It is possible to see implementation of ADSL all those years ago as a "lifeline" for the small rural exchanges as the distance between the CPE and the exchange became relevant again.
Absolutely. In terms of POTS, the rural exchanges were becoming nothing more than a shed to house a concentrator, and to terminate the backhaul to a "proper" exchange.
The optical kit nowadays will let that reduce to an underground jointbox, so long as it is within 18km (I think) of the main exchange - or, at least, the GEA handover node.
In this BT powerpoint
, they talk of an exchange of the size of their Ipswich one (15k subscribers) changing from 900 racks (20CN, presumably System X + ADSL kit) down to 20 racks (for a 21CN MSAN) down to 1 rack (for what they term long-reach GPON). That's for a fair-sized market 3 exchange!
I can certainly see the technology, when fully applied, gives BT the option to do away with large amounts of exchange real estate.
The document above also showed the drop in power usage (from 800kW to 100W), which, I guess, is a fair drop in running costs.
I've also seen (associated with Ebbsfleet) a comment that maintenance of fibre is 10x easier than copper. Presumably the jointing is a more permanent solution, and perhaps the cables don't snap as much.
They're the benefits I can see, but the upgrade cost is the other matter. That must be huge, but I don't have any way to really compare the two sides of the balance.
The problem, as I see it, is that at some point in the future, we'll have a complete national fibre network. The problem for Openreach is how to do this (affordably) when your starting point is the copper network. The problem for anyone else (like Fujitsu) is how to do this when your starting point is nothing, *and* the competition has copper.
So - is FOX a proper part of the solution to this? Can BT afford this?
I think the trial *must* be part of the assessment as to the affordability of this.
BT have tried this before - remember TPON?
Exactly. Are we about to get 3 villages in a (different) dead-end solution?