BT Trial of Mini Cabinets in Yorkshire

Openreach and SCC have mentioned “mini cabinets” as a possible future solution for long lines in Ewhurst, to be investigated at the end of Superfast Surrey project. This North Yorkshire trial appears to cover the same proposed use of mini DSLAMs to extend the reach of BT’s FTTC network. BT refer to this as Fibre To The Remote Node (FTTRN), presumably to distinguish it from Fibre To The Distribution Point (FTTDP).

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4 Responses to BT Trial of Mini Cabinets in Yorkshire

  1. David Nye says:

    Another possible “solution” mentioned is “vectoring”, and I see this is now being rolled out in Ireland.

  2. Walter says:

    There are many who seem to believe that vectoring is the answer to unacceptable VDSL speeds. Whilst it may provide a theoretical partial solution, it is a technique to reduce problems of crosstalk in twisted pair cables. I cannot see how that can assist those on poor quality lines** of any length but especially the longer ones.

    Furthermore there could be a number of practical difficulties as BT are hardly wanting to deploy partial solutions. Yet that’s what would happen as only the latest Huawei cabinets provided under the SCC contract are capable at present. Earlier Huawei cabinets require another electronics module, if there is space. ECI electronics are not compatible without a complete rack replacement.

    Neil Fairbrother has produced an interesting appraisal of some suggestions being discussed, but it does not bode well for the medium term.

    Dr Peter Cochrane’s comment below the piece is also quite a damning opinion on the remote node idea too.
    ** Contrary to some opinions not everybody on shorter line distances is able to obtain the fastest speeds. One resident along the Ockley road who is around 300 m from Cabinet 20′s FTTC has an actual line length of over 400 m on a line with multiple joints, each causing some degradation. He has been obliged to get BT to cancel his 80 / 20 contract and substitute only a 40 / 10 service. BT did refund the difference from the start of his contract though, after we had spent a significant effort dealing with BT’s arcane procedures in attempting to improve the substandard service. Another longer example are two properties on either side of the road by the church with almost identical distances of around 1 km fed from Cabinet 19. One is only just below the speed cap for a 40 / 10 service whilst the other, after three attempts at a reliable repair, has given up with a capped speed of 20 Mbps.

  3. David Nye says:

    In spite of the technical limitations, Openreach is planning their deployment of G.Fast starting in a year or two. This will eventually bring fibre closer to the premises.

    Meanwhile, “mini cabinets” or “remote nodes” are apparently being deployed in several BDUK projects, although the cost and power requirements currently make them viable in very few places.

  4. David Nye says:

    VDSL amplifiers are another interim option receiving less attention:

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