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Message 1104367 - Posted: 8 May 2011, 11:34:32 UTC
Last modified: 8 May 2011, 11:35:30 UTC

British Telecom in the UK is rolling out BT Infinity, its latest fibre to the cabinet technology (FTTC). My local exchange went live a week ago, and I'm now the second connection at my street cabinet.

Some people are not very complimentary about BT, but when they get it right, they do rather well !

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Message 1104373 - Posted: 8 May 2011, 12:26:09 UTC - in response to Message 1104367.
Last modified: 8 May 2011, 13:21:29 UTC

British Telecom in the UK is rolling out BT Infinity, its latest fibre to the cabinet technology (FTTC). My local exchange went live a week ago, and I'm now the second connection at my street cabinet.

Some people are not very complimentary about BT, but when they get it right, they do rather well !


They are still holding the country to ransom and expensively holding everyone back. Why are we fiddling about with just a few Mbit/s if you're 'lucky' rather than the Gbit connections to the home/building that certain other countries enjoy for very reasonable pricing.

We're going to remain at a severe and expensive disadvantage while we continue to cling to the old and very outdated and very limited ADSL/ADSL2.

For just one example, a friend of mine lives in Chicago, USA and has a single fibre to his home which then goes to a small modem which then splits off his telephone, TV, and internet...


Once you get fibre all the way, you'll soon forget the old dark days of kbit/s and Mbit/s over 100-year-old wires strung over unsightly 200-year-old telegraph poles!

So why are we still in the dark ages of the internet?

The very real danger of the BT fibre-to-the-roadside-cabinet is that we will become trapped on an ultimate maximum 24Mbit/s (old ADSL) for yet another 20 or 30 years for the expected lifespan of that equipment...


Instead, let there be light!

We really do need to give our MPs and OFCOM and very hard kick of reality.


For a real world example by not using BT, a cooperative group of 100 people in a residential block could gain unlimited 100Mbit/s over fibre for £12 a month running costs using a commercially available fibre leased line. 1Gbit/s each would be about £25... (And that's a lot faster than ADSL...)

So why isn't that done?... Because I can't reasonably use the existing BT ducting to cross any roads, nor survive the bureaucracy/costs for laying my own. But then... Why isn't BT already doing that for us?



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Message 1104379 - Posted: 8 May 2011, 12:48:12 UTC

For just one example, a friend of mine lives in Chicago, USA and has a single fibre to his home which then goes to a small modem which them splits off his telephone, TV, and internet...


To install fibre to the "existing" home would cost billions, it's cost enough to use FTTC. For a new housing estate FTTH would cost in, and is being done. Other countries have started from scratch and used 21stC technology right from the start. And yes, the States are always years ahead of the UK in this game.

For a real world example by not using BT, a cooperative group of 100 people in a residential block could gain unlimited 100Mbit/s over fibre for £12 a month running costs using a commercially available fibre leased line. 1Gbit/s each would be about £25... (And that's a lot faster than ADSL...)

So why isn't that done?... Because I can't reasonably use the existing BT ducting to any cross roads, nor survive the bureaucracy/costs for laying my own. But then... Why isn't BT already doing that for us?


I'm not posting here to defend BT, they are big enough to defend themselves. I am just commenting tnat to go from about 2.5 MB/s on the old line to what I have now, for what seems to me is a reasonable increase in monthly outgoings, suits me just fine.


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Message 1104384 - Posted: 8 May 2011, 13:34:40 UTC - in response to Message 1104379.

[quote]For just one example, a friend of mine lives in Chicago, USA and has a single fibre to his home which then goes to a small modem which them splits off his telephone, TV, and internet...


Your friend is probably using FIOS a fiber/fibre network via Verizon (phone company). It uses fiber up to his house, the TV and internet is then using coax and his phone is still 2-pair twisted wire. Up / down speeds can vary from 15-50 Mbs, depending on the area availabilty. I have it here in Philly town and the actual speeds are slightly less, but I am satisfied with my 25 Mbs.

As far as new home construction is concerned, Verizon will only bring the fiber to the structure. It is up to the home owner to supply the inside cabling.

Comcast, a TV cable company has a similar network, but I do not know their steup.

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Message 1104389 - Posted: 8 May 2011, 13:58:56 UTC - in response to Message 1104379.
Last modified: 8 May 2011, 14:14:31 UTC

To install fibre to the "existing" home would cost billions, ...

Yes. Then again, that will also generate many billions in advantages.

There's a report out that fibre would actually pay for itself by replacing the existing copper from the choked ducting near telephone exchanges. That is due to just the scrap value of the replaced wires and the saving from not needing to dig more ducts! (One fibre replaces a very very thick bundle of wires...)

Also add in the case that the extra capacity offered by fibre can radically improve all services...


I'm not posting here to defend BT, they are big enough to defend themselves. I am just commenting tnat to go from about 2.5 MB/s on the old line to what I have now, for what seems to me is a reasonable increase in monthly outgoings, suits me just fine.


That is a very nice speed jump. But that's it now until you get a completely new connection.

Meanwhile, fibre to the building/home can give you tens of Gigabit/s now for modest cost. Even better, the fibre does not suffer the same crippling limits as does copper wires. So for fibre, expect that infrastructure to support Gigabit and Terabit upgrades for years to come until we eventually move to something like spread-spectrum wireless for everything...


I seriously consider ADSL2 and fibre to the cabinet to be a very bad and expensive dead-end.

Fortunately, BT wanted to place one of their ugly telephone poles at the end of my garden to wire me into their network. Along with my neighbours, we all went onto cable instead. We decided that a new pole was just too ugly. Hence, we've had 50Mbit/s available for years. That is now upgraded to 200Mbit/s for anyone who wants that... We may well get fibre all the way at some time soon.


I consider BT's internet offering to fall very sadly short of their 'Infinity'.


Regardless, good for your speed boost.

I still hope that the UK can get upgraded to something very much better!


Keep searchin',
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Message 1104411 - Posted: 8 May 2011, 16:09:48 UTC

I can see the advantages of both arguments, which is restricted by the monopoly that BT has on the current POTS system in every home.

I am very much a rurally restricted victim of this monopoly situation from 2 points of fact ...

1. Our exchange is currently offering ADSL 1 at 512mb/s and ADSLMax up to 8 mb/s, dependent on distance from the exchange;

2. My distance from the exchange, in a neighbouring village to the one with the exchange.

The lack of people numbers means our exchange has yet to see a date fixed for the DSLAM to be upgraded to ADSL2+, let alone to fibre, and then the fibre to cabinet.

Currently, due to the distance from the exchange and line attenuation, I can synchronise at just above 1 mb/s, but something else is going on when I ask for files to download or web pages. It is slow slow slow.

I cannot get better connection as all the ISP choice, including Virgin are resellers of the BT backhaul.
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Message 1104430 - Posted: 8 May 2011, 17:47:05 UTC

As you say John, it is because you are in a rural location. It is simply not economic for ISP's to extend their faster networks out to you. Your only other option is one of thsese, but they are expensive, unless you can offset it against company expenses ;-))

Satellite 1

Satellite 2

Satellite 3

And I would assume that you could keep your BT landlines.

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Message 1104458 - Posted: 8 May 2011, 18:59:56 UTC

Lucky you

I "registered my interest" when I first heard about it, it stated my exchange would be converted in December 2010, then March 2011, now June!!

Doesn't help when they quote what I should get after June

34.8Mb download 8.6Mb upload 30-June-2011 :-(
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Message 1104459 - Posted: 8 May 2011, 19:00:33 UTC

I have 30Mbps/ 2Mbps down through cable. Speeds are fine it would be nice to have 100Mbps but if I had it for awhile it wouldn't be fast enough either once I got used to it.
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Message 1104478 - Posted: 8 May 2011, 19:50:14 UTC
Last modified: 8 May 2011, 19:51:23 UTC

Lucky you

I "registered my interest" when I first heard about it, it stated my exchange would be converted in December 2010, then March 2011, now June!!

Doesn't help when they quote what I should get after June

34.8Mb download 8.6Mb upload 30-June-2011 :-(


You are very close to me in mileage Bernie as you know, and my exchange was also scheduled for December, then March, then 30-June. But as it is also an SSC, I think that is the reason it was probably brought forward in the rollout.

I am most certainly getting the download speed you quote, but my line is only rated for 2MB upload. So where your 8.6MB comes from, I would be interested to know :-)

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Message 1104488 - Posted: 8 May 2011, 20:43:02 UTC

Chris

Those satellite links look interesting, but the download limits look a bit restrictive for BOINC work, GPU driver updates over a month and the occasional Skype session. The latter, from my estimates, can pull a Gigabyte in 2 to 4 hours.

Demon, my ADSLMax ISP has a download limit of 60GB for me, and their usage indicator suggested my maximum use, on a rolling 30 days, was between 9GB and 18GB. But, the usage meter seems to be broken ATM, so I don't know my real use, which would far exceed the satellite usage limits.

I think, if I get the ISP network slowing down sorted I could be OK, as the system generally meets my demands. It's downloading GPU drivers, etc, that is pi8888g me off ATM.

I would appreciate those same links being sent via a PM here or at the bungalow.
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Message 1104517 - Posted: 8 May 2011, 21:59:49 UTC - in response to Message 1104367.


Chris how much data do you get a month & how much dose it cost?
I'm in New Zealand, we are with Slingshot. We get as much data as we can handle as fast as our line can handle both ways. $80 a month + landline & tolls. Our speed is

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Message 1104522 - Posted: 8 May 2011, 22:15:32 UTC

Having just looked at the BT website I can tell you that their top package is

Up to 40meg down and 10meg up with unlimited downloads (in reality they get upset at 80gb and restrict you at 100gb)

Cost is £28 per month about 58 NZ dollars
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Message 1104560 - Posted: 9 May 2011, 1:43:22 UTC

Personally, I prefer cable over DSL. Optical is the way to go in regards to DSL, because then the speed doesn't decrease the farther away from your local exchange you are (I know the decrease isn't huge, but it is still measurable).

Over here on this side of the pond, Comcast rolled out DOCSIS3.0 last year. If I upgrade my modem, I can get 50/10 for $99/mo. Friend of mine did it and gets pretty close to that. Depends on the website and the time of day though. I'm fine with 13/2 for $44/mo. It does what I ask it to do.

As far as Comcast's setup though, a single coax line coming into the home runs phone, TV, and Internet, with each device hooking up to the coax line using splitters. No fancy box needed. I do know that there is some kind of fibre setup, but I think it is mostly for trunklines and not actually the "drop" from the trunkline to the home. I have zero problems with my setup though, even though the trunkline for my street is direct-burial sometime in the mid 80s. Had a problem a few years ago, but they replaced an in-line amplifier a few houses up and that problem was solved.

Bottom line though.. I'm just glad we in the US aren't the only ones overpaying for slow speeds. There's a few eastern European countries that get gigabit up and down to the Internet for super cheap.
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Message 1104666 - Posted: 9 May 2011, 16:10:17 UTC

@ John -

I would appreciate those same links being sent via a PM here or at the bungalow.
Done via PM here John.

@speedy - I'm on Infinity Option 1 at £20 month + £6 for unlimited 24/7 calls. I get 40Mb down load, 2MB upload, and capped at 40Gb/month. My average download the last 6 months was 20Gb/month. Also there is the usual line rental to pay.

@Cosmic - I can get Telewest cable broadband here as well if I wanted, but you have to have their phone deal lumped in as well which is not as good as BT.

What I have here now is FTTC (1 mile), copper to the house (200yds). A special Infinity adapter plate on the Master phone socket, Infinity Modem linked to the Infinity Home Hub/Router MkIII, linked to my PC all hard wired via RJ11 & RJ45, and the wireless turned off. I also have BT Vision for downloading movies. The old filters for phone & broadband are not needed anymore.

BT doesn't use coax in the UK only the cable companies. Chatting to the installing engineer, FTTH is going in in all new housing estates, and Fibbre dropwires are now available for selected pole served communities. I've also heard a whisper about Infinity Plus in the future with FTTH for existing premises where there is spare duct capacity.

Coax via cable companies is fine, until some idiot workman puts a pickaxe through the street cable, then you lose the lot, no TV, no phone, no internet. It's an all your eggs in one basket syndrome.

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Message 1104677 - Posted: 9 May 2011, 17:05:12 UTC - in response to Message 1104560.
Last modified: 9 May 2011, 17:09:19 UTC

Personally, I prefer cable over DSL. Optical is the way to go in regards to DSL, because then the speed doesn't decrease the farther away from your local exchange you are (I know the decrease isn't huge, but it is still measurable).

Over here on this side of the pond, Comcast rolled out DOCSIS3.0 last year. If I upgrade my modem, I can get 50/10 for $99/mo. Friend of mine did it and gets pretty close to that. Depends on the website and the time of day though. I'm fine with 13/2 for $44/mo. It does what I ask it to do.

As far as Comcast's setup though, a single coax line coming into the home runs phone, TV, and Internet, with each device hooking up to the coax line using splitters. No fancy box needed. I do know that there is some kind of fibre setup, but I think it is mostly for trunklines and not actually the "drop" from the trunkline to the home. I have zero problems with my setup though, even though the trunkline for my street is direct-burial sometime in the mid 80s. Had a problem a few years ago, but they replaced an in-line amplifier a few houses up and that problem was solved.

Bottom line though.. I'm just glad we in the US aren't the only ones overpaying for slow speeds. There's a few eastern European countries that get gigabit up and down to the Internet for super cheap.


I do as well, I use Charter, for $89 a month we can get 60Mbps/5Mbps and if my area offered it $99 would get 100Mbps/10MBps unlimited data. Heck the line I'm on now is only 30Mbps/2Mbps and I pay $24 a month for it. I think that's pretty decent. Everything but our phone comes in on that line, our phones are cellular we don't even have home phones anymore.

Charter as well as our local power boards cable side, has been installing fibre in and around this area for several years now and plans have it that the local cable company is going to start running fibre to people's doors by the end of summer this year. I figure Charter won't be far behind. But I'm happy where I am now, I would love the faster speed but like I said earlier, once you get used to it it doesn't seem that fast anymore. I remember back when I had a 28.8 buad and would laugh at you on your 14.4 thinking there was nothing better. Then cable moved in offering 256Kbps/128Kbps service and I was in hog heaven, then 512Kbps then 768Mbps, 1Mbps, 1.5, 3, 5, 10, 16, 30, 60 and I'm just as happy now as I've ever been.

Now if they could tell me I would stream full Blu-ray 3D through netflix with instant play no buffer AND have every movie and show on there I could ever want instead of the crap deals the studios hand them now. I would be screaming for that speed. Not to mention if someone started streaming live sports etc. I'm just looking for a reason to finally cut the chord on my cable, already would have if it wasn't for HBO and the wife....

Coax via cable companies is fine, until some idiot workman puts a pickaxe through the street cable, then you lose the lot, no TV, no phone, no internet. It's an all your eggs in one basket syndrome.


Yeah cause fibre never get cut....dang where do you live. That feels like a weekly ritual around here for some dealing with repairing what a sewer, water, or power board has cut the fibre coming into the area with a backhoe. (No you aren't going to hit it with a pick or shovel here it at least 6-12FT deep. However the line going to the house from what I've seen of Verizon fibre and a few other small companie(and large ones with organizations) is 12-18" down but running through a conduit. So shovels need not apply.
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Message 1104678 - Posted: 9 May 2011, 17:05:39 UTC - in response to Message 1104666.

Coax via cable companies is fine, until some idiot workman puts a pickaxe through the street cable, then you lose the lot, no TV, no phone, no internet. It's an all your eggs in one basket syndrome.

Absolutely it is, but it's not just coax that can fall victim to this. About a year and a half ago, about half of my state lost Internet (DSL and enterprise tiers) and landline phone services for about 16 hours. A fibre trunkline 200 miles away got cut when someone was digging for something. Typically, backbone providers have multiple redundancies, but I guess either the redundant line also got cut, or there was no back-up plan in place. All services from the cable companies were fine.

There was an incident about 10 years ago for me where cable went down for about three days. Another case of someone was digging and hit the trunk line, but it was copper and under a 6-lane road, so it took a bit longer to fix. Shortly after that, the cable company laid some new conduit next to the road and ran fibre instead.

However, there is one thing that is an Achilles Heel for coax.. in-line amplifiers are needed every few hundred yards. If the power goes out, you lose everything, including phone. If there is some kind of issue in your area with the cable line, you can't use your phone to call them about it. That's why I think it's dumb that the VoIP modems have a battery backup in them. It's useless if more than just your house loses power. I mentioned that to one of the techs that were here a year or two ago and after a sigh, he said "yeah, that's absolutely true. It doesn't make sense to me either, but that's the way they make them."
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Message 1104698 - Posted: 9 May 2011, 18:28:22 UTC

in-line amplifiers are needed every few hundred yards


Yep, we call them "repeaters" over here.

As a very broad generalisation there are two groups of households that tend to use cable in the UK. Those that are heavily into sports and want the Sky football and athletic channels, and those who may have had problems paying BT bills in the past.

BT is resposible to the Government for providing the UK National Internet backbone, and as such is not ever going to go out of business. Cable companies however do. Bulldog were run by Cable and Wireless who made a huge loss by spending too much on advertising. It was offering massive speeds a few years ago, for very cheap cost, but they got taken over by Pipex who are owned by Tiscali. Now it is knee deep in complaints.

If you want the fastest and cheapest braodband in the world you need to move to China, they are starting from scratch with superfast fibre everywhere. Meanwhile I've got the best sustainable deal I can get and I'm happy :-)


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Message 1104719 - Posted: 9 May 2011, 20:09:11 UTC - in response to Message 1104698.
Last modified: 9 May 2011, 20:10:01 UTC


If you want the fastest and cheapest braodband in the world you need to move to China, they are starting from scratch with superfast fibre everywhere. Meanwhile I've got the best sustainable deal I can get and I'm happy :-)


I prefer Sweden. In fact I'm going to move in with 'my bestest friend' Mrs.Sigbritt. She has this little connection running 40GBps. Not bad, I think it will work ok for streaming.

Sigbritt will now be able to enjoy 1,500 high definition HDTV channels simultaneously. Or, if there is nothing worth watching there, she will be able to download a full high definition DVD in just two seconds.


Man would that be great.....
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Message 1104723 - Posted: 9 May 2011, 20:21:24 UTC
Last modified: 9 May 2011, 20:22:08 UTC

I had the BT engineer out here a couple of weeks ago and was told if I wanted faster broadband then to go to another ISP as my exchange only does ADSl 1 not 2 and that cable was not going to be done in my over for awhile.. He thinks that my exchange will be among the last to be done in Leicestershire
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