back to article BT earmarks 66 more exchanges for fibre-to-the-cabinet upgrade

BT's Openreach wholesale division announced this morning the next 66 exchanges that it plans to upgrade as part of its fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband rollout. Most of the locations, which are spattered all over the UK, will get the FTTC technology at some point in 2012. BT said that a few of the exchanges will "go live …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. CraPo

    No guarantee

    I was supposed to be able to get it 31st March, then that was pushed back to 31st July. I've just checked again and it's been pushed back to 31st September. Hmm, wonder how much faith I have in that!

    1. Scotty81

      Delays delays delays

      Same story in Bromsgrove, FTTC should of been in a few months back, but the date keeps getting pushed back

  2. Random Noise


    2 exchanges in Aberdeen & mine isn't either of them.

  3. Number6

    standard whinge

    They didn't include my local exchange. I wonder how many rural exchanges where there's long bits of wet string out to most customers are in the list? I'm guessing almost none, and yet these are the ones that would benefit the most from FTTC because 3+km of cable would be replaced by a few hundred yards at most. You probably wouldn't find the locals complaining about the large cabinets either.

  4. Prawn

    means very little.....

    Hammersmith exchange expected dates





    Now Dec-2011

    By the time BT actual get any fibre to a cabinet the tech will be out of date.

    Great big marketing campaign showing super fast broadband with magic channel sensing wireless blah blah blah but it all means nothing when the exchange go live dates keep getting pushed back .

  5. Gizzit101

    Aberdeen geography

    My exchange in Aberdeen isn't marked for upgrade yet either - but it appears that BT are under the impression that Aberdeen is in Fife.

    Explains a lot.

  6. SuperNintendoChalmers

    Which cabinets though?

    How on earth do you find out when your cabinet is going to get the fibre though? My local exchange(Glasgow Halfway) has been enabled for a long time and FTTC is "available in some areas" but I can't find out which areas have it or when those that don't, are going to get it.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      This might help's probably been superseded by now but this might give you some hints:

      It's a zipped CSV file. It won't include the newly announced exchanges but if yours was already listed then it might help. If nothing else you can use it to find your cabinet then you can walk over to it and glare at it :D

      1. Tom 38



        That file just confirms that BT have no plans to do anything with my cabinet, and that they similarly have no plans for 187 out of 1395 cabinets on my exchange :(

      2. SuperNintendoChalmers


        Thanks for that. My cabinet is indeed mentioned, sadly it is not in any phase at this point :(

  7. Tom 38
    Thumb Down


    Don't hold your breath. Even when your exchange is upgraded, they still have to roll it out to the street cabinet that actually serves you. My exchange has been upgraded for almost 4 months now, they still have no plans to actually enable my cabinet, probably because there aren't enough residential subscribers (I live in a town centre).

    Oh, and forget ever finding out why you can't get it. The reasons are one of these (but no-one at BT will ever tell you which):

    Too close to the exchange (direct line to the exchange, no cabinet).

    Too few residential lines on your cabinet

    Not enough interest

    On the other hand, you still can't get fibre through anyone but BT or a BT reseller, so no rush.

    1. Danny 14


      "On the other hand, you still can't get fibre through anyone but BT or a BT reseller, so no rush"

      Easynet will supply fibre to me, as will smallworld. FTCC is 50 miles away at the moment.

      1. Tom 38

        Ok, I <3 pedantry :)

        Yes, Verizon would give me fibre too, seeing how the basement of my building is also a POP for them, unfortunately I can't afford £1000/month. Lets try again, with a more accurate statement :)

        You still can't get consumer grade fibre through anyone but BT or BT reseller in most areas.

    2. jabuzz


      > Too close to the exchange (direct line to the exchange, no cabinet).

      Why should this be a problem? Surely they can just install VDSL2 equipement in the exchange and be done with it. There are a lot of smaller rural exchanges serving small towns where virtually everyone is less than 1km from the exchange often much less. These are surely cheaper to upgrade to an FTTC like solution where the cabinet is the exchange than actually having to run fibre to cabinets or am I missing something? Sure you won't cover everyone on such an exchange running with the VDSL2 equipment in the exchange but it would be better than the current system. That said I would be happy if my exchange was upgraded to take ADSL2, because I need more upload speed than download.

      1. Tom 38

        Too close to the exchange

        When the line is directly connected to the exchange, BT intend to implement those as FTTP lines, from what I have read on thinkbroadband.

      2. AndrueC Silver badge

        This title intentionally left blank

        >Surely they can just install VDSL2 equipement in the exchange and be done with it.

        Nope. Apparently there is a restriction on the frequency range or power of signals within the exchange itself that means VDSL is either not possible or would require prohibitive shielding.

  8. Steve Button Silver badge

    echo "your list" | sort



































































    Now that wasn't very hard, was it?

  9. Raithmir


    Annoyingly, the four exchanges surrounding our exchange are all already "FTTC enabled". Ours still isn't on the list to be upgraded :(

  10. Greg J Preece
    Thumb Up


    I'm on the list! Oh yes!


  11. Anonymous Coward

    The exchange is not the whole story...

    Even if your exchange does get upgraded it doesn’t always mean you can get it. Mine was upgraded in September 2010, and BT keep sending me mails inviting me to switch to Infinity, but when I check my number with them on-line I only get offered a standard connection at 3 to 4 meg, even though I only live about 1.1 miles from the exchange by road.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Blimmin' Effing Twat-tacular load of shit-fest

      Why do they seem to target locations that already have ADSL 2+ and/or Virgin Media that can already receive a high bandwidth connection already?

      I'd like to see them go fod us swamp-dwelling oiks in the back of beyond with a 2Mbps connection. Twatbags.

      (apologies for the bad language!)

      1. Mark Allen

        Competition first - install in the areas that don't need it

        This is what has always annoyed me about these rollouts. BT will ALWAYS start by installing where their competitors are supplying a perfectly good network. Instead of going to the areas badly covered by current services, it just seems to be a priority to nick the customers of Virgin and other companies who have already installed a network at their own costs.

        BRIGHTON KEMPTOWN does not need an upgrade. Most of the properties I visit in there are already 17Mbps connections on ADSL2+. And that doesn't include the Virgin Cable clients. Whereas I have a company based half way up the A24 near Horsham barely able to get 0.5Mbps.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Blimmin' Effing Twat-tacular load of shit-fest

        This is because 50%+ of the street are on Virgin and all have to share the same bit of cable. This means that in the evenings (from 3:30pm to 11:30pm) on most days, their broadband sucks.

        I allow the two girls next door to piggyback on my Wireless when it gets too bad.

        I get 6Mbit ADSL over copper. BT recon this will go up to 30Mbit+ if I switched to FFTC.

        The Virgin wires around here were laid by NTL. I don't need to say any more. Total shite installation at the best of times. Then you get a VM sales droid telling you that they can give you 50Mbit. Can they heck. My brother in law works for VM and he just laughs when I tell him. Then he shows me the absolut max I could get from my BB conection on VM. 21Mb.


      3. AndrueC Silver badge

        Follow the money

        They target those areas because that is where you find the greatest concentrations of affluent people. It's called making a profit. The alternative is a nationalised industry and if anyone thinks that handing control of our telecommunications industry to the government is a good idea then they need their bumps feeling.

        I do agree however that it's a shame Ofcom can't get VM and BT to work together. Unfortunately I suspect that BT would need a subsidy if it was forced to only upgrade those areas of the network where VM didn't have a presence.

      4. Anomalous Cowturd
        Thumb Up

        Re: Blimmin' Effing Twat-tacular load of shit-fest

        May I suggest that the reason they are upgrading exchanges to fibre, in areas where there is already ADSL2+, is that they are selling sweet fuck-all broadband in those areas...

        I live in Folkestone, soon to be upgraded, but have been getting 22Mbit+ ADSL for over 18 months. Not from BT though! Sure the contention ratios aren't great, and things tend to slow down in the evenings, but out of hours downloads of linux ISOs or updates sometimes D/L at nearly 2.5MB per second. Lovely!

        BT are a business slowly coming to terms with the fact that they are rapidly falling far behind the competition. Virgin offer 50Mbit locally, my sister gets 8Mbit from Sky for nothing, and StalkStalk offer from 24Mbit downwards.

        BT = Bloody terrible.

        Too little, too late, too slow.

        Thumbs up for the title, by the way!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Darn straight...

      Exactly the same here. The BT site says my local exchange is Infinity-enabled, but that I can't get the service, despite living less than a mile away (and no info on when this will change).

      Loving the slow lane...

  12. Wheaty73
    Thumb Down



    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      on many levels

      no doubt

  13. bletherhead

    Not always BT's fault

    It's not always BT's fault that FTTC isn't available. Three times they've applied for planning permission to stick one of those magic cabinets in the street in the part of Winchester where I live, and three times the council have turned them down. Local nimbys complaining about 'too much street furniture' and 'not in keeping with the area'.


  14. Anonymous Coward


    I live in the next town along and don;t see why on earth they would have chosen Westgate to install!

    <5k served premises and no large residential estates / housing areas........

    1. JohnG


      "I live in the next town along and don;t see why on earth they would have chosen Westgate to install!"

      Probably some big knob from BT (or their Mum) lives there

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    As others have said...

    ...the fact that your local exchanged has been enabled means bugger all. My local exchange was enabled over a year ago ago but I, and hundreds of households in my area are still struggling along with, in some cases, a connection speed of <512Kb/s, which drops out almost on an hourly basis. Talking to BT makes it clear they could not give a sh!t.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    30 miles from London...

    ... and still stuck at 4mb

    I suppose I should count myself lucky I get that.

    Zero plans from BT that I can see to change this anytime soon - so if they are talking about 'difficult to reach 10%', they certainly aren't trying that hard.

    I think it's more a case of 'where's the money at' comes first, everyone else can wait.

    The exchange near me probably services about 1000 properties, so I guess that's small potatoes.

  17. s. pam Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    More ButThead dis-propoganda

    Who cares to the cabinet when the Postal Office coper last mile is still 50++ years old? It doesn't make a Donkey's as it will still suck.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      50 year old copper.. still copper. It will work perfectly well if you are within an appropriate distance of a cabinet. The problem is going to be aluminium in some areas. That will still work but nowhere near as well as 50 year old copper.

      1. Refugee from Windows

        50+ year old copper

        Where I am there's a ration on the broadband, we're right on the edge of a "not spot" simply because the cabling's had it, and Out-o-reach has been swopping round pairs onto the fewer and fewer that'll support data. All because they decided to save money in the PO Telephones days by not ducting the cable, so you can't just drag a new length through. Being at the end of the run of course, there's no chance and VM are but a distant dream.

  18. Ossi

    Well, if it's anything like the Isle of Dogs...

    ...don't hold you breath. It seems that here *all* housing built in the last 10 years (and a hell of a lot of it was - all built wired with copper, by the way) won't be wired up to FTTC, even though the exchange is enabled. The old council estates are being enabled. Funnily enough, Virgin Media isn't available in this area either.

    This is an area of high density housing (my block's 17 storeys, and it's a small one round here) with prosperous demographic. Now why would this not be a main chance for one of the operators to make a pile of cash? I really don't know the answer to that question, but I suspect it's because BT are already getting our money, and Virgin are too skint to do the job. Barriers to entry for other operators are simply too high. Until BT have a *real* incentive to do the job properly, I suspect they won't.

  19. Rob Daglish
    Thumb Up


    So, living in the countryside, I get to pay more for a slower connection than a town dweller, which irks, but this list is good news. Yup. No exchanges within 100 miles of me being done still, so I can chill out as none of my friends will be able to rub it in my face that They're on an upgraded exchange. Yay, go BT!

  20. Amos

    "Duct blockages" causing delays?

    would that be another name for "we found a tree growing through the cables", or as the calldesk knows it "I cant connect" ??

    FAIL. Because blockages, floods, and various state of animal matter in ducts are no excuse for being surprised.

  21. Jim 59

    gigantic web caching device

    Your average small exchange is probably downloading thousands of copies of popular web pages, eg BBC news. Maybe a big net caching device at the exchange could speed things up. If it has dedupe, it won't need to be so enourmous. The pages would have to expire after an hour or two.

    Won't help gaming, interactive services and the rest of it, but those could still benefit from freed bandwidth.

    Oh and turn off iPlayer, or re-implement it on top of bittorrent. Streaming is anathema to the Internet IMO.

  22. Luke 11


    Since when did smackheads need FTTC? We live in Robin Hood's Bay and we're much more deserving of FTTC than Bridlington. Tax revenues for our village per capita head will far outstrip those of Bridlington. Makes me sick.

    1. Anomalous Cowturd

      @Luke 11. Age or IQ?

      Obviously, you are far better than the proles who live in the renowned den of iniquity that is Bridlington...

      A small affluent village named after a thief surely needs the best available internet connection, no matter the cost. You deserve it! Never mind robbing the poor to feed the desires of the rich...

      In fact, if you're that upset, try writing to your MP. Or ask your Mum to do it for you. And while you're at it, ask her for a few more private tuition hours to improve your grammar! Per capita head indeed! ROFL. Either / or, not both.


  23. Darren Forster
    Thumb Down

    Still no Ludlow....

    It's unbelievable I was on a ISLAND (Isle of Wight) at the weekend that had CABLE TV and BROADBAND, and full 3G phone coverage. I come back to Ludlow which is in the middle of the mainland (only about 20 miles from the major city of Birmingham) and STILL we have no fibre optic and no plans at present for fibre optic and barely even get 3G. WTF???? Villages on an island actually have better broadband and TV than we do on the mainland, BT really need to get their priorities sorted.

    I might resort to sending smoke signals in Ludlow, might get there quicker and save me a fortune on a sub-standard hit and miss broadband service from Plus Net.

  24. Andy 97
    Thumb Up

    It pays to have the Prime Minister as your MP.

    I live is the tiny market town of Witney and we get this new Infinity thing December 1st.

    I may even be able to watch on demand content from BT Vision after 8pm at night.

  25. Commend

    FTTC is my A***

    YEah BT will say that and delay for another 1 or 2 more years by pushing things back further and further... They have Billions and recive millions in Government grants and still no improvement. Why here is why...

    I live less then 1 mile away from one of BT's largest research centre and guess what, I cant even get 512KB broadband. they are not interested investing any money in Ipswich at all and ho help as well.

    I cant change my broadband to another provider who will give me better connection because BT is not willing to upgrade my exchange so there is one thing, I will be stuck in the slow lane for another maybe 5 more years. By the way they said 4 years ago they are planning to upgrade my exchange within 3 years that was 4 years ago though, I give them another 3 years to see if things improves

    1. Greemble

      Re:FTTC is my A***

      Kesgrave Exchange? I guess you've not read this?

      I wish BT would provide "no help" like that to my exchange...

      Unless you're at another exchange out of Ipswich - Nacton or Waldingfield. In which case, no - you'll be in the final 10%

    2. Adrian Coward
      Thumb Down


      "I cant change my broadband to another provider who will give me better connection because BT is not willing to upgrade my exchange"

      More likely that no other provider wants to pay to move in - BT Wholesale would be happy to take the rent.

  26. Jason 24

    What about those of us who have PAID for fibre

    We have paid a very large sum of money to get BT to fit fibre to one of our offices. The installation date was November originally. Still waiting. They keep saying that they need a good return on investment but even when they've already been paid they fuck about constantly.

  27. Dave Moffatt


    Guys, BT is a business. It doesn't HAVE to give you anything but it does have a responsibility to its shareholders. If BT doesn't get this right there is the potential to repeat what happened when they bought their 3G licences in the 90s - virtual bankruptcy. Why not ask yourself why the 'amazing' Virgin or any of the others haven't cabled your area - it's usually because it's not economically viable and would be a terrible business decision. As long as the average punter sees £25 per month as a high price for broadband, you can kiss goodbye to major investment.

  28. Tom 7

    BT earmarks 66 more exchanges for fibre-to-the-cabinet upgrade

    Software companies earmark 66 more ways to expand your data so any potential increase in bandwidth is more than swamped by the white noise of HD video feeds from handheld cameras looking at printed out PDF documents that are out of date.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like