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UPD BT Openreach Extends UK Reach of 20Mbps ADSL2 Broadband Services

Sunday, October 5th, 2014 (5:28 pm) - Score 3,231

A recently updated specification document for BT’s ‘up to’ 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) service (SIN 498) has included mention of a new Street Cabinet based ADSL2+ broadband service, which would be “used to provide extended reach beyond what is possible with VDSL2“.

The standard copper line ADSL2+ service, which continues to dominate most of the current home broadband market, typically offers maximum download speeds of up to 20-24Mbps. In a normal setup this product will effectively be delivered from your local telephone exchange (usually over distances of up to around 6.5km), while the new Street Cabinet based ADSL2+ would obviously imply delivery direct from the cabinet instead of an exchange.

SIN 498 Statement

GEA over ADSL2plus employs Ethernet over ATM mode (XoEoA, where ‘X’ is PPP or IP) over cabinet based ADSL2plus. Cabinet based ADSL2plus is used to provide extended reach beyond what is possible with VDSL2. The Ethernet layer functionality and requirements do not differ from what is offered and supported on standard GEA-FTTC.

Cabinets are closer to the home and, in an FTTC setup, benefit from being supplied via a fibre optic link back to the primary telephone exchange. But as ever there appears to be some trade off with performance and Thinkbroadband predict that the service would offer a maximum download speed of 12Mbps (1.4 Mbps upload). Given the limits of FTTC we’d expect that it would be best placed to benefit those who live more than 2km from their cabinet (i.e. roughly where FTTC lines hit the point of no return for viable performance).

Hopefully Openreach wouldn’t want to confuse existing market prices too much and will work to make the costs for this service as closely matched with a normal ADSL2+ line as possible, which would also allow ISPs to offer it in the same way as they do for a standard ADSL2+ product and without meddling with FTTC. Never the less it’s likely that the market for this service will be fairly small, focusing on the extreme outlying areas of a cabinets coverage.

We hope to have more info. soon and will update when Openreach responds.

UPDATE 9th Dec 2014:

We have repeatedly tried to get more information out of Openreach about this technology, yet so far they have nothing further to say beyond what has already been reported above.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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