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UK Ultrafast FTTH Fibre Optic Broadband Lines Slow to Grow – Global Ranking

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 (3:36 pm) - Score 3,893
fibre_optic_world_networking

The FTTH Council Europe, which campaigns for the widespread adoption of true Fibre-to-the-Home (100Mbps+) broadband ISP connections, has published its latest annual table of global FTTH coverage and revealed that growth in the United Kingdom has slowed and continues to offer less than 1% penetration (234k premises passed at 10.3% uptake).

At present most of the “super-fast broadband” (25 – 30Mbps+) coverage in the UK is being delivered via slower but cheaper and quicker to deploy hybrid-fibre (fibre optic mixed with older copper and coax cables) solutions like BT’s Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology and Virgin Media’s cable (Euro/DOCSIS) network. It’s an economically sensible approach for serving medium-term demands but also one that will need significant upgrades in the future.

By contrast many others believe that the only true Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband technology is a real fibre optic line, which uses a glass (silica) or plastic cable to transmit information using pulses of laser light (aka – fibre optic / FTTH / FTTP / FTTB) and it does this all the way up to your home. This kind of connection is very expensive / slow to roll-out but can already deliver stable speeds of 1000Mbps (Megabits per second) and will go much faster in the future as demand rises.

Until recently the bulk of the United Kingdom’s FTTH/P/B lines actually came from BTOpenreach’s national telecoms and broadband network, which as part of their £2.5bn commercial FTTC/P deployment originally set out to make a native FTTP network available to around 2.5 million premises. But high costs and delays, not least with the end-user installation process, ultimately caused this target to be abandoned (here) in favour of an expensive FTTP on Demand (FoD) service that home users are less likely to buy (here).

So it’s perhaps no surprise to find that the total UK figure of homes passed, which stood at 199,000 in December 2012 with 8.5% uptake (at that time around half came from BT), has failed to achieve a place in this years ranking table (much like Germany) and therefore hasn’t changed much from last year. The recent statistics from Point Topic also seem to support this (here).

global ftth ranking 2014

But UK growth hasn’t stalled and instead most of today’s expansion is now being driven by smaller ISPs / altnets. For example, Hyperoptic recently confirmed that its FTTB network will soon reach 35,000 homes passed (up from 20,000 last year) and KC in Hull have also reported similar progress (24,700 premises passed). Lest we not forget the on-going fibre optic developments from B4RN, CityFibre, ASK4, Call Flow Solutions and Gigaclear among others.

All of the smaller operators have even bigger goals for the future. Similarly it’s also important to remember that BT does still deploy some FTTP/B and often as part of the publicly funded Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme, although it’s unclear how far this will take them in the future.

So last year’s demise of BT’s original FTTP target might have been a heavy blow but it also appears to have emboldened the incumbent’s rivals into targeting even more areas and growing their own fibre optic networks. BT might not be able to make the model work but others clearly see it as a viable investment.

Meanwhile it should be said that BT’s future upgrade path is likely to include Fibre-to-the-Distribution-Point (FTTdp) technology, which works like FTTC to reduce the length of slower copper in BT’s network and extend the reach of their fibre optic lines even closer to homes. It’s predicted that this, when used alongside other technologies like G.fast (aka FTTC2), could deliver speeds of several hundred Megabits per second. But it’s also a complex and expensive upgrade to install and maintain.

Overall there are now 9.5 million FTTH subscribers in Europe and 10.6 million in Russia, yet there’s also no escaping that the UK will struggle to climb the council’s fibre rankings in the future. But whether or not this even matters tends to depend entirely upon your perspective. Fibre is not a cheap technology to roll-out but one day it could become necessary and some are already looking towards that future.

UPDATE:

It’s worth noting some new statistics from IDATE today, which noted that on a global scale FTTH/B represented 66% of FTTx subscriptions at mid-2013 and this compares with 22% for FTTLA and 12% for FTTN+VDSL (the latter is what Virgin and BT tend to use / hybrid fibre).

hybrid fibre vs fibre optic adoption idate

IDATE also predicts that Eastern Europe will see its take up rate of FTTx (hybrid and fibre optic) connections increase from 28% to 49% in 5 years, which looks set to be much higher than in Western Europe where the figure is predicted to go from 21% at end 2012 to 32% in 2017.

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Mark Jackson
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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107 Responses
  1. Avatar FibreFred says:

    No real surprise here, a bit of FTTH growth whilst BT finished up its FTTP areas and as that has finished now and there is no other provider rolling out FTTP on the same scale we won’t move up the charts.

    As you say FTTdp is probably next after we are close to outgrowing FTTC so we won’t rise up the charts then either.

    Does it really matter though? Its a chart, ask people in the street and they’ll say they want faster, cheap broadband do they actually care whether its FTTP, FTTC or Wifi? Doubtful as long as its faster and cheap 🙂

    1. Avatar NGA for all says:

      It matters for at least two reasons; – LRIC for fibre access is cheaper than copper, but the transition programme is tough. Best in Europe should mean access to wholesale price of c15-20euros a month for fibre, this is something that will be denied the UK economy for the forseable future. Even for FTTC BT has confirmed to analysts it’s 19m homes passed will be £1.3bn capital(kit and capitalised labour) of the £2.5bn continually used.
      The potential to be able to do more (exchange more bits) for a lower cost should not be denied all parts of the UK economy.
      Fibre overlay in the form of FTTC is a great start but it is not an end point.

      The internal competition between a retail arm needing to engage in rights battle for football, and ongoing investment in a core national asset suggests greater separation is needed going forward.

    2. Avatar Somerset says:

      In 2-3 years the vast majority will have access to superfast with a FoD option at some cost. Not forgetting the 50% or more with acess to VM and others. Where should the UK go from there?

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Agreed fttc is a good start its most of the fibre grunt work in one hit. Then fttdp (probably ) followed by FTTP although I guess we need to see the speeds of fttdp first

    4. Avatar Phil says:

      We need FTTH 1Gig broadband – look here https://www.hyperoptic.com/web/guest/home as BT FTTC is outdated. Sorry BT.

    5. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Get Hyperoptic to plumb you in then, simple?

  2. Avatar Chris Conder says:

    If only we had more altnets! FTTC, now FTTdp, such obsolete technologies in this day and age to protect the investment in the old copper phone lines. Its time to move on, and get some fibre. Moral and optic, and stop pratting around using technology that is expensive to install and expensive to run in order to continue leaching the assets of infrastructure that is sadly passed its sell by date. Copper is so Yesterday.

    1. Avatar Somerset says:

      If FTTC is expensive to install then what is the cost of installing FTTP to properties?

      FTTC roll out puts in the core network for future FTTP when either funding is available or people will pay for its installation. So no need to ‘do it all again’.

    2. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Name me one altnet that will install FTTP in any home location in the country and the price of it. Never mind more name just one that will do that and the price then you can look at how best to support them

      And fttc is now more expensive that fttc , is there a new report out?

    3. Avatar NGA for all says:

      FTTC and FTTdp do a good job for most people, and the capital cost for BT was £1.3bn of the £2.5bn assigned to pass 19m or circa 50-55k cabs.

      The challenge is if we stop or BT attempt to say it is the ‘£100k per cabinet or millions per exchange’ , when neither such statements are true. Left unchallenged it impacts upon the nations competitiveness and the numbers are very evident in the findings of the NAO report.

      BT’s retail need for rights to broadcast premiership football is begining to shape all other decisions including decisions to back away from, and re-position FTTP as a premium service. Lack of demand then becomes a self fullfilling prophesy.

    4. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      It is very disappointing that BT so heavily rolled back their FTTP plans.

      If we remove the gap-funded Cornwall project, along with greenfield in Ebbsfleet and the tech trials in Deddington and other places how many premises have actually been commercially passed by Openreach FTTP in brownfield sites?

      Actively deterring demand through huge price increases while simultaneously ensuring FTTPoD could take maximum advantage of the Superconnected Cities voucher scheme also pretty disappointing.

      BT have done well deploying FTTC so rapidly but nil point for the manner in which they’ve diverted money away from CapEx in FTTP to other things.

    5. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I always saw the FTTP deployments as one big trial to be honest, to see how much it cost to deploy. There’s a lot of FTTH in York I believe as well, it doesn’t surprise me that they stopped it

  3. Avatar Phil says:

    I think UK will be stuck with FTTC until 2020. BT will not interesting bring FTTH/FTTP because they would lose 95% customers on line rental disappear!

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Why? You’d still need a line

    2. Avatar Matthew Williams says:

      Actually I think he is referring to fact you wouldn’t need a landline. I know a lot of people who only have one because BT/Sky make you have one. Virgin don’t.

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      You will need a line for a physical service and there will always be a cost associated with it.

  4. Avatar Chris says:

    Embarrassing all that investment, quotes from government about our superfast broadband being best in Europe when they started considering handing money out and where do we end up standing… Nowhere.

  5. Avatar FibreFred says:

    Good to see so many fttc subscribers in the USA and some people say fttc is a mistake someone tell the USA got it totally wrong 🙂

    1. Avatar Phil says:

      FTTC is mistake too slow for every days use of internet – we need a FTTH BT, act now!

    2. Avatar FibreFred says:

      🙂 What do you call every day use of the internet? Most people still use it for browsing and email, which ADSL is more than sufficient for never mind FTTC

      As I’ve said before… FTTH isn’t a technical challenge its a financial one, throw lots of money at it and it can be done. This is the same for any country, which is why you see the states using a load of FTTC and Australia, Germany, France ….. (long list)

      http://point-topic.com/free-analysis/vdsl-broadband-in-superfast-europe/

    3. Avatar Chris says:

      The USA is mainly DOCSIS based and we all know that is faster than FTTC.

    4. Avatar FibreFred says:

      And what did they do for the non DOCSIS areas? (my point)

      FTTC

    5. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      For the non-DOCSIS areas Fred? There are very few, however Verizon’s FiOS FTTP service passes 18 million homes in the USA.

      Very difficult to work out how many are passed by VDSL as uVerse, AT&T’s product, includes 24Mb ADSL2+ IPDSLAMs in the field alongside some FTTP and, regardless, maxes out at 45Mb in select markets and 24Mb/3Mb in many.

      It’s selling because competition in those areas is so relatively poor, not because it’s good. The USA is most certainly not a shining example of how to do FTTC, in no small part because it’s not FTTC but FTTN hence the longer loop lengths and lower speeds.

      You might find Switzerland a better example – http://www.huawei.com/ilink/en/solutions/broader-smarter/morematerial-b/HW_260629?Addr= – but perhaps not as they are using a combination of FTTP and FTTS rather than simply doing less than 10% of the FTTP originally planned, with the majority of that in gap-funded projects, and saving the rest of the cash for other parts of the telco to use on sports rights.

    6. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Sorry no, USA wasn’t meant as a direct comparison, merely to highlight

      There are a few individuals on here that seem to think FTTC is some strange off the wall UK BT only technology that is very poor and no-one else is using.

      Facts are very different, ADSL is still the most popular tech used to connect to the Internet and many many other countries have or are using FTTC as their next stepping stone.

      These same people have been slating FTTC for so long its too late to back peddle now so they have to stick to their guns despite what world wide reports are showing.

    7. Avatar Chris says:

      Good to see so many fttc subscribers in the USA and some people say fttc is a mistake someone tell the USA got it totally wrong :)”

      “And what did they do for the non DOCSIS areas? (my point)

      FTTC”

      There is basically NO FTTC in the USA, it is all either DOCSIS (what we know as cable broadband) or FIOS (what we know as FTTH) or ADSL based. The majority tech is DOCSIS out there.

      So the long and short you had no point and are wrong about the tech.

      Unless of course you are also going to suggest i am and Ignitionnet which has told you basically the same thing are deduction as you have been every other poster.

    8. Avatar New_Londoner says:

      Chris
      Quote “There is basically NO FTTC in the USA, it is all either DOCSIS (what we know as cable broadband) or FIOS (what we know as FTTH) or ADSL based. The majority tech is DOCSIS out there.”

      As my longer post further down points out, there are in fact more VDSL subscribers (so FTTC/N) than FTTH/B in the USA, just read the table at the bottom of the story. Why do you suggest otherwise?

    9. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Chris

      9.4million VDSL customers in the USA, see table above?

    10. Avatar Raindrops says:

      It took you 2 personalities but its good to see you correct yourself from claiming the USA uses FTTC to VDSL.

    11. Avatar FibreFred says:

      What do you think fttc uses ? Vdsl

      Guess Chris will be taking a break and letting those rosy cheeks cool off, quite an embarrassment for him

    12. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Err the only one embarrassed should be you VDSL stands for nothing more than
      Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line (VDSL or VHDSL) and covers just about any Fibre technology with its description. FTTC and DOCSIS are not the same no matter how much you wish to try to insult people in to believing it is.

    13. Avatar FibreFred says:

      So VDSL covers any fibre technology now 😀

      What a great sentence 😀

      Good to see your up to date on the latest technology, saying that this is the guy that didn’t have a clue what GPON was and thought GEA FTTP was point to point fibre, somethings change , somethings stay the same….

    14. Avatar No clue says:

      Obviously they meant VDSL covers any fibre tech which is a mix of copper and fibre which includes DOCSIS.

    15. Avatar No clue says:

      ^^^ Or perhaps i should say that is how the FTTH council and the context of this story would classify DOCSIS, FTTC and other mix copper/fibre networks.

      It just happens the USA is mainly DOCSIS rather than FTTC….. AS also pointed out to you by Ignitionnet in the very first line of his post here…
      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2014/02/uk-ultrafast-ftth-fibre-optic-broadband-connections-stalled-homes.html#comment-131403

      Why not also run along and accuse him of also being Deduction as he disagrees with your wild theories the USA is FTTC.

    16. Avatar FibreFred says:

      “You quite clearly stated the USA and France are mainly FTTC, ”

      Show me where I said that

    17. Avatar FibreFred says:

      “Obviously they meant VDSL covers any fibre tech which is a mix of copper and fibre which includes DOCSIS.”

      VDSL is VDSL
      DOCSIS is DOCSIS

      Can you really be that ill informed? 😮

    18. Avatar FibreFred says:

      And I’m not disagreeing with Ignitionet because I never said anything about DOCSIS I was commenting on the 9.4million VDSL subscribers

    19. Avatar Raindrops says:

      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2014/02/uk-ultrafast-ftth-fibre-optic-broadband-connections-stalled-homes.html#comment-131378

      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2014/02/uk-ultrafast-ftth-fibre-optic-broadband-connections-stalled-homes.html#comment-131367

      and as you have been told by 4 people now the USA is mainly DOCSIS not FTTC.

      I would like to argue with you more but as you can not even remember the troll attempts you have made it is not worth it.

    20. Avatar New_Londoner says:

      I imagine in the US experts will know AT&T alone has been adding more subscribers per quarter for its VDSL and FTTP solutions than the top few cable companies combined?

    21. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I know USA is mainly docsis I never said it wasn’t again with the changing of arguments show me where I said other tech on the USA has a higher percentage

      Good luck you won’t find it as I never said it

    22. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I applaud your attempts at misdirection but its just failing to cover up just how ridiculous you and you personas are. Claiming docsis is a form of vdsl is up there with your very best blunders equal if not better than your gpon and gea comments most people would have just flown off with embarrassment by now but you seem to love showing yourself up

    23. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I would say this should shut you up but its unlikely:-

      http://blog.idate.fr/tag/fttx-2/

      In the USA cable comes out tops , never said otherwise and always knew that, you were arguing with yourself on that one

      VDSL = 9.4Million subscribers

      FTTH = 5.8 Million

      So are you still going to try to tell me the USA doesn’t use VDSL?

      In fact I’m glad you’ve kept on at this like a dog with a bone because it just cements what I’ve been saying

      BT aren’t doing anything strange and off the wall using VDSL, its not a half baked solution they are doing on their own its used worldwide with a load in use in the USA and Canada, europe etc

    24. Avatar Chris says:

      So lets see now…

      freddie
      February 21, 2014 at 9:06 am
      February 21, 2014 at 9:07 am
      February 21, 2014 at 9:10 am

      February 21, 2014 at 5:36 pm (This is supposedly a different poster called New_Londoner)

      Followed by more freddie within minutes multi spamming.
      February 21, 2014 at 5:37 pm
      February 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm
      February 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      I suggest you seek help for how totally unhinged you are.

    25. Avatar New_Londoner says:

      @Chris
      Sad to see another person starting the multi ID nonsense. Three points:

      1. I don’t post under multi IDs, pointless and I have a life
      2. I don’t care if you do, a bit sad but your life
      3. It doesn’t deflect from the point that several posters have not bothered reading the story before commenting, have therefore posted nonsense and then tried to cover it by posting even more nonsense about the US market

      Just saying!

    26. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      @Chris: It is obvious that Freddy is either a BT employee, or a share holder, or otherwise has business links with them. His desparate defense of BTs copper VDSL at all cost clearly shows it. He could have said everything in one post, instead of trolling all over.

      Here is a new suggestion: How about studying the business model of poorer countries like Latvia which have widespread fibre-optic broadband networks, unlike the UK. Or how about taking a closer look at KC in the Hull area? Why is this country so incompetent when it comes to the deployment of fibre-optic broadband services?

    27. Avatar FibreFred says:

      JNeuhoff

      I see you didn’t respond to this post:-

      “‘VDSL is yesterday’s technology, and the vast majority has no interest in it. ‘

      If someone has no interest in 76Mb why would they be more interested in 1Gb? They’re just numbers if people have no interest in the applications they facilitate.

      99% of people couldn’t care less whether their broadband is delivered via FTTP or FTTN. I’ve no idea why you think that it’s FTTC/N would be a turn-off to people by default. They care more about price, reliability, etc.

      I wonder why…..

    28. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Or just maybe I have not reported anyone and mark knows exactly who is who

      Are you all clear on vdsl and docsis now ? I see you have stopped responding in that area and have resorted to school ground personal insults , another of your well known traits 🙁

    29. Avatar Raindrops says:

      “It is obvious that Freddy is either a BT employee, or a share holder, or otherwise has business links with them.”

      Quite possibly they are from my experience an ignorant organisation.

  6. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

    Chris, you can’t reason with a FTTC troll who genuinely believes that copper VDSL is a good thing, and who doesn’t understand what proper longterm invesment means.

    VDSL is yesterday’s technology, and the vast majority has no interest in it. Its a widespread Cannot Do culture in this country.

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I know what proper long term investment means, have you got any money to invest?

      I won’t even ask how you will fund a full FTTP rollout as its been asked of you countless times and you have no answer other than responses like “Get rid of HS2” etc

      FTTH is the goal, no disagreement there, its very expensive, we’ve only a small amount of money to invest now so increase the speeds, get fibre closer to the premise (much much closer now with FTTC)

      2.4million uses of FTTC in this country now and growing each quarter.. no interest at all 😉

    2. Avatar New_Londoner says:

      @JNeuhoff
      Quote “VDSL is yesterday’s technology, and the vast majority has no interest in it. Its a widespread Cannot Do culture in this country.”

      So you would provide the 80% that are currently sticking with ADSL rather than moving to VDSL with even faster FTTP instead, at a higher cost to recoup the investment, confident that they would all suddenly see the light (pun intended) and upgrade. That’s an interesting approach!

      Why is it that some cannot understand many people just are not interested? You presumably read about the 6m+ adults that have not used the internet? It’s this gold plating approach that causes problems, needless extra expenditure, prolonged delays in delivery …. Need I go on?

      Instead we have been provided with a pragmatic solution that will meet the needs of the vast majority of us for the next few years and has an upgrade path. You cannot stream to your new 4k TV? So what, if you can afford that you can afford to pay for the necessary connection.

      The people that want FTTP are mainly tech enthusiasts, tech suppliers etc. Very few have ever run a business that builds and runs capital intensive systems at scale, let alone raised the £bns required to build and operate a national FTTP network.

      And if you’re thinking just how hard us this, look how long it’s taken B4RN to cover a few hundred homes in a relatively small area. IIIRC the target completion date has long since passed, and I’m sure it would have finished if it was easy.

      Sorry for the rant but I’m getting tired of people wanting to play fast and loose with our limited tax monies. If you insist on FTTP, by all means raise the money yourself and build your own network, don’t tap us taxpayers up for £15bn+ to fund your private obsession.

    3. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      “don’t tap us taxpayers up for £15bn+ to fund your private obsession.”

      While we are at it: Scrap the BDUK immediately, and stop wasting taxpayer’s money given to a private telecom monopoly company who has no need for it.

    4. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      ‘VDSL is yesterday’s technology, and the vast majority has no interest in it. ‘

      If someone has no interest in 76Mb why would they be more interested in 1Gb? They’re just numbers if people have no interest in the applications they facilitate.

      99% of people couldn’t care less whether their broadband is delivered via FTTP or FTTN. I’ve no idea why you think that it’s FTTC/N would be a turn-off to people by default. They care more about price, reliability, etc.

    5. Avatar FibreFred says:

      ^ Exactly

    6. Avatar Chris says:

      “Chris, you can’t reason with a FTTC troll who genuinely believes that copper VDSL is a good thing, and who doesn’t understand what proper longterm invesment means.”

      Thats a bit harsh but understandable when hes talking about other countries tech and having no idea what they use. He also mentions France above in one of his post as an example of a FTTC country, unfortunately the chart in the story says otherwise.

    7. Avatar No clue says:

      Indeed he does compare France and USA as examples in his rambling of heavy FTTC usage, yet looking at that chart the majority technology used for France and the USA are dead opposites (France being nearly all Orange in the chart USA being majority blue).

      Obviously he had another ‘confused’ day and as usual just rushed to get his nonsensical 2p worth in again.

      If you look carefully at the chart there is no majority technology used. Countries in the chart either have a equal mix (or near as) of both or have in around equal numbers adapted one “fibre” version over the other.

      There is no massive sway worldwide in adopting FTTC over other fibre tech.

    8. Avatar Chris says:

      I will give him the benefit of the doubt for now. He could had misread, be colour blind or something else, maybe for once he will admit his error. Then again i am a glass half full kind of guy so could be wishing the best.

    9. Avatar New_Londoner says:

      I think some of you need to look beyond the large graph, instead read the table at the bottom of the story, as this may explain some of Fred’s comments.

      For example it tells me there are 9.4m VDSL connections in the USA, compared to 9m for FTTH and FTTB combined. So it would seem that there are indeed more people using FTTC/N than FTTH/B in the USA. The table shows large numbers of VDSL connections in Germany, Switzerland and Canada too.

      It’s easy to be distracted by the big graphic, useful to read the rest of the story too.

      Perhaps we can drop the constant references to multiple IDs now and instead focus on a mature debate based on hard facts.

    10. Avatar FibreFred says:

      At least New_Londonder can read I hope you have all now seen what I’m referring to

      France is rolling out FTTC

      http://www.zdnet.com/frances-sfr-and-free-go-head-to-head-on-1gbps-fibre-as-vdsl2-goes-national-7000021452/

      All out there is you look

    11. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      A few extreme views either way.

      For me the major disappointment isn’t that BT have deployed FTTC but that, despite their PR, they’ve elected to save a ton of money on infrastructure by not deploying FTTP in any quantity to speak of without gap funding.

      FTTC is/was clearly the appropriate choice in some areas, however in others a good case could be made for FTTP.

      Again though Ofcom really don’t help in this regard. Were they to allow BT to retire copper from premises connected to FTTP that’d improve the business case substantially.

    12. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      “Were they to allow BT to retire copper from premises connected to FTTP that’d improve the business case substantially.”

      That’s another madness in the UK. Fibre should REPLACE copper, not be installed in parallel.

      Everything which could have been made the wrong way as regards telecom has been adopted in this country. Plus add to this the madness of wasting so much taxpayer’s money, given to a private business who has absolutely no need for it. Those hardcore copper trolls worshipping BT have a hopeless Cannot-Do attitude.

    13. Avatar Raindrops says:

      “At least New_Londonder can read I hope you have all now seen what I’m referring to”

      Unfortunately you can not as is evident from your USA uses FTTC and France examples earlier on…
      France likewise is heavy FTTH/B subs and homes passed not FTTC
      http://blog.idate.fr/inventory-of-ftthb-in-europe-2/

    14. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Irrelevant it equates to exactly the same thing a vdsl dslam in the street , as I keep saying vdsl is not is not something bt are doing alone – this big mistake the trolls / bashers keep on about its used worldwide and on the increase sorry that does not aid your cause

    15. Avatar Raindrops says:

      The only irrelevant thing is all your posts. France has FTTH in large numbers not FTTC as you claimed earlier.

      DOCSIS is also not the same as FTTC, you can convert/upgrade a DOCSIS network to FTTH far more easier than you can FTTC. This would also explain why FTTH in the USA continues to grow and is now near the same numbers as DOCSIS users. The UK on the other hand lags behind with BT’s FTTH plans all but abandoned.

      I have no idea why you defend BT as much as you do or dig your self a hole as deep as you do but i thank you for it. After a hard day at work its good to come home and laugh at something as dim as you act.

    16. Avatar Chris says:

      I stand corrected with my mistake of a glass being half full earlier. I now find it half empty like someones head.

    17. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Why are you trying to tell me DOCSIS is not the same as FTTC, oh I see because I never said it and your on the back peddle again, even glove puppet Chris has turned up 🙂

      It has always been the Deduction way, when you start losing the argument (and plot) change the argument.

    18. Avatar No clue says:

      You quite clearly stated the USA and France are mainly FTTC, neither of those countries are mainly FTTC, one is mainly DOCSIS (and only barely) the other is FTTH.

      Nobody is changing the argument, they are commenting on the complete pile of crap you stated. Nobody is a puppet either they just realise they are dealing with an idiot.

    19. Avatar George says:

      If we all had an extra couple of Mbps every time a certain loon accused people of being this deduction person we would be number 1 in for broadband in the world 😀

    20. Avatar Raindrops says:

      If we all had a couple of extra Megs every time he loses the plot and goes off on a mad multi post rant within a few minutes of each other they would have to build data centres on the moon to deal with us all.

    21. Avatar Chris says:

      He woke up unhinged today and then stewed a bit before becoming totally unhinged again this evening with more multi posting all within minutes.

      I can only imagine the rage he must have.

  7. Avatar zemadeiran says:

    In general people will want/require ubiquitous fast wireless access from any location. This will negate the requirement for physical connections in the last mile.

    There are some truly amazing mobile technologies in the pipeline which will without doubt change the UK’s telecom’s structure.

    1. Avatar Gadget says:

      There are some amazing technologies in the pipeline but there are also some concerns that there is simply not enough spectrum to enable sufficient bandwidth to supply the needs of all users.

    2. Avatar Gerarda says:

      I agree – fixed broadband will go the same way as fixed landlines. I suspect these bandwidth issues will be solved long before FTTP is rolled out nationwide.

    3. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      There are already some wireless last-mile technologies out there which have the potential to make BT obsolete, see for example http://www.6ginternet.com/fast-broadband-technology.

    4. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Looks good, how much does it cost and where is it available, have you ordered it?

    5. Avatar Unknown101 says:

      JNeuhoff yeah looks like a good wireless option….ispreview has this on the website last year.

      20Mbps broadband speeds for £43.48 per month with free evening/weekend calls on a 24 month contract (plus £49 installation). It’s also suggested that the price could rise after the first 18-24 months when various line rental and calling discounts come to an end. Yes, line rental, on a wireless link.

      Seems a lot more than FTTC and for a really poor speed/price ratio. Well done for bringing this to our attention!

    6. Avatar Raindrops says:

      “20Mbps broadband speeds for £43.48 per month with free evening/weekend calls on a 24 month contract (plus £49 installation). It’s also suggested that the price could rise after the first 18-24 months when various line rental and calling discounts come to an end. Yes, line rental, on a wireless link.

      Seems a lot more than FTTC and for a really poor speed/price ratio. Well done for bringing this to our attention!”

      Seems a bargain to me considering BT FTTC only guarantees 2Mb minimum and you can spend £40 odd quid on it quite easily from various ISP’s.

    7. Avatar Unknown101 says:

      Raindrops – more fool the people paying £40 for it when you can get it for considerably cheaper and the people who get 2mb/s are probably less than 5% of the country (when the full rollout is complete). Also about your 4G argument, have you see 4G in USA? When more consumers are added speeds dropped by upto 32%, wait till 4G is mature here the headline speeds will be much slower than first thought.

    8. Avatar No clue says:

      “more fool the people paying £40 for it when you can get it for considerably cheaper”

      The only ISPs considerably cheaper for FTTC are BT, Plusnet, Talk Talk and Sky and of all them i personally would not recommend any of them. If i were force id take Sky over BT who i am currently with. The support on BT Retail products is horrid when anything minor or major goes wrong. I had my voice side of things play up and my FTTC lose 20Mb, it then took 2+ months to get BT Retail to do anything and send an engineer out to reset the line, since then it has been back to normal. I hope it stays like that but knowing something so minor can upset BT FTTC so much is a constant worry.

      If people go for FTTC id recommend going to a ISP which are known for good support such as AAISP or Zen, that way at least they will chase BT if things go wrong. BT Retail and the other “cheap” providers i mention above will not give a damn….. Buyer beware you get what you pay for.

  8. Avatar Phil says:

    @ Gerarda – No chance BT will never get FTTP roll out nationwide in future. Because BT is too tight greed git with their monopoly money. BT have the last laughing at the government funds to BT.

    1. Avatar Gerarda says:

      I do not think it will either, even on a very loose BT style definition of nationwide, but as much because it will be an obsolete technology by the time anyone is seriously considering it as for any other considerations

    2. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Some on 4G mobile already can get faster download and upload speeds than they can currently get on their fixed home FTTC connections. I have seen 4G speed tests hit 40Mb down and up. By the time 5G gets here FTTC will look even slower. It is even funnier Virgin’s DOCSIS system which is over a decade old in some parts of the country can still also thrash FTTC in technically the max speed stakes.

  9. Avatar Matthew Williams says:

    I can’t see national FTTP ever happening honestly [Without Tax payers money] I think people will be lucky to get FTTP in cities from BT in the future. Anyone think Virgin eventually will switch to FTTP?

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      Virgin have a lot less work to do to move to 1Gbps speeds as none of the last mile need be touched, the coax copper can do that already. Not a cable engineer by any means but I’m assuming it means work at the street cabinet and back to the head end to add capacity.

      The need is far in the future, though, for now, the Achilles Heel of cable is the upstream though even so that still doesn’t need work on the “last mile”.

      I love the distraction above which seems to suggest that since so many people have ADSL or VDSL “they must be good”. Popularity is evidence of quality. It couldn’t possibly be that half of the country doesn’t have a choice.

    2. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I never said that I was correcting this misconception that fttc was a bt only solution that wasn’t being rolled out by many other countries when it clearly is

      As far gigging virgins network ignitionnet would be able to tell you what is needed

    3. Avatar Matthew Williams says:

      I live in a Virgin Area had been considering moving to BT FTTC is it just better to remain with Virgin than?

    4. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Depends on what you want right now Matthew. If you want the fastest download speeds from the big providers and half decent support then stay with Virgin. If upload speed is more important and you are not bothered about the pot luck of download speed then go to BT FTTC.

    5. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      ‘The need is far in the future, though, for now, the Achilles Heel of cable is the upstream though even so that still doesn’t need work on the “last mile”.’

      I’d be very impressed indeed if Virgin Media could get extremely high upstream into 60MHz of potentially noisy spectrum, as it may have ingress and inter-modulation products alongside noise from amplifiers.

      If no last mile work were required they wouldn’t have ended up reneging on the 10:1 ratio they were at one point delivering as downstreams were upgraded. Realistically VM have to go to FTTLA before they are delivering FTTB/P-a-like services, pushing fibre deeper into their network and eliminating distribution / line extender amplifiers.

    6. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Agreed Ignitionnet the downside to Virgin both now and potentially the future is how they will increase the upstream to keep pace with competition. It will be interesting to see for those lucky enough to have the choice in the future if they go for Virgin which is likely to offer way more downstream than FTTC or if people want a more balanced product (if you can call it that) and go for FTTC which hopefully will have increases to the upstream and downstream. Future mobile services and what they offer will also be interesting.

  10. Avatar Slow Somerset says:

    Best In Europe by 2015 LOL, no chance not with Bts Monopoly.

    1. Avatar Gerarda says:

      If you define Europe as some have suggested on here as being those countries that are either a) bigger than us or b) basket case economies then we could be in the top 2.

  11. Avatar Neil McRae says:

    vectoring … gfast … gfast 2 100m 800m 1.1G….

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      We won’t have that by 2015 though will we? Possible some small rollouts of vectoring but I doubt much else by 2015

    2. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      Sadly Neil this is looking at what’s actually out there in the field being purchased by end users, not what’s in the labs or very limited trials.

      You guys haven’t finished FTTC deployment yet. I know vectoring is on the roadmap but I seriously doubt G.Fast is on the list of things to do with any kind of scale any time soon.

      Is pair bonding to deliver >100Mb to those who don’t live close to their cabinet, vectoring or not, on the road map? Seems conspicuous by its absence given its widespread use by AT&T and others to improve speeds and range.

      I understand this isn’t an issue for you personally being on FTTP, but people a distance from their cabinet especially may be interested in when these technologies leave the drawing board, and indeed comments on ISPReview, and actually start deployment en masse.

      I’m very much hoping that the investment in FTTC in terms of the MSANs have built into their 10-12 year pay back cards being swapped from VDSL to PON and those being used to backhaul G.Fast kit.

      If not there may be a few unhappy people. I can’t see vectored VDSL 2 keeping even wireless broadband technology at bay in 10-12 years, even among those close to the cabinet, and being over a decade behind Virgin Media would be beyond comedy.

    3. Avatar DTMark says:

      Let’s try some reverse psychology in an effort to gain a response..

      BT won’t reply to that, as their secondary concern is self-defence most especially when compared with Virgin, and their primary concern is PR over substance.

    4. Avatar FibreFred says:

      BT doesn’t need cabinets for PON though does it Ignition?

    5. Avatar Raindrops says:

      “…and being over a decade behind Virgin Media would be beyond comedy.”

      Indeed Virgin can technically already do several hundred Mbps on the downstream.

    6. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      @Fibrefred ‘BT doesn’t need cabinets for PON though does it Ignition?’

      No, but their projected 10-12 year lifespans make me think there must be some other use for them in mind given wireless will make even vectored FTTC seem laughable by then and the prospect of not paying line rental for copper you don’t actually have any use for may be tempting.

      Of course some might say that BT PLC already know this and are trying to compensate through additional value adds and bundling on their retail side rather than future investment in their infrastructure.

      Either way anyone coming on here and discussing G.Fast in discussions around an article discussing what’s in the ground, right now, serving customers throughout the world is guaranteed something of a lukewarm response.

      I couldn’t care less and suspect most couldn’t if BT have 10 gigabit fibre to the rectum in their labs; it means nothing until it’s on the Openreach price list and widely available.

    7. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      @Raindrops ‘Indeed Virgin can technically already do several hundred Mbps on the downstream.’

      Quite – slightly upgraded versions of the VM network but with the same basic technology are delivering 500Mb/50Mb services.

      https://www.comhem.se/bredband/bredbandspaket/bredband-500-37084

      That isn’t some incredible new DOCSIS 3.1 standard either, that’s just plain DOCSIS 3.1 with 4 bonded upstream channels and 16 bonded downstream channels.

    8. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Impressive i thought it was around 400Mb. I am a little shocked it is even better than that.

    9. Avatar George says:

      ‘Either way anyone coming on here and discussing G.Fast in discussions around an article discussing what’s in the ground, right now, serving customers throughout the world is guaranteed something of a lukewarm response’

      Yep, G.Fast is not an ideal solution either as i pointed out via a link in a more recent news item.

  12. Avatar No clue says:

    “I can’t see vectored VDSL 2 keeping even wireless broadband technology at bay in 10-12 years, even among those close to the cabinet, and being over a decade behind Virgin Media would be beyond comedy.”

    Virgin Media is already well over a decade old and what that is currently technically capable as it stands runs rings round what BT FTTC is capable of as that currently stands.

    Throw in future mobile technology and other frequencies opened up for wireless technology and the dead end of FTTC does not look good. Even with upgrades i have no doubt BT will go begging for more government funds to complete that stage.

    The promise of best in Europe by 2015 is one big epic fail and waste of money.

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      “Virgin Media is already well over a decade old”

      I think the actual last mile cabling dates back a lot further than that – 1960s in some cases? Fifty years old.

      “the dead end of FTTC does not look good”

      No, no. Someone from BT will be along to excitedly crow about people in perfectly normal areas on the “wrong side of the street” or “too far from the cabinet” or with poor quality GPO line plant being able to fork out thousands of pounds for “fibre on demand”.

      The mentality seemingly being to completely ignore that said potential subscriber might just be able to have Virgin Media instead. The ability to think in commercial terms like that and consider a competitive environment, simply does not exist.

    2. Avatar TheFacts says:

      VM was formed from the various cable TV companies who dug up the pavements in the 1980’s. Then they added a phone service, and then broadband.

    3. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      “The ability to think in commercial terms like that and consider a competitive environment, simply does not exist.”

      Why should they? In the case of BT they get an awful lot of taxpayer’s donations for yesterday’s copper VDSL technologies which otherwise is not commercially viable for at least a 3rd of the UK. And there are enough BT trolls around to spread this company’s propaganda, and even campaigners, all doing it for free! This is anything but a free market economy.

    4. Avatar Raindrops says:

      The broadband side of Virgin Media dates back to the days of even before it became known as Blueyonder.

      Back then if you were lucky enough you could from memory have 2, 4 or 10Mb. It took BT years to catch up, at around the same time the best you could get from BT was 512k or 1Mb.

      There was then a short period before BT offered 2Mb and then several years before UPTO 8Mb came along to everyone. Then another several years before 21CN (ADSL2) came along. In fact im not entirely sure if BT have even finished that development nationwide yet, or if they have it must have only been in the last year or so.

      FTTC just repeats the whole sorry and predictable BT saga all over again, IE them being behind the game offering dated slow products compared to the competition.

      The next evolution of FTTC i do not expect to see for a long time. With ADSL they had competition from the LLUs, and even then it took BT several years before they offered ADSL2, others such as Easynet, Bulldog were doing it well before them.

      Now in the FTTC space they have no real competition so they can just milk the government teet and leave us all with a half measure product.

    5. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      @JNeuhoff ‘And there are enough BT trolls around to spread this company’s propaganda, and even campaigners, all doing it for free!’

      What would you have had me do? I approached an altnet and they told me that there was no way it’d be viable for them.

      @TheFacts ‘Then they added a phone service, and then broadband.’

      The phone service was there from the start from those cable companies that dug in the 1980s and onwards, hence why the drop cables were siamese from the beginning. Virtually everywhere else as far as I’m aware the cable company deliver telephony using VoIP through PacketCable / DOCSIS 1.1 QoS and real time service flow add/remove.

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