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Message 1 of 33

BT's plans for customers connected directly to the exchange

There seems to be a small proportion of unlucky customers who actually live TOO CLOSE to a BT exchange. These customers have 'exchange only' lines which connect directly to the telephone exchange and do not connect to an intermediate cabinet. Now an optimist would say that these customers can already benefit from an excellent adsl 2 service. This is perfectly true 18mbps download and 1mbps upload with annexe m support. Nevertheless there are other nearby premises to me which are physically closer to the exchange, but benefit from a wiring route which does involve a cabinet and are therefore able to get the fttc based infinity service. This is particularly signicant from offering a better upload speed and future services. My questions are: Why does BT not offer a better explanation of a customers situation when they try the line checker? I don't want to be fobbed off with generalisations. I want to know upfront that I am not connected to a cabinet, if that really is the case. What is BT planning to offer for exchange only line customers and when? Why can't BT connect the bundle of exchange only lines to a nearby cabinet anyway? Why can't BT place a suitably shielded cabinet inside the actual exchange for these kind of customers? I would be interested to know how many other customers live in an area where the exchange is enabled, but their line is not. We need to join forces! This is the 21st century and there is no excuse for a postcode lottery / fttc cabinet lottery / telephone exchange lottery when it comes to broadband.
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Distinguished Sage
Message 2 of 33

Re: BT's plans for customers connected directly to the exchange

That's the way the Openreach network is unfortunately. Some people are on cabs when they're ~100m away. Some have direct exchange lines on when they're ~4km away.

They can't put the cabs in the exchange as OFCOM currently will not allow VDSL equipment in the exchange.

I suspect that when FTTP on demand comes about next year they'll have something up their sleeves.
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Message 3 of 33

Re: BT's plans for customers connected directly to the exchange

I recently investigated the situation at my exchange, which is about 1 Km away from me, in an area that has expanded rapidly in the last couple of decades, including adjacent to the exchange itself.


What they seem to have done is to retain the original exchange-only lines (who would be stuck with no FTTC yet) but at some point in the not too distant past started connecting new lines for nearby expanding estates to a new cabinet, which is located directly outside the exchange, on the public footpath. The usual fibre cabinet has been installed there, too, right outside the exchange so those lucky enough to be connected to it can have FTTC whereas older connections sometimes much further away are still without it.


I can see no obvious reason why Openreach could not in theory install one or more additional cabinets outside the exchange or nearby to take in the direct-connecting lines which, presumably, enter the exchange through relatively few concentrated 'bundles' and not individually.


No obvious reason other than large amounts of cost and disruption, that is. So I think economics may lie at the root of this problem and if Openreach think providing fibre directly to some or all of the affected premises will be cheaper in the long run, that may be their solution - in the fullness of time. I hasten to add that much of this is just guesswork on my part but if it's in the right ballpark, I would not criticize Openreach unduly for prioritising the far greater number of consumers connected to existing cabinets, as they have done.

Message 4 of 33

Re: BT's plans for customers connected directly to the exchange

Yes I live exactly 1 mile from the exchange but cannot get fibre as directly connected to the exchange, whereas my shop which is right beside the exchange can get fibre as it is connected to a cabinet.  I recently had a new second line installed at home for a portakabin office and BT ran a new cable and I can`t get fibre on it  either

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Message 5 of 33

Re: BT's plans for customers connected directly to the exchange

I live in Cornwall and I am on an EO line. According to Superfast Cornwall there is a trial running in one area ( Stenalees near St Austell) for EO lines involving using new fibre cabinets at or near the exchange. They claim that speeds are in line with conventional FTTC installations and that roll out to other areas in Cornwall will begin towards the end of this year. For more info see the Facebook page of Superfast Cornwall

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Aspiring Contributor
Message 6 of 33

Re: BT's plans for customers connected directly to the exchange

I know it's late, but I've only just stumbled on this thread.


I'm too close to the exchange for a street cab unfortunately, so wondered if there had been any progress made?

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Message 7 of 33

Re: BT's plans for customers connected directly to the exchange

Don't think it will ever happen myself. BT Open Reach hide behind the not customer facing front too easily.





If you didn't want people to think it was a con call it Closed Reach, not BT (honest now it's not  a monopoly guv) Open Reach

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Message 8 of 33

Re: BT's plans for customers connected directly to the exchange

This is what I don't get ok premises that were connected directly to the exchange over 5 years ago as FTTC did not exist then it could be argued that BT did not think this would cause any issue.  But surely BT has an obligation for any new premises built since FTTC has been available to make sure these new buildings have an option for Fibre.  It seems very backward thinking to connect new premises as EO to save money and then to inform these consumers that they cannot get Fibre because their line is EO and the cost to connect them to a cabinet would be too great.  I am connected to a cabinet by the way I just feel this is not a fair or sensible approach by BT especially if they want Britain to have the best broadband in Europe

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Aspiring Contributor
Message 9 of 33

Re: BT's plans for customers connected directly to the exchange

I'm one of those unfortunate people to be on an exchange only line (Torpoint Exchange) which is now 83% FTTC according to Superfast Cornwall. Still no FTTC for me though, but I noticed outside the exchange there are 4 brand new cabinets (2 one size and 2 another size) which were definitely not there before because I checked on google street view. Then a few days ago just as I was driving into my street an Openreach engineer was working on the corner and I pulled up and asked him if people on exchange only lines would be getting superfast fibre broadband and he said yes. I asked him if he was positive and he said absolutely and he said they were 'reconfiguring' the lines so that they weren't connected directly to the exchange. So I have no doubt in my mind now that BT's plan for exchange line customers is to put a new cab just outside the exchange or at least that is what they are doing in Cornwall. So keep an eye on your exchange next time Openreach are doing work and see if new cabs pop up just outside the exchange. 

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Distinguished Guru
Message 10 of 33

Re: BT's plans for customers connected directly to the exchange

A lot of customers who are EO lines are getting their lines moved over to a cab (PCP) within their locality, this will then allow them to get infinity BB.

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