The Cavalry are here at last! Or are they?
The majority of high speed broadband solutions available on the market rely on pre-existing underground infrastructure being available to plug into. This is the case for fibre from BT Infinity or cable from Virgin for example.
Unless you have the cable coming direct to your premises as Virgin typically do, you’re dependent on the BT rollout of ‘fibre to the cabinet’ (‘FTTC’). These are the newer green street box ‘cavalry’ you’ll have noticed popping up over the last few years as BT Openreach spend a mixture of BT and taxpayer’s money to deliver high speed broadband to a greater percentage of the UK population.
Unfortunately for a lot of fibre aspirants the story doesn’t end there…
Hold your horses.
The tricky bit however is that the service you end up receiving will depend on what infrastructure is in the ground between the cabinet and your premises. This could be anything from Fibre itself (a.k.a. Fibre to the Home or FTTH in which case you’re very lucky), to good quality recently installed copper cabling, to older slightly ropey copper cabling to er, ahem, aluminium cabling, a lot of which was installed between the 1950’s and early 1980’s for mainly cost reasons.
Then there’s the route the cable itself takes from the spanking new cabinet to your home, and its distance. Sometimes because of the way a particular village, street or cul de sac has been laid out or fiddled with by engineers over time may mean that the actually distance travelled is up to ten times the straight line distance.
Who’s in charge here?
The truth is that with the passage of time and number of different variables, not even BT fully know what’s going on with the infrastructure they own and that lies under our feet across the UK. It really is a bit of a lottery.
Cable.co.uk reported a story yesterday illustrating this problem where the Watson family from the Suffolk village of Lavenham, thinking the cavalry had arrived in the form of BT Fibre were shocked to find that they’d need to pay an additional £2,300 to BT Openreach because of the poor cabling between their property and the new street cabinet.
Don’t rely on the cavalry arriving anytime soon.
There’s no doubt that BT Openreach is putting a huge effort into deployment and many resources at it’s disposal. Perhaps too much of this is directed at convincing desperate householders and businesses that the cavalry is about to arrive when in fact it’s not going solve everyone’s problem. Satellite Broadband on the other hand does not have any reliance on BT or anyone else’s infrastructure and can be installed within days of ordering from Europasat. In addition a Fibre Guarantee means that if the cavalry do unexpectedly arrive, customers can switch very easily to the alternative. What is there to lose?