News from Thinkbroadband on Andrews & Arnold’s (AAISP) recent success installing FTTC into one of their client’s premises. Just goes to show BT are going to really shift their focus over the coming year towards fibre and away from their failing 21CN project. From AA’s recent issues with BT in providing their clients with a reliable 21CN they are obviously keen to find an alternative technology.
Essentially the FTTC is putting VDSL equipment into the local cabinet (instead of the exchange) dramatically lowering the distance from the DSLAM to the clients office. This ensures the speeds are better but also means that BT doesn’t have to go through the costly exercise of getting fibre into every building. This way as BT upgrade their existing 80,000 or so cabinets they can look to run fibre to them and hence offer VDSL services. I believe this is their preferred route to market as it would jump all the existing LLU carriers who have been deploying ADSL2+ for quite a while now.
However on first inspection it seems like a lot of work for not much gain. In this example the customer reportedly received 40 Mb/s down but was impressed by the upload of 1.7 Mb/s. Agreed that this is a big increase on what BT can currently deliver using their small ADSL2+ footprint but nothing compared to the 2.6 or even 2.7 Mb/s we have achieved with some of our clients using ADSL2+ Annex-M. Admittedly this is using the Telefonica O2 network, who we have an interconnect with, but still not the giant leap BT were hoping for. Also by installing two lines customers can receive over 40 Mb/s down with over 5 Mb/s upload as one service taking away the current gains of FTTC.
Obviously over time the footprint and technology will grow in very much the same way ADSL did when it first arrived in the UK. However I think we are looking at 18-months or so before you see any wide adoption of this promising technology.