BT to push fibre to 1.5m more homes and businesses
BT has abandoned its plans to limit its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) programme to new build sites.
Today, it announced one and a half million copper lines into homes and businesses will be joined by optical cables, initially offering broadband at 100Mbit/s downstream and capable of delivering 1Gbit/s.
BT had previously only publicly committed to one million FTTP installations on building projects where the civil engineering costs of laying fibre would be low.
The wider deployment means BT plans to run fibre to two and a half million premises by 2012. A further seven and a half million line will be upgraded to fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) services, delivering up to 40Mbit/s downstream.
Between FTTP and FTTC, ten million premises - or about 40 per cent of BT's network - are scheduled for upgrade. BT said the programme is ahead of schedule so the expansion of FTTP will not bust its £1.5bn budget. Competitors will be able to buy access to the fibre, although BT will have greater control over pricing than it does over ADSL.
A spokeswoman said it was "too early to say" which areas now stand to benefit from FTTP, which is already installed at the Ebbsfleet development in Kent and will be trialled at brownfield sites in London and Milton Keynes. All of BT's fibre plans are however focused on densely populated areas where the return on investment will be highest.
Steve Robertson, chief executive of BT Openreach, the division responsible for upgrading and maintaining the network, said: "Service providers have asked us for more FTTP and so we have listened to them.
"The UK is well placed but we need to invest for the future so that customers can access the rich applications that will be popular in a few years time."
For those in rural areas who struggle to access the applications that are popular today because of decades-old infrastructure, such futurology may seem hollow.
The government's Digital Britain report found that there was an economic case to upgrade two-thirds of the national network to provide faster broadband service via FTTP or FTTC. For the "final third," it plans a 50 pence per month levy on every land line rental to create a subsidy pot.
Virgin Media, whose cable network covers about half of premises nationally, yesterday indicated its interest in expanding to rural areas with a trial partnership project in Cornwall. BT said today: "BT is keen to deploy fibre more widely but, as has been seen with other countries, such deployment typically requires support from the public sector."
The Digital Britain report envisaged faster broadband delivered to rural regions by a mix of subsidies and mobile technologies. ®
BT vs Virgin
"but I'd not move, I've had the dubious pleasure of doing business with BT before, never again. Virgin do suffer from a help desk staffed with morons but name any big provider of any "service" that doesn't have that problem."
Virgin in my experience has been nothing but sheer hell. BT is crap but they are bliss by comparison. Virgin hasn't changed at all over the years in all their different guises (formerly NTL, formerly CableTel). Aside from the above help desk issues, and the usual monster waits on the phone to get through to anyone (and then get cut off), they cost me many days off work in sheer incompetence sending out monkeys who couldn't do the job they were sent to do, turn up at the wrong time and even on the wrong day then blame me for not being in, and ultimately could never get me a stable connection.
Virgin's cables are not as perfect as people make out. They are just as susceptible to signal issues as ADSL is, maybe more so especially as the run from cabinet to home is antiquated coax that has been rotting in the ground since analogue cable days. The ADSL approach is to be honest and give you what your line is actually capable of. The approach Virgin uses is to flat claim you can get the full speed, install the stuff and run away, leaving the customer to wonder what the hell is going on with connections up and down like a yo-yo and not achieving advertised speeds.
I had a dozen or more call outs with them, but only one with BT and that was to install the line.
Usually talk of Virgin/NTL causes universal moaning amongst colleagues and friends.
"Never again" ;)
Not so hot in the city
If I'm paying an extra fiddy pee a month to provide fast internet to the middle classes' holiday homes in the Cotswolds, they can bloody well come and sort out my sub-3 Meg broadband in a less-than-fashionable bit of Zone 2 London.
My parents live in a tiny village in Cambridgeshire, and they get twice the download speed I do!
BT DSL Slowdown
First, there are a number of ISPs providing IPv6, tho it's usually not heavily advertised because few people have use for it yet...
Andrews & Arnold (aaisp.co.uk)
Goscomb technologies (goscomb.net)
Public Internet (public-internet.co.uk)
But on another note, i used to get a sync rate of around 7mb on my line, but just recently the performance has really turned to shit... According to the BT broadband checker tools my line is unsuitable for 2mb, and "might" be able to get 1mb... A few years ago, before the adsl max products were released, i had a 2mb service which worked perfectly. Now if i were to order the same service it would be refused...
And apparently i'm not the only one, some people with long lines that could barely get 512k before are now being disconnected totally, and many other people are experiencing massively slower sync rates.
My line hasn't changed, i have tried new equipment and i am connected to the master socket (incidentally i wasn't connected to the master socket before when i had 7mb).
Anyone shed some light on what BT are playing at here?