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    ADSL Boosting Broadband Regenerators Stuck On HOLD

    This is a discussion on ADSL Boosting Broadband Regenerators Stuck On HOLD within the General Computing and Internet forums, part of the Community channel category; ADSL Boosting Broadband Regenerators Stuck On HOLD - ISPreview UK Any plans to deploy Broadband Regenerators (BBRA) around the United ...

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      ADSL Boosting Broadband Regenerators Stuck On HOLD

      ADSL Boosting Broadband Regenerators Stuck On HOLD - ISPreview UK
      Any plans to deploy Broadband Regenerators (BBRA) around the United Kingdom, which could be used to boost some of the slowest copper ADSL based broadband lines from hundreds of Kilobits per second (Kbps) to 3-4Mbps (Megabits), appear to be stuck “on hold” at BT.
      The technology, which involves placing BBRA kit either inside or near to a Street Cabinet and then using it to boost the ADSL signal, was first officially mooted all the way back in 2012 (here). It was envisaged as being used to help achieve the Government’s Universal Service Commitment (USC) of 2Mbps.

      As BTOpenreach once said, “Regenerators can be placed in or near a cabinet and are powered by new equipment in the Exchange. The ADSL signal is ‘cleaned’ and ‘amplified’. Early indications from the technical trials are positive with some increases in ADSL speeds – although they do require additional network investment.”

      But since then we’ve not heard much about BBRA, except for the occasional mention in a government review and a brief indication early last year that consumers might see some sort of deployment in the 2014/15 window (this was never very firm). However the latest roadmap from BT states that BBRA is “on hold” and the operator has so far not responded to our hails for an explanation.

      It’s possible that ISPs might not have liked the costs involved or the “individual case by case” nature of the product. Cost was also a significant hindrance to the much criticised Broadband Enabling Technology (BET), which could extend the reach of a 1-2Mbps ADSL line up to around 10km from the local telephone exchange (provided you had very deep pockets). Incidentally a migration path from BET to Fibre (FTTC/P) is currently being tested for the small number of areas that actually use it.

      In the meantime Openreach has been busy testing cheaper FTTP deployment methods and alternative solutions like Fibre-to-the-Remote-Node (FTTrN). On top of that there’s also the potential to deploy ADSL2+ from FTTC capable Street Cabinets (here), which would carry a cost but might be easier for ISPs to offer and delivers better speeds than BBRA (this is important now that the Government plans to look at a 5Mbps USO in the near future).

      Lest we not forget that similar VDSL Amplifiers for FTTCfibre broadband” lines might also be another option (here), which are due to be tested in Q3 2015/16. Suffice to say that BBRA seems like an interesting idea, albeit one that’s starting to conflict with a lot of other solutions for very similar problems.

      BT’s job in all this is to test and find the best solution to particular problems, which means that not everything they trial will become a viable product.
      Comment: What do you think? For those of you who live a long distance from the telephone exchange, you are paying the same as someone who lives next door. For that they may get blistering speeds of 20mb or more and you are stuck with perhaps 2mb if you are lucky.

      Sure FTTC is being rolled out across the country. Millions of pounds have already been spent on this and millions more is yet to be spent. However if you live a long way from the cabinet it is unlikely that you'll get fast FTTC/VDSL speeds. FTTCrN is supposed to address this, but will still leave some in the "extremely slow" lane. Since VDSL Amplifiers haven't even been tested yet, you'd still end up with a sub-standard service yet paying the same as someone living next to the cabinet.

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      Re: ADSL Boosting Broadband Regenerators Stuck On HOLD

      For long lines where VDSL isn't viable the simplest solution would be to fit some ADSL2 DSLAMs in the FTTC cabinets.

      Not sure how Openreach would price the service but provided unlimited service was available Sky could resell it at the same price as Sky connect.



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