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Standard User andyhurley
(learned) Mon 19-Sep-16 14:20:28
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Strange information on FTTC availability


[link to this post]
 
As some may remember I had to move house earlier this year and the new property is a long way from the cabinet (depending on the route it could be 2-3km). The cabinet in question was a tiny old one that was barely visible and had not been upgraded to fibre. According to superfast Essex we are due to be upgraded some time in the next year.

Well, I got back from holiday and noticed that a new cabinet has appeared close to the old one so I thought it was worth checking if anything has changed. Lo an behold all sorts of things are not showing but they don't make much sense so I would appreciate some assistance interpreting what I am being told, thanks.

The availablility checker is not saying VDSL is available - but not in a meaningful way:

Telephone Number xxxxxxxxxx on Exchange GREAT DUNMOW is served by Cabinet 12

VDSL Range A (Clean) 3.1 1.1 1.2 0.8 -- Available -- --
VDSL Range B (Impacted) 2.1 0.8 1.1 0.5 -- Available -- --
ADSL Products

WBC ADSL 2+ Up to 6 -- 3 to 9 Available -- --
WBC ADSL 2+ Annex M Up to 6 Up to 1 3 to 9 Available -- --
ADSL Max Up to 3 -- 2 to 4 Available -- --
WBC Fixed Rate 2 -- -- Available -- --
Fixed Rate 2 -- -- Available -- --

So ADSL is much as it was before but VDSL is now available but at about the same speed I currently get ADSL (typically 3-4 most of the time).

So I thought I should check BT ordering but got this really strange message:


We're sorry, but you can't get BT Infinity at the moment because of where you live. But here are some other great broadband deals you can definitely have.
Sorry, BT Infinity isn't available in your area, but you can still get fibre-optic broadband.
Just choose our Unlimited Faster Broadband package below it uses our fibre-optic technology to give you the fastest possible speed.

Then there are no options listed below. So they are saying I can't get Infinity but I can get fibre (presumably FTTC but it doesn't list this).

Can anyone help identify what this means? I can see that the VDSL is obviously slow (not surprising given the distance) but then they want to offer fibre. Is it likely they are planning FTTP? I suspect they may be planning some other solution such as some kind of all-in-one cabinet, I have seen a number of new small green cabinets which have appeared in the same timeframe as the new fibre cabinet but so far not out towards us - I'll try to get a picture of one to see if someone can identify.

For reference our post code is CM6 2JJ.

Thanks.
Andy
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 19-Sep-16 14:34:36
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Re: Strange information on FTTC availability


[re: andyhurley] [link to this post]
 
Not offering you FTTP but to keep the average speeds up for advertising purposes BT Retail want to sell you their VDSL2 service that is not called Infinity,

Technically it is an identical service, but how it appears in their own internal stats is different, and thus means people are more prepared to be getting slower speeds.

With an estimate of 0.8 Mbps to 3 Mbps when ADSL2+ is estimating 3 to 9 Mbps then staying with ADSL2+ is the best bet.

As for the other small green cabinets - need a picture as they might be nothing to do with Openreach at all.

Absolutely nothing BT Retail has said implies that FTTP is on the way to you.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User WWWombat
(knowledge is power) Mon 19-Sep-16 14:39:19
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Re: Strange information on FTTC availability


[re: andyhurley] [link to this post]
 
BT Retail has a minimum speed (15Mbps?) for their Infinity product line. Below that speed, they won't sell you a product with the brand name of Infinity.

However, they have an alternative brand name that they *will* offer you instead. In technical terms, it uses the identical FTTC setup that you see in the checker, so doesn't represent any other form of fibre. BT Retail are prepared to offer you this product line.

Most ISPs do not distinguish, and would offer you their FTTC product regardless.

Because of your distance from the cabinet, and the low speed that the FTTC upgrade has brought, you still qualify for some future upgrade via Superfast Essex. That could be FTTP, or could be a closer FTTC solution (AIO, FTTrn, or whole new PCP/FTTC pair). Or you (and nearby houses) might be too expensive for an extra upgrade, and you get left off entirely. However, BT Retail will not start offering any of those options until they have been installed and gone RFS (ready for service).


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Standard User andyhurley
(learned) Mon 19-Sep-16 15:06:38
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Re: Strange information on FTTC availability


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the information, essentially confirming what I suspected. As suggested it is not worth switching to VDSL at this stage (indeed, BT are not allowing me to order and TalkTalk simply say fibre is not available).

I'll try to get a photo of the small cabinets that have popped up, all I can say is they were not there two weeks ago and so have appeared at the same time as the regular VDSL cabinet. They are a paler green than other cabinets and about 2 feet high, 1 foot wide and maybe 4-6 inches deep. Clearly too small for normal powered unit and no vents that I could see. The locations are all quite close to the OR cabinets at street corners but I will try to take a closer look as they are intriguing. I guess it is likely they are for something else entirely but the timing is interesting.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 19-Sep-16 15:36:49
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Re: Strange information on FTTC availability


[re: andyhurley] [link to this post]
 
They may be associated with getting power to the nearby cabinets, i.e. electricity firm using a small pillar rather than putting a new chamber in the ground.

Generally Openreach have the same shade of green everywhere apart from conservation areas where other colours may be specified at planning stages.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User andyhurley
(learned) Tue 20-Sep-16 10:53:36
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Re: Strange information on FTTC availability


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
I went to take a closer look at one of the mystery cabinets last night and I am now fairly certain they are nothing to do with OR. The one I looked at was near a substation and water manholes in front of it so I am fairly sure it is just power for something, maybe a water pump. I thought they were usually grey but obviously not always.

So as far as fibre upgrades go for me it looks like I continue to wait. Superfast Essex is still saying "June 2016 - July 2017" so hopefully they will roll out something to make a decent VDSL connection possible. At least I can see they are beginning to do work.
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