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BT Pilot Street Cabinet Only FTTC Superfast Broadband Connections

Sunday, December 30th, 2012 (9:15 am) - Score 7,419

BTOpenreach, which manages access to BT’s UK communications network, has announced the first ISP pilot of a new PCP-only (street cabinet) connection method for their 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) based superfast broadband service.

FTTC typically takes the fibre optic cable as far as your local street cabinet (PCP), while the remaining connection (between cabinets and homes) is done via existing copper cable and VDSL technology. A traditional home FTTC install involves Openreach wiring up some new kit and adding their own VDSL modem to manage the connection.

The new PCP-only pilot will allow ISPs to begin the process of taking over responsibility of the modem component by introducing their own VDSL capable devices to replace the Openreach one. This will eventually give ISPs more flexibility (e.g. a VDSL router could be supplied instead of just a modem) to help differentiate their packages and marks another step on the way to FTTC self-installations (requires special microfilters that could also slow service speeds).

Openreach Statement

PCP Only connection is defined as a field engineer visit to the local Primary Cross-connection Point (PCP) to perform the jumpering activity required for connecting a copper line to the GEA-FTTC network. The engineer will check that they have the correct circuit, connect the jumper, and ensure that there is data sync on the end-user side of the line. They will then close the job for the end user or the CP to complete the installation of the modem within the end user’s premises.

The pilot will allow us to ensure that our support capability is robust and fit for PCP-Only connection and CP-owned VDSL modems. We require a large volume of PCP-Only installations to generate the volume of Trouble to Resolve jobs that will give us this confidence.

PCP-only jobs will carry a lead time similar to that of shared unbundled (LLU) lines (SMPF), although ISPs may, for an additional charge of £12.50, select a specific appointment for the PCP-only job. The PCP-Only Indicative Launch Price Ranges from £40 to £50 +vat and rises to a hefty £95 to £100 if a Managed Install without the Openreach modem is ordered.

The pilot, which is set to get underway during Q1-2013, appears to be targeted towards larger providers and will sadly incur a participation fee that includes the connection, Openreach modem and related administration. This equates to a fee of £35,000 for up to 500 lines or £134,000 for 501 to 2000 lines. As usual this is not final pricing.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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