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Ed Vaizey Talks BT’s “quiet life” Option and Contracts by Broadband Speed

Friday, March 6th, 2015 (9:02 am) - Score 1,868

The Digital Economy Minister, Ed Vaizey, has warned critics of BT’s dominance in the national Broadband Delivery UK programme that the operator could have simply opted for the “quiet life” by not bidding for any contracts. The minister also floated the idea of ISPs offering different broadband packages for areas that suffer from slow speeds.

At present the £1.7bn+ BDUK scheme aims to ensure that 95% of people can gain access to a fixed line superfast broadband (24Mbps+) service by 2017, although the programme has often been criticised for awarding almost every single one of its related contracts to BT.

Naturally this same issue cropped up again during Wednesday’s rural broadband debate at Westminster Hall (details), which saw Ed Vaizey defend the scheme by warning that the alternative might have been worse.

Ed Vaizey said:

We should remember that when we are busily kicking BT, which we do in all these debates, for a quiet life BT might not bid for any of these contracts … [they are] free to bid or not to bid, and it is free to say to a contracting authority that it wants to use the framework contract to save time and make life more efficient, and that if the authority is going to use a different contract it will not bid. That is entirely up to BT and I do not think that is anti-competitive behaviour.”

It’s true that BT doesn’t strictly have to bid, although admittedly that might not have been all bad for some areas where there are well established alternative operators that could have taken on the mantle if allowed (we suspect that Gigaclear and B4RN would certainly have relished just such an opportunity).

But most local authority areas don’t have a viable alternative, at least not one that could operate on the right scale and to the right budget, while also providing financial and timescale security. Meanwhile starting one from scratch is often seen by councils as being too risky, particularly during periods of austerity and in the wake of South Yorkshire’s £150m Digital Region fiasco.

On the other hand it should be remembered that by not bidding BT would be leaving itself vulnerable to future competitors. On top of that, who wouldn’t want a big hand-out of cash to help cover the costs of deploying a major infrastructure upgrade, which is helping to protect BT’s existing platform against competition.

Contracts by Broadband Speed

The same debate also saw Vaizey react to some voices of frustration from those who live in “slow spots” and feel it unfair that they have to pay the same price, or sometimes more, in order to receive an often significantly slower broadband service than those in areas where faster connectivity is available.

It’s of course quite well known that some ISPs charge rural consumers more, often because their cheaper to run unbundled (LLU) networks don’t extend that far and so they have to use BT’s more expensive platform.

Prices also tend to be lower in areas where BT has competition from several primary ISPs and higher in those where BT is the only operator, which is partly related to Ofcom’s regulatory model (note: arguably the prices might be even higher if Ofcom didn’t intervene). As a result some ISPs, such as PlusNet, also charge more in areas where BT’s platform is the only one available (usually reflects the last 10% or so of UK premises).

In response Vaizey pointed out that this was a contractual matter for ISPs and their customers, although he also said that the issue would be taken “seriously” and proposed a new approach.

Ed Vaizey said:

I want to look at whether we can have different levels of contracts for people who clearly receive slower speeds.”

It’s important to keep this in context with the above situation because most ISPs already charge more for faster speed packages, although Vaizey is referencing the particular issue experienced in areas were slow speeds are the ONLY option.

But we’re unsure how such a contract would work in practice. The fact is that it costs operators more to cater for rural areas because smaller populations dictate a slower return on any investment (e.g. spending £40k to upgrade connections for 1,000 premises vs spending the same amount on 200 premises). Like it or not that investment has to be returned or it becomes unviable and nothing gets done.

At this point some people might ponder whether areas funded by the BDUK scheme should pay less due to the BT subsidy, although most of those locations would now have faster speeds and cutting prices could also harm the private investment side of this equation; potentially limiting future investment and thus coverage or performance.

As such Vaizey will need to be careful that in pushing for lower prices (the UK market is already fairly cheap compared to other countries) he doesn’t inadvertently risk making a change that actually harms the related case for improving coverage and performance.

SIDE NOTE: It seems they forgot the “up to” in that 80Mbps sign picture (top left), which shows Ed Vaizey as second from the left.

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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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136 Responses
  1. Avatar DanielM says:

    copper happy govt, they should modernize the county and get fibre optic instead. 80Mb (76Mb)is hardly fast/

    1. Avatar TheFacts says:

      How many people find 76M is insufficient for their use?

    2. Avatar AndyH says:

      Nearly 90% of those with FTTP through BT take either the 80/20 or 40/10 service.

    3. Avatar DanielM says:


      i don’t really care.. but 76M is slow.. and most fttc lines don’t go that fast anyway as proven by the results every so often.

    4. Avatar TheFacts says:

      Slow for what use?

    5. Too slow for pub bragging rights perhaps? 🙂

    6. Avatar DanielM says:

      every bit of usage. 4K for starters. virgin manages that fine as do real fibre optic services.

      FTTC suffers from weather damage or cable damage heavily. once again 80Mb is slow.

    7. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      In fairness you need about 15-25Mbps variable for a single 4K live stream, which the vast majority of FTTC lines generally do deliver. Granted we’ll need more in the future but right now it does tend to meet “current” needs. A bigger future issue may be the difficulty of getting that top 76Mbps speed.

      Also Openreach are fairly open about damage done to their network by bad weather etc. But this does not mean that Virgin Media don’t suffer the same problems, they certainly do and are more closed about report it, although they also don’t have to cover the more difficult rural areas.

    8. Avatar hallelujah says:

      Netflix requires AT LEAST 25Mb per 4k stream. Amazon Instant Video requirements state AT LEAST 25Mb (All Amazon content 4k ive actually seen is nearer 35Mb) Youtube typically requires about 30Mb per 4k stream.

      FTTC is UP TO 76Mb so someone that only gets say 60Mb can forget about downstairs watching 4k Netflix while someone else does a bit of online shopping and watch 4k youtube content (oh and before anyone says it 4k youtube content now is quite common movie trailers and movies there self on there in 4k now).

      Personally in a typical household that has multiple computers nowadays, streaming devices, mobile devices, id have to say being able to stream 2 things at once (if lucky) is not enough either.

    9. Avatar Lester says:

      I think what he meant is that video streams are variable, so they recommend the max but the streams may vary at any one time between 15-25mbps or so. actually I think some 4K scenes may even go as low as 1mb, maybe when showing all white or black backdrops.

    10. Avatar hallelujah says:

      The recommendations are AT LEAST 25Mb for Amazon On Demand and Netflix. It does not matter if a single snow or dark scene only needs 1Mb, when the rest of the movie could need more than 30Mb. If you have a 60Mb connection and 2 people in the house are trying to watch content and at ANY TIME one stream is going at lets say 35Mb then the other stream to avoid buffering will have to be going 25Mb or less, so yes while its snow or dark you can watch fine, once the high speed car chase starts or all the flashy explosions your movie viewing will become a buffered mess.

      Also try doing that over N wireless gear which many ISPs still supply (Plusnet and Sky as just 2) and you are going to have more even more buffering. Typically the best a 300Mbps wireless N device will deliver is around 70Mb, in real life with walls and people on different levels in the house that drops also.

      This country and its services (or rather FTTC services) are vastly underpowered for any half modern digital life house.

    11. Avatar hallelujah says:

      PS its also going to get even worse this year for this country……


      Do not think this site covered that news.

      Oh i can imagine the pain from people trying to use Sky On-demand 4k services and binge watch their boxsets with their UP TO 76Mb….. Good luck with that if you also have Sky multi room, mum trying to watch a soap, dad trying to watch his sci-fi and the kids crying youtube wont work LOL

    12. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Virgin do real fibre optic services ? When did that happen?

    13. Avatar FibreFred says:

      And I can’t believe minority groups are STILL saying we all need FTTP because we all want to watch multiple 4k streams hahah it’s laughable

    14. Avatar Pedrostech says:

      There are no 4K displays in this house and we’re quite an up to date household. We’re a family of four and by and large we cope just fine on 10mbps down and it even took us two days to realise the connection IP profile had dropped from 7.15mbps to 2mbps on ADSL Max. The parents tend to watch terrestrial TV and when they do watch streaming, it’s usually when I’m doing homework and my brother is gaming or doing work. Only very rarely, when everyone’s concurrently heavily using the connection and I’m trying to stream 1440p YT does it begin to stutter. With 15 people at a friend’s house on 12mbps ADLS2+, we saturated the connection when all the mobile devices were streaming video, but clearly that would not happen in an average UK household.

      So in other words, I do not think 76mbps is too slow at all; with a bit of patience, my 10mbps is usable for 4K content AND is more than adequate for the average family who don’t realise that iplayer has HD content etc.

    15. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      We’ve touched on Sky’s 4K plans sometime back in 2014, but I’ll reserve judgement until we see some firm details. Last I heard the plan was to use their Satellite for some TV 4K and only pre-downloaded programmes for 4K VoD (not live streamed). Will have to see what they come up with first.

    16. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      Fascinating that some people seem to think that 4K video is actually a “need” and not a “want”. There is a good case, on social grounds, for providing a sensible level of service for “essential” needs including video streaming (maybe to a couple of HD streams), working from home, schoolwork, video-conferencing, basic small business support and so on. However, when it comes to stuff like 4K video, then that’s in the realms of lifestyle choices. There are also some businesses which are so bandwidth hungry, they make no sense to be placed away from major network infrastructure. It might be a nice idea to put your video production company in a pleasant bit of countryside, but like consideration of any business placement, then local services need to be considered. As such, there is surely no case for subsidies (whether private or public). Those sort of functions are properly the role of market provision on an economic basis.

      For those communities who get together and do things like the B4RN project, good on them. But I suspect they are rare. Usually people will want commercial provision, and there is only so much subsidy (whether public or cross) that they might reasonably demand.

    17. Avatar DTMark says:

      76Mbps should be enough to just about stream two movies concurrently in a few years with a tiny bit left over for VOIP.

      But I don’t see any 76Mbps technology being deployed on the BT network.

      I see a highly limited technology which performs at anything between about 0 Meg and 76 Meg on a semi random basis, which even at incredibly short distances from the cabinet can so easily be outperformed by 3G let alone 4G.

    18. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      You are talking abut 4K. Who says it needs to be 4K to enjoy a movie for heaven sake? It’s not as if people are denied the content by just having to watch it in HD (or even SD). For most households its not even as if you can see the difference. Unless you have a truly huge screen or sit closer than the in a typical UK living room, it’s not actually possible to see the difference.

      Frankly there are higher priorities than being able to watch 4K video which, by any definition, is a luxury. In any even, if 3G & 4G can do better then fine. Deploy that if it makes economic sense.

    19. Avatar hallelujah says:

      “Virgin do real fibre optic services ? When did that happen?”

      He actually stated
      “every bit of usage. 4K for starters. virgin manages that fine as do real fibre optic services.”

      Key words being AS DO REAL fibre, or in other words Virgin IN ADDITION to real fibre services.

    20. Avatar DTMark says:

      To extend that argument:

      Who says it needs to be in colour?

      People were enjoying movies perfectly well in black and white once.

    21. Avatar hallelujah says:

      “Fascinating that some people seem to think that 4K video is actually a “need” and not a “want”.”

      Fascinating the conversation has gone from what an UP TO 76Mb product is capable of in to the realms of what you deem people need and want.

      If broadband was only about NEED then there was no NEED to give BT any money for FTTC because nobody NEEDS 76Mb using your logic.

    22. Avatar hallelujah says:

      “You are talking abut 4K. Who says it needs to be 4K to enjoy a movie for heaven sake? It’s not as if people are denied the content by just having to watch it in HD (or even SD).”

      If you are happy with SD sub 2Mb streams on a typical 40+ inch living room TV then you must enjoy watching blocky messes.

    23. Avatar hallelujah says:

      “To extend that argument:

      Who says it needs to be in colour?

      People were enjoying movies perfectly well in black and white once.”

      LOL if some had their way we would all still be watching 5 second animated 256 colour gifs at best on the internet (Maybe that is what they still do and call that media consumption).

      I find the NEED Vs WANT compares from them interesting. If nobody NEEDS UP TO 76Mb services, then why did we even bother funding BT in the first place, for a product nobody needs??. If we all only NEED single digit Mbps and only NEED 2Mbps SD video streams, which are good enough it seems an utter waste of tax payer cash, rolling out FTTC in the first place.

      I wonder how they stand on the NEED Vs WANT argument when it comes to funding BT.
      No doubt thats a NEED rather than a WANT from them 😉

    24. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      Who is talking abut sub 2mbps video stream? I’ve already suggested that the ability to stream a couple of HD channels might be a reasonable service target for some sort of near universal service. That might put the mark at 15-20mbps. Beyond that it goes from the “need” into the “want” category. The “want” category is fine, but it should be fulfilled through commercial and not subsidy models.

      We know that other technologies are being looked at for faster service by various providers. VM are boosting their broadband and coverage, Gigaclear in cities, BT are planning on g.fast and so on. However, those are going to be concentrated on the most commercially attractive areas. Those who live outside those commercial areas are going to have to make the case for any subsidy model on social need grounds for these more advanced services unless they are prepared to pay the full commercial cost (or do what B4RN did, which requires a lot of local commitment).

    25. Avatar hallelujah says:

      Why do you feel HD is a NEED?
      Why is SD not sufficient?
      Does FTTC guarantee 100% will get your stated NEED of 20Mbps?

      Correct me if wrong but i thought FTTC gave you anything from 0Mb to 76Mb, so no guarantee you will even get that 20Mb NEED you mention.

      If the 20Mb what you deem as a NEED and by that i assume you mean 100% if its a NEED is not possible then it still seems FTTC is a waste of tax payer money.

      Unless its only now a NEED to 90% (or whatever figure you care to use).

    26. Avatar Jason says:

      Since when did random people think they know the needs or wants of others.

      My cabinet was funded by my taxes, generally if i pay for something i get to choose what i want before you take my money. Not what some random thinks i need. If you take my taxes and in return i want a 4k streams in every room that is what should be provided, if the people taking my taxes can not provided it they should clear off and take their money grabbing mits with them. And let me keep my money to give to someone that will provide what i want.

    27. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      I’m just suggesting what I’d deem to be a level of service that could reasonably by said to meet the “needs” for broadband. Indeed I’d say if goes rather beyond an absolute necessity level, so I’d say it’s on the generous side.

      As to the issue of coverage at that level, then that’s another criterion that needs to be decided. The cost of provision (and hence subsidy) gets disproportionately higher once you get into the tail end of the distribution. I don’t think there’s a single utility service that hits 100% coverage (unless you count satellite). Mains water, electricity and phone get closest (but there are exceptions, and if somebody builds a remote property then costs of connection can still all on the owner). Gas only manages about 90%. So whether that level I’ve suggested is 90%, 95%, 99% or whatever is a matter of political priorities and how much money people are prepared to spend.

      This demand for things like 4K wherever you happen to live without paying the full cost smacks of an entitlement culture without a real sense of priorities.

    28. Avatar TheFacts says:

      @Jason – that is not how society works.

    29. Avatar Jason says:

      “This demand for things like 4K wherever you happen to live without paying the full cost smacks of an entitlement culture without a real sense of priorities.”

      This funding of BT smacks of the waste of money culture.

    30. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      But my taxes were also used to pay for your cabinet, and I get no benefit whatsoever from BDUK as both the local cable and FTTC networks are commercially funded and therefore paid for in whole by the customer (that would be me and my neighbours).

      So you are perfectly entitled to make you case that you want public funding (or even cross-subsidy) to subsidise your 4K video, but those who are also paying the bills will need to be persuaded of that too. It’s called a democracy, and it’s why we elect politicians who have to balance these interests.

      So to be clear, if you want some of my tax money (or put up my telecommunication bills through cross-subsidies), then I have a perfect right to express my opinion on what I think it reasonable to spend money on. Otherwise, pay for it yourself. Make every area pay based on the actual cost of provision of service.

    31. Avatar Paul says:

      Surely it would be better if FTTC was not funded at all to avoid these conflicts.

      As to 15-20 Mbps, that is easily done via mobile so another argument unintentionally i assume that FTTC is not and was not needed.

    32. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      It was open to wireless providers to bid for the BDUK contracts. In practice it’s not that easy to provide “super-fast” type speeds using 3G/4G on a wide basis, as to do so requires a vast increase in the number of nodes to produce smaller cells (or you rapidly run out of bandwidth). That’s very expensive as, like FTTC cabinets, it needs backhaul and power.

    33. Avatar Jason says:

      I dont want u funding my cabinet, i dont want to fund it either or any other slow piles of junk, so we agree NO funding is the best thing.

    34. Avatar Paul says:

      Funding be it FTTC or Wireless is not needed based on your 15-20Mb being a need as that is available via mobile suppliers already.

      If you think 15-20Mb is enough then all funding for broadband projects should be stopped because that figure was reached by mobile providers long ago. I would even argue based on your estimate for needed speed that BT should be made to pay back a large amount of the funding in a lump sum early as they have not brought any significant improvements to what was available already.

      People regularly get much more than 20Mb via mobile and even double the upload speeds that FTTC and other government funded projects deliver. Using your own logic there is no need to fund BT or any broadband. Your needed speed has been available for some time.

    35. Avatar DanielM says:


      Virgin offer real fibre optic services via business. my comment was aimed towards real fibre optic networks not HFC/Copper

    36. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I misread your comment Daniel, apologies

    37. Avatar GNewton says:

      @TheFacts: “How many people find 76M is insufficient for their use?”

      So you still don’t know how to use Google? Besides, why do you care?

  2. Avatar fastman2 says:

    Daniel m then fund Fibre on demand if you need more —

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Take note that FoD is on a “Stop Sale” (suspended) and only covers a very limited number of areas.

    2. Avatar hallelujah says:

      Or if lucky and living in an area where Gigaclear, Hyperoptic, B4RN and others are available go to them that did things right in the first place, without hundreds of millions in handouts.

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Not a viable comparison is it tho No Clue/deduction/carpetburn

    4. Avatar hallelujah says:

      Perfectly viable comparison, those mentioned are actually faster and cheaper than FOD. As for accusations im another poster (i actually had to go search to make sense of that bit of your post). I can only apologise if a post on the subject of broadband has rattled you.

    5. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      We currently have zero tolerance for juvenile trolling so kindly take any personal bickering off this site.

    6. Avatar hallelujah says:

      I am extremely sorry if my comments offended him or any user.

      [admin note: Edited to read like a real apology]

    7. Avatar hallelujah says:

      Are you not going to edit the false accusations?

    8. Avatar DanielM says:

      FTTC in the long run likely costs more than that so yeh. it’s mostly about BT where the problem is copper “line rental”, if people go fibre optic that is lost profit for them and the ripoff line rental costs.

      And why fund fibre on demand? standard FTTP is fine. many other countries have this type of setup, why should we remain on copper?

    9. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      It’s untrue that BT lose line rental with fibre. The wholesale cost of the line is just the same, whether it’s copper or fibre.

      Also, it’s as yet to be proved what the long term costs will be. Yes, we might expect fewer issues with water ingress and the like, but against that jointing fibre and making changes and testing is a much more involved process than with copper, which is much more rapid. If copper wasn’t quick and convenient, then you’d find that datacentres would be dominated by fibre. In general they are not. Copper has real-world convenience advantages. (Although a permanently connected fibre network would require fewer changes).

      Also, it’s not possible to discard that capital cost. An extra £25bn or so will attract continual costs. Ofcom’s last estimate was the cost of capital to BT was around 8.9%, which would mean £2.2bn per year. To put that in perspective, it’s of the same order as OpenReach’s total wholesale rental income for fixed lines. Now it may be that the cost of capital is somewhat lower these days, but the costs will be there for a long time.

      There’s also another problem. BT have no power to withdraw the copper network as they are obliged to provide a metal path facility. That would mean operating both in parallel (although any realistic migration would mean having to do that for at least a decade, even if there was the regulatory barriers could be dealt with).

    10. Avatar DanielM says:

      @Steve Jones

      i was refering to the copper side.

      if it’s fibre optic no telephone line is needed.

    11. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      It’s a myth that it pays for a voice services. There’s only about 60p difference a month (wholesale) between a basic line and one with voice on it, and that difference is reducing all the time. If voice disappeared completely then all the costs of the line (whether copper or fibre) would simply be attributable to the broadband service alone. The costs are much the same.

      These days voice costs virtually nothing to provide. ISPs like it as call revenue can, to a small (but ever-diminishing extent) help to defray the total costs.

    12. Avatar GNewton says:

      @Mark Jackson: Has ANY of the taxpayer-funded FTTC areas ever had a FoD option? Has it ever been available to outside of the VM cable areas?

  3. Avatar hallelujah says:

    “SIDE NOTE: It seems they forgot the “up to” in that 80Mbps sign picture (top left), which shows Ed Vaizey as second from the left.”

    It seems he also forgot there is not such speed option from the BT he blindly defended. Its UPTO 76Mbps.

    Perhaps if clever enough he can quickly melt it down and only shove one of his and his crones “Funded by UK Government” stickers on the replacement UPTO 76Mb sign 😉

    1. Avatar DanielM says:

      hahah yes indeed. “up to”

  4. Avatar Al says:

    With the more rural exchanges perhaps in some cases it is not so much the equipment cost but the fact that their might not be much space in the exchange left to install new equipment. So their might be an additional cost of extending the exchange. You can quite clearly see at my local exchange where it has been expanded over the years.

    As for pricing we are tallking the last 10% of households who have no comeptition as they are non-LLU exchanges. Some of these exchanges serve hundreds if not close a thousand so see me point about lack of space at the exchange. Now from memery Ofcom did impose some cost controls on these lines where the cost to the ISP actually decresed by several points below the RPI over a period of years. This however in most if not all cases was not past on to the end user (which ofcom should have insised on). Perhaps one option would be to cap how much non-LLU users can be charged to say 110% of the LLU price.

    As for the point about some might ponder why those funded by BDUK should pay less, some might ponder why those funded by BDUK should pay more (i.e the non-LLU areas)?

    1. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      I very much doubt that space in local exchanges is much of an issue. They were virtually all build many years ago when telecoms equipment was much bulkier. A modern MSAN can support many lines in a relatively compact box (look at the size of an FTTC cabinet that might support up to about 200 lines).

      The real problem will be simply the capital cost of installing the equipment and paying for back-haul connections for a limited number of customers. At a certain point it’s just not worth doing.

  5. Avatar Ben says:

    FTTC will hopefully be going live in our village in the next month or so, however BT in their ultimate wisdom have decided that the cabinet should be installed about 1.5km away from the village. So while the government bang on about everyone getting superfast speeds, our village will be connected up to a mighty 15-20Mbps connection – barely enough by today’s standards, let alone in a few years.

    When I questioned BT/NCC on this, I was simply told “BT reckon you’ll probably get about 15Mbps just about so that’s superfast enough” and haven’t had any replies from them since. Wonderful, what a great investment chaps.

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      Line length of 1.5km equates to something along those lines – about 12 Meg down if memory serves. It may not, but it’s probably not far off.

      That’s assuming that the wire between the property and the cabinet is perfect copper and runs in a dead straight line.

      That physical distance can easily equate to no service at all.

    2. Avatar Ben says:

      Fantastic, so they’ll have spend x thousands on providing a cabinet that isn’t much quicker than the ADSL2+ that already serves the village. Wonderful.

      The closest houses in the village will probably have a 1.2-1.3km line, with the furthest being around 1.7-1.8km. I imagine most of the village will be around 1.5km from the cabinet. There were talks of moving the cabinet into the village itself but that never happened, and my calls for considering FTTP instead were duly ignored.

      I don’t know whether we have any 0.7mm copper anywhere, as the AAISP checker reckons I have a line length of 4.2km (to the exchange) but I can sync on ADSL2+ at about 8000Kbps (If I drop the noise margin right down on a good day I have had it sync at over 10000 before). At that distance I would have expected more like 3Mbps.

      Cab in question is PCP2 on NEWYL.

    3. Avatar DTMark says:

      There is a lot of variation in line quality in this village. Lines of equal length can perform very differently.

      Because of the mixed metal and mixed gauges in use, the correlation between line length and sync rate with (A)DSL is only a partial one.

      In a sea of 0.5 to 2 Meg lines (some of which are adjacent, with that sort of variation and typical noise margins of 15db), there’s a 4 Meg test result, for instance. Thicker gauge copper may be the reason.

    4. Avatar MikeW says:


      I guess the problem is that cab 2 serves other directions from the crossroads it sits at, and not just your village. Unfortunately, every direction seems to be long.

      But from the stats of your current line, it really does suggest you have thicker gauge copper for at least some of your line; your speeds act more like those of around 3km of standard 0.5mm copper. Your line could be made of 0.6mm copper all the way, or be mixed with 0.5mm copper to the cabinet and 0.9mm copper from the cab to the house.

      In the past I’ve been told that BT don’t do 0.7mm copper – 0.6mm and 0.9mm are used when fatter gauges are needed.

    5. Avatar Ben says:

      Hi Mike,

      You’re right in that there are a few houses about 2.5-3km in the other direction – although these likely wouldn’t get sync anyway so I wouldn’t have suspected it to make much of a difference. It would probably be easier to move those few houses in the other village off Cab 2 and onto the cabinet (Cab 1?) that already exists in that village (which is already FTTC enabled).

      From what I’ve read 0.9mm acts like a line of 1/3 the length (i.e. 500m), suggesting speeds of around 40-50Mbps which would be much more acceptable. At least while we wait for vectoring and then G.Fast.

      Having done the maths, 0.9mm from P2 to the house and then 0.5mm from P2 to the exchange works out to be the equivalent of a 3.2km line at 0.5mm the whole way. 0.6mm the whole distance also works out to 3.15km, so either sound plausible.

      Out of interest, there is a telephone pole on the main road which transitions from ducting to pole, there is a cable then which could technically be measured although I seem to remember it being silver – would the diameter of this be any indication of the gauge used?

      I’ll see if I can get anything out of the local council about it.


    6. Avatar DanielM says:

      you might be faster on ADSL+ in that case.

      you can easily get a good line at 19-21Mb on a custom profile.

      i managed this on a 1.2km line

    7. Avatar Ben says:

      Daniel, just to clarify I am 4.2km from the exchange; The 1.5km line is only to the cabinet.

    8. Avatar MikeW says:


      I was looking on Streetview earlier, and saw the transition to overhead. If the whole place is fed like that, and in a linear fashion, I’d have though FTTP was a possibility; however, I doubt it can be fully linear overhead – the diameter would likely be too great at one end. It ought to be damn good for g.fast though 😉

      (I’m not sure the diameter of the cable will help you; it is likely to have lots of spare pairs, which would affect things. The overheads might be fed from more than one location – especially if you see more than one set of underground chambers along the road. However, for overall diameters, look at the options for CW1252 cable on this page: https://www.btcables.com/our-products/voice/outside-plant-secondary-cable/ or other places.
      That style is aerial self-supporting cable with up to 100 pairs. It is offered in different conductor diameters, but the dimensions of the sheathing vary to make it hard to figure – a few mm makes all the difference.)

      The other problem, possibly would be the amount of overhead power around. I didn’t see shared poles (which would be a big problem), but there’s enough for concern.

      I agree that the houses in the opposite direction at the crossroads would be better fed from the cabinet in their village. That they weren’t is a suggestion that their cabinet ran out of pairs at some time in the past.

      Nevertheless, there are also postcodes to the north fed by the cab too.

    9. Avatar Ben Short says:

      Thanks Mike, really interesting stuff and appreciate your effort. Hopefully we’ll get upgraded to FTTP or G.Fast fairly early on rather than left until last. BT should really target low speed (Under 30Mbps) areas first when they roll out G.Fast or FTTP.

      There are two transitions at either end of the village which I’ve seen (https://i.imgur.com/QuA1vcb.jpg) although looking at the poles these seem to be for power rather than phone lines? Facing west, the poles to the left of the road seem to be power while the poles to the right seem to be BT? I could be wrong though.

      There are several BT chambers on the right side of the road (mostly next to poles).

      https://i.imgur.com/GQqEp4W.jpg – This seems to be the last pole with all spurs seeming to connect up to various premises.

      I don’t know what that means infrastructure wise or what is actually in the chambers, if there is ducting the whole way from the cabinet through the village then I would imagine a FTTP and/or G.Fast install would be extremely easy to do.

  6. Avatar DTMark says:

    “for a quiet life BT might not bid for any of these contracts … [they are] free to bid or not to bid”

    Collapsing line numbers – and quite heavily so. Collapsing business call revenues. VM expansion. Others muscling in on the sacred cash cow of business connectivity.

    Yes, BT could just have spent the next decade as the same old fashioned partly obsolete phone company it had become until it eventually just died away.

    BT has never been a strategic company which makes solid business decisions nor does it look to the future. BT, and even their competition, would in return argue that if the government weren’t intent on leeching every last tax penny out of everything that moves, this might be different.

    But Vaizey’s naivety is absolutely extraordinary. To claim that any company would turn down a billion pounds of free money, the chance at reinventing itself at someone else’s expense, and the opportunity to entrench their monopoly is frighteningly naiive.

    BT have run rings around Vaizey and the government and as each day passes this becomes ever more obvious.

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      “BT has never been a strategic company which makes solid business decisions nor does it look to the future. BT, and even their competition, ”

      Except for rolling out FTTC/P to 2/3rds of the country with its own money, the biggest infrastructure project the country has seen for decades

      This was started long before BDUK was even discussed, so they had no intention of “leeching” anything no government money even existed then

      And they bid for the work like others did, no-one gave BT free money

    2. Avatar Jason says:

      “Except for rolling out FTTC/P to 2/3rds of the country with its own money, the biggest infrastructure project the country has seen for decades”

      I spose it is if you ignore (lets start small and work our way up) town rejuvenation projects, road building throughout the decades, the 2+ Billion overhaul to Londons sewers due for completion in 2020, 5+ Billion housing schemes, 10+ Billion High Speed rail links and so on. Biggest in “decades” if you say so.

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Ok.. insert network before the infra 😉

    4. Avatar Paul says:

      Wouldn’t the Rail, Road and the Sewer things still be networks?

    5. Avatar Jason says:

      Obviously he thinks a network is only things in BT land.

    6. Avatar Paul says:

      Not sure what his attempted point there was! Perhaps to demonstrate how much BT have spent? Maybe just got overly excited without thinking through what other major developments have happened over the decades and are ongoing.

  7. Avatar danny says:

    one word a ” shambles 24mbps superfast “yeah right.

  8. Avatar TheFacts says:

    To be clear, some are saying the government should provide £xB (£20B???) to provide full FTTP to the UK for online multiple 4k video viewing.

    1. Avatar hallelujah says:

      Who said that?

    2. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      No, the claim appears to be that it could just happen and that the reason it isn’t is some form of conspiracy or gross incompetence. That there are many academic studies over the issues (like this one) don’t appear to count for much.


    3. Avatar DTMark says:

      I am wondering who said that any government money was needed to work towards and/or attain that goal. I think that the only entity claiming that’s the case was and is BT?

    4. Avatar Paul says:

      Nobody even mentioned the government even funding FTTP {shrugs} Unless i missed it most of the conversation in response to those users has been anti funding rather than demanding more funding… Confused.

    5. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      I don’t think that BT every did demand public money. They just rolled out what they could justify on commercial grounds. That coverage would no doubt have been extended over time, but at a rate too slow and not extensive enough to meet political requirements. Also, bear in mind, that BT have to work constrained by a state-imposed regulatory regime that is actually a disincentive to invest. For example, even if BT wanted to, they cannot force a move to fibre due to the requirement to provide metal path facilities. Also, the single national charging model on regulated products does not allow for higher levels of cost recovery in more expensive areas.

      So I’ve no doubt BT’s investment plans would not have met politicians’ social (or electoral) needs, but there is no sense in which money was demanded off the government.

    6. Avatar DTMark says:

      1. There cannot be any meaningful distinction between the pot of money for the so-called ‘commercial’ roll out and the BDUK pot, when the same supplier was guaranteed all of the projects.

      2. Agreed regarding the regulatory framework, I have posted on that topic before. The government, OFCOM and BDUK have always been and will continue to be the barriers to progress.

      3. When looking at investment in the network that needs to be considered over a 31 year period from 1984 to today. The amount invested in the “last mile” is to all intents and purposes, peanuts.

    7. Avatar FibreFred says:

      “1. There cannot be any meaningful distinction between the pot of money for the so-called ‘commercial’ roll out and the BDUK pot, when the same supplier was guaranteed all of the projects.”

      DTMark as I said earlier, the commercial rollout had already started/well underway and coverage set long before BDUK came about, of course there’s a distinction, a clear one, its called time!

    8. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      1) there is a very clear distinction. It’s around the intervention areas. Those outside are commercially funded, whether it’s VM, BT or anybody else. Within the intervention area, then it is subsidised using the gap funding model.

      2) the regulatory regime is what it is. By all means campaign about changing it, but commercial operators have to work within it and the incumbent is just one voice. The LLU operators have long campaigned for minimised wholesale cost for the copper network.

      3) as investment in the “last mile” since 1984 is concerned, then it should be remembered that BT had proposed a (wholly internally) funded full fibre network. However, the government of the day scuppered it by banning BT from carrying broadcast TV services, which was the only immediate prospective major income source at the time. (Dial-up internet only arrived in 1992, and broadband was a few years after). Instead they went with the idea of encouraging the building of a cable infrastructure (which was allowed to offer voice) through the granting of local franchises with a monopoly on fixed TV services. Since then, the government (and the EU) have followed a policy of minimising the price of access to the copper network to LLU operators. It’s widely recognised that this regime was very effective at providing cheap broadband internet very quickly, but it was a major disincentive to fundamental network investment (as VM, and it’s precursors complained about). So much of that “first mile” investment was actually in the cable network, albeit it turned out to be a financial disaster for the original investors.

      This is one article on the issue over the proposed BT fibre network


    9. Avatar GNewton says:

      @hallelujah: “Who said that?”

      TheFacts said so, only some months ago.

      But then again. let’s not forget, up to this day he’s not demomnstrated any willingness to use Google, or to do his own research.

    10. Avatar TheFacts says:

      To rephrase.

      1 How should UK broadband be funded to ensure all can stream multiple 4k services?

      2 To what extent should the UK government fund beyond what is currently proposed? Is 100% a realistic target and if not, what is?

    11. Avatar Paul says:

      1 Why do you believe anyone except the providers and ISPs there self should fund any service? As to multi 4k streams as Daniel mentioned right near the beginning of this news item Virgin and their 152Mb can do multi 4k streams already very easily. Perhaps if any funding is going anywhere for multi 4k streaming or anything else it should go to those that have already proven they can deploy a product that is capable.

      2 Why do you think the government should be funding things? Who do you want them to fund?

      Or one solution to both those queries is if BT Retail can afford to go and invest 5 billion just for sports rights, why can they not invest that (more than double Openreach has) in broadband?

      Then again the questions are utterly pointless because if nobody needs fast speeds at all there is no point spending money on them.

      I am still confused why any broadband development funded by any outside organisations is needed. based on certain earlier arguments. Mobile as already pointed out already competes with what the FTTC roll out has. This combined with nobody needing more than 20Mb and there is no need for any further government funding.

      Confused why you still think it is needed. Or who you think should get these funds.

    12. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      Virgin Media were perfectly free to bid for BDUK projects. In fact they backed the Fujitsu bids. The fact that Fujitsu couldn’t get the numbers work for them is simply down to the fact that it was simply not viable with the amount of money available.

      As far as the “4K issue” is concerned, the 24mbps figure for “superfast” coverage was one chosen by the government. They could, of course, have chosen another (likely higher figure to meet EU NGA state assistance rules. However, for whatever reason they seem to have targeted that, possibly because it gave a reasonable service level and could maximise coverage for the funds available. In any event, this is a political decision.

      If the BDUK project had specified something higher – say 100mbps, then that would have required a completely new network to every property (either fibre or co-ax) given that g.fast wasn’t an option and wireless couldn’t be expected to reach that level. That massively increases the cost and would have meant BDUK would only have reached perhaps 20% of the current coverage (and would have taken a lot longer given the level of resource required).

      Like it or not, what came out of BDUK was a compromise to maximise coverage and roll-out rate with the funds and resources available and to do it with a reasonable degree of certainty. If you have an issue with it, then take it up with your elected representative.

      nb. I suspect BT are probably none too happy about Ed Vaizey’s wording, but that’s a different issue.

    13. Avatar MikeW says:

      I guess there’s a fundamental question here that hasn’t been asked about the government’s choices for BDUK back in 2010-2011:

      As BT were deploying superfast-capable kit to 67%, and VM were making superfast speeds available to ~48%, what should the government have been aiming for with its subsidies?

      Should it have aimed to narrow the divide, and targeted similar superfast speeds to be made available to as many of the final third as possible?

      Or should it have targeted ultra- or hyper-fast speeds into the final third. The fortunate recipients would have speeds way beyond what “the market” was delivering commercially, but there would only be a few recipients – perhaps one fifth to one tenth of the first option.

      If you choose the former, you probably believe that the government’s role is to play catch up behind a market failure.

      If you choose the latter, you probably believe the government’s role is to provide a whole new network, rather like the Australian NBN.

      It feels to me like an extremely fundamental choice, almost religious. And I’m not so sure the latter option could get past the EU as a case of “market failure”.

      Or, of course, it could have not subsidised anything at all.

    14. Avatar gerarda says:


      If it did not subsidise anything at all then its digital by default policy would have been even more of a failure than it already is. The cost of running physical offices so that farmers, job seekers etc can do “digital” is negating the forecast savings

    15. Avatar GNewton says:

      @TheFacts: “To rephrase.

      1 How should UK broadband be funded to ensure all can stream multiple 4k services?

      2 To what extent should the UK government fund beyond what is currently proposed? Is 100% a realistic target and if not, what is?

      What do you make of a poster who not only asks stupid questions, but who has already answered it for himself in a previous post.

      Seriously, why do you care?

      Rather than showing your constant “Can’t attitude” why don’t you do something for yourself, in you local community, to improve your desolate broadband situation?

    16. Avatar Paul says:

      @Steve Jones and the comment which begins…
      “Virgin Media were perfectly free to bid for BDUK projects…”

      That is irrelevant to the queries by TheFacts, which i was responding to. They were questions about the future and not the past. His queries were…
      ‘1 How should UK broadband be funded to ensure all can stream multiple 4k services?’

      None of the current rollout aims to do that. It just so happens Virgin due to the superior speeds can.

      ‘2 To what extent should the UK government fund beyond what is currently proposed? Is 100% a realistic target and if not, what is?’

      That is clearly about the future due to the “fund BEYOND what is currently proposed” part.

      What has happened in the past has no relevance to his queries. Furthermore i still do not comprehend how you are in favour of the BDUK and 24+Mb speeds if you think 15-20Mb is all that is needed. If that is all that is needed there was no need for prior or future funding.

  9. Avatar adslmax says:

    @ DanielM
    March 6, 2015 at 9:51 am

    virgin manages that fine as do real fibre optic services.


    You are wrong! Virgin Media isn’t real fibre optic. They use coaxial cable from the cabinet to your property.

    1. Avatar adslmax says:

      I think from next year, BT must provide 160/30 to all nationwide roll out. So, BT can have four products eg:

      40/10, 80/20, 120/20 & 160/30 with a choice from ISP’s.

    2. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      Where does that requirement come from (unless it’s a reference to FoD in BDUK contracts)?

    3. Avatar DTMark says:

      That’s the land of fantasy 😉

      VDSL isn’t even capable of providing the first of those tiers to everyone. My guess is that it might, if every cabinet were enabled, just possibly be capable of those speeds for about half the population, with vectoring enabled.

      And we don’t even have vectoring yet.

      The other tiers are going to require vast amounts of alternate technologies and/or lots of line bonding requiring the installation of lots more copper phone lines. That isn’t going to happen. Because:

      The same problem that existed before VDSL will remain – copper and aluminium phone lines are not effective broadband conduits. There is no long term with this tech; there’s barely even medium term.

    4. Avatar TheFacts says:

      Back to the question of funding. No commercial company is likely to roll out FTTP to the vast majority of rural areas at present.

    5. Avatar Astroturfer says:

      He didn’t say VM were ‘real fibre optic’.

      So why ‘must’ BT supply 160Mb? What’s the urgent business case?

      That won’t come close to the speeds VM will be selling, will cost a fair chunk of change to deliver, it’d need pair bonding hence new CPE, and the 200Mb and 300Mb FTTP products are hardly flying off the shelves.

    6. Avatar DanielM says:


      where did i call virgin fibre optic?

    7. Avatar Jason says:

      You did not that is 2 people now that did not carefully read your comment.

    8. Avatar GNewton says:

      @TheFacts: “Back to the question of funding. No commercial company is likely to roll out FTTP to the vast majority of rural areas at present.”

      Why do you care? This is not an issue for you, you already answered this question for yourself some months ago!

      BTW.: How are your Google lessons going?

  10. Avatar fastman2 says:

    this forum is now just nuts — i will carry on working with communities to enable to benefit from fi bre broadband

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      Go for it.

      In a couple of weeks I’ll be popping over to see some new and rather disappointed residents round here looking for broadband to try out a variety of SIM cards in my Huawei modem and see which work best for them given that fixed line is too slow to bother with.

      Investment versus obsolescence – risks on both sides.

    2. Avatar Jason says:

      There is no need for 30-40Mb down and up rates from superior mobile though 😉

    3. Avatar Astroturfer says:

      Be interesting to see how people react to part-funding VDSL when Openreach themselves appear to think it won’t be adequate even in the medium term, hence the G.fast pilot this year and commercial deployment commencing next year.

      It’s roughly the equivalent of privately part-funding ADSL in 2008-9.

    4. Avatar Paul says:

      Why is any money be it from BT or government being spent on G.Fast if nobody needs high speeds?

    5. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      You are confusing “need” with “want”. That there’s a demand for higher speeds from some people is certainly the case. It’s simply whether it’s large enough to be commercially viable or not and in what areas. It’s also important to have competitive offerings, if only for headline reasons. Any investment by BT in g.fast will no doubt be directed at urban areas and will have a defensive element.

      There is, as yet, no talk of funding g.fast using public funds, if only because it’s unlikely to be available in current timescales. However, as a variant on FttRN, it may yet play a part in later phases.

    6. Avatar Paul says:

      I am not confusing need with want at all. Also if there is a demand for Higher speed why on Virgin do most people still subscribe to the lower tiers rather than the 152Mb top tier?

      Who is funding it if as your initial statement of 15-20Mb is all that is needed still stands is irrelevant. You can not be in favour of faster services when you deem there to be no need. Even more so if there is already evidence there is no real demand when people that already have options of faster products in there area do not take them, even when already with Virgin.

      Your argument appears to be making little sense now. You can not say on one hand 15-20Mb is enough and then be in favour of things like G.Fast. That is like saying a Ford Fiesta is all people need but being in favour of everyone buying a Ferrari or ford suddenly pushing people to by Cosworths instead of Fiestas.

    7. Avatar Jason says:

      Do not think he knows what he wants or what others need. One minute 20Mb is enough the next is banging on about G.Fast

  11. Avatar PeterM says:

    Looking at what Ed Vaizey said today, I would like to pick up on one point.
    Simply that I don’t want to pay less for my broadband because of the pathetic speeds I get now. I just want to pay the full price for a decent superfast service.
    His job is to help deliver superfast broadband to all areas of the UK including West Chiltington.

  12. Avatar cyclope says:

    @AndyH It would all change if BT offered symmetrical throughput or at least upto 150mbps upstream 30tbh on FTTH is a joke

    1. Avatar Paul says:

      I thought the upstream on FTTH was still only 20Mb?

    2. Avatar Astroturfer says:

      Yeah that’d change everything overnight.

    3. Avatar samjackson says:

      Is there a need for such upload speeds in a residential environment?

    4. Avatar DanielM says:



    5. Avatar AndyH says:

      @ cyclope – The speeds offered by OR are determined by a cooperation group of ISPs. It’s interesting how people are criticising OR/BT on here for the FTTP speed variants, yet the ISPs are happy with what they are supplied. If they wanted significantly faster upload speeds, they would be requesting it at the monthly meetings.

      @ DanielM – Elaborate? Why is it necessary for end users to need significantly faster upload speeds?

    6. Avatar DanielM says:


      you tell me why not..

    7. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Even with cloud storage, uploading photos etc etc the Internet for the overwhelming majority is still pull traffic not push. No need for 150Mbps upload 🙂

      If there was a mass market for it someone would be filling it.

    8. Avatar Paul says:

      “It’s interesting how people are criticising OR/BT on here”

      No idea where you have came up with that, most of the posts have been about funding in general. Its only the odd silly BT abuse post that has appeared. Every response though seems to be defending either BT or the funding they were given from what i have read.

  13. Avatar AndyH says:

    1) ISPs do not want it
    2) End users do not need it
    3) Stop trolling

  14. Avatar jeep says:

    Surely if a jobs worth doing then do it well,srry am not technically minded but with all these different options gfast etc etc being touted wouldn’t the cost of development deployment in the long run be greater than just deploying full fibre ?

    1. Avatar GNewton says:

      Yes, the development and deployment costs of all these interim copper-based technologies, such as the obsolete VDSL, will in the long run be much higher, sooner or later fibre will have to be deployed.

      The lack of a longterm vision or plan is an expression of this country’s, in especially BT’s, “Can’t Do” loser mentality.

    2. Avatar TheFacts says:

      Let’s see a business case for the full deployment of fibre. Key will be the demonstration of the benefits of eg. 1G over eg. 100M and timescales.

    3. Avatar AndyH says:

      GNewton – Would you be happy paying a few thousand for FTTP?

    4. Avatar Paul says:

      “Let’s see a business case for the full deployment of fibre. Key will be the demonstration of the benefits of eg. 1G over eg. 100M and timescales.”

      There is no business case for FTTC if you believe the speeds it is capable of are not needed. If there was such a strong case for it then an organisation would fund it there self.

      “GNewton – Would you be happy paying a few thousand for FTTP?”

      Why do you believe everyone else should pay, be it the consumer or the government. Either there is a demand in which case the company should be funding things to make there self more money. Or if there is no demand there is no need to bring out such a product in the first place and cost yourself money.

      I also have no idea why you would think anyone should be paying thousands, people do not pay thousands for FTTP from other providers, which in addition funded their products for there self. Why do you think someone should go and pay any other organisation thousands for a internet speed others are selling from around fifty quid? Again another post that seems to make little sense and contradicts the rest of the market.

    5. Avatar TheFacts says:

      @GN – if VDSL is obsolete strange that ECI and Huewei are still selling products for it across the world.

    6. Avatar Jason says:

      Still selling something or it being used has naff all to do with if something is obsolete. Steam trains still are used in odd places, are they modern or obsolete though?

    7. Avatar GNewton says:

      @AndyH: “Would you be happy paying a few thousand for FTTP?”

      Personally, yes, it probably would have been cheaper than an office move.

      Notice that TheFacts a few weeks ago has clearly expressed his wish that the government should pay for a full fibre deployment investment, hence any of his recent questions posted here come accross as stupid or inconsistent, or maybe he can’t make up his mind!

      I have made it clear, unlike TheFacts confused postings, that a longterm fibre investment should not burden the taxpayers, that the BDUK should be scrapped, and no taxpayer’s money be given to a private company which clearly has no need for the money.

    8. Avatar GNewton says:

      @TheFacts: “if VDSL is obsolete strange that ECI and Huewei are still selling products for it across the world.”

      Seriously, why do you care? Look at all your recent odd questions and statements. First, make up your mind. And then do something about your own poor broadband situation to start with.

      BTW: How are your Google searches going? Or FoI requests?

    9. Avatar FibreFred says:

      @GNewton, so you are now regretting moving office and should have taken the £2k line you got quoted for here? http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2014/04/fibrewifi-unveil-new-superfast-wireless-broadband-packages-essex-homes.html

    10. Avatar AndyH says:

      BT would end up severely indebted if it was to fund a nationwide FTTP rollout, without external support. We’re talking tens of billions to roll it out nationwide across the UK.

      No company is going to make this kind of capital commitment unless it can see a healthy ROI. You have to remember that the infrastructure is also subject to depreciation, which means the capital investment needs a return within a short-medium term period.

      What about other telecom providers in the UK? How much are Sky/TT/EE/Three/Vodafone investing in the fixed telecom infrastructure? Most of these companies have health balance sheets with surplus cash.

    11. Avatar Sunil Sood says:

      @jeep: While it may sound more sensible/cheaper to roll out full fibre immediately – that is not necessarily the case, hence BT (and other firms) opting to go down the VDSL/FTTC route.

      1. It would cost a lot more to roll out FTTP than FTTC – and the rollout would be a lot slower. So the other way covers more customers at less cost as they only need to upgrade the cabinets or take fibre to the telephone pole. The closer fibre gets to your house the more expensive it is to rollout.

      2. There is a question mark on whether most people need the speeds offered by FTTP – for the foreseeable future probably not – even if a minority get exited by streaming lots of 4k tv at once – so why spend money on something that is not going to be used (most people who can get full fibre subscribe to slower packages)?

      3. By rolling out FTTC, then gfast, vectoring, fibre to the distribution pole, in stages, it allows them to take advantage of their existing copper network while at the same time – making the service better/faster and getting fibre closer to the customer at each stage, making a full rollout cheaper in the long run – but meeting current needs at a much reduced cost than a full rollout.

      4. Standards/technology is still improving – gfast, vectoring etc – are relatively new standards – who knows what will come next? The cost of full fibre equipment will also drop in the longer term. The technology will also become more reliable.

      5. I suspect the LLU firms would also complain if BT ripped all their copper out of their network – as Sky, TalkTalk use this to provide their services (and will have invested in kit at the exchange)

    12. Avatar GNewton says:

      “so you are now regretting moving office and should have taken the £2k line you got quoted for here?”

      I don’t remember any £2K line quotes by any company. If other users like dragoneast or JNeuhoff are happy with FibreWifi why not let them use it?

      We make business telecom decisions based upon the best options available for given office locations, I think any business would do that (well except for a few like TheFacts who consistently refuse to do their own research 🙂 )

    13. Avatar Paul says:

      “BT would end up severely indebted if it was to fund a nationwide FTTP rollout, without external support. We’re talking tens of billions to roll it out nationwide across the UK…”

      I fail to see how they would. Sky and BT combined have just spent 5+ Billion on a couple of seasons worth of sports rights.

      If that had been put towards broadband instead and FTTP (yes an outrageous idea to share a national rollout with BT i know, how dare i come up with that idea and not let BT have everything) and the cost is tens of Billions the rollout could had been done in around 5 years. Ironically that is the same amount of time the FTTC rollout has been dragging on for.

      Of course a private organisation can spend their money as they wish, but lets not make out they could not afford it or FTTP would cripple them. Based on other investments they have made the odd few billion here and there clearly does not.

      BTs part of their sports cost was around 500 Million, add that onto the 12.5 Billion deal to buy EE, and i think you will find just from those 2 deals alone the money put towards FTTP would have them half way there to a complete rollout.
      Factor in Skys 4 Billion spent on sports rights and right there is 17 Billion of potential funding there could had been for FTTP.

      Of course nothing sensible like that would every happen though as those 2 organisations are too busy have little spats over meaningless things. And constantly screwing UNFAIR at each other little spoilt little girls.

    14. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Some crazy ideas there , I guess living in the real world puts a stop to them all tho 🙂

      I like the 5yr rollout especially !

    15. Avatar AndyH says:

      I also like it – particularly as 5 years after the FTTP trials began, they are still rolling out FTTP in those areas (and the ducting is modern).

    16. Avatar Jason says:

      ‘BTs part of their sports cost was around 500 Million, add that onto the 12.5 Billion deal to buy EE, and i think you will find just from those 2 deals alone the money put towards FTTP would have them half way there to a complete rollout.’

      Yeah with 13 billion a large chunk could of been done already. With that Money also they don’t need government help

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    Speed 45Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW TV £22.00 (*40.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • TalkTalk £22.00 (*29.95)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £22.00
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPERSALE
  • Plusnet £22.50 (*36.52)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Reward Card
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Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Vodafone £25.00
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Virgin Media £26.99 (*44.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • TalkTalk £28.00 (*39.95)
    Speed: 145Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £14 for First 6 Months
  • Gigaclear £29.00 (*44.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HELLO2021
  • Hyperoptic £29.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPERSALE
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The Top 20 Category Tags
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  5. Politics (1750)
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  7. Business (1509)
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  10. Statistics (1299)
  11. 4G (1133)
  12. Fibre Optic (1098)
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  14. Ofcom Regulation (1057)
  15. Virgin Media (1049)
  16. EE (745)
  17. Vodafone (726)
  18. TalkTalk (703)
  19. Sky Broadband (694)
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