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The UK already has Fibre to the home, sort of

by techpriest / May 13, 2007 3:21 AM PDT

Many analysts are always complaining that the UK is falling behind in that it does not have verizon style FIOS, style, FTTH (fibre to the home) services, well i thought this topic needed some clarification. Virgin media's cable network (formerly known as NTL:TELEWEST) is actualy a huge fibre network that is interswitched at various points with the BT network to allow calls to BT landlines, in fact, the little box that virgin installs to give you access to virgin media services in cabled areas is actually a fibre optical terminal, and the cable that is linked to virgin media modems before the modem converts it to ethernet or USB is actually the same type of CO-axial cable used by Verizons riduclously over hyped FIOS service. Secondly, about 20000 homes in the UK were actually linked up to an old FIbre network built by BT in the 198o's when the costs of running a copper network were somehow higher than fibre, this fibre could be turned on to use its "full capacity" to carry massive 100mb internet connections as well as the telephony is already provides, but BT chooses not too, for unknown and undisclosed reasons. Finally , Easynet, a whole sale telco, has sort of found a mid-range between copper and fibre, by using the ethernet protocol on the old Copper phone network currently used for ADSL and somehow, this actually carries up 50mb speeds. The only reason that all these telco's don't harness their fibre like networks to get super high speeds is that their profit margins are higher when they slowly increase, year by year when and ONLY when competition demands that their speeds are increased, than by switching to maximum network capacity overnight. There is no dark fibre in the UK, British dark fibre is a myth, the fibre is just not being used at high speeds for end consumers (unless you can afford the $19000 per year needed for some business high speed symettric up to 1gb lines)

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That is a Joke
by Chris_Fon / May 13, 2007 4:07 AM PDT

As nice as it is to see Wifi finally being blanketed over London, that is still pretty far in the past. I would much rather have 100Mbps broadband!! Why BT doesnt get rid of the pathetically slow ADSL based system in the UK is a myth that makes no sense.

Time to Petition!!

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I started this a while ago
by irgmcdonald / May 14, 2007 10:15 PM PDT
In reply to: That is a Joke

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You didn't mention the...
by fbbbb / May 13, 2007 8:58 AM PDT

...unskilled chimpanzees cunningly made up to look like English workmen who turn up to install the Virgin Media service, and the support service in Pune, Bangalore or whereever which has no idea what the people in the UK are doing.

The infrastructure may be fiber but it might actually be faster to use tin can and string if you're unfortunate enough to sign up for their 'service'.

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Uh, what ?
by Linearly / May 14, 2007 12:09 AM PDT

I can agree that Virgin Media's (or, as i still call them NTL) Tech support, engineer's and customer support agents are rubbish, i cannot agree that the service they provide is rubbish also (in the area that i live anyway) i dont get dropouts, i get a very consistantly high downstream, a slow (in terms of the max they offer) but consistant upstream. They do not seem to block any necesary ports for anything i use, and i can configure and run the whole service through my router with ease. I for one, and a happy (NTL) Virgin Media customer, but what are the alternatives ? given price/performace/network area ?

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