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BT Reveal Massive UK G.fast Pilot and LR-VDSL Broadband Trial Areas

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 (11:37 am) - Score 15,216
superfast broadband from openreach bt sign

The CEO of Openreach (BT), Clive Selley, has today given a progress update on their plans to improve national broadband connectivity. Among other things this included improvements to their FTTP roll-out for new build homes, a list of trial locations for the 10Mbps USO focused LR-VDSL technology and a huge extension of their G.fast pilot to 138,000 UK premises.

Selley’s update comes at a time when BT’s network access division is under a spotlight as part of Ofcom’s once-in-a-decade review of the United Kingdom’s digital communications market, which has yet to reach a final deal with BT due to a conflict over the issue of Openreach’s governance (here).

In keeping with that Openreach’s boss was keen to show that the operator wasn’t just standing still and did plan to make big improvements. The result is that we today received a shotgun blast of important updates and we’ll go through the main ones first.

Free FTTP for New Build Developments of 30+ Homes

As most people know BT has committed to rolling out ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) broadband technology to 2 million UK homes and businesses by 2020, which is up from around 330,000 premises today (here). As part of that the current top speed of Openreach’s FTTP service will be lifted from 330Mbps (30Mbps upload) with the addition of 500Mbps (165Mbps Upload) and 1000Mbps (220Mbps Upload) tiers.

The first 9 areas to benefit from this have already been announced (here) and it’s important to note that a lot of the extended roll-out will focus on catering for new builds, which partly reflects the deal that was agreed earlier this year in order to make Openreach’s service more attractive for new builds (here).

Crucially Selley today unveiled a plan for broader FTTP coverage of new builds by making the following tweaks, which should bring FTTP to even smaller developments.

New site developments

• All new site developments of 30+ homes registered from November 2016 will be able to get FTTP built for free (reducing the threshold from 100+ homes)
• This will mean at least 9 out of 10 new sites homes can have access to free FTTP
• New site orders since May:
– All orders – 64% will get FTTP
– Orders from sites with over 100+ homes – 98% of plots will get FTTP

New Long Reach VDSL Trial Areas

Openreach are currently in the process of trialling their new fixed line “Long Reach VDSL” (FTTC) broadband technology, which could be used to deliver the future 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation (USO) and possibly even to expand the availability of “superfast” (24Mbps+) speeds (full details).

The technology, which is currently being tested in Isfield (East Sussex) and North Tolsta (Isle of Lewis), is a variation of the existing VDSL2 based Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) broadband technology that can reach most of the UK.

However LR-VDSL has been tweaked (i.e. higher signal power and wider frequency ranges) so that it can deliver faster speeds over longer runs of copper line from your local street cabinet (e.g. a 2km line might deliver around 9Mbps via normal VDSL2, while LR-VDSL could potentially do 24Mbps+).

Today Selley confirmed that their original Proof of Concept trial with up to 200 lines in Isfield was able to deliver an average increase in download speeds of 13Mbps to locals, which is a nice boost to have (sorry for the lack of labels on the chart below, but that’s how it was presented and the change is still evident).

lr_vdsl_ispreview_performance_trial

On top of that Openreach also confirmed the next batch of trial locations, which includes Ashcott in Somerset and Peatling Magna in Leicestershire, launching in early 2017. More trial locations will also be launching in 2017, covering 1,500 homes.

G.fast Pilot Extended to 17 Locations

Under the current plan BT hopes to roll-out their new G.fast service to 10 million premises by 2020, with “most of the UK” then likely to be done by 2025 (we’re guessing that “most” will equate to around 60% UK coverage). See here for the technical details.

Initially G.fast will offer top download speeds of ‘up to’ 300Mbps (50Mbps upload), although they will also offer a middle tier at 160Mbps (30Mbps upload). In the future BT has also talked about squeezing a top speed of 500Mbps out of the technology, but that’s still a long way off.

The commercial roll-out is likely to get underway later in 2017 and BT has already run a number of trials (apparently these attracted 550 customers and “average headline rates” of 300Mbps were attained), but before that the operator has already announced their intention to conduct a larger scale pilot (12,500 premises for each location) in Cherry Hinton (Cambridgeshire) and Gillingham (Kent).

Today Openreach confirmed that they were already rolling out the pilot network and have confirmed that their equipment partners for the G.fast service will be Huawei and Nokia (nobody will be surprised to see Huawei chosen as BT has built a strong history with them); this covers switches, modems and cabinet ‘side pods’. The first pilot pricing details will also be “confirmed in the coming weeks“.

However the big news is that Openreach now intend to extend their G.fast pilot to 17 locations from January 2017, reaching around 138,000 UK premises by the end of March 2017. Strictly speaking this is perhaps big enough to be considered the unofficial start of their commercial roll-out.

When combined with FTTP this means that BT’s roll-out of “ultrafast broadband” should have reached 500,000 premises by April 2017.

G.fast Pilot Locations

* Bolton, Greater Manchester
* Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire*
* Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
* Derby, Derbyshire
* Donaldson, South East Scotland
* Gillingham, Kent*
* Langside, Glasgow
* Donaldson, Edinburgh
* Gosforth, Tyne & Wear
* Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
* Luton, Bedfordshire
* Rusholme, Manchester
* St. Austell, Cornwall
* Swansea, Wales
* Swindon, Wiltshire
* Sheffield
* London: Balham / Upton Park, London

Several of the areas listed above are of course reflecting a continuation / expansion of the earlier G.fast trials (e.g. Swansea, Gillingham, Huntingdon etc.).

Other Bits

Elsewhere Selley also revealed that Openreach would be making some additional data available on the performance of their copper and fibre network, as well as missed appointments, although this largely seems to consist of a few limited statistics (similar to their Our Responsibilities page). For example, Openreach engineers fixed 81.9% of network faults on time in Q1 vs 77.7% in the same quarter last year.

We also got an update on the trial of Ofcom’s required cable Duct and Pole Access (DPA) product, which gives ISPs access to install their own cables within BT’s existing infrastructure. The trial with 5 ISPs (details) has been running since July and is due to complete in December. So far 65km of duct has been reserved, with 51km under construction.

As part of the DPA trial Openreach claims to have received “Positive feedback on transparency and process, especially use of distribution joints and ability for CPs to use their own contractors to unblock ducts,” although we know that Vodafone and Cityfibre have had a few problems (here).

In keeping with that Openreach plans to release further mapping enhancements and improved access to network data next Spring 2017. The goal is for “CPs [to] have the same data as Openreach when building their own networks.”

Finally, Openreach confirmed that their FTTC dominated “fibre broadband” network can now reach 25.9 million UK homes and businesses, with 6.5 million premises having subscribed (across all ISPs).

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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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46 Responses
  1. Avatar NGA for all

    This is a good to see, but the reference to LR-VDSL against the proposed 10MBps is logical but weak. Every single county has underspends, growing clawback and capital payments yet to be reconciled. It would be poor if the 10Mbps limitation was being made assuming a much higher set of costs. FTTP cluster extensions beyond the cabinet hold much greater promise longer term.
    Salute Mr Selley, his presence was much needed in 2012.

    • Avatar DTMark

      While the news is positive, if this article were dated 2006, it would be much more positive and looking to the future. BT wouldn’t have lost so many customers to the superior cable network over the last decade and it’s still not catching up.

      24 Meg is losing its punch as “superfast” now, as VM rolled out 200 Meg, move now to offer 300 Meg, and soon, onwards to 1Gbps and beyond.

      Pursuing technologies which are only capable of delivering these sorts of slow speeds (average increase 13Meg – whoopee) instead of investing still appears to be the order of the day.

      Which is odd if this announcement is supposed to be painting a measure of the BT network’s suitability to serve the country for the future. It’s almost like a suicide note.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Hehe you are starting to sound like the trolls mark I expected better. Look at others around the world getting g.fast in.

      Do you have any figures showing how many customers have been lost to virgin?

      And of course how many they have gained from virgin

    • Avatar Steve Jones

      @DTMark

      If this had been announced in 2006 it would be something of a miracle given that the specification for VDSL2 wasn’t published until February 2006, let alone any commercial equipment being available. As for g.fast, it wasn’t anywhere near conception 10 years ago Approval of specifications wasn’t until December 2015).

    • Avatar NGA for all

      @DTMARK I am probably being charitable, but I am hoping BT will be able to take £300-£400 La underspends, the now £270m clawback and the capital sums owed and prove to themselves that another 500k FTTP premises is possible.
      I have also seen one of the SRP procjects have more than 1/3 FTTP planned in an area where BT dare not reference FTTP.

    • Avatar TheManStan

      If this article was dated in 2006 it would have been a miracle indeed as OFCOM didn´t apply the variation of the Enterprise Act until 2009…

    • Avatar Steve Jones

      I knew that Ofcom caused delays by faffing around over fibre-to-the-cabinet regulations and they went through an interminable lot of consultations before they finally realised no company other than BT was going to put a lot of cabinets into the OR network. I hadn’t realised it was as recent as 2009.

      However, here’s the link to the proof. Ofcom only allowed OR to operate FTTC cabinets in June 2009. So that’s seven years ago before the process of rolling out FTTC could even begin.

      http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/fttc/statement/statement.pdf

      I rather feat regulatory issues will cause problems with the LR VDSL option. It may not be the ideal solution, but it could give benefits quickly.

  2. Avatar MrWhite

    Of the 17 additional pilot locations, are there any further details on which exchanges and/or cabinets will be part of the trial? I’m assuming it’s not all exchanges within each area?

  3. Avatar John

    Always pissing Swansea, never Cardiff or other areas.

  4. Avatar Ignitionnet

    There’s one post complaining about it not being in their area. See how many more arrive given this is just 17 towns and cities in the entire nation.

    Clearly there were reasons – note 2 of the UK’s 3 largest cities get nothing either so nothing personal.

    *Popcorn*

    • Avatar FibreFred

      🙂

      I’m not on the list, but I don’t care. I rarely max out my FTTC connection either way and I was back of the list for the commercial FTTC rollout and expect to be for G.Fast as well

    • Avatar Ignitionnet

      I’m too far away to benefit from G.fast and there’s no way that BT are going to overbuild busy FTTC cabinets with FTTP, so Virgin Media it would be if/when they built here.

      Or a home move, which is looking likely in the not too distant. 🙂

  5. Avatar adslmax Real

    I am disappointed there is no Telford & Wrekin on the g.fast 17 additional pilot locations list!

  6. Avatar eM

    OK, it looks as though my exchange is included into the G.fast trial. Anyone knows what does it mean? Will I need to sign up to BT, or do will ISPs offer this trial too? I’m with EE which supposedly is part of BT now, so I’m confused as to whether I need to switch or not – but since it’s early days, their support staff is unlikely to know any details.

    • Not aware of EE taking part in the current trials, so if it does arrive at your cabinet you’d need to change provider currently.

      Of course as the volume of lines covered increases we may see more providers offering it.

  7. Avatar cyclope

    So much for the northern powerhouse bull that the politicians were spouting

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      Bolton, Rusholme, Sheffield, Gosforth? Roughly a quarter of the locations for G.Fast are in the “Northern Powerhouse”.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Why would the politicians dictate/decide on BT trial areas? BT will have chosen them for their own reasons

  8. Avatar Sledgehammer

    The future 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation (USO), will this give BT/OR the legal excuse not to provide FTTC services in areas that already have ADSL2+ and a speed above 10Mbps but less than 17Mbps?

  9. Avatar Andrew

    Bath was among the First FTTP Roll-out Areas annouced back in June this year,still no signs I will ever get it.
    But,I have noticed lately, there is a lot of new fibre being laid around the city.

  10. Avatar SlowUpload

    BT and others should be testing and rolling out 1Gbps+ symmetrical FTTP to ALL premises in this day and age, it’s nearly 2017 edging on 2020 and STILL we are insistent on using ever aging copper.

    • Avatar TheManStan

      You do know OFCOM didn’t let BT have any consumer fibre till late 2009?

    • Avatar dragon

      @SlowUpload, It’s unlikely as they will be using some varient of GPON for FTTP most likely so symetical isn’t so easy compared to a direct point2point fibre.

      For the kind of deployment they’re working on GPON makes a lot of sense as it’s cheaper and there’s a LOT less active kit in the network to go wrong.

    • Avatar AndyH

      GPON is the worldwide standard deployment of FTTP. Symmetrical speeds are possible, ISPs don’t ask for faster uploads here.

  11. Avatar mike

    Are any national ISPs actually selling FTTPoD yet since the stop sale was removed? I’ve been looking at a few houses and one of them had FTTPoD availability but the only ISP I could find was Spectrum Internet who only seem to sell to businesses in Wales. I’d really like to get a quote.

    • Avatar AndyH

      Try BT Business, Zen, AAISP, IDNet (possibly also Plusnet Business).

    • Avatar mike

      I’ve tried BT Business, Zen, and IDNet’s availability checkers. They either say it’s not available or simply don’t offer it as an option. dslchecker.bt.com says FTTP on Demand is available at 330/30 🙁

    • Avatar MikeW

      You might need to bite the bullet and go for a business service anyway.

      IIRC, Ofcom have set a maximum of a 2 year contract for residential services. With Openreach applying a (wholesale) minimum of 3 years, it certainly appears they are only interested in business users. An ISP wanting to target at residential users would likely need to charge higher prices over 2 years, to offset the possibility that you will cancel before their own 3 year commitment to Openreach.

    • Avatar AndyH

      I would wait for FoD2. It will be launched some time next year and be designed for consumers and businesses.

  12. Avatar Data Analysis

    I can not see LR-VDSL meeting the 10Mb USO for all. A few in the chart only saw their speed increase by only ABOUT 1-5Mb. Im gussing if you are too far away to get 10Mb already then in many cases you will not with LR-VDSL.

    There also seem to be other factors at play than just distance with regards to what improvement you may see.

    One person in the chart (number 5) saw a nice improvement from ABOUT 9Mb to 25Mb (16Mb boost).

    While another (number 24) went from ABOUT 10Mb to only 11Mb. (1Mb hardly makes it even worth it, you can get more or less than that at the mercy of DLM or just a reboot of the modem.

    The average increase for all the trial does indeed seem to be a 13Mb increase but more than a few of them only saw tiny increases of ABOUT 5Mb or less.

    Id guess a couple of percent of the country will still not see over 10Mb.

    • Avatar MikeW

      The data samples for sub-USO speeds aren’t good: only 2 lines at 10Mbps or below, and both moved above the threshold. It is hard to gauge how much of an improvement we could expect.

      When concentrating on lines that are sub-25Mbps speeds, we get a bit more information. There were 10 of these sub-superfast lines, and 6 of these moved above the superfast threshold.

      In the broader market, it looks like around 10% of all FTTC connections are sub-25Mbps. That happens to match up with the (approx) 10% whose D-side lines are longer than 1km.
      https://postimg.org/image/bly6o16cl/
      https://postimg.org/image/qao7esyr1/

      If LR-VDSL manages to pull 60% of sub-superfast lines up to 25Mbps+, it likely increases the range from 1km to 1.4km. If the range for 10Mbps speeds also increases by 0.4km, it is likely to pull 2-3% from sub-USO speeds.

      Currently, the government BDUK funds aim at 95% for superfast, but it is reckoned that the underspend/clawback funding is going to allow another 1-2% to be captured. That would have left 3-4% on sub-25 speeds. LR-VDSL might mean that only 1.5-2% gets left sub-25 instead.

      Even if LR-VDSL cannot help the sub-10 portion of that 1.5-2% directly, it might have an indirect effect: If LR-VDSL increases the range for existing BDUK-funded cabinets, it might find a little less need for some of the newly planned AIO and FTTP deployments. That, in turn, might allow the clawback to be spent on the more remote properties after all.

    • Avatar Data Analysis

      “The data samples for sub-USO speeds aren’t good: only 2 lines at 10Mbps or below, and both moved above the threshold. It is hard to gauge how much of an improvement we could expect.”

      I agree, if you look at the chart and draw a line even at the 25Mb point across it, the majority at that cabinet/area already had 25Mb (give or take a couple of Mb) before the Long reach enabling. Strange BT used them as an example when it does not show much with regards to the 10Mb USO.

      “If LR-VDSL manages to pull 60% of sub-superfast lines up to 25Mbps+, it likely increases the range from 1km to 1.4km. If the range for 10Mbps speeds also increases by 0.4km, it is likely to pull 2-3% from sub-USO speeds.”

      That is the thing though, there is no way to tell from this test/trial as BT have picked a cabinet with relatively speaking speeds in terms of meeting USO requirements and similar “superfast” already achieved/possible for the majority before the Long reach enabling.

      I can not personally see how LR-VDSL is the answer to giving everyone a 10Mb USO. If on some lines no matter how few it only boosts the speed by 2Mb or thereabouts (as shown in this trial/test).

      If that trend follows to other cabs, then it only takes a 2 or 3 on a cabinet getting less than 8Mb pre LR enablement to possibly not see 10Mb or more after LR enabling. If its a cabinet that holds 288 customers then that will mean around 2.5% per cab with LR enabled still do not get the 10Mb.

      Its a great idea and does indeed help many get a nice 10+ Mb speed boost but again like VDSL, ADSL and other copper tech in the first place there is so many variables nothing can be guaranteed. The very fact that isfield trial had most people getting 20+ Mb before LR-VDSL (so compared to some cabs it was pretty good) but after still had one person still only manage 11(ish)Mb i personally think is poor, if it was a viable solution EVERY individual should had seen a decent speed boost on that cab/area.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      “I can not personally see how LR-VDSL is the answer to giving everyone a 10Mb USO.”

      Who is saying it is the answer for everyone?

    • Avatar keith

      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2016/08/bt-reveal-tech-details-expanded-long-reach-vdsl-broadband-trial.html

      “…so LR-VDSL was proposed as one possible way of meeting the Government’s 10Mbps USO pledge.”

      You would have to ask the government who proposed it, as a solution.

    • Avatar MikeW

      I thought one explicit result from USO consultations so far is that no one technology will be “the” solution. And that many respondents felt that there should be more than one USO provider.

      That is countered by the fact that there doesn’t seem to be much appetite to actually be one of the USO providers – which might, in the end, be the most limiting factor.

      @DA
      Don’t put too much regard into the fact that some lines improved minimally. That could be down to internal wiring faults, or incompatible CPE as much as a failure of LR-VDSL.

      And I’m not surprised at the scope of the properties they included in the trial. The STIN tells us they focussed on sub-25 speeds, not just sub-10 … so they need to trial the whole range. They also need to test users who started above 25Mbps, to make sure they aren’t adversely affected too. And test subscribers who stayed on the 17a profile too.

      And, for this initial test, they were extremely limited in choice – it had to be Isfield, as it didn’t have ADSL, which is a major prerequisite. They just had to accept the physical properties as they came.

  13. Avatar Data Analysis

    “I thought one explicit result from USO consultations so far is that no one technology will be “the” solution. And that many respondents felt that there should be more than one USO provider.”

    Very true, but which every solution or solutions chosen should it/they be ensured it can actually meet the 10Mb USO?

    “Don’t put too much regard into the fact that some lines improved minimally. That could be down to internal wiring faults, or incompatible CPE as much as a failure of LR-VDSL.”

    Normally i would agree but as its a trial would the installs not had been engineer installs, using master sockets, and faceplates rather than some people choices of dodgy wired extensions and pigtail filters? Maybe they were not engineer installs, not enough info. Also technically on wiring faults should the speed in some cases not have fallen… I always thought the higher the frequency the better the line has to be to deliver it without issue. I would not had thought LR-VDSL with its higher frequencies would perform better on bad wiring. I guess there are still too many questions.

    “And I’m not surprised at the scope of the properties they included in the trial. The STIN tells us they focussed on sub-25 speeds”

    As stated though the majority already had 25Mb or thereabouts before the LR-VDSL upgrade. Though as you also state later in your post perhaps its the best they had and the only area they could find that had no ADSL to start with.

    “They also need to test users who started above 25Mbps, to make sure they aren’t adversely affected too.”

    I agree 100% with that but surely when you are testing to ensure a group like that are not adversely affected it would be better to analyse that on a cabinet were every individual is above that speed.

    “They just had to accept the physical properties as they came.”

    It will be interesting where they try LR-VDSL next and the before and after results.

    • Avatar MikeW

      “but which ever solution or solutions chosen should it/they be ensured it can actually meet the 10Mb USO?”

      Should you expect the solution to meet a 10Mbps USO for *every* property? Should you choose to not deploy it if it helps 20% of lines on the cab to go 25Mbps+, 5% of lines to go 10Mbps+, but fails to help 2%? Is it still worth helping the majority?

      “Normally i would agree but as its a trial would the installs not had been engineer installs”

      Unlikely. They’ll have been installed as standard, well before this trial becoming more than a gleam in someone’s eye. And likely to have been self-install these days. In fact, the more like “real life” they can make the trial, with no special “engineer attention”, the more they get valid results.

      Having said that, for small initial trials, it would most certainly be worthwhile finding out why the bad results happened, and fixing them if possible. To give “before”, “after”, and “after-perfected” cases for “engineering insight”. But the best realistic case for investment would be still to compare “before” with the plain “after”.

      Note that the trial could perhaps allow someone on “too long” a line to now get service. However, BT would be wary of accepting this, just in case the trial was a disaster, and they needed to revert in a hurry.

      “should the speed in some cases not have fallen”

      One did, didn’t it?

      “I would not had thought LR-VDSL with its higher frequencies would perform better on bad wiring.”

      LR-VDSL is not using higher frequencies. Lower frequencies, but with higher power.

      Standard VDSL is profile 17a, using 17.5MHz with aggregate power of 14.5dBm.
      LR-VDSL is restricted to 8MHz, with aggregate power of 20dBm.

      “it would be better to analyse that on a cabinet were every individual is above that speed [25Mbps].”

      If you did that, you would have left all the lines on profile 17a, unchanged [25Mbps is the speed expected at 1.2km, which is the threshold distance to be allowed to use an LR-VDSL profile]. There would be no-one on LR-VDSL, so there would be no opportunity to test for interference.

      You *would* be testing vectoring, but they’ve previously trialled that, so there wouldn’t be anything new to gain. A pointless test?

      “I guess there are still too many questions.”

      We have to remember that BT announced this a year ago, and presumably have been playing with it even longer. You’d guess they have some idea of what they expect to get as they shift from “lab with realism” to “trial with real punters”, and what kind of take-up mix they wish to get experience from.

      “It will be interesting where they try LR-VDSL next”

      North Tolsta, on Lewis. First reported mid-August, but no results published as yet.

    • Avatar Data Analysis

      “Should you expect the solution to meet a 10Mbps USO for *every* property? Should you choose to not deploy it if it helps 20% of lines on the cab to go 25Mbps+, 5% of lines to go 10Mbps+, but fails to help 2%? Is it still worth helping the majority?”

      Ideally any solution chosen should be able to reach the USO for whoever has to use it. Be it a BT solution a satellite solution or anything else. If it can not meet the USO then the solution is not meeting the requirements. Helping more people is always good but if it does not solve the issue of EVERYONE getting a certain speed than a solution that can needs to be investigated.

      “Having said that, for small initial trials, it would most certainly be worthwhile finding out why the bad results happened, and fixing them if possible. To give “before”, “after”, and “after-perfected” cases for “engineering insight”. But the best realistic case for investment would be still to compare “before” with the plain “after”.

      Hmm so current routers etc support LR-VDSL as its being trialled without anything else needed? thats a good thing if that is the case.

      “”“should the speed in some cases not have fallen”

      One did, didn’t it?””

      I must of missed that

      “I would not had thought LR-VDSL with its higher frequencies would perform better on bad wiring.”

      LR-VDSL is not using higher frequencies. Lower frequencies, but with higher power.

      Sorry i meant wider frequencies.

      Personally i do not see it solving much, though i spose every little helps

    • Avatar MikeW

      “Ideally any solution chosen should be able to reach the USO for whoever has to use it.”

      I see it the other way around. That everyone has to be offered a USO speed, but that it could be using different solutions. The more solutions that exist in a provider’s toolbox, the more they can pick and choose.

      “Hmm so current routers etc support LR-VDSL as its being trialled without anything else needed?”

      As it is being trialled, LR-VDSL is really just two big changes that the CPE modem can see, and one invisible one:
      a) Use profile 8b instead of profile 17a.
      This restricts the maximum frequency to 8.5MHz instead of 17MHz. Every tone in 8b is used in the same bands as in 17a, so there’s no change in spectrum usage.
      Every modem that can support profile 17a is likely to have been design to support any of the (8a, 8b, 8c and 8d) profiles.
      b) Use vectoring.
      Not all existing modems support vectoring, which might be reflected in the “failed to improve” cases.
      c) Use higher transmit power in the cabinet
      The change to profile 8b enables this, as does the removal of some of the power restrictions. The CPE modems simply see the result: higher SNR, allowing more bits per tone.

      Current modems support (a) and (c), and most support (b).

      “Sorry i meant wider frequencies.”

      I’m not sure what that means, if it doesn’t mean “higher frequencies”.

      “Personally i do not see it solving much, though i spose every little helps”

      Given the current stats at http://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/ we can see that, with 94.7% “fibre coverage” and 91.5% “25Mbps+ superfast coverage”, this is a solution aimed at doing *something* for max 3.2% of subscribers. If it turns out to help 2.0 out of the 3.2, that’s still half a million premises.

  14. Well yes I could go with Virgin, with their incredible headline speeds, but errr, every time I’ve used virgin the headline speed was throttled 5-30-9pm due to throttling due to busy networks. Bt may advertise slower 52/80mb packages but at least they’re rarely throttled (also, Virgins advertising and leaflet spamming is annoying)

  15. Avatar graham

    BT still can’t let go of the old copper Goose,i bet my bottom dollar come the dawn of the 22nd century, we’ll still have copper lines running from under and above from Telegraph poles.

  16. Avatar Terry King

    I am in Swindon and there have been a procession of Openreach engineers working on the cabinet outside my window adding a pod for G.Fast.

    Does anyone know if you have to register for the trial with BT or will they contact me once the cabinet is enabled?

  17. Avatar TomTom

    One test area is Cheltenham, the home of GCHQ, the governments major worldwide centre. Imagine living just 2 miles away, using BT and the provider and lucky most days to achieve 2Mbs……..yes 2. I can only dream of 10 and 300 is like walking to the moon. Can I get BT and Openreach to upgrade my cabinet just 300 meters away, not a chance. Now ask yourself why because of taking the BT broadband did they give me BT Sport on streaming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £18.00 (*22.00)
    Avg. Speed 30Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Code: SPRING19
  • Vodafone £21.00 (*23.00)
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • TalkTalk £22.50
    Avg. Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Direct Save Telecom £22.95 (*29.95)
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • SSE £23.00 (*33.00)
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited (FUP)
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
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