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Misappropriation of government funds?

Having had many problems with the BT infinity installation since it it was first delivered it is becoming clear based on my experience of 30 years in telecoms and the over heard conversations of the 8 or more engineers (i have lost count) that have been sent out to my fault ridden service, and observation of some of the infrastucture, that the vdsl solution in infinity was never likely to function because the last mile infrastructure was not upgraded to 21st century standards.

Poor connections, unducted underground works, aluminium cable , dax still installed on lines, existing battery , openreach unwillingness to spend more then 6 hours before closing a ticket, are not conducive with the implementation of VDSL.

I can not imagine that this would not have been known , before government money was accepted to implement this drive for faster broadband.

It seems rural broadband is a bit like putting go faster stripes on a tractor, a facade and a waste of money.

Good Morning,

Thanks for taking time to write to us.

There is no debate from our side that there are better alternatives than VDSL technology. FTTP is clearly the definitive answer and we would be delighted to be able to provide this to every property in the UK.
However, when we look at FTTP, we come back to the same old issue of cost. FTTP is far more expensive to deploy that VDSL and we just do not have the funds to deploy this across the whole of the UK. I do believe that emerging technologies will assist in improving things, but unless we deploy FTTP, we are always in a compromise position.

When the decision was made to deploy VDSL, it would have had to have been assumed that the PCP to end user connection was in good working order. Sadly, this isn't always the case and rural end users do sometimes appear to suffer more with poor quality connections across the distribution side of the copper infrastructure. In the majority of cases, the copper link is fit for purpose and will deliver better broadband.

In your particular case, it sounds like the infrastructure is causing ongoing problems for you and I can only suggest you raise this at a higher level within BT.


and the assumption is where the problem is.....

The cost of Delivering Fibre to cabinet is substantial and it strikes me as odd that such an investment is made without a survey of what will connect to it and whether it will bring a return on that investment.
In some cases the answer would be no, unless other steps are made. That does not require FTTP at all in many cases to reach the 25Mb/s deemed to be super fast. In many cases , replacement of aluminium, and DACs from lines, Channel bonding and vectoring would provide a very good return for little additional outlay, all over the existing copper infrastructure.

Where such solutions were not possible, other methods such as P2P using WIFI or LTE could be employed much more cost effectively.

Many other steps could have been taken, but it seems that people were quick to the solution with out understanding the returns, budget cycles and lack of knowledge allowed a Monopoly to deliver a one size fits all solution, that actually fits few in a rural environment. The local loop will always be the weakest link because that is where the concentration of effort is diluted.

Maybe if you had actually polled locals and sought advice on what they would want and whether they would be willing to partner in the investment to obtain a better level of service, then there would be a higher uptake of service and more onus on Openreach to fix the ailing infrastructure.

I am in consolation with BT and slowly my personal circumstances are been rectified with my input and perseverance. However I fear for those with less knowledge of telecoms and tenacity... who stand up for them?

Hi, Thanks for getting back to us. Delivering FTTC is significantly cheaper than delivering FTTP GPON solutions. It is the cost of Civils in the Brownfield and particularly the more rural areas that is invariably the 'Killer' and it is this issue that has driven us to the FTTC solution. I accept that Vectoring does offer an upgrade in broadband speeds, but these benefits are also restricted by distance and the benefits of Vectoring with its assocaiated additional costs are negible as you move out into rural areas.

With regard to other technologies, Lincolnshire has completed the deployment of a Fixed Wireless solution to a potential 12K properties in the East of the county. This was completed with ERDF funding and by a Lincolnshire based company. Lincolnshire were one of the first counties to successfully deliver a project of this size and on the back of its success, BDUK are now trialling both Line of Sight and Non-Line of sight Fixed Wireless with a view to early implementation.

Additionally, we are working with BT to trial a number of emerging technologies such as FTTRN and it is hoped to utilise both the Fixed Wireless and FTTRN technologies to further enhance what we are doing. On that basis, I feel that we haven't just gone for a one size fits all solution.

With regard to detailed surveying and the removal of Aluminium etc. whilst this clearly has merit, the logistics of this on a case by case basis would require additional and extensive planning and resources with the associated cost increases.

In terms of polling locals, whilst this may in theory have merit, the physical logistics, costs, time and complexity of doing this across every county would be enormous, particularly as you point out, there are those out there with less knowledge of telecoms. Before we started this project and before we contracted with BT, we did run a Public Consultation.

With regard to the Monopoly position, we would always accept that FTTC isn't the be all and end all, but we are restricted primarily by cost and the need to provide as much as we can, as quickly as we can to as many as we can and this ultimately drove the decision.

Regards steve
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