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Message 1 of 12

The USO and loop extension

I have an ADSL connection to a cabinet that is 7.5km away, so my connection speeds are substantially below those set out in the USO.

On Monday of this week I had EE's installers come in to install an external antenna for my spiffy new 4G router (which is the next step after you contact BT's USO desk...). Alas, the installers could detect no 4G (or any other) cell coverage at all.

So - back to BT.

Here's the question:  Has anyone out there had OR install some sort of loop extension (either amplifier or regenerator, or both)?  And does anyone know what these things cost? I've only seen prices for the US equivalents, which look remarkably inexpensive.

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Message 2 of 12

Re: The USO and loop extension

If you have an ADSL connection it doesn't come from the cabinet, it comes from the exchange, only VDSL comes from the cabinet.

As far as I'm aware, OR have never used regenerators on any form of DSL line. Where would you house and how would you power such a device?

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Message 3 of 12

Re: The USO and loop extension

I  *knew* someone would say that as soon as I hit <enter> 😁  Our line was originally a direct exchange one. The broadband checker now tells me it originates in a numbered cabinet.

They sit on poles - amplifiers are line powered, regenerators seem to be DC powered from the exchange by another pair.  Here's a link to a UK manufacturer of amplifiers and regenerators. Interestingly, they only list ADSL, ADSL2 and ADSL2 + (though US vendors of what appears to be the same kit specify VSDL, too).

Hmm... The datasheet says G.992, which may mean I'm completely out of luck...

I'm a bit of a generalist, so I don't pretend to know the difference between these standards at the line level (though I'm beginning to learn much more than I really want to...)

There are reports (again from the US) of xDSL over really quite long lines with multiple sequences of amplifiers and regenerators.

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Message 4 of 12

Re: The USO and loop extension

Yeah I saw the Kenton thing earlier after your first post, I very much doubt if Openreach would use such a device. For a start it would appear to require 190V power, that ain't gonna happen on Openreach cables. It would also have to go through a stringent approval process. It would have to be a regenerator rather than amplifier.

I think there was some interest in possible use of regens a few years ago but as far as I'm aware, the idea was never pursued. 


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Message 5 of 12

Re: The USO and loop extension

Shame - seems like appropriate technology for us out in the sticks.  Think I'm going to have to get some blowpipe attached to poles...

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Message 6 of 12

Re: The USO and loop extension

I guess Openreach are concentrating on FTTP schemes rather than niche interim solutions.

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Message 7 of 12

Re: The USO and loop extension

Yep.  And one day, Connecting Devon And Somerset will get contracts sorted. Or I can round up enough people under the DCMS Gigabit scheme (which is looking to be the favourite at the moment) to get a local ISP to install over-ground fibre.  My wife, unfortunately, is working from home *now* 🙁

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Message 8 of 12

Re: The USO and loop extension

Tangentially, I notice that (some) others have posted Broadband Availability Checker results that specifically include references to the availability of VSDL. And mine doesn't.  Is that just an artefact, or are not all cabinets created equal?




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Message 9 of 12

Re: The USO and loop extension

Cab 5 has had FTTC available since September 2015 so you must be far to far from cab to get FTTC

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Message 10 of 12

Re: The USO and loop extension

I suspect you are just so far from cabinet 5 that VDSL won't reach you at all, hence no figures for VDSL. Fibre isn't  even available at many of the Buckland St Mary cabinets.

Fibre Cabinet Fibre Status Phase Properties
Vendor Approx
Post Code
Cabinet P1   FTTC Available from 3rd September 2015   Phase BDUK CDS 12a    68   Huawei   EX14 9AG  
Cabinet P2   Openreach fibre not available            TA20 3HR  
Cabinet P3   Openreach fibre not available            TA20 3RS  
Cabinet P4   Openreach fibre not available            TA20 3JL  
Cabinet P5   FTTC Available from 3rd September 2015   Phase BDUK CDS 13a    231   Huawei   TA20 3DN  
Exchange 6   Openreach fibre not available            TA20 3SX  
Exchange 10   Openreach fibre not available            TA20 3SS  
Exchange 11   Openreach fibre not available            TA20 3BU