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Tuesday, 15 July 2008

NGA no longer equals FTTx

A snippet hidden at the bottom of BT's press release today about their plans for a fibre deployment is most interesting. I quote from the FAQ in the release:

Are “next generation broadband” and “super-fast broadband” the same thing?
No. “Next generation broadband” refers to the family of new services that BT will offer. These include fibre-based “super-fast” services – such as FTTP and FTTC – as well as advanced copper-based fast services such as ADSL2+.

So at a stroke BT plunges the industry into confusion. for months if not years the whole sector has been talking confidently about Next Generation access networks, meaning FTTH and/or FTTB/P. BT now seems to include ADSL2+ into the mix, a technology which at best can deliver 24 Mbps, but which in practice appears to be falling far short of this. Since when is last mile copper "next generation"? To my mind this disingenuous claptrap with but one goal in mind - to further confuse the consumer, already baffled by Virgin's spurious claims about its "fibre network". No doubt the Post Office will soon start referring to the 'stamp' as a next-gen communications technology.

BT also seem to think that ADSL2+ can support HDTV. I'd like to see that in the wild.


Anonymous said...

French operators offer HDTV using DSL already. NGA is defined by Ofcom to include all manner of things, possibly including wireless access, and definitely including just part of the copper access network (eg between central office and cabinet)

Graham said...

From what I understand - and I am very happy to be corrected on this - HDTV (1080p) needs something like 26Mbps. If DSL can do that I'd be keen to find out more.

On the NGA definition issue, Ofcom may well include a mixed bag of technologies in the mix. My point remains that this can only lead to further confusion in the mind of the consumer, which is unhelpful.