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BT Preps New UK Superfast Broadband Cabinets for Exchange Only Lines

Friday, Jun 29th, 2012 (9:13 am) - Score 7,948

BTOpenreach has informed UK ISPs of a small, but potentially quite important, development that will allow it to deploy superfast broadband (FTTC) services on Exchange Only (EO) lines. This is where the phone line for a home is connected directly to a telephone exchange and does not go through a street cabinet.

At present BT’s dominant Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) solution only runs a fibre optic cable to your local street cabinet, while the “last mile” connectivity into homes simply runs over the existing copper line. As you might expect this doesn’t work for EO lines because they’re not “cross-connected” through a street cabinet.

To solve this problem BTOpenreach have been trialling a new Network Rearrangement service that will allow the operator to install new street cabinets or Primary Cross-connection Points (PCPs) on EO lines.

BTOpenreachs Statement

Early indications from the trials are positive although they do require additional network investment.

Any proposals for new PCPs or re-arrangements would need to be evaluated and costed on an individual case by case basis (including feasibility, survey, plan and build). These would then be charged back to the bidding [ED: BDUK contract] CP on a per project basis.

Openreach envisages that the above solution could be used as part of the government funded (Broadband Delivery UK) roll-out of superfast broadband (24-30Mbps+) services to 90% of the UK population by 2015, with ISPs (e.g. BT) potentially using this as part of their bids for public subsidy. The solution itself would ordinarily be quite costly to deploy without public subsidy.

The proportion of EO lines in the UK varies according to each exchange area and it’s not clear how many are currently in use.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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