back to article BT to fibre up another 98 exchanges, puffs 'FTTP on demand' offer

Earlier this week, BT announced the company's latest phased rollout of its fibre optic-cabling technology in the UK. Blighty's national telco has said that BT's Openreach engineers will be upgrading another 98 exchanges. However, the national telco declined to tell The Register the exact split between fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC …


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  1. Fuzz

    Link? List?

    A link to or a list of the new exchanges might be nice.

    1. ScottME
      Thumb Up

      Re: Link? List?

    2. Pen-y-gors

      Re: Link? List?

      (if zdnet can bput a link, why not el reg?)

      1. Athan

        Re: Link? List?

        Indeed, and on checking the last such story from March, ElReg didn't have a link in that one either. Someone needs to stop being lazy.

    3. tmTM

      Re: Link? List?

      List's don't mean much.

      My local exchange won the 'race to infinity' - it still hasn't been enabled!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Link? List?

        agreed, we were not on the winning list but we were on the first batch roll out list and still nothing.

        like everything it will be everywhere but where i live, next door, DSL is 4 times faster than my 2MB, 3 doors down i can get cable, but dispite the cabnet being across the road BT wont look at it as its considered BB! and cable apparently doesnt think putting a cable to my house is worth the money. So with their current track record i dont have much faith that eiher A, FTTC will happen at this cab, or B if it does it wont work right an BT wont look at it as its considered OK.

        Sorry BT, but your network is falling apart, you seriously need to get it sorted

  2. David Webb

    So what does that mean for us in Cornwall who are stuck in FTTP areas with no chance of FTTC? My town is FTTx ready, cabinets around my estate have been upgraded and people are enjoying up to 80Mb but my estate is listed for FTTP and no idea of when it's being switched on, do we have to wait until after the trials to start getting fibre?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Craig 12

    Just hurry up BT, ffs

    Someone was laying fibre cables in central Brum today, hopefully my MDU is going to get in on the action.

    I was happy with my 16mb (actual speed!) adsl 6-7 years ago, now it's starting to seem outdated. (No, I don't need to download terabytes continuously, but the times I do want to surf need to be much snappier.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just hurry up BT, ffs

      Whilst I agree with the title, as someone who's on 750k I believe I'm contractually obliged to award the traditional downvote.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    The BT site tells you if you are in their plans or not. -

    I'm still not and neither is any neighbouring exchange. BT are too busy fitting out the most densely populated areas around here it seems. High density city developments are attractive to them, seems lower density market towns aren't.

    1. David Webb

      Re: Exchanges

      That tells you when your exchange is getting switched on, so it's about as useful as a condom machine in a convent. There is currently no way of knowing when you're getting a new cabinet that supports FTTC so even though where-and-when says "yeah, Accepting Orders" it means sod all.

      Here is where you look, if it has a date, that's possibly the maybe date, no date = no chance, even with where-and-when saying "Accepting Orders".

    2. Kebablog

      Re: Exchanges

      It's not just lower density towns that get ignored. My area in Birmingham is listed as not being currently considered. We are however well served by Virgin - but I don't want them near my house.

      Looks like I'll have to stick with my variable 4-5mb ADSL for the moment.

    3. Eddie Edwards

      Re: Exchanges

      And yet Oswestry, a low-density market town, is Accepting Orders as of a few weeks ago.

      Although that could be something to do with the huge GCHQ^H^H^H^H BT building just outside town ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Exchanges

        I also suspect it depends on if BT have good enough connectivity through the exchange. If an exchange is modern and easy to upgrade that may be a decider.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That'll do me

    "Theoretically, FTTC can deliver download speeds of up to 80Mbit/s and upstream speeds of 20Mbit/s, "

    Gimme, gimme, gimme - ADSL uploads to YouTube are killing my connection from the Danehill exchange which are only at a pathetic 0.3Mbs which means any participation in live events and gaming are off the menu due to upstream lag. FTTP is overkill for my personal tastes, FTTC is more than good enough for me. I'd be quite happy with 8Mbs download (roughly what I'm getting now) and 4Mbs upload.

    1. Dave Bell

      Re: That'll do me

      It's still and "up-to" speed, and it still depends on the capacity of the link, via your provider, between the exchange and the rest of the Internet.

      BT aren't really promising anything.

  6. HMB

    Fibre Superiority - Upload

    FTTC - Up to 80 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up.

    It's nice to know that FTTC's weakness (it's 20Mbps upload) has been addressed in the FTTP product. 330Mbps down and 20 or 30 Mbps up.

    Big Whoop.

    I can say being on a 50/5 Virgin service that downloading things is really no issue, faster would be nicer, but upload is the weakness. I download some things at speeds comparable to older LAN parties. What I want now is for my youtube uploads and Google Drive syncs not to take forever in an upload direction.

  7. Spasch

    Exchange Only Lines

    The other issue that BT Openreach are not mentioning is that of Exchnage Only lines where there is no cabinet, so no chance of FTTC..

    1. ChrisCabbage

      Re: Exchange Only Lines

      FWIW - BT are currently installing a system in my local exchange (Burley in Wharfedale, W Yorks) to work around this one.

      Apparently available at the end of July.

      I'm connected directly to the exchange, so should benefit.

      I guess if we're getting it, BT will be rolling it out elsewhere eventually.

  8. localzuk Silver badge


    Seems Somerset is at the end of the list. Even the relatively populated towns there.

    1. Kool-Aid drinker

      Re: Somerset?

      If it's any consolation, rural Lincolnshire is just as bad.

      1. Steve Foster

        @Kool-Aid drinker

        Apparently it might depend on which bit of rural Lincs.

        I'm in urban Surrey, and can't have FTTx, but my mother, in rural Lincs, can allegedly have FTTC now (having just gone 21CN earlier this year, which doubled her broadband speed from 0.5Mb to 1Mb).

        I guess I should console myself that I do at least get 8Mb ADSL2+ here, and have previously had 6Mb or so on ADSLMax (and 2Mb on ADSL1 before that).

    2. noboard

      Re: Somerset?

      Not all places in Somerset have been forgotten. In the crappy backwater that is Shepton Mallet we got upgraded in January.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Somerset?

      Well not really, as I counted 2 on that list. How many Dorset exchanges? big fat 0

  9. Storage_Person


    in the meantime my exchange was due to be upgraded to FTTC in June right up until yesterday, when it magically slipped to September. Some realistic scheduling would be great.

  10. Justin 9
    Thumb Down

    All well and good upgrading the exchanges

    Still does not mean your street cabinet will be upgraded. Unless you are in a cabled virgin or other provider then there is a good chance. But those of us who can only use BT are left on the shelf.

  11. Justin 9

    still needs work, but,

    Hoping to include the new exchnages today/tomorrow.

  12. AOD

    Openwound strike again!

    As with others, my "available date" has automagically been put back by 3 months yet again.

    My cabinet is at the end of our road but we're in a conservation area (Chislehurst) and judging by the planning decisions on the council website, applications for the new fibre cabinets are not going well.

    In such a situation, you'd think the sensible thing to do would be to not give a date (the exchange was enabled some time ago), except our area is also covered by Virgin as well.

    Coincidence do you think?

    1. Ommerson

      Re: Openwound strike again!

      By all accounts, NIMBYism is a big issue preventing rollout in some areas.

      There's at least once case in London where there has been so much that BT has just given up - and I don't blame them for it. It might focus some minds and could just result in punishment for incumbent councillors at the ballot box.

  13. masterofobvious


    As mentioned above, my exchange has been enabled but there isn't a cabinet in sight of where I live. I'm about 1 mile from the exchange. Once again it's just numbers and PR/paper release.

    Thanks BT

  14. Andy ORourke

    New Builds.....

    Just rented a brand new house and went to have a look round, I saw a fibre NTU in the cupboard under the stairs (says to the wife "We'll take this one")

    Got in touchwith BT, sorry sir, we can't supply your property with a phone line for telephone OR Broadband.

    Maybe it's Virgin, tried them, nope, not virgin.

    Got in touch with the landlord and it turns out there is a company called see thelight (Ironic really, given its fibre to the property and the one thing you can't do is "see" the light) seems they have some kind of deal with some new home builders to supply phone / broadand.

    I could have 200 Meg if I wanted to shell out the £80 a month, in the end I settled for 50 Meg (only 10 times what I get now) with a 10 Meg upload for just £8.25 a month. I even took a phone line and some phone extras before I realised I didnt need them!

    Anyway, who says monopolies can't be a force for good!

  15. probedb


    So pretty much every single Sheffield suburb and surrounding area will have or is getting fibre yet the city centre still isn't even on the 'we might be thinking about it' list.

    How does this work again?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Of course all those services are contended (although my ISP memorably described them as "contented" - quite unlike me then).

    Last September the Openreach engineer came and installed my FTTC, and ran a test which he said showed I was getting a shade less than 40Mbps. A few days later, a speed test revealed I was getting about 2.5Mbps (sic). Since then my test speeds have dropped from an average of 30Mbps or so to about 10Mbps.

    My ISV explains that is because of the contention - at "peak times" (any time I am likely to be using it, in other words) performance can drop by any amount, depending on how many others are sharing the fibre.

    The best part of FTTC is the upstream speed - never less than 5Mbps, and often 8Mbps.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Andy Gilbert

    I'm loving my 80Mbps Infinity 2 connection if that's of use to anyone :D

  19. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Announcing new exchanges != installing 'em.

    My exchange was supposed to be installed in March 2011.

    It's just been slipped another 3 months to September 2012

    The issue is NOT nimbyism - the local council is bending over backwards to assist the rollout and the very few planning applications required (only needed in conservation areas) have been expedited and completed in less than 6 weeks.

    1. AnonymousCoward

      Re: Announcing new exchanges != installing 'em.

      Our exchange was one of those that won the "race for infinity competition" a year or so back. Do we have it yet? No. There has been random digging and installation of cabinets but the BT website just announced another 6 month slip on availability to the end of the year.

      I know it was all some cynical marketing gimmick but FFS at least deliver on the exchanges you said had won your stoopid competition.

      BT - I hope you are listening because I can't find anyone who answers your phones that cares much.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chipping Norton

    I notice Chipping Norton is on that list. Keeping the real bosses of the UK happy - Cameron, Rebekah Brooks, Clarkson and all those lovely people....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Chipping Norton

      Mrs Brooks might be needing the Holloway exchange soon.

  21. AndrueC Silver badge

    Great. It'd be nice if it could fix whatever broke in the network early last week and give me back some decent throughput. I have a 76Mb/s profile but only get 30Mb/s since the 19th.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It would be nice if the Openretch bloke up the ladder who fixed a neighbour's line yesterday at exactly the same time mine died by complete coincidence could come back and give me any sort of throughput at all (or dialling tone). Especially as I went outside and pointed this out to him before he shrugged his shoulders, got in his van and drove off. Git.

  22. Bob Dunlop

    The least they could do

    So the inlaws in Matlock, who hav'nt got a computer could get it. My sister in London, and my brother, but me, the computer professional who could really use it, in deepest darkest North Hampshire can barely manage 4Mbps :-( and we were one of the last for that.

    Ofcom Classification: Market 1. "This exchange has BT Wholesale as the sole provider of broadband services."

    There's the problem, no competition, so no effort.

  23. Alan Brown Silver badge


    Is it just me being paranoid or are the exchanges where install dates steadily slipping really all in areas where Virgin media has service?

    Sounds like bait and switch, or inducement to stay with existing DSL providers by dangling the carrot of FTTC just out of reach until BTOR get around to it.

  24. johnnytruant

    two days to go

    and the exchange down my road goes live for FTTx

    not sure if I want to stump up the extra cash just yet, as I'm getting 20Mb/s sync as it is.

  25. SnowCrash

    Exchange is at the end of my garden. But I'm in a wiltshire vilage so I doubt the exchange will ever be upgraded as we are what OfCom lovingly call a Market 1 exchange..

    Oh well......

  26. Ned Fowden

    I'd be more than happy to stump up extra cash to get my connection upgraded, I've been told that the exchange is infinity enabled but the FTTC rollout is still part of the plan to see 66% of the country connected by end of 2015, so I might get above 1mbs some time in the next 3 years but who knows for sure

  27. Livinglegend

    It ain't necesserally so...

    We have had FTTC installed locally and the internet speed stayed exactly the same. I was informed that I could pay an EXTRA £240 per year for the last bit of connection to be fitted on my line in the cabinet, which could possibly increase the speed a little, I declined to be ripped off.

    So much for a non-existent upgrade.

  28. FromTheLandOfTheRisingSun

    Don't feel hard done by if you're not on the list....

    Basingstoke always seems to pop up on these early access lists from OR.

    Don't think that everyone in Doughnut-City is lapping up the big bandwidth. Our DSLAM 'touched down' nearly 13 months ago (I drove past them unloading it), it's still not got power due to a snafu of the power source being on private land and the leccy board yet to sort out wayleave. Adjacent PCP's have been more or less definitely been declared not-worth for FTTC u/g and now being covered by an independent broadband OTA solution (hi These are all parts that were overlooked by Virgin in it's NTL/Telewest days (I'm told due to standoff between council and vendor) and CableYourStreet programme has replied with a big thumbs-down for a 3000+ household 'out-of-town-"village"'.

    That's not to mention the many new-build estates from the last 2/3 years that have yet to have roads handed over from developer to council so OR can't even start DSLAM rollout.

    I wouldn't dare to ask OR to provide FTTP to my house for fear of the contribution being towards getting power to the DSLAM in the first place.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all meaningless BS... exchange has been updated for a year or so but I am still on a 768K/Bs service (on a good day) and BT tells me it has no plans to connect me to FTTC. I live in a highly populated area of Hampshire. It's all just more BT bollocks.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Talktalk tell me my line supports fttc and will give me 79Mbps downstream for an increased sub. Currently I get 14Mbps. But I'm afraid I'm at a loss to know what on earth I'd do with it. Go on, tell me everyone. Rent modern films which are 99% dross? And I already have Sky for that should I be silly enough. What else?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    watford! yes!

    Thank god. I've only got 76 meg down and 16 up, with a 14ms ping.

    This is just what i need.

    I'm so happy.

    My heart does go out to those with sub 16 megabits though. Though I don't know anyone who still does.

  32. Ian 55

    Don't hold your breath

    In an inner London borough, we were initially listed as having fttc in, oh 2010 I think.

    But wait, this weekend it was showing as available on 30th June! By Tuesday, it was 30th September.

    If cable came closer than 100m, we would have had them years ago. Instead we are at the very edge of the exchange's service, despite having another exchange nearer, and have to put up with crap.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT are shit

    That's it. My exchange is sub 2mb still. Just shit.

  34. stefan 5

    Same here in Kings Lynn. same crap speed adsl for years and the promise of fiber that never comes.

    Status: Up

    Downstream Rate: 5958 kbps

    Upstream Rate: 796 kbps

    the joy

  35. The Z Factor

    Lost my patience with BT

    Been a BT (telephone) customer for 27 years in this house. Broadband from Orange as i have a "special" deal witht hem that gives me free international calls on a second line. No plans AT ALL on the BT Wholesale link for any of East Lancs exchanges to be upgraded. I barely get 3.2mbs down, 0.75mbs up.

    Virgin TV already delivered to my home so switching to them for phone and broadband - 60mbs down, 5mbs up, free isntallation, upgrade to Tivo and second HD box, all for £2.90 pm more than i am paying to BT/Orange/Virgin TV.

    So long BT - so much for customer loyalty

  36. Dave Robinson

    Three Cheers for British Telecommunications

    People have been "BT bashing" for as long as I can remember. Personally, I reckon they're doing a good job. They have to make a profit, same as anyone else, and rolling out FTTP to the whole country sometime in the next fortnight (which appears to be what a lot of posters to this forum require) is infeasible from both a technical and an economic perspective.

    Compared with Virgin, who will only invest where there is a sufficiently high number of potential subscribers per square metre (PS/M2, you heard it here first) and won't open their network to anyone else, I reckon BT are pretty good.

    BTW, I don't work for BT, but I do have no cause for complaint (FTTC 80/20).

    I am now donning fireproof underwear in anticipation.

  37. Alan Brown Silver badge

    @Dave Robinson

    My Flaming of BT is based on them making promises they haven't kept, in terms of delivery times, along with some blatently anticompetitive behaviour which the OFT should be stomping on hard.

    We're not talking slips of a couple of months. Several of the existing FTTC areas are over a YEAR late (as in: not even bothered starting to run fibre or obtain planning permission yet) yet they're happy to announce more new areas "Real soon now".

    If they can't supply what they've already announced, then they shouldn't announce more rollouts. In at least some cases the announcements are deliberately aimed at knobbling EU-funded rollouts into Notspots. As soon as planned rollouts in these areas are announced, EU funding is removed, even if other outfits have been awarded contracts and started buildouts - meaning they've spent money and will never be paid.

    Once they do roll into the notspots, it's common to only enable one cabinet in a village served by 5-7 cabinets. Anyone not close enough is left whistling dixie and in at least one case I'm aware of, a 500 line cabinet only had sufficient DSLAM equpiment installed for 100 subscribers despite more than 300 lines waiting for DSL service.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To all those who complain about only have speeds of 10+ Meg connections.


    Fuck you.

    Sincerely someone stuck in an ADSL2+ area on 1meg down and 200kbps up.

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