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UPD BT Select Deddington UK for its First Fibre Only Broadband and Phone Trial

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 (10:38 am) - Score 1,251
bt street cabinet fttc deployment

BTOpenreach has today officially selected Deddington (Oxfordshire, UK) as the first rural village to take part in their unique Fibre-Only Exchange (FOX) trial, which will replace the areas existing “copper-based products” with ultrafast fibre optic broadband (e.g. 100Mbps+ FTTP) and phone (Fibre Voice Access) services.

The civil parish of Deddington is currently home to around 2,200 people (1,400 telephone lines), which technically puts it more on the scale of a town. In any case BT intends to start infrastructure work this spring and the first fibre-only services are then expected to become available from 2013 onwards.

Sean Williams, BT’s Strategy Director, said:

Fresh advances in technology are pushing the boundaries for new services on an almost daily basis. This is an important pilot which will help the industry better understand the opportunities arising from a fibre-only world in which traditional copper will be replaced by the super-fast capabilities of fibre-optic cable.”

Jim Flux, Chairman of Deddington Parish Council, added:

We are excited to be the first community in the UK to be piloting this latest innovation in telecommunications. Not only will our residents and businesses be able to take advantage of ultra-fast broadband speeds but Deddington is also helping pave the way for the services of the future.”

Apparently Deddington’s residents can currently “only” receive maximum broadband speeds of around 6-8Mbps, which actually isn’t all that bad except for the fact that it’s a maximum and not an average. BT claims that, once complete, locals will be able to access downstream speeds of “between up to 40Mbps and up to 300Mbps“.

BT intends to adopt a collaborative approach whereby all ISPs can learn how to make the transition as smooth and beneficial as possible for their customers.

UPDATE 11:48am

BT has confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that the existing copper loop will be removed and replaced with FTTP serving 1,400 lines currently on the exchange, which incidentally is a Market 1 (BT only) area where only basic ‘up to’ 8Mbps ADSL services are currently available.

The downside to this is that it means locals won’t be able to get traditional ADSL based packages 🙂 .

Leave a Comment
11 Responses
  1. Er, wasn’t Ebbsfleet the first to be FIbre only?

  2. Did the Ebbsfleet Valley development actually have its own telephone exchange? I thought it was a bit different to FOX.

  3. Avatar Kyle

    This definitely seems the way to go about superfast rollout rather than superfast patch-up.

  4. Avatar Martin Pitt - Aquiss

    So 1400 people will be forced to more expensive products?

    • Avatar desouzr

      I would happily pay more for a FTTP service then the ADSL Max service that is the only option on my exchange. Those of us on Market 1 exchanges pay a higher price anyway for broadband that is only ‘up to’ 8Mb/s.

  5. BT told us that standard charges will apply but they are not expected to be “materially different” to the prices end-users pay currently for the equivalent services delivered over copper. The exact prices customers pay will of course be set by their individual CPs.

  6. Avatar DTMark

    “between up to 40Mbps and up to 300Mbps“.

    .. means literally nothing.

    Perhaps the area is similar to here. Exchange serves 1100 premises, average speed 6Mbps if you live right next to the exchange, down to nearer 2Mbps when you get 2km+ from it.

    Repeat across great swathes of the country, both urban and rural.

    Trouble is that the only real option to improve matters is FTTP or Wi-Fi because the configuration of any BT based broadband network seems to depend on where the telephone cabinets are and there are nowhere near enough to make it worth upgrading them. Starting pretty much from scratch is the only real option.

    Repeat across great swathes of the country, both urban and rural.

    It’s only a decade overdue after all.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      Odd you think the only options are FTTP and wi-fi! Average speeds with FTTC are around 35Mbps now, with an increase due in a couple of weeks. Even without the speed upgrade FTTC improves the average speed by 4-5x compared to ADSL.

      The problem with FTTP remains the cost – who will foot the bill to deploy it? Wireless is useful but far from ideal in urban areas, and needs power so not perfect in the most rural areas either. FTTC gives the most cost- effective option to provide much faster broadband for the majority today, and has already seen innovations that have the potential to deliver > 100Mbps to many. Combine this with FTTP on demand for those that need even faster speeds (and can pay!) and you get something that provides the sort of performance that most of us need at a cost that oes not break the bank.

      FTTP only is a nice idea, but only seems to be asked for by those not considering how to foot the bill to provide it. Let’s instead go for something that is both more affordable and can be upgraded over time.

  7. Avatar Somerset

    DTMark – Blame the government, Mrs Thatcher stopped BT rolling out fibre across the UK and only allowed FTTC a few years ago.

  8. This item and the comments are of interest to me as I live in another village on the Deddington exchange. I am not clear on several points, and would like a non-technical explanation. We are about 6km from the exchange [which is at the south end of Deddi] and a lot of us get very low speeds. I am the second to last to be able get ADSL and on ‘good’ days get 160KB/s [there have been none in a month so I can’t even use iPlayer for low bandwidth].
    The village seems to have one GPO [!] cabinet at the end nearest Deddi and 2-3 manholes. There are three small ‘estates’ in the village which seem to get their phone by conduit, the rest of us get it from poles.
    I can’t trace the route from the box to me, but as I walk it is is 0.4 miles according to Google, so my questions are:
    1 Does anyone know if the FTTC will actually cover the outlying villages [the Oxford Times says so, but it is not in the BT press release which just says 1,400 lines, and that does not really help]?
    2 If there is fibre to about 650m from me can I keep my copper and get ‘up to 8Mb’ in place of my present joke of ‘up to 512Kb’, which would do me fine, or do I have to get a new deal, router, etc?
    3 Is there anything else I should have asked?!

    Cheers, Colin

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