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The 8Mbps exchanges

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The 8Mbps exchanges

Just wondering how UKOnline can publish a list of 8Mbps exchanges (http://www.ukonline.net/8000/llu_exchangelist.php) already. Is this information available anywhere on this portal?

And btw, UKOnline seem to be offering a standard 33:1 contention ratio. Is that an official product or something they have cobbled together?

Simon
30 REPLIES
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The 8Mbps exchanges

Hi there,

As has been stated many times before UKonline do not sell BT IPstream ADSL.

The list of exchanges is the exchanges they won equipment in. It's LLU broadband, nothing to do with the maxDSL upgrade.

Regards,

Rich
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

The 8Mbps exchanges

UK Online are an LLU provider which means they have their own equipment within chosen telephone exchanges and thus can provide pretty much any ADSL broadband service they like (within the restrictions of the technology).

Plusnet, along with most ISPs in the UK, basically buy the connection between the BT Network and their own network from BT Wholesale, and therefore do not have control over speed, contention etc... They can only buy "off-the-shelf" IPStream products.

The list of exchanges on the UKOnline site will therefore differ from those included in the trial.

EDIT - Looks like Richard got it in a few minutes before me. Git - lol.
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The 8Mbps exchanges

Wink

Sorry dude!

Regards,

Rich
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The 8Mbps exchanges

Ah, yes...missed the llu bit in my haste. So they can create any contention ratio they want?

Can anyone point me to PlusNet's rationale for eschewing the llu route in favour of BT wholesale? The UKOnline terms look somewhat tastier than the new PN FUP, eg:

Download speeds of up to 8Mb
Upload speeds of up to 400K
*Contention ratio of 33:1*
*Massive download allowance of up to 500GB per month*
One-off set up fee of £50
Free Wireless Ethernet Router (worth £69.99)
*Only £39.99 a month*

(The asterisks are mine to denote terms which appear to be some way superior to PlusNet's.)

Since presumably the BT wholesale terms prohibit PlusNet from offering similar terms, I'm wondering in what other tangible ways PlusNet customers will score over UKOnline customers (service and support apart, natch).

Simon
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: 12-08-2007

The 8Mbps exchanges

There are huge costs involved with installing your own equipment into an exchange. Coverage is not as good and the service isnt as reliable (in terms of activation). LLU is still getting used to itself but i think it could be a major player in the future.

An interesting development is a product called LLU Stream, from a company called easynet. Similar to how BT sell IPStream, easynet are now reselling end-user connections over its LLU network to ISPs, including UKOnline.

Boy that was a lot to write on my Pocket PC. Oh well, gotta have something to do to make this bus journey a little less dull!
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

The 8Mbps exchanges

One of the current limitations with LLU (and LLUStream) is the very limited coverage of the service, which is primarily in the big city centres, but it is expanding into less densly populated areas. It basically can't compete with BT yet in terms of connections and countrywide coverage.

I believe PlusNet prefer to offer products that anyone (with an ADSL enabled exchange) can get and it may not be cost effective (yet) for LLUStream type packages to be offered at this time. As LLU takeup expands this limitation will decrease so LLU may be revisited.

I suspect PlusNet could not be a competitor in the LLU market as the investment required to fit their own equipment into exchanges is probably beyond what capital they could get from the finacal market - even the likes of Wanadoo and AOL have not entered the LLU market.. LLU requires a massive investment which is why it is taking the current LLU providers a long time to get the coverage needed before a country wide service can be offered.
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The 8Mbps exchanges

Nail. Head. Hit.

We much prefer to offer a product that a massive eprcentage of the UK can recieve. 8Mbps is a great "headline" speed but the reality is with LLU most of the UK won't be able to recive it.

Regards,

Rich
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

The 8Mbps exchanges

Another aspect of LLU that is overlooked is the fact that not also do you have the capital outlay to provide and install the necessary equipement but once its in and in use it has to be maintained.
So there is also a commitment to have someone to travel out to exchanges proving faults and replace cards should they go faulty. All adding to the cost.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

The 8Mbps exchanges

Well, I'm never going to say never regarding the LLU route, but not today.

It isn't exactly cheap as far as startup costs are concerned, plus I believe you need to apply for a Telecommunications license.
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The 8Mbps exchanges

Headlines do matter a lot to potential customers (see "ad nauseam "unlimited" discussions) so they will be bound to grab a lot of business. I can understand now why PlusNet rushed out its own speed bump/FUP announcement when it did, promising jam tomorrow to prevent customers from migrating to UKOnline and others who already have llu packages published and taking orders.

But surely the capital cost of llu is irrelevant (especially to a growing plc which can easily raise more money on the SE) IF you're in it for the long term and IF you can see that the investment will sustain and grow a viable business?

I would deduce from this that UKOnline are definitely in it for the long haul - and the fact that they have made such a major investment would be likely to attract plenty of customers to them. It might also be perceived that they would be even keener, after splashing the cash, to retain all their existing customers while adding new ones. (Meanwhile, PlusNet continue to push their heavy users closer and closer to the precipice.)

I guess that time will tell on the llu thing - although clearly, some ISPs are convinced of its merits and have put their money where their mouth is. So it's here to stay.

Simon
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

The 8Mbps exchanges

LLU may be the solution of the moment, but in the medium and long term there is no guarentee of this being the right way to spend our money.

The reality is that if we went the LLU route, we would do that with a partner (ie Easynet aka UKOnline), however the coverage simply isn't there yet, and isn't going to be there, for a long time.

Our success relies on national availability and a mass market for our products. You can safely say that if, now or in the future, a wholesale provider (BT or otherwise) turns up and offers us the right deal, we aren't going to turn our noses up in disgust...

Regards,

Ian
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The 8Mbps exchanges

Quote

UK Online Broadband 8000 should be available in your area by mid March.


Doh :roll:
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The 8Mbps exchanges

Hi RICH

How many hours are you going to work today!

Since my very first post about the UNLIMITED issue it has become very clear how PLUSnet is caught between a rock (BT) and a hard place (it's customers).

Surely this LLU option is a way of reducing your dependency on BT, no one is asking you to risk your profits, but if you started off small with some small and strategic exchanges and then slowly built up your empire.

I think this would give you the best of both worlds and increase your negotiating power with BT and give you more customer options.

I am sure it is all quite complicated, but a company of your size can afford to experiment a bit.

What do you think?



Quote
Nail. Head. Hit.

We much prefer to offer a product that a massive eprcentage of the UK can recieve. 8Mbps is a great "headline" speed but the reality is with LLU most of the UK won't be able to recive it.

Regards,

Rich
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The 8Mbps exchanges

Hi there,

I think at this stage to step in as an LLU provider means a massive outlay to be able to sell to a small percentage of the UK, as has been said before:

Never Say Never

At this stage though the company need to continue moving forward in it's relationship with BT.

Regards,

Rich