Friday, 12 April 2013

Fibre Unbundling

Back in June 2010 when BT agreed with Ofcom that it could charge what it liked for access to it's new fibre based broadband access service, Ofcom gave them four years of freedom.  We're now three years into this, so perhaps next year will see some changes in the market.

The deal BT struck was two fold, first to forgo caps on pricing - the subject of criticism from TalkTalk and others in recent weeks - and secondly to offer unbundled service rather than bare cables, called "Virtual Unbundled Line Access" or VULA, back then.  This limits competitors to reselling the same services that BT retails, and given BT control the price; this isn't competition at all.

Monday, 8 April 2013

BT's Twisted Reality

An article in today's Telegraph reports on comments made by BT's chief Ian Livingston in response to calls by TalkTalk for more regulation on BT's broadband roll-out.  Interestingly, whilst the Torygraph is happy to promote BT's side of the argument, the original call for regulation by TalkTalk went unreported in the paper.

Naturally BT don't want more regulation on their business but Livingston (and his underling in Openreach, Liv Garvey) is playing such a game of words that beggars belief.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

BT Fibre To The Cabinet

Perhaps it would be more accurate if BT's sign said "Fibre broadband stops here"

Ironically there's a Virgin Media cabinet around the corner which has been fiber fed and delivering broadband for years, so it's not even as if there is anything new "here."

Double FAIL for BT advertising.

BT telephone exchanges have been fibre-fed for years - previous generations of DSL broadband have been delivered from DSLAMs in the exchange served from a fibre-optic network, so the claim that there is something new, different (or better) about their latest roll-out is tenuous at best yet the regulators don't seem to think the public are being misled.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Blown fiber vs. "real" fiber

Courtesy of
Blown fiber was an excellent innovation - by using cheap plastic ducts (pipes), telcos could employ cheap labour to run ducts from the exchange to their valuable business customers and a second team could come along later and using their specialist equipment simply push a strand of fiber optic cable from the exchange to the customer.  The first job, including planning, obtaining wayleaves, digging up the road and making good, breaking access routes into premises and finding routes within buildings to run the duct to the cutstomer's equipment was time consuming but fairly straightforward civil engineering taking weeks.  The blowing of the fiber is the work of an afternoon, and so a two man team can do two jobs a day.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Fibre-Only Exchanges - the ultimate BT lock-in

The Crown and Tuns, Deddington

BT have announced that Deddington in Oxforshire will be the first exchange in the UK to be "fibre only".  This means that all the services from the exchange will be connected on fibre.

Since BT uses a shared fibre system (GPON), this takes away the ability for competing telephone companies to "unbundle" the local loop and run their own services over BT's infrastructure.  Experience has shown that it these companies who provide the innovation that pushes competition in the market and without them, the subscribers of Deddington will be at the mercy of BT forevermore.

Friday, 23 March 2012

"Superfast" Surrey

Last week Surrey County Council sent out an update on their plans for spending their BDUK grant. I was struck by how unambitious their goals are, despite previous promises that we were to get the best broadband in Europe.

I would suggest you read the newsletter on their website, but it hasn't been uploaded yet - not a good sign that they are in tune with the Internet age.