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Friday, 9 July 2010

iwade up the odds ...and went with BT, Wot a f*** up.

Furious doesn't even touch what I feel today. I am waiting for replies from BT because I think we now have an ex-state corporate taking the piss. Big style. And I, you and everyone deserves an explanation. Especially because BT think they have just found a route in to public funding through parish and local councils. "Who generally know nothing on this subject and are easy to play" - Jeremy, Ed, etc, get your radar switched on to what is happening behind your backs......

This blog post can be read at

It would be nice if BT would send the full disclosure on Iwade to everyone who needs it. All we have at present is a pretty press release (which I refuse to link to) and a site telling you that if you are in the final third, BT have just found a way round it. Called FTTC. Believe that, you'll believe anything TBH.

Sorry dad for the swear words, but bollocks, BT. You can sweat the copper asset as long as you want but Charles Dunstone et al are already taking you out with their wireless offerings, and I can name multiple honourable companies who will stop this first mile monopoly you are trying to achieve.

And I think you might find there are bloggers whose audience are seriously unimpressed with this latest....

Stop conning the British public, BT.

FTTC is a farce. There are no two ways to look at it. From a next gen point of view, FTTC is a waste of time. Street cabs in Hove (where I used to live) or anywhere else are unneeded because we need FTTH. FTTC is asset sweating and you, BT, taking public taxpayers' money to do your job as a commercial company and endeavouring to LOCK DOWN the assets so only YOU will benefit when we get FTTH is a no-no.

Let's get to the crux of the matter - network design. If I need to go out to the Internet to talk to my neighbour on a video call, something is wrong. If my e-video with the GP goes out to the Net, the network is not right. That is what BT is selling you - or Ian, put me right.

Design the network as a distributed core network that is localised where it needs be save a bloody fortune. You let people talk to their neighbours in the cloud. You permit neighbours to chat over a VPN local network. Or correct me if I'm wrong. I'm trying to put this as simply as possible, though I know my readers quite well and they would undoubtedly prefer it to be more complex. (And will, if and when reqd contribute, especially if you, BT, do).

I want to know if iWade is a publicity scam, because that is what it looks like. I also want to know who said that you, BT, had any say over where and who got NGA/FTTH? And to those in government, ask youself really carefully, why BT have said x place is not viable? Stop playing the tune of 66% of the UK.

I actually think that we now have enough people ready to dig FTTH in, just as other countries have already done it.

Hmm, BT, maybe we will just go round you. And don't you know it....hence iwade. Rutland have already gazumped you by doing FTTC without scamming the Parish council, haven't they? Watch them put FTTH in without you - we are.

Why do we need BT to have the best, fastest, most scrumptious internet connection? Can't we build it ourselves and leave you, BT, out the loop entirely? Oooh yes.


Somerset said...

Would any areas on the FTTC list consider another scheme? What would be the advantages?

Martin said...

Completely disagree with this blog post.

Firstly, IP is *designed* to allow by default the 'local' networking option. If you traceroute to the BBC, it doesn't go via china. It goes on the shortest possible route. As any sort of FTTC option would work assuming it's implemented -- but really, with Sky/TalkTalk/etc all having 1tbit+ on their central links to and from London it's a none issue.

FTTC is a great idea. It allows BT to reach far more homes, faster and cheaper. I would be much happier having 40mbit+ next year than FTTH in 5 years time. And let's not forgot we're still getting fiber closer to the user. This fiber will allow the cost of FTTH to be reduced.

Yes, in an ideal world BT would be deploying FTTH everywhere just as quick if not quicker than they are rolling out FTTC. But this is the real world, and as Verizon found out, FTTH is extremely expensive and the delta for consumer experience just isn't there yet. Verizon is really struggling to pull the clientbase they need - DOCSIS3 from Comcast et al is competing fine right now.

Ignition said...

What are you talking about please?

The BT FTTC solution delivers PPPoE directly to suppliers at the exchange level. If they wish to terminate the PPPoE session at the exchange they can, if they wish to backhaul it to a remote BRAS they can.

It's entirely up to the operator where they break customer IP traffic out.

If we were in a situation where there is no requirement to wholesale BT could provide the kind of service you want through use of IP DSLAMs / MSANs. As it is this is completely unfeasible. It is BT Wholesale's job to get the data to ISPs, not to route traffic in between the customers of ISPs.

Even if we were dealing with fibre to the home if it were an open access network you would still need to go through a number of other resources unless your neighbour and yourself used the same ISP.

I'm guessing you think of Japan as some broadband panacea. Hey guess what, it's all PPPoE to centralised BRAS, same as BT's FTTC baby!

I am starting to understand where Chris D gets her misinformation from if she's quoting stuff like this verbatim and taking it at face value.

Ignition said...

Incidentally get as upset as you want with Iwade, doesn't change that people there who were previously getting a couple of Mbit over exchange-based DSL will soon be receiving 40Mbps, while you wring your hands over the evils of copper and accuse them of a f**k up.

Better still with that FTTC 50% of that CapEx is reusable for FTTP, so Iwade will be higher than expected up the list for fibre overlay as well when the time comes.

Not so stupid after all huh?

Cybersavvy UK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cybersavvy UK said...

@martin and @ignition - recently, during the writing of my new social media book, (day job) I had to do a chapter on how to get people out of lurk mode and commenting on your blog. Seems to work.....;o)

My problem with FTTC is a) the continuation of asymmetry b) the fact that we currently don't have sub loop unbundling regulation so I, for instance, can't just come off that street cab and re-use existing infrastructure to run fibre to all the local homes who want FTTH, I can only resell FTTC from BT c) FTTC doesn't scale downwards well so for small cabs you might as well FTTH and be done, once and for all, nor does it work over long lines d) BT keep moving the goal posts so others can't come in and make sensible business and investment decisions. It is now time that BT came clean and admitted where is final third and where isn't. If NOWHERE is actually outside of their intentions, because they are hoping for handouts from central, regional or local government, then let's ensure that any parish council etc is given the full story when looking for solutions for parishioners and not just the BT story before parting with public cash. Were Iwade told how much true FTTH would cost in their area or just what BT thought it would cost BT?

Iwade are just going to be treated as 'job done' now, exactly the same as with first gen broadband and DSLAMS.

Oh, and finally, why would I want BT reaching more homes? There are thousands of people in this country who are fed up with being beholden to BT. The communities should own the asset. BT were given the gift, and have had plenty long enough to make it work. Their enormous pension deficit, shareholders' interests etc should not be the reason why the British public miss out or our economy suffers.

Ignition said...

Asymmetry is not ideal, true. It's a specific interest of mine as my profile here would suggest however the applications requiring high upstream still remain largely confined to wholesale P2P. 10Mbps is ample for pretty much everyone for a while.

SLU and using BT's ducting and poles are somewhat different things. Regulated access to this ducting and poles is coming soon anyway. If you want to SLU BT copper you are most welcome to do so via the SLU products, Vtesse have.

What infrastructure would you re-use from FTTC? The GigE backhaul going into the MSAN? What use would this be?

FTTC can scale downwards to lowly served cabinets fairly well - there are 'pizza box' MSANs which will go snugly into existing cabinets and are a potential solution.

Distance does of course remain an issue, however where is the business case to do the necessary to push fibre out at distance? Assuming cabinets are located near populations a 600m+ fibre run out to a few homes is a tough business case to make.

If communities want to own the assets the simple solution is to pony up for them. Maybe Iwade just weren't interested in FTTP and wanted a solution now, not in however many years. As it is it would have certainly been a 7 figures job, possibly more.

BT don't know what this final third is yet. They will I'm sure rather cynically hold out for money in some areas however they are still doing surveys, etc, as they have been for some time.

FTTC is not ideal, it's a stopgap, but for many it's a hell of a lot better than nothing and one thing it certainly has over 'community' solutions is choice - the Openreach product is constructed so that whichever ISP I take Openreach are not causing any congestion or performance issues and these are purely down to the laws of physics and the ISPs choosing to contend.

I do love your idea but the best way to get things done is with big telco. Citynet Amsterdam got it done as a PPP, communities don't know how to build and run networks and it's far better to get someone who does on board.

I know Vtesse are flavour of the month, you're aware that if they take public money from BDUK they'll have to wholesale the networks?

Ignition said...

You may find an interesting read.

Summarising however the bitstream option appears to give customers the greatest retail choice due to the issues accumulating enough scale to make unbundling, at ODF or cabinet level, viable.

Tagging a post with 'Open Retch' isn't really conducive to taking what you have seriously by the way. Just a thought :)

Somerset said...

'I actually think that we now have enough people ready to dig FTTH in, just as other countries have already done it.'

Which ones and to what extent?

Somerset said...

'Communities own the asset'.

Please explain, on what scale should this be. Too small and it relies on the village techie who then moves. Big, and it becomes run as a company which then merges with the next town and so on. Look what happened to all the different cable companies.

Lots of enthuasism, including me, to set it up and once it is running who will be the 24x7 support team for any faults?

There is a lot of detail missing in all these ideas.