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Standard User daninafryingpan
(newbie) Wed 24-Aug-16 00:10:33
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Possibility of further fibre expansion in my area?


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Hi

I'm living in rural N.Ireland with terrible broadband speeds and I'm not sure if anything will ever be done about it.

When checking with SuperfastNI they state that their work has been done in my area, meaning they've enabled my cabinet for VDSL and I should get superfast hooray! Not!. I'm 2km by road from that cabinet and I'm sure the length of the cable is probably longer so I can't actually get VDSL. My line syncs at about 4-5mb and download speeds are somewhere in the region of 0.5-1.5mb on ADSL.

I live on a small lane and at the end of the lane the phone line emerges from the ground splits and goes down my lane to the house but also further down the road where it is accompanied by overhead fibre. I believe this is to serve a recently rebuilt nursing home approx 1km further down the road (not entirely sure why they need fibre?)

After a little research online I've found that the same cabinet is serving houses up to an additional 2.5km further than me and I'm not entirely sure if they can even get ADSL. This includes a lot of farms and small businesses.

Do you think that there will ever be plans to help out these rural premises with decent speeds? Ideally it would be great if I could just tap into the fibre at the end of the lane and I'd be speeding along nicely but one can dream I guess! Superfast NI seems to suggest that they've done their work and thats that! Can anyone give me a glimmer of hope?
Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 24-Aug-16 00:52:05
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Re: Possibility of further fibre expansion in my area?


[re: daninafryingpan] [link to this post]
 
If there is fibre to the nursing home, it is maybe more likely to be a leased line or primary rate ISDN carried over fibre, rather than FTTP.


I haven't kept up fully up to date with Superfast NI's work. It is possible they will come back and provide a solution for those of you who are too far from the cabinet - either by adding a new cabinet closer to where you live or providing FTTP - but this depends on the works being cost-effective and uncommitted funds remaining in the project. My understanding is that Superfast NI commissioned their Phase 2 (fill in) work some time ago, so the chances are that if they are saying you've got all you are getting from them that that is indeed the case.

Unfortunately there is no guarantee of an upgrade from the Superfast NI project, as it was never funded to provide 100% superfast coverage. The same is true of the BDUK projects on the mainland - they are not funded for 100% superfast.


There is ongoing discussion about a new universal service obligation for broadband, but no firm decisions at the moment. The minimum that is being talked about is 10 Mbit/s downstream speed, but some are pushing for a faster service than this.

Openreach are pushing for approval for a long range VDSL solution to be part of the mechanism of delivering this service. This proposal is somewhat controversial as LR-VDSL omits ADSL2+ compatibility power masks to squeeze the maximum possible out of the wiring, meaning it is near certain that all ADSL will have to be removed from lines passing through a cabinet providing LR-VDSL. The likes of Sky currently deliver ADSL by renting metallic pairs from Openreach and connecting their own ADSL2+ equipment to the rented wires - this is so called physical unbundling. If LR-VDSL was to be used, Openreach would require the ability to force all operators using physical unbundling in LR-VDSL areas to switch to virtual unbundling, where they rent Openreach LR-VDSL's service in place of physical wires.

Openreach have just started an LR-VDSL trial on the Isle of Lewis.


I think that you will eventually have a faster solution that your existing ADSL, but this will either involve satellite broadband which is far from trouble free, mobile broadband if you have suitable coverage, or waiting until the broadband USO is in place.

For now, this means making the most of your existing connection. I'm concerned that you state your download speeds are so much slower than your sync speed. Is it possible that you're quoting download speeds in bytes (abbreviated as a capital B) and sync speeds in bits (abbreviated as a small b)? That would come close to explaining the discrepancy.



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Standard User gazzyk1ns
(experienced) Wed 24-Aug-16 06:37:35
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Re: Possibility of further fibre expansion in my area?


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
I agree with everything you've said, so I'm not disagreeing with you or trying to start an argument...

...but throughout the evolution of internet connections, from the very start, people have been saying "If you can wait a few years then [whatever] will probably arrive at your area by then". That isn't a ridiculous thing to say, but it's almost never true. In reality, someone will spend... say, 5 out of 6 years waiting for a marginally better (existing) technology to be implemented in their area, but all of a sudden and without any fuss, a brand new technology will cancel all previous plans, and be implemented. So that's 5 years of worrying and being frustrated all down the drain, without an explanation, and indeed without any follow-up from the customers because they're just grateful for the new service.

So the whole thing of being frustrated at a poor service is made infinitely worse, because as the loudest and most influential complainants get something close to, or better than, what they wanted, they suddenly disappear; and you're left with the last few who BT haven't accommodated for whatever reason, who are very understandably still extremely frustrated.

And then the cycle starts again, doesn't it? These "last few" are half-promised expansion plans and phases, but long before these musings ever become reality, it's 2025 and nobody under the age of 40 is familiar with the word "copper", so the long and bitter argument was always useless, and the problem has been solved just because of the progression of time, as opposed to anyone at BT actually listening to any of its customers and taking action.

Edited by gazzyk1ns (Wed 24-Aug-16 06:40:32)


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Standard User daninafryingpan
(newbie) Thu 25-Aug-16 00:33:16
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Re: Possibility of further fibre expansion in my area?


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by David_W:
For now, this means making the most of your existing connection. I'm concerned that you state your download speeds are so much slower than your sync speed. Is it possible that you're quoting download speeds in bytes (abbreviated as a capital B) and sync speeds in bits (abbreviated as a small b)? That would come close to explaining the discrepancy.


Ah sorry I just checked. My line sync is just under 4Mbit/s and download speed is 3Mbit/s currently. It changes so often and is pretty bad in the evening. My guess is a combination of line length and the fact that my telephone line is physically a bit of mess.

In reply to a post by David_W:
Unfortunately there is no guarantee of an upgrade from the Superfast NI project, as it was never funded to provide 100% superfast coverage. The same is true of the BDUK projects on the mainland - they are not funded for 100% superfast.


It's a shame for people in a similar situation to me. A relative of mine is building a house much further into the countryside than I am. The house also happens to be next to a shiny green fibre street cabinet so she'll get faster internet on top of a mountain than I've ever had!

Do you know where I can keep up to date with any developments in Northern Ireland? The Superfast NI website has very little info.
Standard User WWWombat
(knowledge is power) Thu 25-Aug-16 09:42:36
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Re: Possibility of further fibre expansion in my area?


[re: daninafryingpan] [link to this post]
 
I wrote something about the nature of "fibre broadband" in NI, compared to GB, over here:
http://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,17756.msg323...

NI got a good start at converting cabs to FTTC, but there are just too many long D-side lines. More "all in one" cabinets are needed deeper in the network, or just jumping to FTTP.

Take a look here, and click on the blue "history" button:
https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/index.php?area...

You can see good progress from 2010 to 2012 in the original commercial and DETI-funded rollout, as the grey line gives an idea of the proportion of cabs converted. The main problem now is the 17% gap between the grey and blue lines (it wasn't the main problem in 2012, because the aim of the project was 2Mbps speeds, not superfast ones).

The next project started in 2014, and we're now onto phase 2 of that. Again, visible progress, but to get the gap to reduce, more infill is needed.

In England, that gap - the properties whose lines were too long (in the D-side) for superfast speeds - had climbed to 4.1%, but infill has brought it down to 3.3%. You should start to see the gap narrow.

For more information locally, you could take a look at the code look site (just google that name)

Edited by WWWombat (Thu 25-Aug-16 09:50:44)

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 25-Aug-16 09:45:55
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Re: Possibility of further fibre expansion in my area?


[re: daninafryingpan] [link to this post]
 
We track the roll-outs on https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local and the gap between superfast and VDSL2 available is pretty large due too geographically sparse nature of NI.

As for the NI project - some areas are getting native FTTP and others see additional infill cabinets (small or large) but until they go live very little information.

On the things changing over time, even if BT was to have the desire to do 100% superfast and money no object without expanding the workforce massively it would still take many years.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
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