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Standard User WWWombat
(committed) Thu 16-Jun-11 04:07:56
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Re: will there be cities in the final "hard to reach" 10%


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by camieabz:
Some people are referring to ADSL as a utility nowadays. Gas is metered, electricity is metered. Why not ADSL? 10GB built in with every contract and say £2.50 per 10GB up to 50GB, then £5 per 10GB etc, or something along those lines.

The market is effectively already doing this, isn't it? You pick the monthly package with the bandwidth you want, and pay for it. BT have 10, 40 and "unlimited"; Plusnet have 10, and 60.

For ISPs, the GB you use are a very significant part of their costs - there is no such thing as "unlimited" to them, even if they sell a package as such.

And the amount for the GB can be significantly more than the line rental for your access.

In reply to a post by camieabz:
My problem is more with those who cannot get a decent connection, but are forced to pay the same price as folk on 24 Meg ADSL2+ through no fault of their own. They can get 60GB limits but it would take them hours to watch a streamed news report. It has to be fit for purpose. The Internet has grown with objects and Web 2 etc and no one seems interested in minimising websites (the same people with fast Internet I assume). It's a double whammy for someone on 256K.

We already get dirt-cheap internet in this country because of the fight between providers... and it is that fight that has essentially negated any price differential on the speeds - every marketing department wants to be seen with the highest headline speed (regardless of the small print about distances etc) and the lowest price (regardless of the small print about it going back to full price in 3 months).

Because of this, the price of access is already down to a bare minimum independent of speed - largely because it is exactly that - independent of speed.

The only way left to give discounts to those with terrible lines is to hike the price for those with good lines.

I do sympathise here - but not over the cost. I'm one who knew that DSL would be life-changing back in 2000, and chose to pay for it. I believe that the need here is not to give an individual a rebate when his line isn't up to scratch. Instead it is to fix people's lines so they don't get the terrible speed... but it is going to cost someone, and there has to be technology capable of doing it for the price they are willing to pay.

I'd have been happy with that 50p tax on good lines, if it went to subsidising the bad ones. But perhaps it is fairer coming out of general taxation.

That all comes together in a heap involving: a) some form of tax subsidies to help the worst-off; b) the aim of providing speeds that are decent (and not just a minimum); c) a community effort to ensure no one person has to fix his line alone. With these ideals in mind, and suitable technology available, you can take the final step to d) a USO with a minimum speed requirement.

The USO is strange, because it isn't down to 1 company to provide. Instead it is almost a requirement on the community to ensure that they pick (and fund) technology that is suitable for everyone in their area. I can see there being a need for some kind of internet ombudsman at, say, each council to arbitrate between the funders and the consumers.

And as you point out - the internet grows to consume all the bandwidth thrown at it. A USO of 2Mbps sounds semi-reasonable today (about a decade after it was the highest speed available). That suggests a USO in a decade's time may need to be 40Mbps.

So a USO needs to grow too. And that's one reason why the subsidies for rural areas need to be targetting something much better than 2Mbps.

Then... with an obvious subsidy going toward decent provision - those on the slower speeds can finally stop complaining about paying the same. They will now know that they are being given a subsidised connection.

The infrastructure available in the UK for the Internet is not fit for purpose now, and it will get worse.


The strange thing is that we've got really good value access to the internet today, from a wide range of suppliers. The main reason behind that is a combination of the existing, widespread, copper access network, and a reasonable quality core network (or two), and the fact that we're piggy-backing our new data services on top of something that was originally built (and paid for) with different services in mind.Those 2 networks are long-term assets to the country.

The jump to a really good quality internet requires us to take the investment leap, to replace those networks - but that takes a lot of money. What gave us an advantage in value is now a hinderance in quality. Many, many people expect internet access to be cheap.

BT have made the leap for their core network. (Have Virgin done anything to theirs?)

To make the same leap for the access network, its going to take a bit more. Somehow us consumers have to persuade the people who invest in BT (and their like) that we want an access network fit for purpose.

I appreciate that some will wonder why they should bother about others' speeds etc, but they bother enough to argue that it's not their problem (they get fast BB for little cost, and know it).

I myself get a decent connection, but I've been an advocate of lower bandwidth web design, and better coverage of 2 Meg or 4 Meg for those that don;t get it yet. Why? There will come a time when my 6.5 Meg is not enough. Perhaps in a year or two. Then I'll be the one moaning about my own setup. So it's partly self-interest, and it's partly so I'm not a hypocrit when it's my turn, but it's mostly because it's the right thing to be doing. Some argue that rural folk shouldn't have moved out there, or that they could move to the urban areas. Not all rural folk moved out there. Some have their livelihoods there.

Like you, I do know it, and understand it. Indeed, I deliberately want the fibre-based broadband because it is my share of the investment in the future, paid in small monthly installments. I don't really need 40Mbps today - and 8 (or 6.5) was usually mostly sufficient (but don't tell the wife I said that, OK?). But by making these installments, I'm sending a message that I *do* want the telco providers, and their investors, to keep investing in the future.

200 years ago, families moved to the cities in search of work, to support their families.

Nowadays, fast reliable broadband is a fundamental to my life, and my family's life. For broadly similar reasons, I will now only move to somewhere with decent broadband. Its as fundamental to my choice as the provisions of schools & hospitals.
Standard User Chrysalis
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 16-Jun-11 04:25:25
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Re: will there be cities in the final "hard to reach" 10%


[re: Andrue] [link to this post]
 
you just been silly now, but I think its wrong to suggest that the rollout is following some kind of logical plan that is purely based on rollout costs when there is ever stronger evidence going against that.

The facts are there is small populated areas been activated in the middle of nowhere without other areas in close vicinity also been enabled. These are facts. Some of these areas also dont even have 21CN which puts into question if they also would need new backhaul provision to support FTTC.

I have my own theory and of course its a theory I am not claiming this to be a fact that since affluent areas tend to be more vocal when they not happy, that they are been picked for that reason, not because its more likely to sell. I also believe BT have been leaned on politically on this rollout, hence the market town rollout alongside the villages that have been anbled so far. I hope I am allowed to discuss theories here.
Standard User Chrysalis
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 16-Jun-11 04:38:58
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Re: will there be cities in the final "hard to reach" 10%


[re: FRS_Plunderer] [link to this post]
 
If the long lines are maintained and money spent on fixing faults on them yes they are more costly, of course these lines already existed before adsl, so things like the costs of the lines been laid are not a factor. If BT are doing no maintenance and not fixing faults then there is in theory no extra cost. For fairness I will assume there is 'some' kind of maintenance done on lines which then would be higher cost when the line is longer, the higher speed of a line can potentially make costs significantly higher for an isp. eg. on my 30mbit VM line I can download in an hour during peak the same as what would take 6 hours on my old adsl service adding much more strain to the isp's capacity at peak.

Generally tho when I buy a product it is based on what I am recieving rather then the actual base cost to provide it. This thing we have with retail uk adsl prices been very tied to wholesale costs is somewhat unusual, in other service based products the price would be more linked to supply and demand rather than costs. If demand is high then profit margin would be higher. The FTTC retail price for infinity makes no sense both ways, its hard to accept the costs of providing infinity is the same as adsl when there has been billions spent rolling it out, and users have much higher speeds than adsl which of course drags up backhaul costs, demand seems to be high for infinity so the low price seems to be a simple loss leader to kill the competition or adsl is been overcharged for. Its one or the other.

So for me costs is irrelevant, its about what I am getting for my money. I couldnt give a rats ass if it costs the isp £100 a month to supply me with 512kbit adsl if they selling a 40mbit service as well I would expect to be paying significantly less than the 40mbit price.

Of course this adds another side to the discussion, if maintenance costs are significantly higher in long line areas, that would most defenitly be a business case for upgrading to fibre, as that would reduce maintenance costs signficantly. I think I remember saying a while back its my thoughts that those market 1 exchanges (which mine isnt) that are only supplied by BTw are a cash cow for BT, no LLU isp's to take all that lovely profit from BTw backhaul and no reduced port prices.


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Standard User Chrysalis
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 16-Jun-11 04:44:32
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Re: will there be cities in the final "hard to reach" 10%


[re: WWWombat] [link to this post]
 
yeah obviously I would expect things to be changed at the wholesale level.

Personally I think isps here arent run too well, they link prices too heavily to port costs and then work round the backhaul costs associated with burst speed by utilising traffic management.
Standard User Chrysalis
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 16-Jun-11 04:48:02
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Re: will there be cities in the final "hard to reach" 10%


[re: WWWombat] [link to this post]
 
ok so if I understand you right the announcements covering up until the end of 2012 are approx 75% of the not subsidised rollout. That suggests to me they can slow things down after that date as it would be the 27% left to do in the last 3 years vs 75% done in 2 years. Rural areas I would expect to be much slower paced so that may match up, but of course if subsidised work is been done on top of that then its more than 27%.

Is the rollout manpower a team that moves around the country or using local BT staff? I am curious why there seems to be manpower galore in some areas and only enough in the east midlands to enable affluent exchanges. (assuming is down to manpower).
Standard User ccxo
(regular) Thu 16-Jun-11 05:33:21
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Re: will there be cities in the final "hard to reach" 10%


[re: Chrysalis] [link to this post]
 
It's worth pointing out that BT has moved away from its "phased" approach to the rollout. The operator told ISPreview.co.uk that where they have spare manpower/capacity they will bring exchanges forward, where there isnít the resource they will move them back and "thus keeping the overall momentum of the programme up".

Taken from the above site, which answers you're question to the manpower issue and why some exchanges are faster then others.

My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User WWWombat
(committed) Thu 16-Jun-11 05:57:24
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Re: will there be cities in the final "hard to reach" 10%


[re: Chrysalis] [link to this post]
 
59% will be done by 2012, I think. (10 million / (67% * 25 million))

The announcements I used were the high-level management target ones. I haven't tried to see if the exchanges announced up to 2012 are enough to meet those targets; we should be able to use those announcements to work out how many more exchanges we can expect.

So yes - there could be slowdowns in those 3 years, if needed - a reduction from 70,000 to 50,000. But I'm sure they will get a reasonable proportion of the extra work to make up the difference.

As I said, I have no idea how the rollout manpower moves around, or even if it does.

There is a bonus for those who wait longer...

BT say that FTTP will make up 25% of the rollout.

It could well be that some places are being deliberately held back from early FTTC installation because they are destined for FTTP later.

Whatever the reason, time will tell.
Standard User WWWombat
(committed) Thu 16-Jun-11 06:10:56
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Re: will there be cities in the final "hard to reach" 10%


[re: ccxo] [link to this post]
 
I'd not seen that they'd abandoned the phases, but it makes a lot of sense - they'd already bumped too much stuff around anyway.
Standard User orly
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 16-Jun-11 07:23:26
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Re: will there be cities in the final "hard to reach" 10%


[re: WWWombat] [link to this post]
 
Well here we have Belfast and Londonderry

And then Armagh (population less than 15,000), Newry (less than 30,000) and Lisburn which is basically a big over spill town on the edge of Belfast. None of them are really cities in the sense most people perceive cities to be.

---
BT Infinity 8th July 2010
(NIBA)
600m (approx) to cabinet
25.5mbit down / 7.6mbit up

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Standard User WWWombat
(committed) Thu 16-Jun-11 08:52:14
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Re: will there be cities in the final "hard to reach" 10%


[re: Chrysalis] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Chrysalis:
If the long lines are maintained and money spent on fixing faults on them yes they are more costly, of course these lines already existed before adsl, so things like the costs of the lines been laid are not a factor. If BT are doing no maintenance and not fixing faults then there is in theory no extra cost. For fairness I will assume there is 'some' kind of maintenance done on lines which then would be higher cost when the line is longer,

I guess the problem is that the lines were originally laid for a different, more tolerant service. We're just using them to piggy-back a new service that drives them *way* beyond their original expectations.

And the new services mean we see problems on the lines much more frequently than ever before. The same faults we used to get - broken wires, corroded joints, trees rubbing on lines, ice damage, rodents eating the things.

In voice days, we'd probably put up with a bit of hiss on the line, but DSL cannot cope with it as well. On an 8Mbps line, a slight degradation isn't noticed. On a 512K line, the same degradation is instantly noticed, and needs fixing.

Longer lines and more joints make for more chance of the problems occurring. More problems and less tolerance all make for more maintenance.

This thing we have with retail uk adsl prices been very tied to wholesale costs is somewhat unusual, in other service based products the price would be more linked to supply and demand rather than costs.

The government & Ofcom have created a very strange market. By forcing BT to wholesale access to our lines, it allows any ISP company to come along and piggy-back on BT's long-term investment. The ISP itself doesn't have to play to any of the regular supply & demand rules that a full telco would, nor work to the usual ideas of a long-term investment.

That market has given us consumers a huge choice in ISP. Some want to do a "proper" quality job; some want to do a cheap job, and some see it as a thing to be bundled into existing packages. Sky TV doing broadband? Or is that really because they want bundles like Virgin? The Post Office too? Bizarre!

A decade ago, we had an even stranger setup - where the Freeserve business model gave you free internet, so long as you didn't look at the phone bill. Given the direction we've come since then, with DSL broadband, and always-on, this model was something of a blind alley, and worse than that - set some bad expectations.

The huge number of ISPs obviously needs to compete... and it has done so by trying to get the highest headline speeds (but hiding the congestion & management consequences) with lowest prices (so long as you take a bundle, and forget the service). People had already been using a "free internet" business model, so consumer expectations were for really low prices. The prices that an ISP could charge have to nosedive to somewhere close to costs, and everyone is reduced to working off very low margins. Hey presto. Simples.

Marketers have unfortunately ensured we have a value network in the UK. Cheap as chips, but not exactly fit-for-purpose. At least for any decent definition of "purpose".

If demand is high then profit margin would be higher.

Only if supply is restricted. But a BT phone line is a pretty ubiquitous thing, and BT are then forced to allow any ISP provide service to you. The trouble is that there is any number of awful suppliers out there. There's no restriction whatsoever.

The FTTC retail price for infinity makes no sense both ways, its hard to accept the costs of providing infinity is the same as adsl when there has been billions spent rolling it out,

Depends where you look. My FTTC is via PlusNet. That runs cheaper than BT's Infinity offering, but it still costs £10pm extra for being fibre. For many other ISPs, FTTC is higher price.

and users have much higher speeds than adsl which of course drags up backhaul costs, demand seems to be high for infinity so the low price seems to be a simple loss leader to kill the competition or adsl is been overcharged for. Its one or the other.

Or both?

So for me costs is irrelevant, its about what I am getting for my money. I couldnt give a rats ass if it costs the isp £100 a month to supply me with 512kbit adsl if they selling a 40mbit service as well I would expect to be paying significantly less than the 40mbit price.

And that really sums up a set of problems in the UK market. For a variety of reasons, it just doesn't function in a way that matches your expectations.

Why? I think it all comes down to the "up to" problem that came about with ADSLmax. From this time onwards, it was impossible to know what level of service you were *really* getting. And therefore all ISPs look identical at the sales/marketing level, where the underlying service is anything but.

When this gets crossed with the expectation-levels set by Freeserve - Everything is free, but the service is bad - then we really confuse things.

The ease with which you can set yourself up as an ISP means that many have. And they don't all have the intention of giving you the best internet service.

Of course this adds another side to the discussion, if maintenance costs are significantly higher in long line areas, that would most defenitly be a business case for upgrading to fibre, as that would reduce maintenance costs signficantly.

I'm sure it is included in the models. But the cost of installation is just too huge relative to the maintenance cost.

Justifications for 21CN included the fact that operational costs would be reduced as it deployed further, making it ultimately pay itself back.

I don't think fibre would ever recoup its own costs just from reduced operational/maintenance costs, on eother short or long lines. It's going to need people to be paying for it monthly - which means they've got to want it, and to want to pay more for it. But there's a lot of "free" mindsets that need to be shifted - and investors need to be convinced of that shift first.

And *that* is why I think BT are treating it as something of a loss-leader. They need to show that the service is being taken up.

I think I remember saying a while back its my thoughts that those market 1 exchanges (which mine isnt) that are only supplied by BTw are a cash cow for BT, no LLU isp's to take all that lovely profit from BTw backhaul and no reduced port prices.

Instead of considering the numbers here, what about the logic behind the profit potential? If these exchanges really were cash cows, then wouldn't some other company jump in to grab those profits? They've opportunity to jump in anywhere, and have certainly done it in all those market 3 exchanges. If it was worthwhile... wouldn't they already be there?

Isn't the real fact that those companies *haven't* jumped in. And, because they are only motivated by profit and have no obligation to jump in, we can assume the fact they have chosen to stay away means they will make no profit?

And if no-one else can make a profit from service there, should we really expect that BT is making so much more profit that it can be labelled a cash-cow?

Logic suggests otherwise.
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