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BT Make Final Adjustments for Faster FTTC Broadband Vectoring Trial

Monday, Aug 19th, 2013 (1:37 am) - Score 3,956

BTOpenreach has advised ISPreview.co.uk that their first trial of VDSL Vectoring (ITU-T G.993.5) technology, which could make even faster speeds available to more people on BT’s superfast (‘up to’ 80Mbps) hybrid-fibre (FTTC) broadband network, has been delayed a little but should now begin “within the next few weeks“.

The trial was originally due to get underway by the end of July or early August 2013 (full trial details) but the initial preparations have apparently taken slightly longer than expected. The good news is that Openreach have now finished installing the necessary DSLAM hardware into six street cabinets around Barnet (London) and Braintree (Essex) in England.

A Spokesperson for Openreach told ISPreview.co.uk:

We’re now making a number of final adjustments and running some further diagnostics to ensure customers on the trial continue to receive a good service before enabling the system. We expect this final work to be complete within the next few weeks.”

VDSL Vectoring is not unlike the noise cancellation technology that you often find in some headphones and works to cancel out crosstalk (interference) on the “last mile” run of copper cable (i.e. between your local street cabinet and home), which could result in a noticeable speed boost.

Some have speculated that Vectoring could push BT’s FTTC service beyond 100Mbps and, with the help of a few other tweaks, possibly as high as up to 200Mbps. But BT’s initial focus will not be on raising the headline rate and they instead envisage it being used to improve existing performance to more users; especially for those on longer lines where interference is a big problem.

But in order to work effectively Openreach has to enable it on all of the lines that go into a street cabinet, which takes a little longer to deploy. Vectoring might also cause problems for Sub Loop Unbundled (SLU) providers, which could be using incompatible hardware and systems that would make Vectoring difficult to deploy in some areas. Ofcom are investigating this issue as part of their market reviews. On top of that the upgrade also attracts a moderate cost.

In any case the initial trial, once it finally gets underway, is expected to run through September and probably most of November too. Officially Openreach has yet to decide whether or not Vectoring will be part of its long-term strategy but you’d be foolish to bet against it; especially with G.Fast (think of this as FTTC2) being mentioned for their long-term plans.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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