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Standard User shrimper1
(newbie) Mon 14-Mar-11 11:51:25
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Low take-up of FTTC broadband services frustrating BT: Wales


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The old jokes that used to do the rounds in England had a main theme: "everything dies in Wales" .................. So BT Broadband's top brass go and target Cardiff as one of their launch areas for rocket science comms technology - as Victor Mildrew used to say ....." you could not make it up!"
However, was this decision taken by BT's UK Customer Service based in India???? by a non-English BT executive? who was not aware of our cultural differences !!!!
Begs the question "why did BT go ahead with this FTTC launch, without conducting a national Market Research Campaign to identify which UK county or city's population was keenest to pay for fibre optic comms?"
They also thought a 7% take-up in Whitchurch was good????!!!! Well the latter town is based on the Welsh border, which is not exactly spreading their net (no pun intended) that wide, is it?

Ref: Low take-up of FTTC broadband services frustrating BT
Friday 11 March 2011 11:18:15 by John Hunt
BT Openreach have stated their frustration at the low take up of next-generation fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology in Wales despite an intensive advertising campaign promoting BT Infinity to customers. Cardiff is one area that the company has highlighted as seeing poor adoption of the new faster services which it is rolling out through a £2.5bn investment program.
The problem is not limited to just Cardiff, with other enabled areas also seeing low take up. One exception is Whitchurch, one of the areas selected under BT's initial FTTC pilot program, which has seen 7% of premises connect up to the new service.
Standard User Goza
(newbie) Mon 14-Mar-11 16:27:26
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Re: Low take-up of FTTC broadband services frustrating BT: W


[re: shrimper1] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by shrimper1:
They also thought a 7% take-up in Whitchurch was good????!!!! Well the latter town is based on the Welsh border, which is not exactly spreading their net (no pun intended) that wide, is it?


I believe the confused and contradictory article quoted has led you to a misunderstanding; The Whitchurch referred to is not the town in the North West of England, but an area of Cardiff and the name of the exchange which serves much of North Cardiff. Cardiff is not so small that it is only served by one exchange! There are two other enabled exchanges with another planned for the end of this month which still leaves 7 exchanges to completely cover Cardiff. Even then, that doesn't mean that all the cabinets for each enabled exchange are themselves enabled! According to Stuart Watson of Zen Internet, as many as 60% of cabinets for an enabled exchange are not cabled up.

Having had a quick look, one of the three enabled exchanges (Llanishen) has 22 cabinets enabled and the upcoming one has 15. The remaining two have 60 and 66 cabinets enabled.

I live in North Cardiff and I was on the initial FTTC trial (in fact, I was, at that point, the only non BT customer to take part in the trial).

I would say that aside from possibly targetting their own customers (I'm not one, so I don't know), there has been very little publicity from BT about FTTC in Cardiff and only very recently have I seen public advertising in the form of billboards / bus stops, etc about BT Inifnity. If the wider population doesn't know what it is or the fact that it exists, how can they be expected to opt for it? I know of at least 5 people I work with who are now on FTTC now after I told them about it (they didn't know that this 'super fast' broadband was even available here until I pointed it out to them).

It probably doesn't help that it's not widely available from every broadband provider, so surely the takeup shouldn't be blamed on "everything dies in Wales". More likely the fact that still relatively few people are able to take advantage of it.

One last note; the 7% takeup doesn't make clear whether it refers to all premises or just the ones which can actually get FTTC.
Standard User nalla
(regular) Mon 14-Mar-11 17:18:59
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Re: Low take-up of FTTC broadband services frustrating BT: W


[re: Goza] [link to this post]
 
no it dosent help that they still have a 15mb limit for infinity, i have heard hundreds of people saying their cab is enabled but their estimate is under 15mb so they cannot have it, i am in this same position and would be more than happy with the quoted 14.3 mb if they would just let me have it, the infinity option looks even better than other isp's options now that the 300gb limit has been removed.

if they had any sense they would say to people this is your estimate are you happy with that, if yes let em have it, take up would be somewhat better.


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Standard User orly
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 14-Mar-11 17:25:08
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Re: Low take-up of FTTC broadband services frustrating BT: W


[re: nalla] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by nalla:
no it dosent help that they still have a 15mb limit for infinity, i have heard hundreds of people saying their cab is enabled but their estimate is under 15mb so they cannot have it, i am in this same position and would be more than happy with the quoted 14.3 mb if they would just let me have it, the infinity option looks even better than other isp's options now that the 300gb limit has been removed.

if they had any sense they would say to people this is your estimate are you happy with that, if yes let em have it, take up would be somewhat better.


This will likely happen in due course similar to how ADSL morphed in RADSL and finally into "give it a go and see if it works". At the time it was due to concerns about the reliability of the connection. In the early days I think the position was "after 3.5KM ADSL will not work period." We can see how far things have come since then.

---
BT Infinity 8th July 2010
Connected to: P23 Kilmaine Road, Bangor, BT19 6DT (NIBA)
600m (approx) to cabinet
25.5mbit down / 7.6mbit up

Previously:
BT Broadband, roughly 4mbit sync
4KM line / 54dB atten / 9dB SNR / Netgear DG834GT
Standard User Goza
(newbie) Mon 14-Mar-11 18:53:35
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Re: Low take-up of FTTC broadband services frustrating BT: W


[re: nalla] [link to this post]
 
Ouch - 15Mb isn't great for the extra money - I'm with fast.co.uk and get about 26 - 27Mb down and 1.4 up. According to Speedster, my line is rated at 32Mb so I'm going to see whether I can eek out a bit more speed. I'm increasingly interested in upping my upload speed as I'm sending large amounts of data out and I want to stream higher quality audio to work; I've just noticed my package is 'up to' 10mb upstream and my line is rated at 6.6mb so I'd hope to get a bit more than 1.4mb

One other factor which may have an impact on FTTC adoption in Cardiff is that Virgin Cable is available across the whole city; I've no idea what the service is like but according to their Web Site, I can get 50mb broadband. Whether the reality matches up or not, it makes FTTC look rather poor by comparison.

I notice from looking at the story in more detail that the Whitchurch exchange has had the best takeup in the UK at 7% So trialling it at this exchange in Cardiff wasn't a bad thing to do after all.
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