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BT Pilot Street Cabinet Only FTTC Superfast Broadband Connections

Sunday, December 30th, 2012 (9:15 am) - Score 7,155

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.

Leave a Comment
10 Responses
  1. Avatar PhilT says:

    I’m a bit confused – this sounds like an ADSL style “user install” of the VDSL modem etc (or a SP technician install) but what does ” ensure that there is data sync on the end-user side of the line ” mean – they’ll check for sync at the cab, pop round to the end user’s and check there, or expect the end user to have pre-connected a modem and they’ll check that it’s in sync ?

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Openreach’s briefing does seem to lack a little detail and we probably won’t be able to get any clarification until Wednesday. It’s all about allowing an ISP to attach its own VDSL modem or combined router instead of the one supplied by Openreach, which is part of the way to a true self-install.

    2. Avatar Anoyed tax payer says:

      Once the work is done at the street cab level if the modem/router is connected the engineer can check the sync rate and make sure everything is working without going to the end customer.

  2. Avatar telecom engineer says:

    Not involved in the trial but common sense would suggest The engineer will jumper the cab and check for dialtone and sync on the out port before connecting the dside. A gea test can be run remotely to check line test ok and sync but if no sync is found the engineer will just comp the job. It is just like an exchange dsl jumper act with the added sync check at the port. For an engineer to visit the end user an additional paid fault would be made. Its a gamble the cp will take, pay less upfront and hope end user connects correctly and home wiring does cause massive loss or pay extra for a professional install. I have seen faults where cowboys (no longer with us) simply unplugged adsl router and plugged in vdsl modem and its an ugly mess, worst case saw a line run at 5 meg, after redoing the install properly the eu had 80, and that was with proper twisted pair wiring in the house, once this is let loose on unfiltered sky boxes, flat extension reels and star wiring bt will be raking in the money on sfi jobs.

  3. Avatar Bob says:

    THere seems no reason why BT should need to visit the home to check sync. They dont do it for ADSL.

    AS one of the posters said they will check for sync at the cabinet. I would assume they would also do basic checks on the line to ensure the line is ok and that they are working on the right line. If they get sync at the Cabinet then it should sync at the cutomers premises

    THey may possible require home visits for very long lines as with ADSL as there is a risk of problems

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      One possible reason would be to correct star configurations where you have two or more sockets all wired up in parallel.

      Ours is like this, so my concern would be that while a decent service might be possible, actually, the service delivered could actually be even slower than 3G / 4G so in the end it just gets cancelled as inadequate and too slow, when it could have delivered a usable service.

  4. Avatar cyclope says:

    No, they don’t but the should bloody do!!! it’s only Common sense, and IMO part of the job that they are being paid to do,
    It’s little wonder that BT openreach gets slagged off so much, and why are they increasing the managed install fee,they are no longer going to supply the modem or a VDSL faceplate,The rev k for AAISP will no doubt be having a rant on his blog over this one, they really know how to take the piss do BT openreach!!

  5. Avatar dragoneast says:

    Some of us are already (successfully) using alternatives to the OR modem, with arguably some improvement. I’m not convinced this bureaucratic nightmare actually improves things or lowers costs over a managed install which has the great benefit of simplicity, and I have the option to bung the OR modem back in for testing and fault rectification in the event of problems. But that’s regulation = complexity, for you.

  6. Avatar telecom engineer says:

    Cyclope you are completely missing the point. This is about creating a product where there is eventually no openreach modem and no managed install. This will eventually bring prices down considerably and drive uptake. It will require this technical trial and cps to create kit that conforms to openreach standards ( note even openreach had to reengineer their modems to ensure they worked on both manufacturers dslams). As for current product pricing well inflation is a fact of life and bt is a private firm, i certainly wouldnt expect farmers to have a flat wage for the next 40 years, absorb all rising costs and forgo their pensions so that tesco could keep selling potatoes at the same price or keep their profits ever increasing whilst wholesalers starve. People do seem to feel entitled to a completely free turn key business in telecoms whilst encouraging an ever hungrier consumer to expect more for less or free. Its amazing how many people feel its their human right to have fttp for 20 quid a month yet are happy living with no mains gas or sewerage! If so much more important why expect it for so much less?

  7. Avatar cyclope says:

    Well having witnessed at first hand a so called managed install it’s money for old rope , Bt openreach bod turn up within the allotted scheduled window,They did not have the Data Extension Kit which had been ordered,and they wouldn’t move the master socket either, So the additional filtered face plate was fitted ,BT modem unpacked and connected to power and master socket, waited for it to sync and off they went, no line checks made with test equipment(Exfo/Jdsu) for potential problems,Modem left on the floor, as the Openreach bod claimed not to have a drill
    So it may as well of been a self install Fortunately the connection appears to work fine,but only time will tell i suppose

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