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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

Providing Fibre Broadband in areas with Exchange Only Lines



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 3rd 19, 04:42 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Rab C[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default Providing Fibre Broadband in areas with Exchange Only Lines

I asked some of these questions in another group (Demon Service) but
realised the topic would probably be better discussed here, so apologies
to anyone who has already replied elsewhere.

In terms of providing new fibre broadband in rural areas served by
Exchange Only (EO) lines, how is this actually done in regard to the
infrastructure? Are two networks provided side-by-side: copper and
fibre?

My rural exchange has never had cabinets of any kind, just a few pillars
and small (leaky) junction boxes hidden away here and there in the
undergrowth in the road verges. However, two new green cabinets have
recently appeared - one on the east side and one on the west of the
exchange (both sited at road junctions - I guess that at some point
further cabinets will radiate out from these first two and will be
placed at suitably strategic points).

The fact sheet on EO lines published by Digital Scotland suggests that
*two* cabinets need to be provided and they must be very close to each
other (a copper and a fibre cabinet), yet here only one cabinet has been
placed in each location. I understand from documents lodged with the
Council that these are "all-in-one PCP001 DSLAM" cabinets. Does this
mean they contain equipment for both copper and fibre connections? Are
they connected to each other and the exchange by duplicate fibre and
copper cabling or is the existing copper system physically left in place
as a sort of legacy network, while the new cabinets are connected to
each other and back to the exchange solely by fibre (with only the last
link to the premises using the original copper)? (1)

Finally, does new fibre cabling *always* have to be underground and
protected by ducting or can it be strung overhead using poles using some
kind of reinforced protective outer sheathing? I thought fibre was meant
to be a bit more delicate than conventional telephone cabling!

I am just wondering how Openreach is going to connect the next planned
cabinet to the recently installed one - the route is along a very narrow
country road with hardly any verges. The existing light grey BT
telephone cable is buried shallowly in the verge and occasionally gets
exposed by careless workers and drivers of large agricultural vehicles.
I'm not even sure how the newly installed cabinet was connected to the
exchange. A duct was put in along the road verge for the electricity
supply (which was taken from a nearby pole) and a new line of wooden
poles was erected, which appears to be carrying a telephone cable to the
cabinet. Could this be a fibre cable?

Thanks,
Rab

(1) I had wondered whether, instead of running two networks
side-by-side, would it be feasible for new fibre cabinets to be
connected solely by fibre and contain some kind of throttling kit that
limited the download/upload speeds for those premises opting to stick
with the original ADSL copper connection? That would allow the existing
legacy copper network to be abandoned, but perhaps this wouldn't work
for various reasons.

--
Rab
Please use Reply-To: address
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  #2  
Old February 3rd 19, 04:53 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Andy Burns[_5_]
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Posts: 357
Default Providing Fibre Broadband in areas with Exchange Only Lines

Rab C wrote:

In terms of providing new fibre broadband in rural areas served by
Exchange Only (EO) lines, how is this actually done in regard to the
infrastructure? Are two networks provided side-by-side: copper and fibre?


They tend to place a cabinet somewhere very close to the exchange, the
fibre will only run from the exchange to the cabinet, and it'll still be
copper all the way from the cabinet to the home, so they only tend to do
it where the distance allows better speeds than ADSL2+

Unless you're in an area where they're proposing FTTP rather than FTTC?
  #3  
Old February 3rd 19, 05:09 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Java Jive
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Posts: 419
Default Providing Fibre Broadband in areas with Exchange Only Lines

On 03/02/2019 15:53, Andy Burns wrote:
Rab C wrote:

In terms of providing new fibre broadband in rural areas served by
Exchange Only (EO) lines, how is this actually done in regard to the
infrastructure? Are two networks provided side-by-side: copper and fibre?


They tend to place a cabinet somewhere very close to the exchange, the
fibre will only run from the exchange to the cabinet, and it'll still be
copper all the way from the cabinet to the home, so they only tend to do
it where the distance allows better speeds than ADSL2+


No, that's not my understanding, at least up here in the wilds of
Scotland. We're getting an FTTC cabinet, but it's going to be about
2.25 from my home, so not much help to me. AIUI, from talking to a man
in the manhole next to it when I was walking past (but, at a guess, his
accent was Eastern European, so I don't know how much he actually knows
about the wider system beyond that encompassed by his job), what they're
doing is putting a cabinet in by the houses nearest the exchange, which
are about four miles from it, and then all the phone lines for the whole
area will be diverted through that cabinet - as they already have been
to go through the nearest cabinet in the local town itself, which lends
credence to what the man said.
  #4  
Old February 3rd 19, 05:29 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Mike Humphrey
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 20
Default Providing Fibre Broadband in areas with Exchange Only Lines

Rab C wrote:
In terms of providing new fibre broadband in rural areas served by
Exchange Only (EO) lines, how is this actually done in regard to the
infrastructure? Are two networks provided side-by-side: copper and
fibre?


They install a cabinet (or cabinets - Inverness just gained eight
cabinets outside the exchange, presumably for this reason). The copper
lines go through the cabinet, just as if the cabinet had always been
there, and connect to a fibre cabinet. The fibre and copper don't have
to take the same route, or even go back to the same exchange.

My rural exchange has never had cabinets of any kind, just a few pillars
and small (leaky) junction boxes hidden away here and there in the
undergrowth in the road verges. However, two new green cabinets have
recently appeared - one on the east side and one on the west of the
exchange (both sited at road junctions - I guess that at some point
further cabinets will radiate out from these first two and will be
placed at suitably strategic points).


Probably not - which means that if you're too far from the cabinet
you'll not get FTTC and you'll have to wait for FTTP. I'm in this
situation - the EO lines have been re-routed through a cabinet, but I'm
too far from the cabinet to get VDSL from it.

The fact sheet on EO lines published by Digital Scotland suggests that
*two* cabinets need to be provided and they must be very close to each
other (a copper and a fibre cabinet), yet here only one cabinet has been
placed in each location. I understand from documents lodged with the
Council that these are "all-in-one PCP001 DSLAM" cabinets. Does this
mean they contain equipment for both copper and fibre connections? Are
they connected to each other and the exchange by duplicate fibre and
copper cabling or is the existing copper system physically left in place
as a sort of legacy network, while the new cabinets are connected to
each other and back to the exchange solely by fibre (with only the last
link to the premises using the original copper)? (1)


BT call these "onesies", and it's effectively two semi-detached
cabinets, copper in one side and fibre in the other. All cabinets have a
copper connection back to the exchange for the voice line - the fibre
cabinet just adds the VDSL. Although it would be possible to have the
voice line originate in the cabinet, current BT equipment doesn't do
that.

Finally, does new fibre cabling *always* have to be underground and
protected by ducting or can it be strung overhead using poles using some
kind of reinforced protective outer sheathing? I thought fibre was meant
to be a bit more delicate than conventional telephone cabling!


Nope, overhead fibre exists, as does armoured fibre that can be buried
without a duct. While the fibres are delicate, they're wrapped up in
several layers of protection whether underground or overhead.

Mike
  #5  
Old February 3rd 19, 05:33 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Andy Burns[_5_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 357
Default Providing Fibre Broadband in areas with Exchange Only Lines

Java Jive wrote:

Andy Burns wrote:

They tend to place a cabinet somewhere very close to the exchange


No, that's not my understanding, at least up here in the wilds of
Scotland.


They installed cabinets right outside the exchange gates for the EO
premises here, at the time they fibre upgraded the other cabinets.

https://goo.gl/maps/YHfc2gjQ3K12

I suppose if the EO premises are distant from the exchange, they could
plant the cabinet nearer the "centre" of the premises, rather than the
exchange.
  #6  
Old February 4th 19, 06:57 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Graham J[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 11
Default Providing Fibre Broadband in areas with Exchange Only Lines

Rab C wrote:

[snip]

From experience last autumn in our village, which is about 5km from the
nearest exchange, and 3.5km from an existing green cabinet at a road
junction. So these are not EO lines, but they might as well be since
there were no cabinets in the village - until ...

.... Openreach (or rather, contractors working for Openreach) installed
two new cabinets (others here have described them as "onesies"), one in
the centre of the village, and one at the eastern end - the direction
the cables take towards the exchange.

In each case these cabinets are on the opposite side of the road to the
existing cabling. At the eastern end the cables run through an
underground chamber; while in the centre of the village the cables are
overhead on poles.

At the eastern end the contractors dug a trench and installed a duct
across the road from the camber to the new cabinet. Then cut a couple of
the multi-pair cables and joined the cut ends to new multi-pair cables
crossing the road where they terminated in the new cabinet.

My ADSL service came via this route, and it was down for about 15
minutes when the cables were extended to the cabinet

A fibre cable arrives in this eastern cabinet. I'm told it comes
directly from a much larger exchange further away. Probably a good
thing because I suspect the local exchange gets all its voice and
internet connectivity by microwave link.

I applied for FTTC and the connection was down for about 5 minutes for
the changeover. I live about 1km from this cabinet and see about
28Mbits/sec download speed.

Ironically the cabinet in the centre of the village is only about 100
metres west of my house, but since my copper pair doesn't go that way I
don't get the benefit of the 80Mbits/sec servcie.

In the centre of the village similar ducts carry cables to the cabinet
but the joins were made in the plastic housings frequently seen on
telephone poles. The fibre that arrives at this cabinet is carried most
of the way through the village on poles together with the small cables
carrying the voice service to the various houses. It looks like a
4-pair copper cable but the black exterior has a yellow stripe, and
those poles that support the fibre cable have tiny labels saying "Fibre
overhead".

Hope this helps ...

--
Graham J
  #7  
Old February 5th 19, 09:34 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Martin Brown[_2_]
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Posts: 139
Default Providing Fibre Broadband in areas with Exchange Only Lines

On 03/02/2019 16:33, Andy Burns wrote:
Java Jive wrote:

Andy Burns wrote:

They tend to place a cabinet somewhere very close to the exchange


No, that's not my understanding, at least up here in the wilds of
Scotland.


He is right - at least in regions where the original exchange is in a
sensible place so that it serves a local community.

They installed cabinets right outside the exchange gates for the EO
premises here, at the time they fibre upgraded the other cabinets.

https://goo.gl/maps/YHfc2gjQ3K12


And at my exchange - unfortunately they put it on the wrong side of the
exchange from me which makes it further from me than the exchange!

I suppose if the EO premises are distant from the exchange, they could
plant the cabinet nearer the "centre" of the premises, rather than the
exchange.


Although usually the exchange is close to the centre of gravity of the
largest community and they have had to suffer Openreach upgrade vans.

They may install others near to the centres of other nearby villages iff
mains power and sufficient potential customers are available.

Only those who take VDSL get routed through the new cabinet and if
experience around here is anything to go by on old copper it is a bit of
a lottery for performance if you are more than 1km from the cabinet.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
  #8  
Old February 5th 19, 10:21 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Java Jive
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Posts: 419
Default Providing Fibre Broadband in areas with Exchange Only Lines

On 05/02/2019 20:34, Martin Brown wrote:
On 03/02/2019 16:33, Andy Burns wrote:
Java Jive wrote:

Andy Burns wrote:

They tend to place a cabinet somewhere very close to the exchange

No, that's not my understanding, at least up here in the wilds of
Scotland.


He is right - at least in regions where the original exchange is in a
sensible place so that it serves a local community.


He may be right sometimes, but so am I sometimes. The Lairg Exchange is
situated sensibly in Church Hill Rd in the centre of Lairg. Formerly
this whole outlying area of Shinness between 4 and 8 miles out from the
exchange was on EO lines, but since the FTTC rollout I've been connected
to cabinet 4, at the corner of Manse Rd, which is the nearest cabinet to
me, even though I am way too far out to get FTTC. And when the new
cabinet about 2.25 miles away comes online, I think there's every chance
that I'll be connected to that.
  #9  
Old February 6th 19, 10:06 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Martin Brown[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 139
Default Providing Fibre Broadband in areas with Exchange Only Lines

On 05/02/2019 21:21, Java Jive wrote:
On 05/02/2019 20:34, Martin Brown wrote:
On 03/02/2019 16:33, Andy Burns wrote:
Java Jive wrote:

Andy Burns wrote:

They tend to place a cabinet somewhere very close to the exchange

No, that's not my understanding, at least up here in the wilds of
Scotland.


He is right - at least in regions where the original exchange is in a
sensible place so that it serves a local community.


He may be right sometimes, but so am I sometimes.* The Lairg Exchange is
situated sensibly in Church Hill Rd in the centre of Lairg.* Formerly
this whole outlying area of Shinness between 4 and 8 miles out from the
exchange was on EO lines, but since the FTTC rollout I've been connected
to cabinet 4, at the corner of Manse Rd, which is the nearest cabinet to
me, even though I am way too far out to get FTTC.* And when the new
cabinet about 2.25 miles away comes online, I think there's every chance
that I'll be connected to that.


It is rather unusual for them to do *any* unnecessary work when
installing an FTTC out in the wilds. They usually leave all the EO lines
and existing ADSL cabinet circuits well alone and only swap the people
who have opted for the new faster VDSL service through the new box. Even
then their original copper circuit tends to be left in place for POTS.

Only the high speed data is routed over the fibre link.

I fed a few local numbers into BT Broadband line checker to see if
anything had changed around here.

http://www.dslchecker.bt.com/

The odd one has improved by getting VDSL but there is still a dichotomy
between those on VDSL and those on ADSL and EO lines still persist over
a wide range of numbers. It might be because anything they disturb in
these old junction boxes breaks one circuit for every four they try to
work on so that they really try very hard to do as little as possible.

One curiosity is that in the zone served by VDSL a new line has appeared
in the facilities available at that location claiming FTTP on demand
with status available downstream 330M up 30M. Then the first line
immediately after the table says "FTTP is not available".

I put put one of my friends up to enquiring if it is really available.

--
Regards,
Martin Brown
  #10  
Old February 7th 19, 09:23 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Mike Humphrey
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 20
Default Providing Fibre Broadband in areas with Exchange Only Lines

Martin Brown wrote:
One curiosity is that in the zone served by VDSL a new line has appeared
in the facilities available at that location claiming FTTP on demand
with status available downstream 330M up 30M. Then the first line
immediately after the table says "FTTP is not available".


FTTP On Demand is "available" almost anywhere. The challenge is finding
an ISP prepared to order it (very few, none of the big names) and the
cost (if you have to ask you can't afford it).

FTTP is available very few places so far. However where it is available
most ISPs can provide it, and the cost is not vastly more than VDSL.

Mike
 




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