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Thursday, 21 August 2008

BT FTTx interview .... one month on

One month after the initial announcement by BT about its FTTx plans, (which did not stun the majority of industry observers, except in the recurrent failure to achieve what BT ought to be able to in the first decade of the 21st century!), an unnamed BT spokesman offers answers to some questions from ISPreview about the plans.

It is almost too tempting to take the entire article to pieces and not congratulate BT on at least taking some hesitant steps forward into FTTx.... but one feels that the items of note should be:

1) The assumption that FTTC should cost more to the consumer - the savings on opex over the coming years should prevent this entirely. FTTC should not be a premium product, nor priced as such. It is, again, an interim technology, as was ADSL, until the end game is reached - FTTH/P and hence true next generation access. (Interestingly, BT seem to have noted the outcry about their use of the acronym 'NGA' for ADSL2+ and FTTC, and avoid it altogether in this interview)

2) The admission that this (FTTC) is merely copper overlay, and thereby further sweating of the copper asset, as many industry observers were quick to point out. However, it should be mentioned that VDSL is touted as the tech to be used. This would seem to imply that focus on sub-loop unbundling regulation is now urgent.

3) The trial location will be announced during the autumn. This does not quite hold true with previous announcements that government and regional development agencies etc would have a say. It does however seem to imply that BT are in a rush to begin the deployment and are willing to do so without needing to seek public funds at this point. This does NOT bode well for digitally excluded areas, including rural and remote, who should be in the first wave of FTTx deployment, as well as (possibly) the likes of Milton Keynes etc (unless the demand there suddenly makes it seem more attractive than it has in the past).

4) Will we now see BT start to apply rigorous pressure to Ofcom about opening up Virgin's network?

5) More bluff about ADSL2+. It will not address the digital divide for far too many people and ADSL2+ is a first mile technology (a poor relative of VDSL) and is nothing to do with 21CN which is a middle mile solution to opex costs and network paucity in the core network.

6) And that old bugbear - The failure by ISPreview to use the correct terminology.... it is 'first mile' not last.

This is obviously just my opinion so your thoughts? Please post.

1 comment:

Clayton said...

There is already sub-loop unbundling regulation. You can buy a sub-loop today (and have been able to for years) at a regulated price. No-one has ever bought one and it's highly unlikely that anyone ever will no matter what the price.