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Message 1 of 11

Copper wires only

I am moving to an address in the London Borough of Redbridge that is saying on the BT website that it is only serviced by copper broadband. 

99.5% of the borough runs fibre, and we have a BT exchange building on the street - so can it be correct that we are in one of the few properties running on no fibre at all?

It is a large residential street with flats and houses, and I can see by checking other postcodes that the properties next door and directly opposite are both serviced by super fast fibre (speeds of 60-70mbps) while I will be paying for a guarantee of 3mbps. 

Does this sound right? Can anyone from BT come to visit the property and confirm that this is the case?

If it is the case that BT have furnished the whole street with fibre except my block - what are our next steps to ensure we are not stuck with slower-than-4G home broadband forever? 

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Message 2 of 11

Re: Copper wires only


Its Openreach that provide the network, not BT Retail.

Until you place an order with a Service Provider, you will not know what is available, as the routing would not be built on the Openreach database.

If you decide to place an order with BT Retail, then once your order is progressing, you may be able to get more help on this BT Retail customer forum.

If you choose a different provider, then you need to post on their user forum.

Openreach normally only do a survey, if its a totally new connection with no existing infrastructure.


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Message 3 of 11

Re: Copper wires only

enter your address and post results and see what is actually available to you  remember delete address before posting

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Message 4 of 11

Re: Copper wires only

Historically, property’s very close to the exchange were likely to be E/O lines ( exchange only ) and when it originally came to exchange based service ( ADSL /ADSL2 ) the very short line length meant that speeds close to the maximum ADSL or ADSL2 could deliver were possible ( so E/O was good then ) but when FTTC because the norm, because these lines don’t travel through a ‘cabinet’ , ‘fibre to the cabinet’ ( FTTC ) was not possible, so  went to being the ‘poor relation’.

Some E/O lines were upgraded by construction of a new copper cabinet and associated fibre cabinet just outside the exchange building and diverting the copper network through it, but this wasn’t possible in all cases , and now with the drive towards FTTP ( fibre to the premises ) , it’s hardly a worthwhile expense for OR to go for this interim solution, you will probably have to wait for FTTP

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Message 5 of 11

Re: Copper wires only

Thanks for your reply and help.


Details pasted below, although I should say that I have used the address finder as I do not know the landline number!


ADSL Products Downstream Line Rate (Mbps) Upstream Line Rate (Mbps) Downstream Range(Mbps) Availability DateWBC ADSL 2+WBC ADSL2+ Annex MWBC Fixed Rate
Up to 17--10 to 19.5Available
Up to 17Up to 1.510 to 19.5Available
Other Offerings Availability DateADSL Multicast
Exchange Product Restrictions StatusFTTP Priority ExchangeWLR WithdrawalSOADSL Restriction

The exchange is not in a current fibre priority programme

WLR is currently available at the exchange

SOADSL is restricted at the exchange

FTTP is not available.


For all ADSL and WBC Fibre to the Cabinet (VDSL or services, the stable line rate will be determined during the first 10 days of service usage.


Actual speeds experienced by end users and quoted by CPs will be lower due to a number of factors within and external to BT's network, Communication Providers' networks and within customer premises.

The Stop Sale date for IPstream is from 30 Nov 2012. The Formal Retirement date for IPstream is from 30 Jun 2014.

In order to be eligible for handback, downstream speed should be less than Downstream Handback Threshold values.

Mildenhall exchange:Only single order products are available and ADSL and ADSL2+ products are not shown as available.However for premises that can only be served by SOADSL, BT will continue to accept ADSL and ADSL2+ orders until SOADSL is available.

Thank you for your interest


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Message 6 of 11

Re: Copper wires only

Thanks - this makes sense, however, the property directly opposite is as close if not closer to the exchange and has fibre.

Is it usual practice to provide fibre to some properties but not others on the same street?
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Message 7 of 11

Re: Copper wires only

Thanks - many of the providers (e.g. Vodafone) appear to utilise the BT/Openreach data to make their speed estimates. In the example of Vodafone, they have openly said they are not interested in supplying a "basic" broadband package and only offer fiber-reliant packages.
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Message 8 of 11

Re: Copper wires only

Hi @Carl6 and thanks for posting.

Did you get an order placed? Can you let me know how you're getting on?



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Message 9 of 11

Re: Copper wires only

Not sure how I can proceed really - BT retail tell me that fibre is not available, so they will only allow me to place an order for "Broadband" at £32 p/m with a speed guarantee of just 3mbps.

Vodafone will not accept an order at the address, nor will VirginMedia. 

Sky have a Fibre offer at the moment - Superfast Fibre plus SkyQ TV for £33p/m - but due to the address apparently being unsuitable, the fibre is not available, dropping the speed to a guarantee of just 4mbps and the price of that "Essential" Broadband package is actually higher, so it costs more. 

I'm not sure how I move to "place an order" in this case; it doesn't feel right to place an order for something more expensive and less functional than 4G. 

Have I misunderstood your reccomendation? Apologies if so. 

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Message 10 of 11

Re: Copper wires only

When you ran the dslchecker with your address the results you posted missed off the exchange and cabinet number if there is one-  can you post the missing information.

Check with another address  and see what results you get posting including exchange and cab


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