Frustrations of Fibre Broadband

We installed FTTC (Fibre Broadband) for a customer just before Christmas.  They are about 1-2 miles away from the BT exchange.

We’re about 1-2 miles away from the customer and we’re also about 1-2 miles away from the BT exchange.

The mathematically inclined will probably be picturing a nice equilateral triangle in their mind.

Their leg of the triangle costs about £600/year for something in the region of 40-50Mbit download and 10-20Mbit upload. We’ve got an existing ADSL line there too which is just about to be upgraded to FTTC with a different ISP. All running through a McAfee NGFW firewall of course.

Our cabinet isn’t enabled for FTTC and as it turns out, our lines aren’t even connected to a cabinet – they go straight to the exchange. We enquired about FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) which was being talked about at the time.  It’s a bit more expensive than FTTC and prices of around £1500 for the install were being mentioned.  However, FTTP isn’t being offered either. We would have happily paid that and in keeping with our multiple-lines strategy, we’d have paid for two.

Why?

Well the alternative is what we ended up with – a 10Mbit leased line which took six months to install and involved a trench across the carpark.

It has it’s benefits (10Mbit upload and download, with no contention). It’s made a big difference as our three ADSL lines were pretty much saturated 24x7 (and we’ve since dropped that back to two).

The downside – 10x the price of the FTTC offering.

In some respects, it might have been cheaper to move premises, except we can’t get what we need in that area.

It does go to show just what a massive disparity there is with broadband in the UK.

We have another customer in the centre of Glasgow.  They have a very nice 15Mbit EFM link which costs a fraction of our leased line, but more than an FTTC link. It would be awesome to be able to add an FTTC link into their McAfee NGFW firewall, but despite their city centre location there's no FTTC on their exchange.  Presumably the reason for that is BT doesn’t want large city centre businesses ditching their more expensive Internet links and replacing them with much cheaper FTTC ones.

Posted by Gordon Coulter on Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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