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Standard User rhum
(newbie) Sun 16-Jul-17 19:45:17
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Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help please


[link to this post]
 
Hi,

I'm hoping someone reading this can help.

My neighbour has arranged an appointment with the 'Rt Honourable' David Mundell MP to complain about the broadband service in this area. We are connected to the Marrburn exchange (SW Scotland) which provides an 'Exchange Activated' broadband output. I am aware that a lot of these exchanges have been upgraded in the recent past and I'm hoping that someone can point me in the right direction to get some stats regarding those upgraded recently and those that have been left with this outdated technology (512 Kbps)

Thank you in anticpation
Standard User lee111s
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 16-Jul-17 21:53:59
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: rhum] [link to this post]
 
BT Wholesale plan to have every exchange 21cn (up to 24mbps) enabled by the end of 2018.
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Sun 16-Jul-17 22:27:30
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: rhum] [link to this post]
 
What exchange are you on and what are your current stats? There are probably already much faster services at your exchange, but most likely your line is so long it only supports 0.5Mbps.


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Standard User lee111s
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 16-Jul-17 22:32:25
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
Some rural Scottish exchanges can still only offer fixed half meg service.
Standard User rhum
(newbie) Mon 17-Jul-17 00:07:22
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: lee111s] [link to this post]
 
.... thanks for this info - I must admit I haven't heard of "21cn" can you post more info if possible please

Many thanks
Standard User rhum
(newbie) Mon 17-Jul-17 00:11:51
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
ukhardy07 - sorry - thought it was clear ... I'm on Marrburn exchange ... only BT offer a service from this exchange - line length isn't an issue - the property 25 yards from the exchange also only gets 512!
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Mon 17-Jul-17 00:31:49
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: lee111s] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by lee111s:
Some rural Scottish exchanges can still only offer fixed half meg service.
I thought wrongly that every exchange had been upgraded to at least 8Mbps. Wow 512kbps as a maximum, that is shocking!
Standard User ian007jen
(experienced) Mon 17-Jul-17 08:36:40
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: rhum] [link to this post]
 
post more info if possible

ISP Review site has a news article

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2017/02/bt-upda...

Ian
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 17-Jul-17 10:02:21
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: rhum] [link to this post]
 
ADSL2+ should be on its eventually given previously announced plans, beyond that Openreach has area as just 'Exploring Solutions'

I've not been tracking the Exchange Activate conversions, as most of my tracking is the VDSL2 and FTTP roll-outs, with periodic ADSL2+ checks.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User gah789
(member) Tue 25-Jul-17 10:17:21
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: rhum] [link to this post]
 
The number of Exchange Activate exchanges in Scotland is very small outside the HIE area - less than 20 - and typically they serve 50-80 lines. I am on another one with 75 lines. SamKnows says that Marrburn has about 100 lines. Upgrading them to 21CN makes no sense because they are too small and their populations too dispersed. You may be 25m from the exchange but the average exchange distance is usually 2 km or more.

The R100 programme promises to upgrade everyone to 30 Mbps superfast by 2021. If you believe that, it is absurd to upgrade to ADSL2+ in 2018 as this can't provide 30 Mbps. Add to that the fact that EA exchanges don't have cabinets, so an FTTC upgrade requires both new cabinets and an exchange upgrade with a maximum of 20-30 properties that will benefit - in our case less than 20. Digital Scotland goes round in circles - promising FTTP to everyone without explaining how they pay for laying fibre to settlements 4-5 km from the exchange within the official cost limits. This is always 6-12 months away.

The R100 people know that they can't meet the target so the discrepancy between reality and political promises is acute. Don't rely upon anything that you are told - it is hard to distinguish between simple lies, excessive optimism and incompetence. In our case we run a community wireless network and have offered superfast service for nearly 2 years. You can send me a personal message for more information. The key lesson is that self-help is the only solution in the short term. In the longer term, who knows? The most likely outcome is that you will be offered satellite service.
Standard User ian007jen
(experienced) Wed 26-Jul-17 08:16:39
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: gah789] [link to this post]
 
Upgrading them to 21CN makes no sense

It makes perfect sense, even lines up to 4 Km long will benefit from better speed, better cheaper backhaul for your chosen CP and better BRAS profiles (no up to 3 days wait).

The above benefits are from an existing 20CN let alone an exchange activate area with only 512 Kbps.

Ian
Standard User gah789
(member) Wed 26-Jul-17 09:07:13
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: ian007jen] [link to this post]
 
Out of context. Certainly upgrading has benefits for the users but why would either BT or the Scottish Government pay for it? No extra revenue. Doesn't contribute to the Digital Scotland or R100 targets. If upgrading had made commercial sense, it would have been done in the previous tranches of 20CN & 21CN upgrades in 2008 and later, but almost all of the EA exchanges were deliberately omitted from those programmes.

Residual EA exchanges are orphans - really cabinet substitutes. The commercial logic is to replace each exchange with a cabinet, but that would kill the existing DSL service since the nearest exchange for us is ~12 km away. If OR was permitted to switch off ADSL and transfer everyone to VDSL the exchange could be replaced with an all-in-one cabinet. However, that would cut roughly 50% of lines off from any kind of DSL service. For our exchange I estimate that we need a minimum of 3 or 4 cabinets (for < 80 lines) plus a lot of line rearrangement to ensure that everyone gets a viable VDSL service.

This is why BT & DS keep postponing their commitment to cover the exchange under the DS superfast programme. Putting in FTTP sounds great until you realise that there are only 10 properties within 1 km radius of the exchange. Covering all of the lines connected to the exchange means installing 18 km of duct & fibre. Even at B4RN costs that isn't viable and our geology won't support cheap methods of cable laying. Overhead lines are the only way of doing it, but that means lots of extra/replacement poles because the existing network is in terrible shape - regular outages every year because the lines come down in storms. Once you start to look into the details it becomes clear why delivering on political promises is so difficult and expensive.
Standard User jimwillsher
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 14-Aug-17 09:00:24
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
Butterstone, a few miles from me, is EA. Max half meg.And that's Perthshire, which isn't even H&I territory.

My line (not necessarily the line referred to in this post, if any):
Zen 8000 Pro (832 / 8128)
Edinburgh IPSC
Cisco 877 Router
Eclipse > Ace > ADSL24 (Enta) > ADSL24 (Murphx) > AAISP > Zen
Standard User witchunt
(committed) Mon 14-Aug-17 09:18:45
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: jimwillsher] [link to this post]
 
Probably has no fibre and no line of sight to that exchange
Standard User skandia2
(newbie) Mon 14-Aug-17 09:32:23
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: gah789] [link to this post]
 
I suspect the reason for upgrading these exchanges to 21CN is financial not technical.
It is probably cheaper than maintaining the obsolete equipment fitted to the remaining 20CN exchanges.
Standard User 961a
(committed) Mon 14-Aug-17 10:18:22
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: gah789] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by gah789:
Out of context. Certainly upgrading has benefits for the users but why would either BT or the Scottish Government pay for it? No extra revenue. Doesn't contribute to the Digital Scotland or R100 targets. If upgrading had made commercial sense, it would have been done in the previous tranches of 20CN & 21CN upgrades in 2008 and later, but almost all of the EA exchanges were deliberately omitted from those programmes.

Residual EA exchanges are orphans - really cabinet substitutes. The commercial logic is to replace each exchange with a cabinet, but that would kill the existing DSL service since the nearest exchange for us is ~12 km away. If OR was permitted to switch off ADSL and transfer everyone to VDSL the exchange could be replaced with an all-in-one cabinet. However, that would cut roughly 50% of lines off from any kind of DSL service. For our exchange I estimate that we need a minimum of 3 or 4 cabinets (for < 80 lines) plus a lot of line rearrangement to ensure that everyone gets a viable VDSL service.

This is why BT & DS keep postponing their commitment to cover the exchange under the DS superfast programme. Putting in FTTP sounds great until you realise that there are only 10 properties within 1 km radius of the exchange. Covering all of the lines connected to the exchange means installing 18 km of duct & fibre. Even at B4RN costs that isn't viable and our geology won't support cheap methods of cable laying. Overhead lines are the only way of doing it, but that means lots of extra/replacement poles because the existing network is in terrible shape - regular outages every year because the lines come down in storms. Once you start to look into the details it becomes clear why delivering on political promises is so difficult and expensive.


Your post is exactly why we look at recent promises from the Scottish government with such a jaundiced view
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 14-Aug-17 10:24:29
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: 961a] [link to this post]
 
But TV whitespace will be the great saviour

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User 961a
(committed) Mon 14-Aug-17 10:45:50
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
But TV whitespace will be the great saviour


How? And, more to the point, When?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 14-Aug-17 11:42:08
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: 961a] [link to this post]
 
If the R100 is delivered and it looks unlikely that they want BT involved then its by end of 2021

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User 961a
(committed) Mon 14-Aug-17 12:31:04
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
If the R100 is delivered and it looks unlikely that they want BT involved then its by end of 2021


If you read my contribution to your news item regarding Scotland you will see reference to a friend who gets very poor broadband on a dry day and none at all when it's wet or windy

He has been promised faster broadband by the local council, the Scottish Government and the UK government at varying speeds by dates from 2015 extending now, as you say, to 2021 (end)

I am sure you will appreciate his view that it is just all a load of talk, especially when he is told it is better to get 30Mbps rather than a slower fast broadband.

As another contributor opined "I don't care who supplies it, I just need broadband." Many, like my friend, are farmers who are told their claim for EU money can only be made via internet, like his tax return

5Mbps would solve his problems. 2021, with respect, is simply another idle promise that, like all the others before, is simple government ministers reading from a civil servant briefing paper that in 2020 will be kicked, like all the others, into the long grass

If BT will do it for a guaranteed price in the near future let them do it
Standard User gah789
(member) Mon 14-Aug-17 12:55:40
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Nobody, not even the team directly responsible, believe that R100 is literally achievable within that time scale. The question is simply how to present reaching 95% or 98% superfast as "meeting" the target without too much flak - maybe lots of satellite dishes. The UK Government's response to BT's USO proposal pretty much scuppers any alternative to BT as the primary R100 contractor as there is little commercial attraction to firm XYZ in offering 30 Mbps via some new network when BT seems likely to provide 10 Mbps on demand via copper. So what is left is all the properties for which the USO cost cap applies.

Even using TV whitespace that is hardly likely to be a viable market and there is no guarantee that the spectrum will be available in time or at reasonable cost. Experimental systems relying upon TV whitespace are not convincing for broadband coverage in remote rural areas. The equipment is far too expensive, channel sizes and cell coverage are too small for high speeds, NLOS is irrelevant when there are hills in the way, etc. Not vapourware but vastly oversold as a mass market product. In practical terms it is much easier to upgrade mobile broadband networks - and no-one believes that is the solution to R100.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 14-Aug-17 14:11:05
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: 961a] [link to this post]
 
Whether its an idle promise not I was not making comment on, merely passing on observations based on the wording being said...

Will keep tracking coverage changes and fully expect those that have gone for the 'BT is evil lets avoid them approach' will find in time similar issues with other operators once you start scaling up the volume and areas delivered. Also expect more issues like the Gigaclear withdrawal around Bromsgrove when road closures became problematic

Personally very wary of Scottish promises as the wording around fibre and superfast is so messed up that one never really knows what their targets are...

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User 961a
(committed) Mon 14-Aug-17 15:29:28
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
The Scottish landscape makes any of these promises pie in the sky which is why I personally would rather they weren't made. Folk on this web site must be fed up with me mouthing off but if the local council, for example, made a promise to fix broadband and then did the easy bit leaving the rest to chunter and this happened again with the Scottish lot & then with the UK lot well, hope you'll understand

I was interested in the guy who got FTTC at a distance of 2 miles from the cabinet and got between 2.5 and 4.5Mbps on a good day. One would guess (or I would, Mr Saffron will know better) that 5 or 6Mbps should be the going rate. I wonder how old the copper cable was and if any maintenance had been done? Surely that variation indicates trouble on the line somewhere?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 14-Aug-17 16:54:59
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Re: Scotland - Exchange Activated Broadband... some help ple


[re: 961a] [link to this post]
 
2 miles is 3km so only way VDSL2 will run at 2.5 to 4.5 Mbps is if they have thicker copper which some people are lucky to have, plus little or no crosstalk

If asked for VDSL2 speed at 3km answer is 0 Mbps, but might be lucky

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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