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    BT Begins UK Rollout of Vectoring to Fix FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Speeds

    This is a discussion on BT Begins UK Rollout of Vectoring to Fix FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Speeds within the General Computing and Internet forums, part of the Community channel category; BT Begins UK Rollout of Vectoring to Fix FTTC "Fibre Broadband" Speeds - ISPreview UK BTOpenreach has confirmed that VDSL2 ...

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      Scubbie's Avatar
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      BT Begins UK Rollout of Vectoring to Fix FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Speeds

      BT Begins UK Rollout of Vectoring to Fix FTTC "Fibre Broadband" Speeds - ISPreview UK
      BTOpenreach has confirmed that VDSL2 Vectoring (ITU-T G.993.5), which reduces crosstalk interference on ‘up to’ 40-80Mbps FTTCfibre broadband” lines and thus improves service speeds, is now being deployed around the United Kingdom; specifically focusing on “areas where it delivers the most benefit to customers“.

      The technology, which is also known as Self-FEXT Cancellation, was originally created several years ago in order to tackle an irritating problem where lots of active copper VDSL2 (FTTC) lines would effectively create interference for one another.

      The result of this crosstalk interference is that FTTC connections can suffer a significant fall in download and upload speed (experiences vary but -10% to -30% performance loss isn’t unknown). As such Vectoring works a bit like noise cancelling headphones and coordinates the copper VDSL2 line signals in order to remove most of that interference.

      The Trials (2013 – 2015)


      Openreach has been running trials of this technology since 2013, initially starting in Barnet (London) and Braintree (Essex) before expanding out to many more FTTC street cabinets (100 DSLAMS) at the start of this year (here). Related technologies, such as Seamless-Rate-Adaptation (SRA) and Physical Retransmission (G.INP), have also been tested alongside; although G.INP’s roll-out was a bit.. bumpy (here).

      The early Vectoring trials were not exactly plain sailing either and Openreach had to overcome a few technical problems in order to find the best approach, although we have observed some example lines where ISP customers saw most of their original service performance return to normal. It’s also important to reflect that Vectoring works best when the end-users hardware (e.g. home routers and VDSL modems) supports it, which in some cases may require a firmware update or hardware replacement.

      Last year Openreach clarified to ISPreview.co.uk that vectoring would have the “most impact” on copper lines between 50m and 500m (metres) from the street cabinet (note: most of these should already be getting “superfast” speeds), but beyond 500m the vectoring impact reduces and “very little gain” was seen past 1.5km. It’s also understandably more of a problem in areas with lot of active FTTC lines.

      At this point it should be increasingly clear that Vectoring is more about fixing a problem that exists in the environment rather than pushing VDSL2 lines faster than they were theoretically already capable. As BT’s Head of Access Platform Innovation, Kevin Foster, said in 2013: “Vectoring is seen as a speed enabler rather than a speed booster.”

      Casting Some Doubts Aside


      Recently there has been some speculation about the future of Vectoring on FTTC lines, not least because BT’s forthcoming (2016/17) commercial roll-out of ultrafast 500Mbps+ capable G.fast broadband technology (here) would appear to make spending money on Vectoring upgrades less attractive. On top of that Vectoring is no longer listed on BTWholesale’s latest Broadband Roadmap for the near-term future.

      Similarly it has also been suggested by some that the technology may only end up appearing in areas upgraded through the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme with BT, although an Openreach spokesperson indicated to us that this was not correct.

      Openreach has now informed ISPreview.co.uk that Vectoring on FTTC lines is still a “key part” of their toolkit and they are continuing to “test and develop its capabilities“. Crucially they’ve also started deploying Vectoring outside of the trial areas, focusing specifically on FTTC street cabinets / areas where the benefit of its deployment would be most keenly felt. Sadly Openreach was not able to offer any further details.

      As it stands BT’s focus going forwards is likely to be increasingly directed towards their future G.fast upgrades. As a technology G.fast has been a lot less hassle to test and implement than FTTC Vectoring, although the outcome of BT’s real-world trials may yet impact their plans (these are about to begin).
      Comment: We have been waiting a long time for vectoring to be introduced. It is hoped that it will improve the connection speeds for those who are relatively close to the cabinet, but sadly those who are a longer distance will continue to suffer with poor speeds.

      For those of you who are using a non-Sky router to dial the connection, please DO check whether the firmware you have installed supports vectoring. If the is a suitable update, check that too.


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      Re: BT Begins UK Rollout of Vectoring to Fix FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Speeds

      Interesting report Scubbie. I take it from your last comment that the SR102s support vectoring ?

      It will be interesting if this benefits my Sky Fibre Broadband at some point. I was one of the first users to be connected to my FTTC cabinet. I started with 40M/7M. After DLM, I got settled on 35M/6.5M. Throughput was astonishing back then. As more and more users came onto the cabinet, the speed has slowly dropped over time (around 18months), and I am now on 25M/6M. The throughput has also noticeably reduced at times as I suspect more customers are contending for the core circuit bandwidth that goes into the cloud from my FTTC cabinet/exchange. Nothing untowards, but just noticeable. There may also be some general service management processes going on at the exchange to even out sync speeds with growing customer connections.

      I have no issue with the reducing speed, as the service I am getting is fast enough for my needs, and more importantly, I have had no breaks of loss of service, and the throughput is fast enough and fine. Speed changes were usually as the result of firmware upgrades by Sky on the SR102, and the subsequent re-sync. But if the speed goes down too far one day, then I will need to bring it to Sky's attention.

      So if vectoring does eliminate the crosstalk interference, then it will be interesting if my sync speed increases as a result of that filtering.

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      Re: BT Begins UK Rollout of Vectoring to Fix FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Speeds

      This I need to check as I am unsure.

      Certainly Sky support a variety of the new technologies in their router firmwares now and it would surprise me if Vectoring wasn't supported. Of course we aren't in a position to change the firmware in the SR102 if it doesn't.

      Certainly I would hope that in your case Vectoring is not only rolled out soon, but also that it will restore your connection speed.

      Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro: Connected at 80,000 kbps / 20,000 kbps
      Previous ADSL2+ Speed 19999 kbps 1153 kbps, Line Attenuation 17.5 db 6.9 db, Noise Margin 7.5 dB 8.7 dB
      Speedtest: 17.15MB/s 0.97Mb/s Ping 31 ms

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      Re: BT Begins UK Rollout of Vectoring to Fix FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Speeds

      Thanks Scubbie.

     

     

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