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BT Start Phase 2 UK Vectoring Trials to Boost “Fibre Broadband” Speeds

Friday, August 15th, 2014 (7:13 am) - Score 7,694

The second phase of BTOpenreach’s VDSL Vectoring (ITU-T G.993.5) trial, which could improve the performance of BT’s existing “up to” 80Mbps capable hybrid-fibre (FTTC) superfast broadband lines by significantly reducing interference (crosstalk), has finally got underway and will run for “at least” 3 months.

ISPreview.co.uk first detailed Openreach’s plan for the second trial during May 2014 (here) and we recommend reading that for a better perspective. Suffice to say that the first trial, which began last September 2013 and continued for several months, proved to be broadly successful by enabling many more customers to achieve the top speed of 80Mbps (unofficially others reported a general boost of 10-15Mbps+ to ISPreview.co.uk).

However it’s important to stress that experiences do vary and those likely to see the most benefit are customers that have already lost a large chunk of performance due to the crosstalk problem (the more FTTC lines, the greater the problem [interference]). In other words, Vectoring is arguably more about giving end-users the performance that they should have been able to receive in the first place and less about boosting the headline rate beyond 80Mbps, although it would make an increase more feasible (e.g. 100Mbps+).

The second phase of Openreach’s Vectoring trial is set to once again focus upon the same three street cabinets [26, 41 and 42] in Barnet (London) and another three [12, 39 and 74] in Braintree (Essex), which could be expanded at a later date. Several new enhancements are also being introduced to the trial in order to help improve FTTC performance and tackle interference.

Phase 2 Vectoring Improvements

* Physical Retransmission (G.INP)

Openreach has already conducted a separate “limited trial” of G.INP with a small number of FTTC/VDSL lines (here), which is designed to tackle spikes / burst of electromagnetic interference (impulse noise) and can thus make some problematic lines more stable and less prone to errors (Sky Broadband already uses G.INP).

* Seamless-Rate-Adaptation (SRA)

This could help to keep lines stable by varying the speed more effectively. A more technical explanation is to say that SRA can be used to “reconfigure the total data rate by modifying the framing parameters and the bits and fine gains parameters“. If the noise condition improves then SRA can be used to gradually increase the data rate again, potentially taking it all the way back up to what you had before a nasty bout of sudden noise hit your line.

* Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC)

The enhanced vectoring engine (ASIC) is capable of cancelling out significantly more cross-talk interferes per line, which means end-users could see an even bigger improvement in their service speeds. But it may also carry a bigger cost due to the greater need for some hardware replacement

Separately Openreach still wouldn’t be drawn on whether they eventually intended to roll-out a System-Level or Node-Level Vectoring solution, with the latter arguably being better for big cabinets with lots of FTTC lines where the system-level method might struggle.

A spokesperson for Openreach simply told ISPreview.co.uk, “We’re currently focused on ensuring that the trial of the ASIC engine is successful. Beyond that we will be considering all commercially viable options to further enhance the customer’s experience.”

Elsewhere Openreach informs that the second trial will start with the activation of 3 ASIC vector engines at the sites in Braintree and Barnet, while a further 3 will be activated at the trial sites over the coming weeks. Neil Isherwood, the man responsible for in-life aspects of Openreach’s trial, said: “The trial is an important opportunity to monitor how vectoring interacts with live network services“.

Matt Brotherton, Openreach’s Vectoring Project, told ISPreview.co.uk:

This marks a key milestone for the project as we begin to test strategic vectoring hardware in the live network. The trial will be run in 4 phases, with the later phases looking at vectoring interworking with technologies such as physical layer retransmission and seamless rate adaption“.

Naturally consumers will be more interested in whether or not their Openreach VDSL modems will need to be replaced, which did occur for a small number of units during the first trial, but most were fine or merely needed a firmware update.

However the degree to which hardware may or may not need to be changed or upgraded, both among end-users and the street cabinets themselves (not least in terms of the ECI/Huawei equipment split), will not be certain until after Openreach have completed their trials and agreed the final way forward.

Overall it’s good to see Openreach making progress, although we’re also a little surprised at just how long-winded the trial seems to have become. We expected, or perhaps hoped, that they’d be a lot further along than they are now because the crosstalk problem is steadily becoming a lot more noticeable.

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64 Responses
  1. Ignitionnet says:

    This seems to have become less of a commercial trial and more of a research project. I’m intellectually fascinated but as a consumer quite frustrated at the timescales here.

    I suspect it’s worse because the trials were ‘announced’. Had it all been done quietly as these trials often are the impatience would’ve been lower.

    What this does confirm to me, however, is that FTTC is probably here for the long haul and rumours of it being replaced for a deeper fibre solution are incorrect, while pair bonding is still off the radar. Why else spend so much time and effort trying to wring every last bit of throughput out of each single line.

    1. Ignitionnet says:

      On a more personal note the lack of comment on node-level vectoring is a bummer. High uptake areas are those suffering the most heavily from crosstalk and it won’t be properly fixed without node-level solutions.

    2. gerarda says:

      It is probably less of a commercial priority than working out how to achieve the 2Mb USC on their BDUK contracts. at least some of which still have a 2015 date for this.

    3. DTMark says:

      Without vectoring, the reach of 2Mbps is creeping slowly backwards towards the cabinet.

      But then it would depend on the contracts that were signed. If LAs have contracted for a minimum 2Mbps commitment, then it would seem up to BT to supply it.

      If instead of performance they have contracted for a technology e.g. VDSL with an “aim” of 2Mbps for all, then BT probably need not do anything whether or not that target is achieved, because it’s only an “aim”.

    4. gerarda says:

      As I understand it the USC in contracts is not an “aim” but a requirement. In Suffolk it is an often repeated commitment. There will be a lot of political fall out if £millions of Council Tax turns out to have been spent improving areas with a plus 2mb service whilst not solving the not/slow spot problem .

    5. DTMark says:

      Surely all they need do is point residents at the nearest 3G transmitter or, if there isn’t one, then a satellite provider. As far as I know, just about the whole of the UK can get a 2Mbps service by some means already.

      If we could have a look at the contracts, we could see what they commit BT to do with regard to fixed-line solutions.

      But then if there were really a USC and the 2Mbps target absolutely had to be met by fixed line, then that would rather necessarily have had to have been the starting point – working out the cost (for fixed-line, sometimes rather high) and delivery method of doing that, before doing anything else.

      That’s what rather makes me think that in the end, the USC will not be met, that areas will turn out to be “uneconomic” – which was rather the whole point of BDUK in the first place; I’ve already seen examples of LAs telling residents that they’re in a “superfast broadband area” where the line length is too long for any form of VDSL service.

    6. gerarda says:

      To quote from a Suffolk County Council minute “The contract extends the 59% fibre coverage achieved commercially up to 90%, and also ensuring that every single premise in Suffolk can access speeds of between 2Mbps and 24Mbps, even if it is not delivered over fibre. This will completed in September 2015…. The final phase will be to deploy infill solutions to ensure that anybody who has not benefitted from fibre in previous phases is not getting less than 2Mbps.12. The justification for deploying infill at the final phase of deployment is that it is forecast that fibre (FTTC/FTTP) will provide speed uplifts to the vast majority of those premises which currently receive less than 2Mbps, and will do so at a uniform rate from the beginning of the programme. As technology improves, the reach of fibre will extend, so the scope for “infill” or alternative technologies will reduce. It is also expected that SCC will secure additional funding which would result in further fibre deployment through further state intervention.
      13. Deploying infill technologies last also increases the likelihood of securing the most future proof and cost effective technology possible. Currently, the only infill products available are copper based technology or satellite. These have no upgrade path and are very expensive per premise. Following various trials, as well as the purchase of radio spectrum by BT, it may be possible to deploy a form of fixed wireless broadband to offer premises beyond the reach of fibre a significant uplift. However, allowing BT sufficient time to test and productise this solution, change controlling it onto the BDUK Framework, increases the chances of its deployment in Suffolk.”

      Although this shows clearly that BT were awarded the contract despite not having specified a solution failing to provide one would be a breach of the contract. I suspect there are enough retired or active lawyers in Suffolk notspots to make life very difficult for the council if BT are allowed to underperform.

    7. Raindrops says:

      G.INP and SRA can actually slow a good quality line down.

      G.INP especially, there are normally 2 levels to it. It not only increases latency time on a good connection but also reduces speed, typically a few MB. BE was an ISP that used G.INP which the user could decide if it was on or not, they basically had 3 names, named something like noisey, normal and gaming options if i recall.

      The gaming option set G.INP to a value of 0, the normal mode to a value of 1 and the last option to a value of 2. The first thing many of those with a good connection up near the 20Mbps did on BE was set that to gaming mode, any other option increases ping and typically reduced sync by about 2Mbps, i imagine on FTTC it would decrease more.

      SRA UKonline used to have as an unmentioned option, which does indeed make a line more stable but again your speed can fluctuate.

      The only thing that will increase speed or make it better is ASIC and i would not hold my breath for that country wide from BT as it will require spending money on new hardware….. Or short version as ignitionnet says this is nothing more than an experiment, id add one that fails before it even starts.

    8. Ignitionnet says:

      Heya, are you sure you aren’t referring to impulse noise protection, which is already on the FTTC setup? You can see it on the Huawei modems in the INP field of information.

      G.inp / PHY retransmit is a different tech that has no overheads on sync rate. It uses the standard HEC/CRC checks to detect broken superframes and request their retransmission. It actually improves performance as it means dodgy lines don’t need interleave/INP at all, or less can be used. INP along with interleave tries to prevent or correct errors, G.inp takes the hit and arranges retransmissions when needed rather than adding overhead.

      Confusing I know having INP and G.inp and their being completely different things. It’s a good tech, Sky reported 10% higher sync rates on some customers where G.inp reduced error rates and the DLM could as a result lighten up or eliminate interleave/INP without affecting customer experience.

    9. Raindrops says:

      Not so sure now you say that Ignitionnet, you could be right. I do know on BE the options they had increased or decreased the INP value, increased values in turn led to higher latency/ping times, and often slower speed but made the line more stable. It may not had been G.INP now you mention it, you may well be right in stating its something different. I was never a BE customer so can not check for certain i was basing it on what i remember reading and seeing from a friends BE connection. (I probably had the options/names they gave the settings the customer could apply slightly wrong also).

      UKOnline definitely had SRA though, i have previously been a user of them many moons back. IT works but again can be a fickle beast depending on how well it is configured, often it will slow a line more than increase speed on it.

    10. FibreFred says:

      ^ More misinformation and twaddle then, glad igitionnet called you out

    11. Ignitionnet says:

      Mistaking G.inp / PHY retransmit for impulse noise protection isn’t a tricky thing to do. Genuine misunderstanding.

      Yeah, what Be were offering was impulse noise protection. G.inp is a relatively recent creation only seen on UK networks from last year with Sky.

    12. Ignitionnet says:

      SRA on UKOnline did tend to go only one way – down. Prevented disruptive resyncs due to changed line conditions but wasn’t a performance optimiser.

      Hopefully the implementation on the Huawei/ECI hardware will be better and will go both ways.

    13. Chris C says:

      Well yeah.

      Normally a trial would be just one step at a time, then rollout in between each step, so instead of rolling out what they tested on the first trial they now trying more fancy setup’s. On what is very few user’s as well as the fact is still no news on any ECI testing.

    14. Chris C says:

      Regarding SRA on ukonline it would never take the sync speed above the initial sync speed, meaning yes it can only go downwards, however if it slows a line down due to some temporary noise, when that noise ended it would recover the speeds no problem, so it was down and up, but the up not able to go past the initial sync speed. From my experience ukonline SRA put BT DLM to bed in a big way. it was vastly superior as it reacted immediately to errors and recovered immediately all without a disconnection/outage. However on a line that is stable without SRA I can understand the concerns about it.

    15. Raindrops says:

      I wonder how things like SRA will work with BTs current DLM?

      Doesn’t the DLM suddenly reduce speed if there is burst noise or a problem and (supposedly at least) increase it once the noise or problem with the line is rectified?

      Can not see how SRA will work with that.

    16. Raindrops says:

      “^ More misinformation and twaddle then, glad igitionnet called you out”

      Hardly mis-information when i can happily admit i am wrong, something it is obvious you are genetically as well as mentally incapable of.

    17. FibreFred says:

      Its the first time I’ve ever seen you admit you are wrong to be honest and you’ve been wrong plenty of times, if I’d have pulled you up you’d be arguing the toss until Monday

    18. FibreFred says:

      You didn’t know what GPON was and you thought BT GEA-FTTP point to point http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/11/bt-demos-10gbps-fibre-optic-fttp-broadband-isp-speeds-in-cornwall.html

      Just a couple of examples of you being totally wrong. I’ve a good memory of bad bad people

      Yeah I know your not Deduction… just someone with identical traits

    19. Raindrops says:

      You appear to have anger issues with people no matter who they may be, you seem to think you can solve those anger issues by assuming it is a single person that thinks you are stupid. I can only hope that self help over professional therapy works out for you.

    20. Raindrops says:

      Im more than happy to admit when i am wrong. The reason you have never heard me say to you im wrong is because anything i have to say to you is always accurate. Where as you would rather just stomp your feet, call people names and assume they are someone who has clearly upset you many years ago. It says far more about you that you more than likely have a story 2 years old bookmarked and are still festering about it.

    21. FibreFred says:

      🙂 angry ? I don’t think I’ve ever read any comment on here from anyone that had made me angry, more often than not your posts make me smile , sometimes I also feel a bit of pity , but never angry.

    22. Raindrops says:

      People that pity others do not call them “troll” every other story, then when their whole argument is lost straight out accuse of being another poster and finally keep links that are 2 years old, petty or deranged people on the other hand they would do that. The deranged would indeed find that humorous.

    23. MikeW says:

      “I wonder how things like SRA will work with BTs current DLM?”

      Think of DLM as a supervisor process that monitors line quality, and chooses a solution from a toolkit of techniques that aims to “fix” things, and increase quality (ie reduce error rate). G.INP and SRA would become new tools in that box, which have less intrusive impacts on the line than existing techniques.

      G.INP (officially G.998.4 since 2010) would be an alternative technique to FEC/Interleaving, and suited as a fast reaction to noise bursts that cause packet errors. It seems likely that DLM would choose to employ it as a first preference for countering errors – leaving FEC/interleaving as a fallback for more severe cases.

      SRA reacts slowly to changes in noise-levels, and would be an alternative to today’s banding (aka Tiered Rate Adaption). It would probably react well to larger diurnal noise impacts, and the changes seen where other users turn modems on and off at different times of day.

      If either G.INP or SRA can be deployed without overhead on “good” lines, I’d expect them to be turned on by default. If they do take some overhead, then I’d expect DLM to make its first choice of response to turn one or both on.

    24. Raindrops says:

      I thought BT DLM reacted to noise on the line and if noise and/or errors occur it lowers the line rate. So i still do not understand how SRA would work or help.

  2. adslmax says:

    Cannot see vectoring will be a final push until few years time! Could be ending up scrap it!

    1. @adslmax. Do make up your mind.

      On August 14th you were moaning that there was no announcement for vectoring:
      As seen http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2014/08/bt-openreach-makes-faster-activate-fttc-broadband-lines.html#comments

      and then yesterday, August 15th, following news of Vectoring developments, your now make statements it could be scrapped, without any insight.


  3. Col says:

    Perhaps FTTC has become Fibre to the Bottle neck!

  4. FibreFred says:

    Personally I cannot see this being rolled out across the board and will probably only used on problem areas where they are in danger of voiding a contract in terms of performance

    1. Ignitionnet says:

      Virgin Media would love that. Saves them having to do anything beyond business as usual capacity upgrades once they have finished the upstream uplift work and extra downstream channels.

    2. FibreFred says:

      It just seems like a lot of cost/effort for gain. I guess that’s what the trials are for to see how worth it it is.

    3. FibreFred says:

      Hmm that was supposed to say ” for ? gain “

    4. Ignitionnet says:

      Indeed. The only other ways to improve things are using multiple pairs or pushing fibre deeper into the network though.

    5. FibreFred says:

      Yep… for me I reckon this will be used for patch up and their next real step is FTTRN/DP

    6. Raindrops says:

      “It just seems like a lot of cost/effort for gain. I guess that’s what the trials are for to see how worth it it is.”

      How do you think BT are going to go above the current 76Mb on FTTC without great cost and effort? Profile 30 will require millions of new modems plus cabinet gear and all this SRA etc tweaking can end up making a line perform worse.

      Hopefully BT comes up with something, Virgin can then laugh at them again boost speeds again and continue with being the fasters MASS supplier.

    7. FibreFred says:

      “How do you think BT are going to go above the current 76Mb on FTTC without great cost and effort? ”

      Who says that is their aim? Its an speed enabler, not a booster


      Why spend a fortune across the network on an upgrade that gives you a “bit” more when all that that investment is wasted if your next step is to bring fibre to the pole or street chamber?

    8. Raindrops says:

      Hmm if they are going to spend now on bringing fibre to the pole i wonder why they just did not do that in the first place.

    9. FibreFred says:

      There will be many reasons but a good one would be that g.fast wasn’t and still isn’t ready to use when the fttc rollout started.

      As I’ve always said fttc as a product isn’t future proof and doesn’t have a very long life some people will be ok using it for years to come but there has to be a replacement service , not expensive tweaks. Fttc brought fibre to the top of the estate (in my case) to get another leap in speeds that fibre needs to come closer still.

      Bt must have known crosstalk would be a growing problem so I guess they need a viable fix they can deploy to problem areas as required but I cannot see thus being rolled out everywhere , makes no commercial sense

    10. Raindrops says:

      Surely bringing fibre to the pole will still be a significant “cost” and “effort”.

    11. FibreFred says:

      Sure but it has a better future

    12. Ignitionnet says:

      It’s worth remembering that Openreach couldn’t care less about delivering any more than speeds they consider absolutely necessary. Companies that consider competing with the cable company for bandwidth a priority don’t deploy network that can keep up to less than 100,000 properties out of an 18 million premises.

      Openreach consider 76Mb adequate and until there are competitive pressures forcing their hand there’re no real motivations to invest in higher speeds, and only limited ones to invest in wider reach of the current ones.

    13. Raindrops says:

      Kinda like what happened with ADSL2+ then ignitionnet, wait for others to do it then play catch up.

    14. FibreFred says:


      ADSL2+ , BT could have rolled out at the same time as others did sure and in the same manner (limited cherry picking) and I can just imagine the news stories it would have generated and the type of responses it would get from the likes of yourself

    15. Raindrops says:

      I thought that was exactly what BT did, their 21CN rollout which enables ADSL2+ services to be delivered was not complete until last year was it not?

      So they were either 7+ years behind, slow deploying or they were cherry picking more than the LLU ADSL2+ suppliers did.

      Either way they were last and slowest to the party. Looks like next gen will be a repeat.

  5. john says:

    The clowns at work lol for what they do

  6. MikeW says:

    Deployment will follow need. BT’s need, of course.

    In the nearer term, I’d see BT employing vectoring only where take-up levels are affecting lines badly. This is BT’s need for a speed enabler.

    I can also see them making use of it for cabinets where longer-length lines exist – possibly (probably?) BDUK and rural areas – to ensure that range is kept as high as possible. This is an enabler too, but more that it keeps a few extra percent of the BDUK IA’s covered, helping reach those elusive 90% and 95% totals.

    However, the FTTC cabinets will also be the home of BT’s future entry into the 100Mbps arena, and their ability to meet up with the EU’s 2020 digital agenda targets (whether pursued by the UK government or not). Before BT can hope to offer products that can match this ambition, they will need widespread rollout of vectoring: It is bound to happen eventually.

    1. Raindrops says:

      Isnt the EU 2020 100Mb MINIMUM not maximum as it would be on a vectored FTTC product.

    2. Raindrops says:

      Just to confirm yep im right…
      Thats what they want to change it too, good luck with vectored FTTC doing that for 100%.

    3. gerarda says:

      I think the way 90-95% will be achieved is by massaging the figures and counting everyone getting over 15mbps as “superfast” as they are already they might. Magically the range of Superfast FTTC increases by 50% from 1000m to 1500m

    4. MikeW says:

      The EU 2020 target is still only for 30Mbps to all, and for 50% to have actual 100Mbps. The ITRE’s proposals could have been described as pipe-dreams at the time, but with the demise of the £9bn CEF fund, they’ve since gone up in smoke.

      With median D-side line lengths of around 400m (Sagentia report, 2008), and around 60% less than 500m, vectoring has the capability to deliver 100Mbps to somewhere in the region of the 50% target.

      Hell, VM’s footprint alone means we could almost reach that target today – if enough people chose to pay for it.

      If you ask me, the hard part isn’t going to be the technology behind getting 100Mbps to enough premises. It is going to be getting enough households to choose to pay the extra for premium-speed packages.

    5. MikeW says:

      Yeah. If you believe the figures are already being massaged, then nothing will persuade you that either of the targets have been met without further massage.

      Suffolk’s project aren’t helping themselves with that change in definition (if that is what it amounts to), but they’re still the only ones I’ve seen playing that joker.

      The distance of the superfast threshold is likely to change by around 300m post-vectoring, but it won’t be magic.

    6. gerarda says:

      @mike w – I missed a word out so was not suggesting they were yet being massaged (other than the premises passed nonsense). Just that this paper https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/236341/NGA_Technology_Guidelines_300813.pdf gives them the get out to call 15mbps real world speed superfast if needed.

    7. Raindrops says:

      FTTC does not give 30Mb to all either in fact it does not even give the UK target of 24Mb for all. so current EU 30Mb by 2020 or planned 100Mb by 2020 FTTC with or without vectoring will not be possible. Vectoring doe not greatly increase speeds on long lines.

    8. Raindrops says:

      The only way to ensure FTTC would meet any EU target is profile 30 enablement and that looks less and less likely unless the government are going to waste millions more on hopeless BT.

    9. MikeW says:

      True, that guidance document appears to allow a fallback because of ways of reading the requirements for behaviour under peak load conditions.

      However, other guidance documents stick to the new, EU-compatible 30Mbps target, allowing a fallback only to 24Mbps for projects started before EU permission was granted.

      Take a look at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/120691/State_aid_Guidance_Overview_of_the_Scheme.pdf
      Page 3 and footnote 3.

      There is no mention of 15Mbps in the primary objectives.

      That figure appears in the technical guidance because it is right to place a requirement on how the system should behave under peak load conditions, on top of the primary requirement. And, even though not visible, there will also be requirements within BT as to how the system behaves (or degrades) when overloaded.

    10. MikeW says:

      Yup – FTTC as it is being deployed today cannot give 30Mbps (or even 24Mbps) to 100%. Agree totally.

      They’ll have to come up with something else to get that far. Some other forms of FTTx, or some enhancements to wireless, mobile or satellite. No denying that.

      Did anyone say different?

    11. Raindrops says:

      It will be interesting if new speed targets are set be they by UK or EU what BT will do to meet them. FTTC while the cheaper solution right now in the long run could end up costing more, it only has maybe a 10 year or so life, 15 if 2020 is when the next targets are set for. ADSL has had coming up to 15 years with it still being the only option for some until 2015 and possibly beyond. It would be interesting to know what the cost of ADSL rollout compared to VDSL rollout was, and which when averaged out (if they both have say a 15 year life) was better value per year.

    12. MikeW says:

      Yeah. New & increasing speed targets will be needed – and setting them periodically should be the norm. I’d prefer the recent government consultation to result in someone (I’d guess at Ofcom) being given the job of defining predictions for USO target speeds per year, for a few years off into the future. There then comes the question of whether you leave “the market” to supply those speeds, or provide subsidy…

      I assume that any generation of broadband technology can be seen to have two distinct lives: At first, it will be taken up by those willing to spend more and seek the best speeds. Some years later, those people will migrate off to a new cycle of technology, but will be being gradually replaced by those whose demands are simpler and for whom value-for-money is a bigger driver.

      I’d guess that the FTTC cabinets are likely to have a 20 year lifetime, but the original early-adopters will have departed long before the end of that time.

      Graphs that show “cost per premise” and include exchange-based ADSL seem to rate FTTN solutions (like our FTTC) as costing 5x the exchange-based.

    13. Raindrops says:

      Eeek at the graph illustrating cost. Ill be honest i thought FTTN/FTTC would cost more but that much more i did not expect.

      FTTH/FTTB and its cost is even worse though being around 3-3.5x more expensive than FTTN/FTTC perhaps money should had been saved for a couple more years and that route taken to start with. I wonder how much more funding could had been found if FTTC which started around 2010 was scrapped and a FTTH/FTTB network was rolled out instead from say 2012 on?

      When you consider FTTH/FTTB probably has an far greater lifespan than FTTN/FTTC it does kinda make our current rollout look even more like a stop-gap solution and one when you factor in how much more than ADSL it costs was an expensive solution, despite it being the cheapest right now.

      Longer term it looks a bit of a waste of money if it does end up only serving the majority for say 15 years (personally i think thats being generous as that would put it around 2025 to be 15 years old).

      Hopefully some new tech beyond vectoring becomes available which can be used with the current infrastructure which boost speeds to 100Mb for everyone within 10 years. Personally in that time i think BT may have some serious competition, Virgin as the big boy will likely have moved fully onto the next gen of DOCSIS by then and be supplying not 100Mb but several hundred Mbps. There is also bound to be one of the smaller FTTH suppliers out of the various we have now that end up being a success and expand significantly (just like with LLUs before them).

      Then lord only knows what speeds mobile and wireless will be upto in 10+ years time. I genuinely wish BT luck, i personally think they are going to need it.

      There is then the obvious if FTTC ends up financially not making sense it will be ammo for some political party to fire at another even though each parties plans were basically the same…. At least in that regard we can guarantee things will not change 😉

    14. MikeW says:

      Here’s another graph. Slightly different answers, but easier to see the breakdown.

      I’m not convinced that everything spent on the current rollout can be considered a waste.

      The really wasted part of FTTC is the cabinet, but the civils of getting fibre as far as the cabinet (one-third of the FTTN cost) would be spent on all other forms of FTTx anyway, so not wasted. The same for the costs within the exchange itself (the optical head-end & L2 switch); it is plausible that more than 50% of costs are re-usable.

    15. Raindrops says:

      I guess the real problem BT has is because the infrastructure is so old much of it AFTER the cabinet was never placed in ducts, so getting fibre closer is going to be hard work. In my road the copper cable/s at pole are just under the pavement until it reaches the cabinet then it is ducted back to the exchange. To be fair to BT though i see others making similar mistakes with FTTH rollouts today. Virgin a street from me and its deployment which happened back around year 2000 also did not duct cable in that street.

      The other issue i see with FTTC and then expanding the fibre out from the cabinet to users to get a kinda ghetto like FTTH product (or FTTdp or whatever BT call it) is a cabinet only has X amount of connections available at it, which will be an issue in 15 years time if as many new homes as the government want end up being built. Those that moan about cabinets now do not always have a reason (some do if they are in a silly place others are just NIMBYs) but can you imagine a couple of decades down the line streets having several of them scattered up and down them. I spose we could get use to it but it would indeed look ugly as hell.

      Hopefully technology developments are made before then though.

  7. gerarda says:

    Missed “indicating” out towards the end of the first sentence.

  8. col says:

    FTTC is what it is. Like it or not it has given increased bandwidth for lot of people…..not me, still awaiting something more than 3meg.At least the fibre web has spread out more because of it.It may be ten years away but i hope we could at lease get the fibre out to the DP.I feel that old boring wooden pole could provide lots of exciting possibles.
    High bandwidth at the Dp could offer as well as gfast mini mobile cells,WiFi,fibre to the home.

  9. james says:

    SO i get 50mbps from my cab and it’s 13% full – this won’t help then nice one BT oh dont forget to put my price up to pay for it


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