BT's going to 'upgrade' the copper network?

  spuds 10:10 06 Apr 2011

This PCA article click here which as also appeared in quite a number of other publications, tells us that BT will be upgrading the copper cable infrastructure, so that 80% of the people in the UK should be able to obtain broadband speeds of 'upto' 20 Mbps by the end of the year.

Years ago we were being told that we were lucky to reach certain speeds while on dial-up, yet things have improved since then. But can BT's promise be achieved, considering the mainly older infrastructure as it is, and what we are being told, would cost millions if not billions to replace or improve?.

People are changing ISP's for that better service, usually based on promises, but can or will 80% be winners?.

Whats your opinion?.

  donki 10:17 06 Apr 2011

This is BTs infinity broadband is it not? I am in a rural village in Co Antrim, usually the last place to get any kind of upgrade of this nature and I can get it. From the BT website my download speed should be 30Mb/s. I am currently in the process of movign into my new house and will be getting it, its not that much more exspensive that regular broadband in my area, £7 more than my 6mb O2 service.

  spuds 10:55 06 Apr 2011

I am not sure what the implications are for this work. But the article mentions Talk Talk who is my services provider, and over the past few months I have had many problems regarding speed variations and sudden disconnections. Both BT Network and Talk Talk are in constant contact with me in trying to achieve stability on my line, which is less than one mile from the exchange.

Yesterday and earlier this morning I was talking to various Talk Talk and BT technical people (this takes place about every two days), who know that there is a fault, but so far have failed to pin point the problem, even after changing items at the exchange. In my own case, I have a combination of 40 year old hard copper drawn cable and more modern cable,jointed at various stages which I suspect is a problem in itself?.

  ams4127 11:06 06 Apr 2011

"Both BT Network and Talk Talk are in constant contact with me in trying to achieve stability on my line, which is less than one mile from the exchange."

I live within 100 meters of the exchange and have the same problems!

  oresome 12:53 06 Apr 2011

As ever, it's the word 'upto'.

What does this mean? If you live next door to the exchange there's a possibility?

There needs to be a standardised method of quoting speeds which is far more representative of what the majority of subscribers will actually achieve in practice, not the lucky few on a good day with a following wind.

  Aitchbee 13:00 06 Apr 2011

that British Telecomm use aluminium as the conducting wire in the local area network.That is from cabinet to distribution points. (ie to poles,wallboxes,internal d.p.'s, direct feeds.
This policy was/is to save them money but the aluminium conductor was/is not as good as copper.
All main cables from exchange to cabinets are of the copper kind.Typical size of main cable from exchange to cabinet is 1000 prs.(two wires for each phone line). now you know.

  Aitchbee 13:25 06 Apr 2011

is the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust.
Iron comes in second (metal).
Oxygen and silicon are the two most abundant elements in the Earth's crust in that order.
Chemistry lesson over.

  Aitchbee 14:12 06 Apr 2011

I totally agree with your connections theory.
I would say that 99% of commummication faults are at connection points. I reckon there could be 20 connection points between an exchange and a telephone in the house.
Once a maintenence engineer goes into one of these connection points, there is a chance that he/she may inadvertantly create another potential fault.
Opening up a 100 pr underground cable joint to do a repair (especially if aluminium cable is used) could affect other customers.(subscribers)
But there is no way around this dilemma.
I know. I did that job.

  interzone55 14:35 06 Apr 2011

BT are currently purchasing large numbers of 40GbE (40 gigabit) switches to speed up back-bone connections within the exchange.

They're also rolling out fibre to the cabinet, which will dispense with the problems of large estates being huge distances from the exchange. Most of the country lives within a mile of their nearest street cabinet.

This is costing BT an absolute fortune (40GbE comes in at around £400 per port at the moment), not a cost borne by the likes of Talk Talk and O2, which is why they can make a handsome profit on lower line rental costs...

  oresome 16:50 06 Apr 2011

I used to maintain a comms system for a customer that involved using three private wire circuits rented from BT.

These circuits were constantly breaking down. We would report the fault to BT, who tested the circuits remotely. At this point the fault would clear for a week or two.

After several months of this behaviour BT were given an ultimatum and a specialist troubleshooter was sent out to meet me and spend what ever time it took to sort the problem.

The guy spent a day checking all the exchange equipment and satisfying himself that all was OK. We then started with the street cabinets, remaking every joint on the three circuits on the mile or two to our equipment site. He admitted that the joint connector previously used, which was meant to crimp the conductor and squeeze silicon grease on was a known failure point.

We never had any trouble with those circuits after that.

Having got the guys name, who we nicknamed the ferret we insisted that he was called upon whenever we had problem circuits after that.

  AL47 18:52 06 Apr 2011

when i hit more than 0.5mbits ill be happy lol

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