The First Year of Superfast FTTC Broadband - UK ISP Experiences
The First Year of Superfast FTTC Broadband
By: Mark Jackson - June 6th, 2011 : Page 1 -of- 5
"FTTC can initially deliver download speeds of up to 40Mbps (upload speeds can reach up to 10Mbps)"

fttc broadband street cabinet uk install Tuesday 15th July 2008. That was the day that BT first revealed their national plan for deploying a new generation of "super-fast" broadband internet access services, which sought to make extensive use of high capacity fibre optic cables, around the UK. The news took most people by surprise and came at a time of significant financial uncertainty, not least for BT itself.

BT's original plan, which was to spend £1.5bn on a deployment of superfast broadband to 40% of the UK population (10 Million homes) by mid-2012, has since grown to £2.5bn and with a more ambitious target of 66% by 2015. Most recently the operator even signalled that it could potentially go further and reach 90%, although such a figure would be extremely dependent upon a heavy degree of public subsidy.

BT's plan involved using a mix of two alternative "fibre based" Next Generation Access (NGA) technologies - Fibre to the Premise (FTTP, FTTH) and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). The FTTP solution would focus on new build locations by taking a fibre optic cable directly to your home or business, delivering stable speeds of up to 110Mbps (detailed explanation). However, as a result of high costs and technical problems, FTTP would only play a relatively small part in BT's plan by delivering its service to 2.5 Million premises (the commercial rollout is expected to start this summer 2011).

By contrast BT's FTTC technology, which will account for the bulk of their effort, delivers a fast fibre optic link to the operators big green street level cabinets (pictured - top right), while the remaining connection (between cabinets and homes) is done using VDSL2 through existing copper cable (similar to current ADSL broadband but faster over short distances); FTTC delivers download speeds of up to 40Mbps and uploads can reach up to 10Mbps.

It's now one year since BT began the commercial rollout of its new FTTC technology and ISPreview.co.uk are keen to know more about its progress. To do this we have spoken with several ISPs, including AAISP, Zen Internet, Entanet, IDNet and BT, to learn about the services first year performance, teething problems and its impact upon consumer internet usage.

Performance

Until recently we still knew precious little about the performance of FTTC in real-world situations, which is especially important given the technology's reliance upon slower copper cables. As a result FTTC has a far lower top speed (40Mbps) than true "fibre optic" solutions (e.g. FTTP), which would otherwise take the high capacity cable right up to your doorstep.

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Mykeillita
Posted 884 days ago
In my opnoiin its about time. The FCC should out warning label on contracts for overage charges or something. Since I switched to net10 though haven?t seen an overage or a bill. I only have to pay for the minutes I need, just great service.
Dragan
Posted 885 days ago
I got Cricket about 2 weeks ago and have claeld them every single day for help. No help! I cannot load ebay or microsoft, everything else works ok, if slowly. finally I thought to myself maybe those sites are too big for cricket. I am having my cable company hook me up tomorrow and am dropping cricket, what a mess this has been.And you're absolutely right that I will not get one penny of my investment back.
Magnon
Posted 885 days ago
If you're tinryg to view iPlayer after 5pm, BT will be restricting your connection. Ironically, they do this throttling to give "regular users" a bigger slice of the bandwidth, and prevent bittorrent and video watchers from taking it all.I don't think they realise "regular users" are now the ones watching iPlayer and downloading podcasts!
willy russell
Posted 1138 days ago
Great article, pertinent to our area(july11) , but FTTC =fibreoptic**cable??PLUS, how about a BTexchange/fibreupgrade web link?
 

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