Tuesday, 12 July 2011

How BT should do it?

This is a serious suggestion.

1. It should be possible for an end user to buy the access link from BT (or other local loop provider) to get them from their premises to the exchange, and then separately pay for the IP and/or voice services from the exchange to the world.

2. The access link should include active NTE as part of the service with a handover such as Ethernet for data or analogue pair for voice that can be tested to and beyond as part of that access service. i.e. BT could tell the link from exchange to end user has packet loss, and even test out from the Ethernet port to the end user kit.

Doing this would solve all sorts of issues.

(a) price - as ISPs pay BT or other local loop providers now, this removes part of that step and means the end user pays directly. This should mean no real difference in cost.

(b) choice - the access link often has install costs and minimum terms, and making ISPs pay these causes problems with costs for migration and changes. A system of pay local loop provider for access and other companies for IP and voice means choice of back end providers, even more than one at a time so you can switch between as you need.

(c) test and repair - a system to test the access line to the active NTE and even beyond (Ethernet pair tests from the NTE) means that there is no issue over SFI charges and all that crap. If the line is good, BT can prove it. If not they can fix it. No unknown kit on the end of the line that means it could be end user fault.

(d) new service like FTTP have single access with multiple IP multiple voice on the NTE. This would allow the costs to work. Right now the costs only work if the voice and IP providers are the same else both are paying BT for the access.

(e) This would allow all sorts of innovative data and voice services without the access link overhead - so trial of a new ISP would be normal and free as ISP has not minimum terms or install costs to pay.

(f) It is like the well proven dialup model - people paid for line and calls to BT - it even allowed "free" ISPs to evolve.

(g) The service could standardise the handover at the exchange to a GEA (gig ethernet) with Ethernet link to end user and SIP handover for voice. This could apply for conventional PSTN where media convert is in the exchange, and for FTTP where it is at the NTE. It could allow ADSL1, ADSL2+, FTTC, and FTTP, and even EAD, all on the same platform.


  1. "there is no issue over SFI charges and all that crap" is precisely why they won't do it.

    SFI is a nice little earner.

  2. This is what's known as "Doing things right".
    It would be inconceivable for this to actually come about for all sorts off nonsense reasons:

    + It's too "complicated" / customers would never understand it.
    - Clearly lies as they understood it when it was dialup.

    + This is a "business class" product and must therefore be more expensive.
    - Clearly most of this can be motivated by cost savings to BT in terms of support.

    + This is actually a really good idea and therefore BT must make it expensive because it is flexible.
    - We have something that "works" (i.e. the business ends up making some money somehow rather than it actually achieving any technical goals).

    Perhaps you could sell it by involving a BT logo on the NTE so that people actually understood that BT were still a "good thing" and a useful brand to them. Most people don't realise that BT still almost always do all the heavy lifting no matter which telco/ISP you actually pay.

  3. Those are very concise, accurate and sensible things to propose. I think it's the same as the model in France.

    The only thing I'd change is to add some EU or SP stats reporting to the CPE.

  4. >Perhaps you could sell it by involving a BT logo on the NTE

    Exactly what there is on the FTTP NTE. Actually it says Openreach in case I get confused with BT Retail.

  5. Yeh, FTTP has one NTE, but BT charge the voice provider and internet provider both for the access unless the same company. This is the whole point. If the end user paid for access you could easily have multiple voice and network providers on FTTP at lower costs, and even pay as go providers. You can also switch provider, and do trials and all sorts without lead times, minimum terms and set up costs.