back to article Stuff the delays! PM chuffed to have BT's superfast broadband in his constituency

Prime Minister David Cameron already enjoys super speedy internet connections at his constituency home in Dean, Oxfordshire, but locals in the village of Alvescot – saddled with a very slow broadband service – have waited a long time for an upgrade. On Friday, BT invited the PM to make doe eyes at one of the telecom giant's …


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  1. Alister Silver badge

    Potential QoTW

    'It's great', says David Cameron...

    However, his leased line is probably only 2Mb/s synchronous, if it's a standard copper offering.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Potential QoTW

      I believe they got fibre to all of the cabinet... ;-)

  2. JoshOvki

    ISPs 2Mbps

    "will have minimum speeds of at least 2Mbps."

    I think they read the contract wrong, when they say a minimum speed what they really mean is "UP TO" 2Mbps. I bet they also wrote unlimited in there somewhere too...

  3. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Is this 21st C dood?

    I think we have got to face it ....

    Maybe US, Ruskies and CChina have it right?

    The UK is really a small lump of soil with ever decreasing influence and budgets?

    Pricipality UK heer we kommen?

  4. Baron Ebaneezer Wanktrollop III

    At least he won't have to opt-out of his self imposed family safe porn filter - he has instant access to a whole building full of c**ts

  5. Tony Pomfret

    Are you commercially viable?

    Fibre rollout for what percentage of Britain we ask? This was BT's response to my inquiry...

    "Dear Sir

    Thank you for your enquiry about fibre broadband at Atherton exchange cabinet LC/ATH 44. Our deployment is based on the commercial criteria for each cabinet and your cabinet fails to meet the commercial criteria. This is because the cabinet has too few premise connected to it, rendering it too small to provide a return on the investment based on the costs for the construction and on-going running costs of providing a new FTTC cabinet. When calculating the commercial viability of cabinet areas we take many factors into account. These include ensuring that we locate the cabinets in accordance with all national and local planning laws, ensuring that the cabinet does not obstruct pedestrians or provide a danger to all road-users. We must ensure that the DSLAM is located within 100m of its associated telephony connection cabinet and that there is adequate access to power and existing telephony infrastructure. To further enable the location of the DSLAM, we must accurately survey for underground structure and obstacles etc.

    We do look at the demographic nature of the potential customers within a cabinets working area, however, we focus on the amount of connected lines at the time and not any potential expansion within a cabinet area as this is not guaranteed - this is the most efficient way to deploy fibre broadband whilst keeping within our finite budget. As such we look at the potential return for our investment over quite a number of years, with the prospective number of take up of the service being a large percentage of households."

    So, I live in a commercially non viable part of the country! How many more towns fall into this category?

    Cheers for nothing BT.

    1. JurassicPark

      Re: Are you commercially viable?

      At least you have BT and the semblance of competition. Here in the peoples republic of Hull we have to put up with Karoo and not a sniff of BT, Virgin etc. , unless you want to go 4G (but not available in my part of Hull), Karoo Lightstream (again, not in my part of Hull) or satellite.

      1. feanor

        Re: Are you commercially viable?

        BT and no competition here. Same response as you. P[$$ off bumpkin, you're not worth our time.

    2. n0r0imusha

      Re: Are you commercially viable?

      Thank you for your enquiry about fibre broadband, as you know you are connected directly to the exchange and not via a telephony cabinet located in the street, this is referred to as an E/O line.

      Our deployment is based on the commercial criteria for each exchange and in turn, how broadband is delivered from the exchange. Unfortunately, as your line is fed directly from the exchange it fails to meet the commercial criteria. This is because the solution to deploy Fibre Broadband to lines connected this way would not provide a return on the investment based on the costs for the construction and on-going running costs.

      We do not currently have any plans to upgrade E/O lines at this exchange, you can register your interest for upgrade via the following link

      Please note, the telephony network over which fibre broadband is bespoke, as such, all premise are served from dedicated distribution points which are connected via their own underground duct network either directly to the exchange or to telephony cabinets. There are no interconnections that can be utilised to give fibre broadband services between E/O lines and cabinets, therefore, I’m afraid we technically can’t move your service to a cabinet. In addition, it is not Openreach policy to rearrange the network to enable services where they are not currently available, which is what would occur if your service was moved.

      However, although I cannot give any timescales, we are working on a solution to upgrade E/O lines, but for now we cannot move you to a cabinet.

      If you have any further questions, please ensure you have read the FAQ's on our website, . If your question is answered within the FAQ section, we will not respond to your e-mail.

  6. Dazed and Confused

    Just because they give it to you

    Doesn't mean they can't screw with it afterwards.

    After repeated broken promises FTTC arrive at Easter last year. YEAH!

    Nice big jump in bandwidth, but couldn't handle two lines running to the same house at full speed. Also most welcome, a great drop in network latency time.

    Then BT decided that for Christmas what I really needed was to have my service degraded. Ping times on one line, then a few days later on the other double while the headline speed rating dropped a bit. So my latency is back to being worse than when I first got ADSL as a replacement for ISDN2. Called my ISP only to be told that BT won't do anything about latency times and won't respond to drops in bandwidth unless it drops by 50%.

    I guess when you're the PM and they want a favour they might do something for you. Meanwhile the rest of us are still all over a barrel.

    1. Disgruntled of TW

      Re: Just because they give it to you

      Yep. It's as future proof as a puddle in the Sahara.

      Copper is not the future. The ASA say BT can continue to call it "fibre broadband", as the data travels over fibre for MOST of the distance towards your home, until it comes in to your house. Cue image of a 6 lane motorway, becoming a single track farm road that doesn't like it when it rains ... how many vehicles per hour down there? It's the wrong technology. Just plain wrong.

      It's our tax money BDUK are spending with BT, and we have no effective oversight of BTs interpretation of "financially viable". They are having all their cake, and munching down on it.

      Bootnote: Can we trade in HS2 for FTTH for everyone? The numbers seem to add up [HA HA HA]

      1. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: Just because they give it to you

        "The ASA say BT can continue to call it "fibre broadband", as the data travels over fibre for MOST of the distance towards your home, until it comes in to your house."

        Presumably since most consumers are using the internet for YouTube and Facebook, and since most of that data comes from the US, or European DC outside the UK (ignoring edge filers, CDNs, etc), even without FTTC the vast majority of the travel distance is on fibre - by that measure standard ADSL and dial-up is "fibre broadband"!

  7. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Is it me?

    … or is there the delicate wiff of "grab the cash while you can and milk it for all it may be worth?" attitude related to publicly funded projects?

  8. Captain Hogwash


    If only we could bring some moral fibre to the cabinet.

  9. feanor

    BT is making our country the laughing stock of the technologicaly developed world. Third world countries are overtaking us in broadband provision while here we sit in the 1980s courtesy of BTs monopoly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which third world countries? Looking at Internet penetration figures (easy to find in wikipedia) most developing nations have a penetration of less than 10% of the population. The top half of the list is all developed nations. The UK sits in 14th place at 87%, above Canada, the US, France, Germany, Belgium and Japan.

      Which flavour of xDSL was in common usage in the 1980s? The expensive modem I used to connect to Amiga bulletin boards in 1990 only connected at 2400bps. Current broadband speeds are generally higher than that by some margin.

      There are 28 million homes in the UK, give or take. Virgin's network passes 12.5M (44%) of them according to Liberty's investor centre. That doesn't meet the normal definition of a monopoly.

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