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UPDATE3 BT Unveil Universal 5-10Mb Broadband and 500Mb G.fast Rollout

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 (9:04 am) - Score 6,572
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As predicted yesterday BT has today announced a new roll-out plan for delivering faster broadband (at least 5-10Mbps) connections to the hardest to reach final 5% of premises in the United Kingdom (mostly rural homes) and an aim to push “ultrafast” 300-500Mbps G.fast to 10 million premises.

Until now the Government’s national Broadband Delivery UK programme has been busy working predominantly with BT, and a few smaller ISPs, to bring superfast broadband (24Mbps+) connectivity out to 95% of premises by 2017/18, although a plan and funding for connecting the most expensive to reach final 5% isn’t expected to surface until the Autumn Statement on November 25th.

In the meantime BT’s CEO, Gavin Patterson, has today moved to counter the operator’s critics by setting out his vision for Britain’s Digital Future, which includes the following commitments. A new report was also unveiled by consultants KPMG, which values the impact of BT’s future commitments as being worth £20-£30 billion to the UK economy over the next decade.

Gavin Patterson, BT CEO, said:

For the past five years, the UK has been the largest digital economy in the G20, by percentage of GDP. We think the UK has an even brighter future ahead if we make the right decisions today.

We want to forge an ultrafast future for Britain and stand ready to help government deliver the broadband speeds necessary for every property to enjoy modern day internet services, such as high definition TV streaming and cloud computing. To achieve this, we need a collaborative effort across industry and government.”

BT’s Vision – Britain’s Digital Future

1. Aim for a new universal minimum broadband speed of 5-10 Megabits per second (Mbps) for every home and business, “subject to regulatory support“. This includes a plan to extend “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) coverage beyond the government’s 95% target, using new technologies such as Extended Reach VDSL2 (FTTC) and Wireless-to-the-Cabinet (WTTC). No firm date is given for when this universal commitment might be achieved or what “regulatory support” would be required.

Part of this will be achieved thanks to the “success dividend” (clawback / gain share) clauses in contracts covering rollout co-funded by BT, Whitehall and local councils. The clauses mean BT has to reinvest or return money if take-up exceeds certain levels in areas where public funds have been used. A sum of £130m is already being released and could push “fibre broadband” to 96% of premises.

2. The next generation G.fast broadband technology, which will launch with top speeds of up to 300Mbps and be boosted to 500Mbps within 10 years, will be deployed out to reach 10 million premises by the end of 2020 (this is around 40% UK coverage, the same coverage as the operators original 2009/10 deployment plan for FTTC/P connectivity) and “most of the UK” will be done by 2025. Previously BT has envisaged the roll-out for this beginning in 2016/17.

3. A 1Gbps service will be provided for those that want even faster speeds, which we assume is the soon-to-be reintroduced and often heinously expensive FTTP based Fibre-on-Demand (FoD2) product that is currently being trialled alongside G.fast. Most homes would not be able to afford this service at the previous price point and it’s often envisages more as a small business solution, despite lack some key business connectivity features.

It’s also expected that BT’s native Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) product may continued to be rolled out to more areas, which is much more affordable than FoD (with FoD you effectively have to cover part of the expensive street works cost yourself). But so far it’s not clear how much further this will be pushed.

4. BTOpenreach’s new “View My Engineer” service, which is already being deployed (started only a few weeks ago), will also improve the customer experience by giving text progress updates to end-users and the engineer’s mobile phone number.

5. BTOpenreach has also committed to increase on-time customer installations beyond Ofcom regulated levels in new Charter. Garner stated his ambition to exceed, by 6%, Ofcom’s 2017 minimum standards for delivering new connections on-time.

6. BT will also introduce its own a Satellite broadband service for some of the UK’s more remote premises by the end of the year (focus on the final 1-2%).

7. BTOpenreach also announced plans to supply “fibre broadband for all new housing developments“, either through BT’s own efforts or in cooperation with developers.

It’s of course no secret that BT are under a lot of pressure right now, not least from rivals that want to see them being broken-up (here) and Ofcom’s related strategic review. At the same time the Government are also mooting a new 5Mbps Universal Service Obligation (USO) and have been nudging BT to make a bolder commitment for future connectivity.

As such today’s announcement is certainly one way for the operator to win back hearts and minds, although we’d like to see a bit more detail on their 5-10Mbps commitment and timescales.

Otherwise you can find more details on their G.fast and FoD technology by reading some of our recent coverage (here, here and here), while we looked at extended reach VDSL (FTTC) earlier this year (here) and Openreach has already deployed several Wireless-to-the-Cabinet (WTTC) solutions to remote areas (here).

UPDATE 11:10am

We asked BT a couple of questions about the time-scale for the 5-10Mbps plan and funding for the G.fast deployment. The operator told us that they’d aim for “much” of the universal commitment to be achieved by 2020 (this is obvious given the current “superfast” target), although the rest would depend upon the structure of Ofcom’s scheme. Most importantly this is their “current obligation” for fixed lines, which appears to suggest that the Satellite product won’t count (good news).

On the cost of deploying G.fast, BT said that they currently spend around £300-400m per annum on “fibre” and broadly expect that to continue that for the next 5 years to 2020, with the majority going towards G.fast / ultrafast broadband.

At this point it’s difficult to split out the BDUK linked investments from that spending, but the total cost is by our guess probably somewhere around £1bn+ (similar to FTTC’s commercial roll-out cost, after the FTTP commitment was abandoned). Furthermore we understand that this can all be done within BT’s original £2.5bn commercial commitment, largely due to having scrapped their plans for a native FTTP deployment a few years ago.

UPDATE 12:37pm

One of BTOpenreach’s biggest ISP customers and fiercest critics, Sky Broadband, has responded to today’s announcement by suggesting that it’s merely “calculated manoeuvring” to distract from the wider concerns.

A Sky Spokesman told ISPreview.co.uk:

For years, BT has been under-investing and delivering poor quality service for customers. What the British broadband market urgently needs is radical reform, not calculated manoeuvring and caveats to protect BT’s self-interest. Only a truly independent Openreach will unlock the investment, innovation and competition required to deliver the digital connectivity of the future.”

Sky might have a point, but if the pressure is forcing BT to go the extra mile then there are also positives to be had from the above announcement. Ofcom will be the judge of whether or not more needs to be done.

Speaking of which, one of Openreach’s other major customers, TalkTalk, has just weighed into the debate with a similar comment.

A TalkTalk spokesperson said:

Of course we welcome any plans for investment to improve broadband service and speed. However it has taken an Ofcom review and the threat of serious regulatory intervention to win even these modest commitments. BT Openreach has been letting down customers and businesses across the UK for so long that, for many, these plans will come as too little and too late.

It’s entirely proper that Openreach is innovating and investing, but it’s far likelier to go further, faster as an independent player in a competitive market than as hostage to a large corporate more interested in profit than progress.

Other players are also investing in innovation – for example, our own ultrafast joint venture in York with Sky and City Fibre – but if the industry is to reach its full potential we need a level playing field that encourages competing providers to roll out the ultrafast infrastructure of the future.”

UPDATE 3:29pm

The CEO of BTOpenreach, Joe Garner, has just elaborated on their new customer service commitments and furnished us with the following message.

Joe Garner, CEO Openreach, told ISPreview.co.uk:

Openreach has today launched the Openreach Charter, setting out our commitments to our customers, to the consumers and businesses that rely upon their communication services, and to the nation as a whole. The commitments will see Openreach improve broadband coverage, speeds, service and investment, as well as its standing as a trusted commercial partner.

Since joining Openreach last year, I have focused the organisation on the central mission of Building Britain’s Connected Future. Openreach is determined to help our customers provide the communication services that the country needs to sustain a vibrant digital economy.

Central to this mission is improving the service we provide to our customers. While I am the first to acknowledge there is much more to do, there are areas where I believe that we are making progress.

We have cut the waiting time for installation appointments and we’re fixing faults faster. But as the pace of technology change accelerates, and customer expectations move ever higher, we know we have to move with them.

Today, we are formally underwriting our commitments with the publication of the Openreach Charter.

Ten years to the day since the undertakings which created Openreach were signed, we are committing to extend and improve our fibre network, already one of the largest, fastest and most affordable in Europe. As customer expectations continue to grow, we are committed to offering quicker installations, faster fixes and reducing complaints. I would like to pick out a few highlights from the Charter.

Openreach will:

Improve broadband speeds and coverage:

* By delivering ultrafast broadband at speeds of between 300Mbps and 500Mbps to 10m premises by 2020, and offering to boost speeds for 400,000 customers currently getting under 3Mbps on their copper broadband.

Raise standards:

* By offering communications providers an even wider choice of service options for their customers, including six-hour repair-times
* By launching the ‘View My Engineer’ service we are allowing end customers to know via text updates how their engineer is progressing their installation or repair.
* By aiming to do much better than Ofcom’s rising minimum service levels

Improve communications:

* By providing more information about the availability of fibre broadband and by engaging with our communications provider customers to find ways of allowing their customers to contact Openreach directly.

Additionally, I am open minded on the question of whether end-customers should be able to contact Openreach directly, however, any change would require the support of both communications providers and Ofcom. I plan to start a formal consultation on this issue.

The full Charter can be found at: www.openreach.co.uk/charter

In the last five years, we’ve transformed our network and delivered a large scale fibre nationwide roll-out. An investment which, combined with the competitive market that our open access structure enables, has given Britain some of the most extensive, fastest and most affordable broadband connectivity in Europe. And we remain committed to extending high speed connectivity as widely as possible.

While being realistic about the challenges, I am determined that we progress towards the vision that we have outlined in the Charter launched today. Over the coming weeks I look forward to the opportunity to share more with you.

Regards
Joe

UPDATE 3:41pm

The boss of business ISP Fluidata, Piers Daniell, has also added his comment.

Piers Daniell told ISPreview.co.uk:

BT’s response to the letter for reform in the telecommunications industry calls into question the government funding it has received in the last few years as part of BDUK. Despite BT committing to deliver broadband to many areas, they are still left with inadequate speeds and connections. This has meant that other providers, despite a willingness to operate in the areas, have been unable to invest into alternative networks.

The fact that BT is again saying it will do more to ensure all properties are connected just goes to show the little headway it has made. The government needs to stop relying on BT to roll-out services in areas where it isn’t financially viable for them to do so, and create a level playing field so BT can concentrate on the areas it already serves and allow the smaller and arguably more innovative providers to invest to fill in the low speed areas.”

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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121 Responses
  1. Alec Robertson

    So they want 40% G.Fast coverage. That means the other 60% is going to be down the state, again?

    • TheManStan

      No just 30-40%… VM will have a 60-70% footprint… which would mean that actually VM would be the dominant market force for SFBB

    • TheManStan

      On the BT group news item, there is a further statement to majority within a decade, vague but likely similar to the 2/3rds of the population of FTTC.

    • Steve Jones

      I suspect that it’s that BT can (a) afford and (b) resource. People always seem to forget the resourcing issues. The phase 2 BDUK projects will be running well into this window and, even if the money was available, it would be very difficult to find the people (either internally or externally)to accelerate this much.

    • Neil

      “No just 30-40%… VM will have a 60-70% footprint… which would mean that actually VM would be the dominant market force for SFBB”

      I think you need to either learn maths or learn to include the figures that can already achieve FTTC 24+ Mb speeds. Unless you are saying its only 40% that can?

    • themanstan

      If you could understand the context with my inclusion of VM, you´d understand that i´m talking GFAST and DOCSIS3

    • Neil

      Then you are talking about UFBB and not SFBB. and your figures are still wrong.

  2. Max

    So just as the digital divide starts to be closed, it’s going to open right back up when urban areas have access to BT or Virgins upto 500Mbps speeds, with rural areas not even getting 1/5th of that.

    I really appreciate getting 80Mbit in rural areas, but it’s not going to be long until it is yet again inadequate and they’ll have to go round the whole country again upgrading to G.Fast or pure FTTP with hefty government subsidies. Perhaps they should have just done it ‘right’ the first time.

    • Steve Jones

      Which is a fine response if you don’t have to work out a way of working out how to get payback on investments which can be measured in the tens of billions of pounds. As there’s precious little chance of major new revenue streams from this (people seem not to want pay very much more than they do at the moment), then the investment strategy is to get the best value for the money.

      There is also the simple matter of who on earth do you think would lend a network operator the huge sums required when the return is so uncertain? The banks went through that with cable companies and had to write of many billions of pounds through “financial restructuring”. VM has only just started reinvestment in extending its footprint (and that’s still conditional on the right market conditions prevailing).

      So the position that we are in is that, in effect, BT have to finance NGA investments internally. That puts a lid on what can be done and how fast.

      This is without even considering the matter of resources. There is only a limited amount of that available in this country and trying to create vast new armies of trained people, contractors and so on is hugely expensive and competes head on with other areas of construction (like housebuilding).

    • Max

      Steve, I think we have or perhaps soon will reach a point where a ROI is beyond the point. 10 years ago, Internet was regarded as a luxury. Many people now could not live properly without it, I know I couldn’t have the job I have without internet. How long is it going to be until people genuinely need superfast internet for activities other than HD streaming ? not long I suspect.

      My point is, the government need to look at it not as a profit making mechanism, but rather a modern life necessity. We spend billions and billions on our road network, but we don’t get a direct ROI. No one pays us for making better roads, but it enables cheaper and more efficient travel for everyone.

      Superfast internet does much the same now, and it will be vastly more important in 10 years. The government won’t get a direct return on investment if they spend 10, 20, 30Bn on a FTTP network, but they will allow new economies to form, companies to prosper, and technoligies and products to exist that could not otherwise. If for example, 20% of office workers could work from home using life size telepresence systems running at 4K or 8K resolution, you wouldn’t need to invest so much money in roads as traffic would be lessened. Just one of the many benefits.

    • Steve Jones

      @MAX

      So you are recommending the government find the cash? Good luck on that one (not to mention EU state aid rules). In the meantime, commerci

      Also, what do you mean by “need”. If you mean “essential” then I’d question if there’s a “need” in that sense – at least for the vast majority. Yes, it might mean certain sorts of businesses might have to plan where they base themselves (but those sort of local facilities issues are part of any business planning). If by “need”, you mean “want”, then fair enough. But a want a need. There are lots of demands, but the test is whether they can be delivered within a price that the market will bear. If you start going down the subsidising the “wants” route, then economists will tell you that it leads to inefficient deployment of resources.

      There’s a very good case for some form of USO provision, but I don’t see that (say) requiring the ability tor stream multiple 4K video streams is a true “need”. That’s a want. Maybe there are things coming along which will demand more, but unless they are economic on their own merits, I don’t see it as justification for subsidy.

  3. This on top of the £130m clawback is overdue. If BT capital contribution is chased down, then really it is only a matter of resourcing.

  4. Alec Robertson

    My question would be: with areas already upgraded to FTTC, is G.Fast much easier to roll out?

    If 95% of the country is already covered with FTTC, is it easier for BT on a commercial basis to add G.Fast to those areas or will it still require a large Government subsidy, perhaps even more than before as the last mile is very, very expensive?

    • Ivor

      I’d have thought FTTC would have leveled the playing field – around here the fibre is now within a few hundred metres of homes already, and it’s the same in the towns and the nearby city.

      Except for the lucky few that got fibre extended all the way to the pole, and won the FTTP jackpot in the “BT technology lottery”, like all the farms and very sparsely populated areas.

    • DTMark

      If there is no infrastructural competition then there is no commercial basis. The line rental is all that really matters.

      If G.Fast were to be rolled out the scale hinted at with BT picking up the bill, which will never happen, but anyway – any rollout would be limited to business parks and cabled areas/areas of high density, which are often the same thing.

  5. Patrick Cosgrove

    Mark – you seem to be saying that clawback has to be reinvested by BT or returned. I’d always thought it had to be returned to the local authorities who then decide how to use it. Are you suggesting that BT has a choice so have I misunderstood this all along?

    • Steve Jones

      The money is returned to the BDUK local project. It can be used for reinvestment to extend coverage with the original bid winner (in other words BT) for the term of the contract. If there are funds left over at the end of the contract it’s returned to the public purse, although the stated aim in the BDUK framework contracts is that the funds should be reinvested in the project.

      It was clearly in BT’s interests to recognise the increased takeup and return money early as that would extend the coverage within the product. Hence BT opting for a 30% target to recalculate gap funding (which also means BT must be increasing its total capex over the original bids).

    • MikeW

      The thing with the 30% takeup is that it is BT offering clawback in advance of actual takeup reaching that level, but on condition that the money is spent with BT.

      The BDUK projects are free to refuse if they want to, and wait for the contracted mechanisms to kick into action.

  6. Sebastian

    So the process is going to repeat itself. The urban cities will be upgraded for up to 1Gbps speeds then the same areas which didn’t get FTTC or FTTP will have to wait for another scheme such as this one leaving the same areas behind urban areas again. If anything the money should be focused on getting everyone connected to FTTP so that there isn’t such a massive gap in speeds. And I doubt that the average user of broadband is going to need 1Gbps.

    • Craski

      It is nice to see positive news of a forward plan but I have to agree that “the process is going to repeat itself”.

      What I am hearing is that all those areas in the final 5% are not going to be sorted until 2020 and even then, it will be 2025 before they catch the back end of the next wave of upgrades to G.FAST.

    • MikeW

      The process is always going to repeat itself.

      There will always be profitable locations, and unprofitable ones.

  7. Craski

    Be nice if BDUK used G.FAST in areas which have not yet been lucky enough to get FTTC/P yet and are being planned for 2016/17 installs to meet the original 95% target.

    Has there been any testing done on performance of G.FAST on long lines (2km to 5km)?

    WTTC has to have a lot of potential too for villages not yet fibred up that lack space in the existing ducts (or lack ducts at all) to get the fibre in.

  8. GNewton

    ” BT said that they currently spend around £300-400m per annum on “fibre” and broadly expect that to continue that for the next 5 years”

    At this rate of annual spend BT could have achieved a nearly nationwide FTTP in less than a decade, even assuming the highly inflated £25 Billion figure for this. VDSL simply is the wrong technology, especially for rural areas, or where Virgin is already present.

    • GNewton

      Sorry, wrong calculation, ignore my posting!

    • TheManStan

      Use VM costings as a rule of thumb for FTTP. £3BN for 4 million homes… 26M in UK so FTTP for everyone would be £15-20BN…lower end would be economies of scale.

    • @GNEWTON, Was that £300-£400m repeated today? State aid is running at £100m a quarter so it would add to evidence that BT is not currently making a capital contribution.

    • TheManStan

      Really? So why has CAPEX net of government grants been broadly flat for the last 4-5 years?

    • Ignition

      Virgin have mentioned £500 per premises passed for Manchester, Leeds and Nottingham. This doesn’t include CPE costs or install, it is the cost of building the network, not connecting anyone.

      The later and more expensive areas may well be tickling the £1k mark.

      Some of the build is infill, some is using existing ducts.

      BT’s FTTC build will certainly have taken a couple of billion off the price tag.

      Reusing as many assets as possible I would speculate FTTP could be done to 20 million premises for perhaps £10 billion. That is just the cost of passing properties. Connecting them more efficiently is the major driver behind the FoD 2 project.

    • TheFacts

      @IG – where would your 20M properties be? How many remote rural and why overbuild VM?

      Many people with ~80M (or less maybe) would be unlikely to want to spend more for FTTP.

    • @TheManstan, it depends how 1) it is accounted and 2) it is reported. Capital expenditure can be recorded and reported without referencing who is contributing what. It is not clear yet how the state aid is accounted.
      The query was whether BT repreated the £300-£400m this morning, I would have expected to see a bigger number if BT was spending its own money as well. BT is reporting £100m in state aid receipts a quarter for some 200 cabinets a week plus work in progress.

    • TheManStan

      Well that would be down to how they report expenditure, net or inclusive of government grant.

      If net then what they’ve said is fine, if gross then they are short changing.

      But given they report their CapEx expenditure net of government grants….

    • TheFacts

      @NGA – links to the BT numbers please.

    • Ignition

      Remote rural, none. Picking on the easiest 20 million which would include some rural but almost certainly no really remote rural.

      Appreciate what you’re saying about reluctance to upgrade, at least in the near future. Most people with Openreach FTTP available to them take 40 or 80Mb, not the 200 or 300Mb variants.

    • Neil

      “Use VM costings as a rule of thumb for FTTP. £3BN for 4 million homes… 26M in UK so FTTP for everyone would be £15-20BN…lower end would be economies of scale.”

      If you do that and base things on 26 Million premises, then the 10 Million premise which equate to BTs 40% figure for G.Fast is wrong. That would put it at 10.4 Million premises. Which regardless is still wrong as there are nearer 30 Million Homes and Businesses in the UK.

    • TheManStan

      The UK telephone network connects 26M homes and properties… look it up OR website.

      https://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/contactus/whoyouare/landownersandlandlords/landowners.do

    • Neil

      Using BTs own figures then 40% does not equal 10 Million properties.

      The figure for total homes and business in the UK is still wrong using either figures according to the ONS website…
      http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/family-demography/families-and-households/2014/families-and-households-in-the-uk–2014.html
      In 2014 there were 26.7 Million Homes (NOT including businesses) in the UK
      “There were 26.7 million households in the UK in 2014”

      No shock info along with the meaningless promises from BT is wrong also though.

    • Steve Jones

      @Neil

      So you are quibbling about 10m vs 10.4m when the numbers are clearly rounded in stating BT’s numbers are not internally consistent? Really?

    • Neil

      No BTs figures are incorrect by more than that.

      If there are 26.7 Million homes some how i think the ONS know more about how many people and homes are in the UK than BT do.

      Then lets say there are 2 Million (being more than generous with that number) business premises in the UK that puts the figure at 28.7 Million premises OR as i said from the start nearer 30 Million than anything BT quote.

      40% of 28.7 is 11.48 Million, which means their percent figures are more than 10% out and that is being generous as there are probably double that amount of business premises in the UK.

    • TheFacts

      Nothing about 40% in the BT press release.

    • Neil

      Try reading item number 2 in the news item. BT clearly think 10 Million premises equals 40% :rolleyes:

    • fastman

      i would assume that figure would enabled you to reach 40% of the population

    • TheFacts

      That is not in the original BT press release. Inserted here.

    • Neil

      “i would assume that figure would enabled you to reach 40% of the population”

      40% or 10 Million would imply 25 Million premises (40% of 25 is 10) which conflicts with the information on the BT Openreach website linked to earlier. Which figure is correct? BT can not even agree with itself.

    • MikeW

      It is worth re-iterating @TheFact’s point: The text about 40% is not in BT’s press release.

      BT’s press release only mention the figure of 10m premises. There is no inconsistency there.

      I can only surmise that Mark added the comment about 40%, alongside the off-hand comment that the aspiration matches the target mentioned in the very first plan for FTTC+P.

    • Neil

      So less than 40% then as initially stated.

  9. Al

    I take it Sky wanting all this investment has invested it’s own money and provides 100% LLU coverage. Which of course they haven’t as there are still many exchanges which are non-LLU so are deprived are competition.

    At the end of the day we all want a fast connection but don’t want to pay for it. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say those that already had a fast connection didn’t want to pay for it. I suspect users in those areas which are deemed non commercially viable wouldn’t mind paying an extra 50p or so a month to get those faster speeds.

  10. Andrew Bower

    Nothing said about exchange only lines. I don’t think Openreach have factored into their calculations that on this EO urban estate there’ll soon be no one left who hasn’t gone to VM – they need to consider lost line rental revenue from their inaction as well as new FTTC orders.

    • Alloneword

      Well said.

    • fastman

      so where is your estate–

    • Neil

      Why do you require information on where that person lives and in a public forum also? I hope the poster is not silly enough to state that on here.

    • fastman

      neil

      the estate / developer is public domain some people want help. some people get offered help , some just grump !!!!

    • fastman

      miles

      the cornwall and BDUK are all around the county coverage — that the headline X Coverage for Y Money and Z speed above 24 m/bps

      so the fact your ward has only 79% is not even on the radar because its the county figures that are the measurement

    • Andrew Bower

      fastman, edge of Cambridge. Openreach said it was deemed unviable but seeing the churn of new young professional residents who no doubt “don’t need a landline” I find it hard to believe they aren’t losing market share fast on account of their inaction. Is it really so expensive to insert in a new cabinet where the long trunk splits off?

    • Neil

      “the estate / developer is public domain some people want help. some people get offered help , some just grump !!!!”

      If where he lives was public domain you would not have to ask.

      Your next predictable question are going to be location of his cabinet, cabinet number or similar…

      @Andrew Bower DO NOT provide him with any detail that could lead to your personal address.

  11. PeterM

    Are BT really serious about using Extended Reach VDSL2?

    I thought this technology was a non starter.

    • Ignition

      Is this referring to pair bonding? That’s the only way of giving the impression of extending the reach of VDSL 2 that I’m aware of.

      Certainly it’s what AT&T and others do.

      Well, there’s that and vectoring to recover bandwidth from crosstalk.

    • AndrewH

      Yes, I think the trials of FTTRn and FTTDp are nearly done aren’t they?
      Ready to roll I think.

    • PeterM

      @Ignition
      I thought that Extended Reach VDSL2 was the fibre equivalent to ADSL2 and theoretically had the effect of increasing broadband speed on long lines without the need to make other changes to the network. This could certainly give BT their 5-10 Mbps. However I understood that it didn’t actually work!

  12. gerarda

    After 15 years of dragging their heels the threat of being broken up seems to galvanised BT into a move into the 21st century

    • GNewton

      Don’t see any significant move into 21st century technology coming from BT.

    • Neil

      “After 15 years of dragging their heels the threat of being broken up seems to galvanised BT into a move into the 21st century”

      Indeed it also appears Sky recognise that with the “Sky Broadband, has responded to today’s announcement by suggesting that it’s merely “calculated manoeuvring” to distract from the wider concerns.” statement.

      Most of the spiel is recycled blub. Much of it is as is typical with BT also meaningless promises which will never materialise.

      Example one minute they say….
      “Aim for a new universal minimum broadband speed of 5-10 Megabits per second (Mbps) for EVERY HOME AND BUSINESS, “subject to regulatory support“. This includes a plan to extend “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) coverage beyond the government’s 95% target, using new technologies such as Extended Reach VDSL2 (FTTC) and Wireless-to-the-Cabinet (WTTC). No firm date is given for when this universal COMMITMENT might be achieved or what “regulatory support” would be required.”

      The next its gone from a commitment for ALL to a……..

      We asked BT a couple of questions about the time-scale for the 5-10Mbps plan and funding for the G.fast deployment. The operator told us that they’d AIM FOR “MUCH” of the universal commitment to be achieved by 2020.

      AIM for????
      MUCH???

      So not “ALL” as originally said but a “MUCH OF” and then to make it double meaningless they throw in that good old word of “AIM”. Allowing them to repeat and move goal posts like they always have done.

      Another how long is a bit of string announcement from BT.

      Nothing but hot air, empty promises and repeats to try to distract from their separation doom. The sooner that doom happens the better for other business and the public IMO.

    • TheManStan

      Where does 15 years come from?

      If the enterprise act was changed in 2009, then they only dragged their heels for 6 years…

    • TheFacts

      @GN – please list the technologies that BT is not using.

    • FibreFred

      Lots of caps lock anger there 🙂

    • fastman

      G newton I assume your still awating for sep to deliver the project that could have been in place now if the community had seff funded ?

    • GNewton

      @TheFacts: “@GN – please list the technologies that BT is not using.”

      A simple Google search on e.g. ISPReview or ThinkBroadband articles will give you a quick breakdown of current broadband technologies used, or mostly not yet used, by BT. E.g. only 0.819% native FTTP coverage from BT at this stage.

    • Neil

      “…If the enterprise act was changed in 2009, then they only dragged their heels for 6 years…”

      LOL over half a decade, that makes it much better LOL

    • TheFacts

      @GN – FTTP is not the only 21st century technology, ask Huewai.

    • FibreFred

      FTTC started in 2009 so.. they’ve not been dragging anything?

    • gerarda

      @themanstan – its 2015 so 15 years since BT should have entered the 21st century – now doing or promising stuff that was done in Korea etc in the last century.

    • GNewton

      @TheFacts: “FTTP is not the only 21st century technology”

      Never said so. Do you actually know how to use Google, or make some genuine contributions to this forum? Or have you become one of those BT fanatics now?

    • DTMark

      I thought that FTTC started in the 1960s or possibly the 1970s, pioneered by cable companies..

    • themanstan

      @Gerada

      Then you need to blame the UKgov and OFCOM for not revising the Enterprise act sooner… what could BT do when the law prevented them from effectively modernising?

    • TheFacts

      @DT – As someone would say, use Google. Fibre only became available for telecomms in the 1980s.

    • gerarda

      @themenstan
      a)BT were reluctant to roll out ADSL – nothing regulatory stopping them doing that only their lack of vision
      b) had BT wanted to roll out FTTC sooner than 2009 I am sure the amendment would have been made to allow then to do it.

    • themanstan

      They did…. it took 4 years for UKgov OFCOM to make it´s decision…

      http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/fttc/

    • themanstan

      On slowness to deploy, i agree, BT is overly conservative when it comes to trials. They started trials as soon as the ITU standard came in 1998, but it was 2 years before the 1st products were available…

    • Neil

      “I thought that FTTC started in the 1960s or possibly the 1970s, pioneered by cable companies..”

      Indeed, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_fiber#History BT supporters just will not accept they are slow

    • TheManStan

      @Neil

      Completely different technology…

    • Neil

      quote”Optical fiber can be used as a medium for telecommunication and computer networking because it is flexible and can be bundled as cables. It is especially advantageous for long-distance communications, because light propagates through the fiber with little attenuation compared to electrical cables.”

      Nope sounds like the fibre we are discussing to me.

    • TheFacts

      @Neil – Read again. It was not a usable commercial product until the 1980s. Which was when BT started installing it across the UK.

    • TheManStan

      Different technology, it was analog fibre for CATV…

    • Neil

      “@Neil – Read again. It was not a usable commercial product until the 1980s. Which was when BT started installing it across the UK.”

      and

      “Different technology, it was analog fibre for CATV…”

      Wrong and wrong…
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_fiber#History
      “British company Standard Telephones and Cables (STC) were the first to promote the idea that the attenuation in optical fibers could be reduced below 20 decibels per kilometer (dB/km), making fibers a practical communication medium.[18] They proposed that the attenuation in fibers available at the time was caused by impurities that could be removed, rather than by fundamental physical effects such as scattering. They correctly and systematically theorized the light-loss properties for optical fiber, and pointed out the right material to use for such fibers — silica glass with high purity.”

      and if we then go and look up that company….
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Telephones_and_Cables
      “In 1966, Charles Kao of STC’s Standard Telecommunications Laboratories in Harlow demonstrated that light rather than electricity could be used to transmit speech and (even more importantly) data accurately at very high speeds.[3] Again material technology took time to catch up but by 1977 a commercial fibre optic link had been installed in England. Within ten years BT abandoned metal cables except at the subscriber’s premises. Before STC’s demise, its plant at Newport came to dominate the recabling of the UK public telephone system.”

      1977 which makes DTMark right with his initial 160s/1970s comment.

      That also shows BT did NOT invent fibre another propular myth by BT supporters.

    • themanstan

      You mention cable companies rollout with fibre to cabinet, I explain they used analog fibre for CATV.

      Analog fibre is a completely different technology, you can´t use it for BB.

      Hence, why Milton Keynes and Westminster lost their TV in 2007-8 when VM withdrew analog cable TV and always had no decent BB.

      just because light goes down a fibre, it doesn´t mean it can do everything you think it might.

    • themanstan

      For clarity, VM upgraded their network to digital… but Westminster and Milton Keynes were BT analog fibre from the early rollout before it was stopped.

      Hence, when VM removed analog they lost the TV, but also why a location with decent fibre network could not get FTTP.

      What is ludicrous, is why BT haven´t upgraded these 2 locations, by blowing fresh fibre (new fibre has much lower signal to noise issues) and upgrading hardware for modern FTTP network.

    • TheFacts

      @Neil – see http://www.btplc.com/Innovation/Innovationnews/historyoffibre/index.htm

      And pre 1984 it was totally owned by the government.

    • TheFacts

      In 1979, BT embarked on a major ordering programme for proprietary (cable and equipment turnkey packages) multimode fibre systems operating at the 800–900 nm wavelength, for trunk and junction routes.

    • Neil

      “You mention cable companies rollout with fibre to cabinet, I explain they used analog fibre for CATV.”

      I mentioned no such thing.

    • Neil

      “In 1979, BT embarked on a major ordering programme for proprietary (cable and equipment turnkey packages) multimode fibre systems operating at the 800–900 nm wavelength, for trunk and junction routes.”

      Despite as link and quoted systems were in place before that, 1979 would make things the 70’s still which is what DTMark stated.

  13. Hawkeye

    If the claw back money is made available to alternative network providers they would build the last 5% very quickly and in doing so deliver hugely better value for money for that public investment (our investment!) than just throwing more cash down the pan with BT.

    • TheFacts

      Please explain with numbers.

    • GNewton

      @TheFacts: Please explain why you believe BT is NOT wasting money!

    • Neil

      They are not wasting money, they are shifting funds from line rental, BT sport and other endeavors of the BT Group into Openreach as confirmed by BTs own Mr Williams a couple of days ago.

    • GNewton

      @Neil: “They are not wasting money”

      The original statement was comparing alternative network providers with BT, and TheFacts doubts they doing better or aren’t so wasteful, without being able to back it up with his own research or simple Google searches.

    • TheFacts

      @Hawkeye – what makes you think the claw back money would cover all of the final 5% and that it would happen quickly? The quick and easy way is to say satellite is the solution for many.

    • Neil

      Or the better solution, breaking up Openreach see others can deploy to that last 5% and not be held to ransom and area pinching by Openreach.

    • TheFacts

      @Neil – how would ‘breaking up Openreach’ enable that to happen?

    • FibreFred

      It wouldn’t Deduction is just trolling

    • Neil

      “@Neil – how would ‘breaking up Openreach’ enable that to happen?”

      Im sure Ofcom will explain that to you if they reach such a decision in a press release.

    • themanstan

      I think Neil means breaking up BT group, separating Openreach… not breaking up Openreach… which would be immensely stupid…

    • Neil

      Separating Openreach is probably a better way to phrase things. Though i would had thought given all the recent news he would know what i was referring to.

  14. Dave King

    Well BT has done it again. All a load of waffle with no commitments to do anything.
    All BT has do for me in the last ten years has increased the line rental and call charges and decreased my broadband speed from near 900Kbs to 750Kbs and given me false hopes every year with some new technology they are just about to introduce.
    The sooner BT and Openreach split up the better.

    • fastman

      dave king are on an a bduk cab so if there is a community you can either do something around it as others have done or take a difference approach

    • Neil

      “Well BT has done it again. All a load of waffle with no commitments to do anything.”

      That one line just about sums the situation up, more of their AIMS rather than actual set in stone commitment.

  15. TheManStan

    In my view BT need to bite the bullet, say to investors, dividends are going to be lower for the next few years because we need to deliver improved services faster and accept the increase in capex through expenditure and depreciation write-offs.

    • gerarda

      It would be a change in policy as BTs capex has been only about the same as their depreciation charge – ie a replacement only policy not an investment driven one.

  16. Miles

    Here in Cornwall we were promised 95% SFBB by end of 2014. In our ward (rural but hardly remote) the actual was 79% and for Cornwall as a whole it was 89%. All now submerged under new targets.

    I’m not an expert but my reading of the BT announcement is that they would like to quietly replace the 24mbps SFBB target for 90% or 95% or 98% with a 5-10mbps plan for everyone. In return they want to keep Openreach and one day they will do Ultrafast but only for those in big cities and only with regulatory support. Or have I misunderstood ?

    My hope is that Ofcom decides Openreach should be hived off but I would not be averse to them keeping Openreach in exchange for binding commitments to universal service at 24mpbs by a certain date – 2017 or 2018. Using something like the lane rental scheme used on road construction i.e. here’s a contract or contracts but there’s a clawback if you don’t meet certain dates. If you don’t like that the say bye bye to Openreach.

    As it is SFBB for the last 5% or in our case the last 21% looks like disappearing before it ever arrived. Still Ed Vaizey claimed victory some time ago.

    As a nation we have to decide if SFBB is as basic a utility as water, electricity, roads etc or not.

    • Dave King

      I am one of the last 5% in Cornwall. (That is 1 person in 20)
      I can not have a fibre connection due to my line length from the enabled cabinet. I am stuck with a 750Kbs speed and with no commitment from BT for this to change.!

    • Miles

      Dave, my point is that it is not the last 5% for Cornwall. Superfast Cornwall told me that the speed of SFBB was never defined at the start of the project. When it was set at 24mbps it meant that at the end of the first phase they had reached 89% not 95% so you’re one of one in ten not one in twenty.

      In our ward they achieved 79% so we are one of one in five that don’t have the service.

    • TheManStan

      That’s because of the mixed use of coverage and SFBB capabilities, by all involved.

      95% coverage has been met but with 89% getting SFBB speeds.

    • Miles

      Wasn’t it 95% SFBB that we were all promised ?

    • fastman

      miles

      the cornwall and BDUK are all around the county coverage — that the headline X Coverage for Y Money and Z speed above 24 m/bps

      so the fact your ward has only 79% is not even on the radar because its the county figures that are the measurement

      think cornwall was 85, then 90 and now 95 I think at a county level

    • themanstan

      @Neil

      …context…you should have been able to realise that 30-40% was for BT GFAST, but VM will have DOCSIS3 to 60-70%. Do you understand now?

    • themanstan

      And you should read the OP at the start of the subthread, this relates to SuperFast Cornwall…

    • themanstan

      @ miles

      who made the promise, politicos habitually pick a number that´s been mentioned and then associate a different metric to it…

    • Neil

      “@Neil

      …context…you should have been able to realise that 30-40% was for BT GFAST, but VM will have DOCSIS3 to 60-70%. Do you understand now?”

      I do not think you do. SFBB (super fast braodband) is over 24+ Mb, UFBB (ultra fast broadband) is over 100Mb. So unless G.Fast is going to be slower than 100Mb its not even classified as “SFBB” so no idea what you are on about.

    • Neil

      “Wasn’t it 95% SFBB that we were all promised ?”

      It was and we are pretty close to that already. I suspect he meant UFBB with his figures. Not the current BT dominated SFBB.

  17. fastman

    Dave have you contacted openreach to see what could be done , seen some very inoovative things in cornwall and outside cornwall especially in the private / co funding model (see openreach FAQ Rural not on a plan !!!!

    • Dave King

      As far as I can make out, I am isolated on the end of the line 400m from my neighbours whom are just able to receive a fibre connection. Thus a community project seems very unlikely!
      So I am left to dream that maybe one day I might get a usable broadband of 2mbs. If only BT could untangle my line or give me one of those golden EO lines which happen to go in the right direction – towards the exchange.(only 4Km away)

  18. FibreFred

    Haha who said bt invented fibre? Maybe the troll is confused by the method of blowing fibre?

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