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Plusnet to Trial Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)

Plusnet to Trial Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)

Plusnet to Trial Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)

adsl2plusIn the next few weeks we will begin a trial of Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). The trial is being run by BT Wholesale over their 21CN network and it is our intention to offer it to the customers that can get it. Initially the trial is being run in two areas - Muswell Hill in London and Whitchurch in Wales. We will be emailing the customers on these exchanges this week to let them know about the trial. The Technology First though, I'll cover off a bit about the technology. With current ADSL and ADSL2+ technology the speed a customer can get is determined by the length of the phone line from exchange to their router. With these technologies the ADSL kit (DSLAM) is housed at the exchange. FTTC does something a little different, the DSLAM is located in the green street cabinet. For most lines this reduces the length of the copper run from what can be several miles maybe less than one mile or even a few hundred yards. The journey back to the exchange from the cabinet rather than being voice and broadband over copper is split so that the voice remains on the copper but the broadband is over fibre. FTTC also uses a different DSL technology - VDSL2. VDSL2 can offer much higher speeds than ADSL or ADSL2+. The initial trial will offer up to 40Mbps down and 2Mbps up (with an option available later in the trial for up to 5Mbps up). Like ADSL the speed will be rate adaptive based on the copper length and quality but the initial estimate is over 99% of lines should see at least 15Mbps. In practise we'll have to see of course and the trial will help determine what speeds people will see. The Trial The trial at the first two exchanges is due to begin in July. We'll be emailing the customers in those areas this week to invite them to take part if they wish. Not everyone on those exchanges will be able to take part in the initial trial unfortunately as those customers whose lines connect directly to the exchange rather than via a green street cabinet won't currently be eligable. For those that can and want to take part the service will initially a BT Installed service. We will arrange a convenient time for an engineer visit who will replace the master phone socket and provide a VDSL2 modem (we should note the modem is wired only and has a single ethernet port so a separate hub/router would be needed to use it wirelessly or with more than 1 PC). If there are any questions we would ask that they be raised in our 21CN trial forum on the Community Site for the time being as the training for the support team will be scheduled nearer to the beginning of the trial. We have begun an FAQ here and will add to it as more questions are asked. Dave Tomlinson Plusnet Network Transformation

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31 Comments
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31 Comments
Superuser
Good stuff Dave. I particularly like the useful FAQ's being up front. Sad that like most of the other innovative trials I have to stay on the outside...... Maurice
Not applicable
still along way off from when we see fibre to cab on mass scale but seeing plusnet getting ready for BTw's trial means we are one step closer at last and starts to make things look real instead of just a dream
Superuser
Yebbut! FTTH is the real answer, FTTC still has that copper link to constrain things. The technology to deploy FTTH is getting much cheaper and less difficult to deploy, so there is some optimism yet. Sadly with the rear looking vision of government / Oftel / BT it will not happen for some time in the UK.
Not applicable
Whitchurch in Cardiff ?
Grafter
Greyposter yes I Believe so. Also FTTH is way too expensive to deploy. As far as I know
Superuser
FTTH is becoming cheaper by the year? A lot depends on the technology used. GPON using passive optical splitting is currently looking good with the connectivity limits and outlay dropping steadily. Similarly for the House side connection - a recent development - now in trial - is targetted at user self install. Somebody (Govenmint?) needs to grasp the future and make a leap not a shuffle. Maurice
Seasoned Pro
I'd be prepared to give BT 50p/month for FTTH
Not applicable
at 3mb now on adslmax and on adsl2. am happy to pay 50p tax just for FTTC
Not applicable
Been called twice by people asking if I want to go on the trial. Both trying to get me to give them my MAC and switch to BT. First said only BT on the trial so if I wanted to be part of it I'd have to switch. Second call started off the same way but when I challenged them about other ISPs they said I could be on trial with other ISPs but at the end of the trial only BT customers will be allowed to stay on FTTC so if I don't want to be disconnected and I want to be on the trial I'd have to switch to BT now. Any truth in either of these statements or are they just blatant mis-selling? Assuming it's not true PlusNet should warn all customers in the trial area to be wary of such calls otherwise you'll end up losing a lot of custiomers.
Not applicable
Anyone else being contacted by a sales company trying to get you to switch to BT for the trial?
Plusnet Staff
I'll look into this, thanks.
Grafter
So jealous Sad
Not applicable
Did anyone else see the Gadget show a few months back. They looked at broadband speeds around the world. I know people are getting excited about FTTC but when you compare the UK to I think it was Singapore where 200Mbs is considered slow and 1Gbs is a fast connection you realise we are so far behind in the UK its quite pathetic really. Just goes to show what a forward thinking government can achive when they want to.
Not applicable
May be it is inevitable that the trial is partly in London, but it is truly annoying that yet again even better services are being provided for localities which already have decent broadband provision. Where I live broadband doesn't even achieve 0.5mg yet we're charged as though we're all able to receive a comparable service. Given the development of broadband content with ever higher bandwidth demands, it won't be long before rural broadband becomes functionally impossible as most applications will take too long to load to be of any use. Jealousy doesn't come into it, as we should all be able to receive a similar service for the same payment - unless there a demonstrable commitment to consistent universal broadband delivery standards, why should rural broadband users be expected to pay the £0.50 tax to develop a wholly inequitable model of service delivery?
Not applicable
Couldn't agree more with you Mike. Admittedly I get slightly faster speeds than you (approx 1.3 MB) but that's still pitifull compared to cities and towns . . . and I'm only about 2.6 miles from my BT Exchange. I'd be happy to be perfectly honest, if I could get 4MB . . . but even that seems years away!
Newbie
Roger & Mike - I live in Milton Keynes and can only get 0.5 mbps as I live about 4 miles from the exchange, so I can sympathise with you. However, if BT can keep there promise on timescales then FTTH will be coming my way by March 2010, and I presume other exchanges there after. http://www.computing.co.uk/computing/news/2250431/bt-announces-fibre-premises
Not applicable
I live in Elm Park, Hornchurch, east of London. My speed is also 0.5mbps which would not improve (according to BT wholesale's on line checker) were I to go over to BTs expensive ADSL2 service. I'm just too far from the Hornchurch exchange to benefit. With so many people around here switching to Virgin Media's FTTC service (and seeing a twenty fold increase in their speed) I'm getting itchy feet! I've been a plusnet customer for a while now but I could loose patience with BT's lethargy on FTTC. Does anyone know when it's coming to me?
Not applicable
@David, at such a slow speed you might notice a subtle increase in speeds but admittedly it will be nothing compared to that offered by fibre. There's a list of exchanges that are being considered for fibre here - http://www.samknows.com/broadband/news/bt-fttc-locations-mapped-531.html There's another (slightly different) list available here - http://users.plus.net/QL:22E8B989
Not applicable
in sheffield they are installing a FTTC called the south yorkshire digital network.... They have just installed the new green box at the end of my road around 80 yards away... I have been told it will be turned on in around 2 weeks.... can I apply for the plusnet trial or do I have to go else where as it does not appear to be a BT project ?
Not applicable
@David, our trials have nothing to do with the South Yorkshire initiative I'm afraid. This means you'd only be able to take part in our fibre trials if your cabinet is BT FTTP/FTTC enabled.
Am eagerly awaiting the switch on in my area. The green street cabs are in, they're emitting heat from their cooling fans which I hope means the DSLAM's are installed & testing. The date is officially 30th August (Didcot, SMDC exchange) - there is a shiny new cab just around the corner from my house which will bring my cable length down from 1.3 miles to about 200 yards. I keep checking just in case they're enabled early! I'm on ADSL2+ at the moment with no complaints.
Just browsing
Am considering the 'trial'. Don't have 21CN but do have FTTC and checked with good old BT Infinity who inform me (via web) that I could get 28Mbps! How long will this trial run for and what speed restrictions are there given that my current package says 8Mbps d/l but seems pointless restricting speeds for a proper 'trial' at the very least?
Just browsing
I would also ask is the list 4 above showing links to cabinets only those being considered for the 'trial'?
Newbie
Hi I would like to be considered for the trial - Leeds (a lovely lady said our area is "switched on" or about to be). My username is Gallespie. Thanks! Gerry White
Not applicable
Hi Gerry, Take a look at the forum post here -http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,87700.0.html
Not applicable
I have been experiencing terribly slow and unreliable service with ADSL. Having asked for a MAC i have been told about the Trial Fibre to Cabinet. The Customer team tell me I have to raise a question iat the end of the forum. Does this constitute my request for TFTC?
Not applicable
Hi Ian, try here - http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,87700.0.html
Not applicable
Hi contacted a plusnet employee ans asked for the trial, a link has be passed onto myself leading me here, what do I need to do to set up the engineer and start the ball rolling for the fibre trial, Yours Mark
Not applicable
Hi Mark, have a read of the link I provided in the post prior to yours, you'd need to be a Plusnet customer to take part of course.
Dabbler
Hi, My postcode is MK5 6LS and I checked the FTTC availability on the ADSL checker and got back this result: Your cabinet is planned to have WBC FTTC by 31st March 2011. 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 29.9Mbps and upstream line speed of 6.8Mbps. If I switch to PlusNet from my current broadband provider, does it mean I can get the FTTC trial? Thanks, Hemant.
Not applicable
Hi Herment, the trial is likely to have ended by the 31st March although you should find that we launch some official Fibre products anyway shortly after that date.