We did. Utter pain in the swannicles, but it works. See http://www.Marykirk.com. Lots of how-to's. Just go to http://www.msdist.co.uk.

    4. It's all about the cost per meg per month.

    So we run a WISP, and pay around 80p/mb/month for bandwidth, using 17 or so VDSL (80mb/s) lines. This is simply the cheapest option.

    I'd love three 1gb connections, but at £20,000 each PER YEAR - it doesn't work commercially. If I wanted a Gig line within the M25 - £75/month. Ruralshire (And I mean outside of a major city) - £16,666/month. 20 times more expensive.

    I'd love a 10gb dark fibre circuit wired directly to the Edinburgh Internet Exchange. But no-one will sell an non-ISP that sort of bandwidth for less than 'HOW MUCH?JEYZSYS!' sorts of money. I've tried.

    Pity my mate in Pitlochry, paying £1,000/month for a 100mb/line. Yes. £10/meg/month. Ouch.

    It's all sown up and gamed heavily to benefit BT. No doubt about it.

    5. How do we fix this?

    Perhaps that needs to change. And soon. Pity OFCOM only care about the 85% of people in urban environments, and not a jot about us ruralshire folks.

    Lets stop talking about sweating the copper. G-Fast wont work - it's a joke.

    Lets get fibre to the premises available to all properties in the UK as it should be. Unlike the present situation where it's only available in 30 exchanges in Scotland - all in Urban areas. Because BT thinks FTTP is just there to compete with Virgin Broadband.

    ---* Bill

  10. itzman

    i'd be happy to get more than 6Mbps

    ..in a populated village...

    Neighbour can't manage 2Mbps..

    line powered DSL repeaters would be simple.

    But BT wont.

  11. Man from Mars

    BDUK programme delivered by BT as one area of success I don't think so!!

    In October 2015 my area was part of the BDUK programme and BT installed an FTTC a mile up the road and promised between 18Mb and 24Mb download and between 2Mb to 4Mb upload. They also guaranteed the minimum would be 15Mb download. In the last 12 months I've had numerous BT Openreach engineers out that tell me we will not get the data rate due to the poor phone lines.

    One wonders what kind of survey BT did when they planned the FTTC in our area and made their promises.

    It seems they saved the £440m buy cutting corners.

    1 year on I've raised a formal complaint and the next stop will be the Ombudsman Services.

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