I've a brother and sister-in-law, retired, who live in Norfolk, quite close to the city of Norwich but in a village that, it seems, time has passed by and which Openreach and other broadband infrastructure providers have ignored. The village is Marlingford, which is served by the Honingham Exchange, about 8km away. Marlingford has no street cabinet of any sort, as far as I'm aware, and instead the copper telephone lines are supplied from a BT cabinet (Cabinet no.2) in a neighbouring village about 2km away. A few years ago, the surrounding villages were upgraded from ADSL status to FTTC. However, that didn't happen with Marlingford, and the village is still condemned to a well-below-par service. My brother's connection, for instance, supports just 200K bps. (No, that's not a typing error).
This sort of situation has been persisting there for some 10 - 15 years now. I'm now wanting to sell my Mac desktop computer to my brother, but he won't be able to do even quite common things with it, like upgrading its operating system, as the downloads involved are in the region of 5 - 6GB, and that'd take over a day to do on his connection. (In fact, the download would probably automatically abort some way through). Thus, his medieval Internet connection with the wider world is, more than ever before, now limiting what he and his wife can do. Other residents there have long since given up the fight. About 10 years ago, the village residents got together and explored alternative means of getting broadband. This even included things like 3G/4G and microwave relaying. But all were either impractical or were far too expensive.
His internal wiring scheme is basically okay, and his ISP is BT (btinternet.com). He uses a BT HomeHub. I've managed to acquire a Mk3 Openreach faceplate filter, and I've some spare Cat5e cable to hand, as well as tools and sundries, and so have offered to at least re-do his internal wiring when I next visit him and his wife, to try to screw a tad more speed out of the connection. But clearly without radical intervention from Openreach, they'll probably never ever get a timely, properly-usable broadband connection. Yes, there's now the Universal Service Obligation, but that doesn't have to be met till 2020, and anyway I suspect they'll simply be ignored again.
Using his landline telephone no. and exploring his results when I run the BT Broadband Checker at https://www.dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/adslchecker
it's clear that he and the rest of the village are doomed to sub-megahertz ADSL and that even with that cabinet 2km away being VDSL-activated (which it basically is, I think), he'd still get only in the region of 10M bps. The VDSL figures from the checker table are 13.5M bps max (clean), 10.3M bps max (impacted), both being the downstream nos.
I notice, however, that FTTP On Demand (WBC FTTP) is available to the village via that cabinet. My understanding is that FTTP On Demand is normally for business premises only, but are there exceptions made to that? Could FTTP be supplied to residents at Marlingford, and at a reasonable per-resident tariff? After all, in other parts of the Kingdom, eg. mid-Wales, Openreach has been busy supplying FTTP to isolated hamlets. I'm sure my brother would be delighted with even a meagre 40M bps, over such a connection. In the meantime, he keeps being refused a VDSL connection by his ISP (presumably, because even that wouldn't support high enough bitrates?).
It seems to me that, in any event, any sort of remedial solution to this that would have any element of future-proofing in it would need to involve Openreach extending the existing fibre, at the distant cabinet, to the village. It might be that Openreach realised this years ago and that's why they and his ISP keep shaking their heads whenever he enquires with them about having a half-decent broadband connection.
To try to get everyone concerned out of this impass, I've also offered to write to a senior executive within BT or Openreach, to explain the situation and ask what can be done about it. But I've no name or any contact details to use for that. Does anyone here know of someone suitable within BT or Openreach to whom I could write or e-mail? Maybe even the very CEO of Openreach? The Marlingford case does seem to be an anomaly that's gone on for far too many years.
Edited by meditator (Thu 12-Apr-18 11:35:51)