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Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

Baldrick1
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Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

Let me put forward my reasoning based purely on my assumption of how things work and invite those with a much greater knowledge of how the telecoms infrastructure is organised to rectify my ignorance:

  1. FTTC broadband works if the cable between the fibre cabinet and the exchange has a disconnection. Therefore for broadband operation there is no need to connect telephone lines to the telephone exchange The Fibre cabinet is connected to a Head End via fibre, which is remote from the Telephone Exchange.
  2. FTTP customers can use VOIP and cancel their telephone line with all the costs associated with it.
  3. Based on my admitted very limited knowledge, the only difference between FTTC and FTTP is that the FTTC cabinet contains broadband frequency to digital/optical converters plus the paraphernalia necessary to compensate for the remaining length of copper to the home. This includes DLM, G.INP plus vectoring for the lucky few. The optical signals are then multiplexed onto a single fibre and connected back to a Head End.

FTTP, I assume, requires a much simpler local optical to optical multiplexer to transmit data back to the Head End over a single fibre. A simple optical to copper converter is all that is then needed at the customers premises as the copper data cable to the modem is a short length specifically designed for high frequency data transmissions.

  1. So why cannot FTTC customers ditch the connection to the exchange, use an IP phone like FTTP customers and save the line rental costs in exactly the same way as FTTP customers?

It also begs the question whether it would be more efficient and in the long term cost effective due to reduced maintenance costs to ditch FTTC, install a fibre to fibre multiplexer in the cabinet and run fibre the last few hundred yards rather than all the electronics required to compensate for the poor transmission characteristics of the final length of cable.

Have I got it all wrong or is the answer that we need all the extra complexity to keep BT employees in work and the profits rolling in?

15 REPLIES
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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

Moderators Note.
Moved to chat as it's neither about the PN service or asking for tech help.
Here seemed the most suitable place.

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

Perhaps have a read of:

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2018/04/openreach-consult-uk-isps-on-wlr-telephone-network-clo...

I hope @Baldrick1 realises that Plusnet's prices for FTTP without line rental (£2.50 extra) do not reflect the increased wholesale price for FTTP without line rental. The wholesale FTTP data only (no line rental) prices are £9 (ex. VAT) more than the equivalent with line rental prices.

Baldrick1
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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?


Thanks I was not aware of any of this.

@ejs wrote:

 The wholesale FTTP data only (no line rental) prices are £9 (ex. VAT) more than the equivalent with line rental prices.


How on earth can this be justified?

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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

I'd guess it would be justified as maintenance / fault insurance and maybe gradually recovering the costs of installing the FTTP. It's probably justified as being for whatever the line rental is currently for.

Just how little do people think they should pay for some sort of unlimited usage superfast Internet connection? Without line rental, are people really expecting it to cost about £10 per month, and anything higher would be considered a massive rip-off? There seems to be this disconnect between how important people regard their Internet connections, which are incredibly important, yet somehow they should cost almost nothing. What else could that £30 or however much per month buy?

Minivanman
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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

@Baldrick1

Because they can?

I was charged extra for my internet when I cancelled my phone line and went over to VoIP after hooking up with FTTP.

I was not a happy bunny. It was not so much the cost as the principal.

Maybe I was supposed to be grateful for cheap rather than the expected cheaper than cheap. Crazy2

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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

Then you'll probably be even less happy if Plusnet start charging proper prices for FTTP without line rental. Perhaps look at Zen's prices for FTTP with and without line rental https://www.zen.co.uk/yourhome/superfast-fibre-broadband-packages/fibre-to-the-premises - the overall saving is £2 without line rental.

Minivanman
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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

Indeed, and so what matters if we charge you more than expected, it's still less than you would pay elsewhere...... so that's OK.

Well no it's not is it.

I sell you a car for £500 quid, find our later I could have sold it for £1000 - so I then charge you £750 but hey, since when has business got anything to do with good practice unless the power of the press or government intervention twists you arm.

Meanwhile, the powerless individual can go swing.

 

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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

What do you think of those "meal deals", where people buy a sandwich, a packet of crisps, and a drink, and pay less in total than the sum of the price of each item as sold individually?

Minivanman
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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

And yet the store still makes a profit?

No much. Smiley

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Community Gaffer
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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?


@Baldrick1 wrote:

FTTC broadband works if the cable between the fibre cabinet and the exchange has a disconnection. Therefore for broadband operation there is no need to connect telephone lines to the telephone exchange The Fibre cabinet is connected to a Head End via fibre, which is remote from the Telephone Exchange.


Where do you think those head ends are located? They're typically in the larger telephone exchanges. Potentially not your local exchange, but an exchange nonetheless.

So why cannot FTTC customers ditch the connection to the exchange, use an IP phone like FTTP customers and save the line rental costs in exactly the same way as FTTP customers?


With FTTC, the copper back to the exchange is still used for things like remote diagnostics. What you're proposing is a little how FTTPoD works (minus the last stretch of copper to your premises).

Even when SOGEA is widely available, it will still have the the copper back to the exchange I believe, however some providers will probably allow you to ditch the voice service. Regardless, due to the former, I doubt it's going to be much cheaper.

Openreach have ambitions to ditch the PSTN network entirely during the next decade but until something like that happens, I think the copper's here to stay.

As @ejs has mentioned, what we currently sell FTTP for is far from reflective of the Wholesale cost at the moment. If we took it properly to market, it would probably be more expensive than many of our combined WLR/FTTC offers, albeit with higher headline speeds.

Bob Pullen
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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

And the best bit about the PSTN networks, they still support rotary dial telephones!!! Cheesy

2u2me
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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

To a certain extent, they are no good to send MF Signaling i.e. press 1 to continue, press 2 to go back to menu Smiley

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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

Just add a DialGizmo or Rotatone and you're sorted... Grin

Baldrick1
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Re: Do FTTC Users Need Telephone Exchanges?

@bobpullen

Thank you for furthering my knowledge of how these things work.