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Actor Simon Pegg Complains of GBP21000 BT Bill for Broadband Upgrade

Posted Friday, May 2nd, 2014 (8:41 am) by Mark Jackson (Score 2,270)
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The famous British comedian, actor and writer, Simon Pegg (‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘StarTrek’, ‘The World’s End’ etc.), has taken to Twitter in order to have a grumble about BT after the national UK telecoms operator agreed to “hook our street up for broadband“, albeit at a cost of £21,000.

In the grander scheme of things £21,000 doesn’t actually sound all that bad for a BT quote, especially with some other areas being quoted many times that. On the other hand Pegg’s comment, which was spotted by Recombu, is somewhat lacking in detail and so it’s impossible to make any meaningful comparisons.

In other phone news BT, Europe’s biggest telecom provider have agreed to hook our street up for broadband. We just have to give then £21K,” said Pegg in his Tweet. ISPreview.co.uk has reached out to Pegg’s official PR contact in the hope of securing a few more details but we’d be surprised if the busy star of TV and film has enough spare time to respond.

Similarly little is known about where Pegg lives today, not least because his career has taken him from Glasgow to London and most recently he is believed to have been living in a Hertfordshire village with his wife Maureen and their daughter. Likewise celebrities’ rarely like to share their exact home details because sadly the world is still full of psychopaths and trolls with nothing better to do than stalk.. or apparently ruin some news comment feeds.

Still the fact that BT quoted for an entire street to be upgraded would appear to suggest that Pegg might live in one of the areas that won’t benefit from the £18.06m Connected Counties scheme, which aims to roll-out the operators “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network to cover 90% of local premises in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire (England) by the end of March 2016. Speculating a little more and £21k suggests a very small community with a local street cabinet already in place or one that only needs a moderate upgrade.

It’s worth pointing out that the Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire scheme was recently allocated another £6.63m by the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office in order to push the network coverage out to 95% by 2017, although the local authority has yet to agree how this will be spent.

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65 Responses
  1. buyer beware

    If it connects a street now rather than in 2017, then the increase in house prices/rentals two or three years eary could outweigh £21,000 so actually a profitable investment not a cost.

    • A fair point and certainly Pegg’s not likely to live in a council house so..

    • James Harrison

      Sadly BT’s FTTC technology means everyone will be realizing their connections are obsolete and unfit for purposes right around 2017-19. If he waits a bit he might get a better technology eg FTTP.

    • George

      Indeed what may happen in 5 years nobody knows. We may have super cheap mobile by then a new type of wireless service or other new technological developments which will make anything now look completely obsolete and a waste of money. Spending £21,00 in no way guarantees improving you homes value by that amount when it comes to broadband.

    • MikeW

      While we don’t know what will happen, for certain, in 5 years time, we can be sure of one thing: whatever technology is involved is already known. Stuff that is ready for mass deployment by then will have taken that sort of time to mature… So we’re really talking of a choice of FTTdp, Vectoring, GPON and 4G. Whitespace might be there too, but doesn’t appear to be progressing very quickly.

    • George

      “…So we’re really talking of a choice of FTTdp, Vectoring, GPON and 4G.”

      Er i frankly doubt FTTdp, much like FoD which is what some including you were saying would be the next big thing this time last year i believe will be a big expensive white elephant. Vectoring BT have been on about for ages (over a year) and not got beyond trials, they have also stated serveral times which you and a few others also ignore it wont be used for speed boosting but more speed enabling (ie getting slower lines up to current nearer top end speeds). Oh and as for 4G in five years, i think you will find 5G will be making an appearance by then.

      SO no we do not know what 5 years time the situation will be at all.

    • MikeW

      George, You eloquently make my point for me.

      Vectoring is still being trialled by BT for sure, and has been deployed by Eircom and Belgacom. It was invented in 2001, and made into a standard for VDSL2 in 2010. But chipset manufacturers are still taking part in interworking plugfests, so even after 13 years , we’re only just seeing it become feasible for mass-market deployment.

      At that rate, FTTdp is only semi-plausible in a 5 year timescale. So: if a technology is going to become deplorable in 5 years, it is going to be at least as well-known, and well-hyped, as FTTdp and G.fast are today.

      But whether it turns out to be economic is a different matter; and as you nicely point out – a product has to be economic to both the telco and the customer. FoD certainly isn’t economic to people who leave comments here, but it will certainly have its place over the next 10-15 years. I’ll judge it’s success over that kind of timeframe, not a few months, and start with measurements against products such as EFM and GEA-Ethernet, rather than consumer-grade products.

      As for 5G… Well, we haven’t even seen it invented yet – governments are still fighting to decide which academic institutions should be involved in the research phase. My guess is that the 5G standards will only just be being shaken out in 5 years time. It’ll be 10 years before it is becoming a big noise.

      As I said, we won’t know for certain what technologies will turn out to make it, but we do already know what the shortlist will be made of.

    • No clue

      What you not including the ill fated, over priced FTTPoD which for months you blabbered on about being a saviour in future plans anymore???

    • George

      Vectoring which you refer to from Eircom is only 100Mb is it not? I would hope mass speeds are way beyond that in 5 years time from the costly rollout considering Virgin already vastly exceeds that. G.Fast is not the future and will not help those at a considerable distance improve speed either. As for 10-15 years time and FOD being the future i doubt it with its rubbish uprates for one cost for another. Most businesses do not have leased lines because of cost and FOD will be no different.

      If you want to talk what is likely in 15 years then i think you will find mobile will be much much bigger. Internet on the move is the only thing that has had and continues to have MASSIVE growth, be it through ever developing phones, tablets and cloud solutions. 5G and beyond when it is fully developed will kick the backside of any half measure further copper fixed line bolt ons you can think of.

    • MikeW

      @no clue
      You need to re-read, as GPON was mentioned. FTTPoD isn’t a technology. It is a marketing/financial solution to the high cost of deploying GPON.

      But thank you for merely attempting to cause an argument.

      @george
      It doesn’t matter what you think about vectoring, or what speed it can do – and how hopeless you believe that is. The fact remains that, in your timescale of 5 years, that is likely to be the best thing we will have in mass deployment – particularly for those who can’t get VM.

    • Raindrops

      “..The fact remains that, in your timescale of 5 years, that is likely to be the best thing we will have in mass deployment – particularly for those who can’t get VM.”

      LOL a contradiction in itself. Vectoring is going to be the best large development except for a development we already have and have had for years. LOL

    • stoat

      Wrt the comment about FTTC being obselete in a few years (it already is, but that’s not how BT are selling things right now. FTTP costs £££££ to install)

      FTTP passes through FTTC cabinets anyway(*), so using VDSL2 as an interim solution isn’t such a bad idea

      (*) It’s hellaciously wasteful to provide dedicated fibre to premises unless you’re planning on passing 100Tb/s through it (that’s the current capacity of shortrange fibre with multiple wavelength lasers, although 100Gb is more common), so expect connections to be multiplexed (IP or wavelength) at cabinets before heading back to the switch.

  2. Steve

    My heart bleeds for him, I like his work don’t get me wrong but I bet if you wander into his garage (not inciting stalking though) you will find a bunch of expensive high end sports cars many he doesn’t even drive, Why doesn’t he just pay for everyone on his street although I wouldn’t be surprised if his neighbours are richer than he is.

    • adslmax

      Indeed. The rich chap should stop complaining.

    • Bob2002

      Net worth of $10 million in 2011 (according to the Wiki)…

    • George

      “Why doesn’t he just pay for everyone on his street although I wouldn’t be surprised if his neighbours are richer than he is.”

      I would not be shocked if BT are richer than him and all his neighbours combined but they are in no hurry to pay for it either are they.

  3. Kits

    Well what I am seeing here is unfair trading, would seem BT work from the lower end up perhaps the reason is bums on seats approach. Place the faster BB in areas where many are unemployed then they have to become BT customers as they sell below the prices openreach charge other ISPs. Yet heaven forbid they do a rich street without charging this person for the privilege..

    Same goes for Fibre on demand the areas around Manchester to be upgraded are mainly council estates…

    • Council estates tend to be nearer cities, hence covered by the SuperConnected Cities subsidies. The leafy suburbs are a bit further out on the whole. No conspiracy there.

    • fastman2

      kits – openreach provides GEA which is what FTTc to CP’s at an equal an equvalment rate — the fact remails some boxex will be commercial and some will never be commerical either for an operator or BDUk due to investent reqired and the payback period

  4. dragoneast

    The second law of money (again). The richer you are the less inclined you are to spend it.

    • X66yh

      The contrary viewpoint on this is that the more affluent families have contributed through their national and local taxes to everyone else’s broadband roll out through the BDUK process
      So they find themselves rather ‘put out’ that by way of thanks they are being omitted from the roll out themselves.

  5. Stephen

    I would have thought that it makes good business sense to roll your product out to the wealthier areas as they have the money to spend on the product. But maybe they aren’t the best customers after all.
    Up here in Aberdeen when fibre was first rolled out it was done so in the areas with the highest concentrations of council houses. 2 or 3 years further on, there are many extremely wealthy towns and parts of the city that still have no fibre & aren’t even on the evaluation plans yet!

  6. X66yh

    I reckon poster “kits” has it about right.
    Larger houses probably means less houses per cabinet area meaning each cab’ upgraded costs more/house passed.

    Also those people in upmarket areas have better things to do with their time than spend it looking at cats on Youtube and downloading films etc.
    Nor are they likely to be running graphic design businesses in their lofts in their free time.
    They tend to go out for their entertainment rather than stay in.
    So the upmarket areas are less likely to be heavy users of broadband nor be desperate for a speed increase.

    Hence BT/BDUK avoid them and concentrate on the rest (just like Virgin Media did!) knowing that if they are REALLY desperate then these areas will/can be in effect forced to pay up themselves to upgrade the cab.

    • I can’t say this has been our experience. We’re a relatively affluent estate surrounded by somewhat less affluent estates and the take up here has been very high.

      Lots of people work from home and/or consume content online. Our takeup has been over 3 times the national average.

  7. Chris Conder

    What is needed is more competition. How can we expect BT to upgrade infrastructure when they can get away with FTTC and re-lable it ‘superfast’? Nobody checks up on them. Ofcom just believes the marketing. If Simon’s exchange is upgraded then his whole area is ‘homes passed’ and ‘superfast’ and no more money will be spent and they’ll all be tied to the old phone lines until someone exposes the superfarce that is happening. The council funding should go to altnets. Competition is King and the driver for innovation. Patching up old copper is not the solution.

    • TheFacts

      Do you any evidence that enabling an exchange means all the lines are defined as ‘passed’?

      What is the cost of enabling a 300 line cabinet v. FTTP?

    • DTMark

      Do you mean the actual cost to BT or the cost to the taxpayer if BT does it?

      Taking into account that their pricing for FTTH is trading on a monopoly, it would seem cheaper to have someone else more capable and more efficient do it, probably a new market entrant.

      Are you looking at this from the perspective of a BT shareholder or pension holder, making the assumption that BT is some sort of “natural candidate for the work”?

      Or in this manner, do you mean a worked costing for connecting a particular set of streets with a micro-trenching tool to a new network?

    • Homes are considered passed by FTTC when the cabinet they are connected to is enabled, not when the exchange is enabled.

      This has a few issues of its own of course.

    • George

      I am not certain that is true Ignitionnet. For my area if you go to the openreach where and when site http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/ and enter the post code for my area it returns with AO or Accepting Orders. However if you then drill that down to telephone number by telephone number that information is obviously inaccurate as there are 2 people in my very street with the same postcode which are exchange only lines and can NOT have FTTC.

      You will also not on that page after entering a postcode at the bottom it states……
      “If you can’t find your exchange on the map, you can download the latest fibre rollout plans below.”

      So to me that sounds like the numbers are based on exchanges rather than cabinets.

      I suspect this applies to many other areas also. There was a spread sheet at some stage, do not think it was official BT release of postcodes which also gave information about percents of EO lines for each postcode.

      FTTC and numbers included in the “passed” figures is always area based rather than road by road or line by line basis.

    • I’m fairly confident it’s the case – check the BT Wholesale checker; it has a full on address checker. The data for that checker comes from Openreach so you’d hope they use that data in their premises passed figures. There’s no reason not to.

    • MikeW

      It wasn’t the case that ‘passed’ was simply a count of the whole exchange area even back in the early part of the commercial rollout.

      At that time, BT would do press releases at a regional level, which would list the number of properties ‘passed’ in a town when the town was an identifiable single exchange in a county. At no time did the number reported as ‘passed’ come out to be even close to the number of lines documented by Samknows for the exchanges. It was usually in the region of 70% – 90% of the line count.

      For somewhere like North Yorkshire, the exchanges were activated very sporadically, making it easy to attribute ‘passed’ totals to one, or a very few, exchanges. Not a thing that could be so easily done now.

      Back then, however, the ‘passed’ counts didn’t usually attempt to distinguish how many would get superfast speeds; that distinction has only really come about as a reaction to BDUK projects. The counts probably go to lower thresholds – possibly 15Mbps, possibly 5Mbps, and possibly count every line on a cabinet.

    • gerarda

      I am pretty sure premises passed is done on a per cabinet not per exchange basis. The Ofcom postcode does it on this basis, so of course includes premises connected but too far away to get a service.

    • fastman2

      ignition net is correct on his view of Homes Past — this is at an enabled cab level -

    • No clue

      That is also another excellent point gerarda. BT will not supply FTTC even if yo u are connected to a cabinet if it will not deliver over a certain speed.

    • George

      Please feel free to point to information which shows figures at a cabinet by cabinet level fastman.

    • gerarda

      @george – as I said above have a look at the Ofcom postcode data

    • Raindrops

      Postcode by Postcode from Ofcom does not give you the figures for people connected to a cabinet either. You can have 2 homes next to each other with the same postcode, but one home an exchange only line so not connected to a cabinet at all. The only thing that would tell you how many hows are connected to a cabinet or have the ability to get any FTTC/P/H service from Openreach is via the telephone number and as already pointed out BTs database for that info is hopeless.

    • FibreFred

      “and as already pointed out BTs database for that info is hopeless.”

      No all you’ve pointed out is that your a person that regularly gripes about BT and have posted (probably invented) a scenario that shows BT’s database to be hopeless.

      Hmmm, do we believe the postings of a BT hating troll?

      Checking by postcode won’t be accurate, but by phone number will be.

    • Raindrops

      Please explain how postcode information is accurate, You can have 2 homes with the same postcode one home is an exchange only line, the other is connected to a fibre cabinet. The home which is an exchange only line unless its on some trial will not be able to get FTTC so how does a postcode help?

      Then again i do not expect any logic from you as once again you have resorted to name calling to try to force your point and win your argument.

    • FibreFred

      Maybe you should actually read what I said? Especially the bit where I say the postcode checker

      Won’t

      Be accurate

    • Gadget

      Raindrops – we have seen from the “leaked” spreadsheet that in many cases a single cabinet serves a single postcode, but where it is served from multiple cabinets then something better than postcode is required either a telephone number or an addresspoint (postcode plus housenumber which is often requested nowadays in shops at the checkout).
      The leaked sheet also showed the distribution of lines between cabinets in a single postcode and included EO line markers as well.

    • George

      I agree with what you are saying to raindrops there gadget. Well to a point, obviously more than a postcode is needed. However the leaked spreadsheets you refer to (are they the circa 2011 or there abouts ones?) I do not think were that accurate either as mentioned elsewhere back then it assumed my whole street was enabled and continued to think that up until the other side was done in late 2012 early 2013. In actual fact only one side of the street was enabled in the early days. I can only speculate for whatever reason they had unforeseen issues connecting the pairs that feed the other side of the road to the cabinet. The database just assumed as that cabinet served our whole street it was job done. Did not matter what info you fed checkers either it be it postcode, house number or phone number. I will give BT credit things are far more accurate now than they were but for anyone to pretend they are 100% accurate now i very much doubt.

  8. George

    “I’m fairly confident it’s the case – check the BT Wholesale checker; it has a full on address checker. The data for that checker comes from Openreach so you’d hope they use that data in their premises passed figures. There’s no reason not to.”

    That data is the exact same data i linked to on the openreach site and basis its findings on post codes. It assumed my side of the street had FTTC available at the same time the other side of the street did. In actual fact my side of the street was enabled 4 weeks later. If i also put in the house number of 2 people in this street which are exchange only lines it reckons FTTC is available to them. It is not, one person has had a failed order. Engineer turned up and then discovered line was exchange only. The other household it accepted the order but later realised and sent the person an email to explain it was not available as they are an exchange only line along with some PR nonsense promising to look into a solution for them…… That was a year ago hohum.

    • FibreFred

      Sounds like a total fabrication to me

    • No clue

      Going to http://dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/adslchecker.welcome and entering my cousins phone number who is also unable to get FTTC in it saying they can have FTTC and at the full 80Mb. They can not get FTTC because the last 5 houses in their road were build before the rest of the homes in that area and they are exchange only also.

      It has been like that for 2 years, they have had orders refused from Plusnet, BT Retail and a email response from management informing them they are an exchange only line and that they would alter their database. They have not.

    • Raindrops

      I can go even better, Openreach and Wholesale checkers do not even recognise some phone numbers. I have even known it to not recognise a Postcode area which was enabled until BT were informed about it. Granted it was a very small area (literally only about 20 homes) but it was not on their checker until informed and they updated it 3 months later lol.

    • George

      “Sounds like a total fabrication to me”

      The only thing fabricated is the Farse that is the BT rollout.

  9. George

    “It wasn’t the case that ‘passed’ was simply a count of the whole exchange area even back in the early part of the commercial rollout.”

    Then why does it say in black and white on the openreach site…..
    “If you can’t find your exchange on the map, you can download the latest fibre rollout plans below”

    and the download is a list of exchanges.

    • TheFacts

      And says ‘Please note that, even when an exchange is declared as “accepting orders” it takes time to upgrade to all the green cabinets in the area, so please be patient with us.’.

    • MikeW

      And it most certainly doesn’t include a number for how many properties have been ‘passed’.

    • No clue

      Going to http://dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/adslchecker.welcome and entering my cousins phone number who is also unable to get FTTC in it saying they can have FTTC and at the full 80Mb. They can not get FTTC because the last 5 houses in their road were build before the rest of the homes in that area and they are exchange only also.

      It has been like that for 2 years, they have had orders refused from Plusnet, BT Retail and a email response from management informing them they are an exchange only line and that they would alter their database. They have not.

    • Raindrops

      The FTTC rollout in some areas is sporadic at best. Many which are considered enabled areas have roads or even worse sections of roads which are not enabled. You only have to look at maps on batchgeo, like http://batchgeo.com/map/oxfordfttc as an example and zoom on on some of that to see how odd areas get missed.

      I am not shocked though once again the BT employees want to deny it.

      Oh and if the numbers BT quote are not based on Exchange numbers perhaps they would be kind enough to point us to a source of EVERY cabinet which is enabled or not Enabled.

      The BT checkers are far from accurate, another issue with them is if you have your phone from another provider such as say talk talk it sometimes does not even recognise the number at all. So pointing to checkers as an accurate source of who can get FTTC is stupid.

    • George

      ^^^ Two very fine examples of BT and false figures. When BT even announce an area that is getting any type of new tech they even make up names.

      They did not even recognise Brighton as a city once and with things like and i quote…
      “Low Moor – Bradford & Leeds” named in their latest FTToD rollout you have to wonder if they even look at a map, They can not even decide what country Low moor is in! And we are expected to believe BT employees saying BT databases are accurate. They are about as accurate as a novice throwing darts at the map on the wall from the other side of the office.

    • fastman2

      raindrops — which cab is covered and which is not is commercially sensitive informaiton — Premises passed is at a enabled cab level and then at an exchnage level

    • Raindrops

      If which cabinets have and do not have FTTC enabled is commercially sensitive then there is no way for you or anyone to demonstrate the numbers BT claim are true.

    • Gadget

      If the information is published in report and accounts then it is subject to checks and verification both for UK regulations but also since BT is quoted on the American Stock Exchange it is also bound by the US Sarbanes-Oxley regulation.

    • George

      Can not agree with that gadget. Raindrops has a point, if what you are saying is true the information would be public record.

    • TheFacts

      Why would the detail be public record? Other company detail is not.

    • stoat

      Not that the list of exchanges means much.

      My one was “enabled” 2 1/2 years before any cabinets were activated – so it was listed as “accepting orders” – but if you actually tried you’d find you couldn’t.

      Even after the cabinet was installed nearby there was a delay of nearly a year before it was activated.

      Promised install dates (3 months in the future) kept slipping for 5 years (They’d announced the exchange in rollouts 3 years before it started “accepting orders”)

      (Supposedly there were a few “experimental” FTTC connections active, but BT refused to release a list of activated cabinets or numbers of FTTC lines in the area.)

      My BS meter generally stays pegged when dealing with any announcement by OpenRetch or Brutish Telecon. Only believe it’s going to happen when you can hear the fans in the cabinet running.

      (PR announcements in the telco industry are mostly intended to attract new customers or dissuade disgusted ones moving to another provider. Truth is mostly irrelevant.)

    • No clue

      “Why would the detail be public record? Other company detail is not.”

      If that is the case then we come back to what Raindrops has already said if the cabinet figures are not public record then there is no way you or anyone can quote an accurate figure or accuse anyone else of doing so.

    • TheFacts

      Other than that publishing wrong information in a company report and accounts is a serious matter as said before.

    • Gadget

      just for the avoidance of doubt this is what I am referring to
      http://www.crowell.com/NewsEvents/AlertsNewsletters/Financial-Lines-Directors-Officers-Management-Liability-Alert/Section-10b-Securities-Exchange-Act-1934-v-Section-90A-FSMA-2000-Who-Dares-Wins
      “Directors and officers of a company may incur liability under English law, if a person acquires shares in the company on reliance of information contained in publications such as the company’s accounts/reports, and suffers a loss because those publications contain untrue or misleading statements or omit material facts. “

    • No clue

      Or the long and short there is nothing to show cabinet figures are accurate.

      The new ASA story confirms that also.

  10. zemadeiran

    I welcome Simon’s tweet and think that he should push the issue into the public space in order to expand the subject and get some momentum going.

    • fastman2

      noc clue there is no ability for an EO line to be migrated to an existing enabled cabinet -

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