Latest news on local FTTC

As far as we can tell, from the limited information passed on by various sources (thank you all), the recent work in central Ewhurst was to inspect and clear the existing ducts from cabinet 19 (Cranleigh Road) to 18 (The Green) and 20 (Bulls Head). It is unclear whether any further work is required on the ducts before the fibre can be installed.

Although work on the ducting between Cranleigh exchange and cabinet 19 appears to have been completed on April 6th, we are still waiting for the fibre to be installed. Therefore, we are now well past BT’s two week target mentioned in the previous report, with still significant work to do before the first Ewhurst cabinet goes live. The BT planners may be thinking that it would make sense to do all the Ewhurst fibre work at once, in which case it could still be several months before FTTC reaches Ewhurst. This is because the planning regulation issues with cabinet 20 remain unresolved, although it is unclear whether the situation has progressed at all since our last report (click here for latest status). A planning application for the new FTTC cabinet, to be sited beside the phone box near Plough Lane, was made to Waverley dated 26th March 2012, and a notice can be seen nearby. Mike’s contact indicates that the planning fee issue for cabinet 6 appears to be resolved, awaiting confirmation before (we assume) the application can be made.

We do believe that cabinet 1, near the roundabout at the Guildford Road end of Cranleigh, is now FTTC enabled, and that BT have started to connect the first premises in this area. We would be very grateful if we could be put in touch with anyone in Cranleigh who has ordered an FTTC service, or who is being told that it is already available on their line and wishes to go ahead. Lines connected to other Cranleigh cabinets are being given the June 30th date, like Ewhurst lines.

The BT Wholesale availability check is now estimating FTTC download speeds up to 76Mbps, reflecting the recent upgrade to their service. The BT Retail check has also been updated to offer the higher connection speed where available, but is now only offering “Infinity” on lines where the estimated speed is at least 15Mbps. This appears to leave those of us far from our cabinets (or on poor quality lines) out in the cold, with the prospect of a further wait for a sub-15Mbps FTTC service, if any.

Walter has posted comments on our previous report containing additional technical details, observations and analysis, and will  also update this report in the same way. You can subscribe to new comments by email or by using the RSS feed.

 

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13 Responses to Latest news on local FTTC

  1. Walter says:

    Those that have observed the vans and trucks in The Street may have observed that fibre tubing has been inserted from the Bulls Head towards the church but there appear to be a number of blocked sections nearer Cranleigh Road. It is to be expected that some excavations will be necessary.

    Those that use the planning link above will observe that there is a decision target date of 20 May 2012.

    Those that use the search facility on the Waverley planning site:-

    http://waverweb.waverley.gov.uk/live/wbc/pwl.nsf/WebDisplayPublicList?OpenForm

    with the Agent’s name Harlequin Group will observe that there is still no sign of planning applications for cabinets 20 or 6. Assuming BT follow accepted procedures those cabinet installations seem likely to be several months away.

    The formal BT statements of RFS dates in July could still be met but are significantly behind the two week promise. Many Cranleigh cabinets are also provided with the same service date.

  2. PhilT says:

    BT Retail sell “Infinity” above 15M and “Option 3 with fibre” below, but the latter seems to be almost a secret product.

    Other ISPs are available without this product segregation, try http://www.idnet.net for example

  3. David Nye says:

    That is true Phil, a very good point, and we have posted more information on this at http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=1373 and http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=1808 and http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=1830 and http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=1892

    However, until we put are in contact with potential users on the Cranleigh exchange, we cannot seem to realistically establish whether these products are likely to be made available in Ewhurst at the same time as the 15Mbps+ product. Hence my point that we may well have a longer wait. (In other areas people have reported problems getting these sub 15Mbps services.)

    If you have any further information on this then please do post it. Many thanks.

  4. Walter says:

    As Phil T seems to have an understanding of this vexed question we would very much appreciate a fuller explanation of your understandings.

    To explain one difficulty in a little more detail, we are quite concerned at what will be available for the longer lines. There are quite a number from our sample (excluding those with obvious BT database errors) where the VDSL availability checkers provide very puzzling results. Whilst some might think the checkers are just estimators, our understanding is that they either allow, or prohibit, a Communications Provider to offer, or not offer, a contractual arrangement with an end user. We suspect no-go = no contract.

    This group in question return no VDSL service availability on the BT retail checker, but on the wholesale checker a preposterous line speed is offered usually of 100 Kbps. This presumably synchronisation speed is sometimes well below the throughput figure the End User already achieves !

  5. PhilT says:

    Openreach provide their FTTC service in a number of flavours all at the same time. There’s no phased introduction.

    The line checkers combine service availability (by exchange / cabinet) with estimators based on line length data. A service provider can decide not to offer service on any line, for example in the past Be Broadband wouldn’t entertain longer / slower lines at all for ADSL.

    The 100/100 looks like an unpopulated field or an error for sure. It doesn’t go that slow.

    Several ISPs will happily do sub 15M orders, others won’t do them at all. So you get urban / rural myths developing. ADSL24 and Aquiss are others to try – small outfits willing to look a things individually. One of them at least says they’ll take an order for anything with an estimate of 5M or more.

  6. PhilT says:

    actually they said 2M – the 5M is the Openreach minimum spec for the service and in practice ISPs find the pessimistic estimates are exceeded.

  7. Walter says:

    @ Phil,

    If you are who we think you are, we would appreciate it if you will declare an interest as as IdNet reseller.

    We can assure you that the wholesale checker result provides this type of response (copied again below) for outliers well into double figure numbers. Will you please ask IDnet what the Wholesale documentation says about such figures and what BT as a Group will do to resolve this unacceptable situation.

    _________________________________________________

    For Telephone Number 0148327xxx on Exchange CRANLEIGH
    Your exchange is ADSL enabled, and our initial test on your line indicates that it is VERY UNLIKELY you will be able to receive fixed 512Kbps or 256Kbps broadband service due to the very long length of your telephone line. However, your order will be accepted if you still wish to order. An engineer may need to visit who will, where possible, supply the broadband service.
    Our test also indicates that your line currently supports an estimated ADSL Max broadband line speed of 1Mbps; typically the line speed would range between 750Kbps and 2.5Mbps.
    Our test also indicates that your line currently supports an estimated ADSL2+ broadband line speed of 1Mbps; typically the line speed would range between 1Mbps and 3.5Mbps.
    Your cabinet is planned to have WBC FTTC by 31st March 2012. Our test also indicates that your line currently supports a fibre technology with an estimated WBC FTTC Broadband where consumers have received downstream line speed of 100Kbps and upstream line speed of 100Kbps.

  8. Walter says:

    Hello everybody,

    I’ve just noticed that the text above is that I recorded just after one department allowed Ewhurst to be shown with the RFS date of March 2012. We have noted earlier that probably another department changed the RFS date to June around the last week in March. The following text has been confirmed earlier today (April 22) which has the first paragraph removed and the RFS date postponed.

    We do reiterate that the estimator is just that.
    This particular line has NEVER received a broadband service despite two separate attempts about 18 months apart. It is on the infamous Peaslake Road cable section including the additional poor 1.2 km Moon Hall Road loop that BT refuse to replace with the shorter 400 m route.

    _______________________________________________________

    For Telephone Number 0148327xxxx on Exchange CRANLEIGH
    Our test indicates that your line currently supports an estimated ADSL Max broadband line speed of 1Mbps; typically the line speed would range between 750Kbps and 2.5Mbps.
    Our test indicates that your line currently supports an estimated ADSL2+ broadband line speed of 1Mbps; typically the line speed would range between 1Mbps and 3.5Mbps.
    Your cabinet is planned to have WBC FTTC by 30th June 2012. Our test also indicates that your line currently supports a fibre technology with an estimated WBC FTTC Broadband where consumers have received downstream line speed of 100Kbps and upstream line speed of 100Kbps.

  9. David Nye says:

    Andrew reports that yesterday evening there were 3 Openreach lorries and traffic lights as you come into Ewhurst from Cranleigh. They had a big roll of cable or duct which was being fed through. Can anyone have a word, if they are still there, and find out what they are doing? Thanks.

  10. PhilT says:

    I have no financial interest to declare in pointing out that IDnet, ADSL24 and Aquiss offer sub 15M services.

    Yes I resell IDnet and Entanet services to former customers of SWBB.
    No I didn’t provide a link to my commercial activities.

    I don’t understand you “We can assure you …” post. I didn’t doubt the quoted checker response was what was posted.

    When I said “actually they said 2M” I was referring to my recollection of what ADSL24 said in a public forum, at least I think it was them.

  11. David Nye says:

    Thanks for the clarifications Phil, we’ll certainly be contacting those service providers as soon as we have a sub-15M line on an FTTC enabled cabinet (if not before).

  12. Walter says:

    We are aware of one VDSL2 (FTTC) service in Cranleigh with a line length to the PCP green cabinet of around 700 m. The attainable rate is 52 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps Upstream. This is significantly less than the published maximum of 76 Mbps downstream. The speeds available are a little better than the figures produced by the BT availability checker of 44 Mbps downstream and 6.5 Mbps upstream. With the small speed differences there seems little point in upgrading to more expensive services when there is little possibility of achieving the maximum “up to” speeds quoted by BT.

  13. David Nye says:

    Very interesting to see some local results at last, thank you. Which “more expensive services” are you referring to there Walter?

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