Friday, 17 October 2014

MTTC

It is bad enough Virgin abusing the term "Fibre", and BT often talk of "fibre broadband" as well, but this latest abuse is just taking the piss.

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2014/10/devon-uk-village-gets-80mbps-broadband-via-bts-4km-microwave-radio-link.html

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/6666-microwave-link-helps-northlew-in-devon-go-superfast.html

The good news is that this is providing a fast Internet service to a remote village. Believe it or not, I personally suggested this to BT a few year ago, and got very blank looks from them. There are places where a long fibre run is very costly but a microwave link is viable.

The quote from BT is: "This is just one example of many of an innovative approach to bringing fibre based broadband to remote communities - and that innovation will continue."

He is using "fibre" as if it means "fast". If he means "fast" why not just say "fast"?

I would hope the ASA don't allow them to market "fibre broadband" to these villages, or sell as FTTC!

Having said that, I suspect BT plc are selling services to us for addresses in these villages, as FTTC. I will have to check. We'll have to add a note on our web pages about this I expect and query it with BT.

I have no problem with the service - MTTC is going to be very good, just don't mis-describe it.

I'll post BT's reply.

15 comments:

  1. I wonder if they run fibre between the radio and the cabinet? Calling it FTTC would then be technically correct...

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    1. That would be so unbelievably stretching a point, surely even the ASA would not accept that?

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  2. On a related note, received this online survey today: http://imgur.com/a/4mguy

    Can't help but wonder if the question "Do you feel that you understand what fibre optic broadband is?" suggests that they are counting on people _not_ understanding FTTC in these ads...

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  3. At least they are calling it fibre. For a while it looked like people were starting to adopt "bt infinity" as the generic name for "fast internet". I'd rather people said fibre when it wasn't than use some specific providers product name as if it was the only choice. That seems to be dying out and people seem to be saying "fibre" at least.

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  4. Aren't metal wires "fibres". So "fibres to the cabinet" aren't necessarily made of glass? Anyway, when I see the word fibre now, I think of stuff that I should eat to stop making me put on the "kilos".

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  5. Aren't metal wires "fibres". So "fibres to the cabinet" aren't necessarily made of glass? Anyway, when I see the word fibre now, I think of stuff that I should eat to stop making me put on the "kilos".

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  6. I still don't understand why the underlying technology matters to the end user - if you're providing a 40Mbps service then sell it as a 40Mbps service - at the end of the day the end user isn't going to care whether those 40Mbps gets to them by fibre, coax, microwave, laser or carrier pigeon (well, you might want to quote latency to eliminate the last one :).

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    1. I had to chuckle at carrier pigeon, and return after clicking away to comment. Imagine someone with a carrier pigeon service at 40mbps, you could easily increase their packet loss with a air rifle and a few well placed cats!

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    2. Shotguns can be a problem for actual fibre circuits - there was an outage (iirc at Eclipse) once, someone had been shooting birds sitting on the top cable between electricity pylons...

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    3. LOL. Of course microwave is not immune to issues, and suffers different sorts of problems to fibre. It is also likely to be different capacity to a true FTTC.

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    4. Presumably this is why Openreach have adopted their novel "data not getting through our data transport service is not a fault" stance? Otherwise, any time heavy rain knocks the SNR through the floor they'd have to admit the service had failed...

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  7. I don't think I see the problem here. Surely the microwave is just part of the backhaul? We can't be seriously pretending that we thought "fibre Internet" meant somebody had gone around the entire Internet and replaced everything with optical fibre? Doubtless there are cabinets in exchanges where somebody needed to move a few hundred megabits and they used 1000baseT because that's cheap and it works, and I hope you're not arguing that every customer at that exchange ought to be told there's no "fibre Internet" in the area because somebody used a copper cable that's easily fast enough and makes no difference.

    I can buy the argument that FTTP vs FTTC can have real implications (like ongoing maintenance costs) even if you'd order and receive 40/10 over whichever was available. But extending that argument to segments of backhaul infrastructure seems beyond pedantic.

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    1. Actually the links in exchanges are pretty much all fibre. Yes, MTTC will work just the same as FTTC. The issue is that microwave is not fibre, so cannot be described as Fibre To The Cabinet. It is equivalent to that, but it is not actually FTTC. Our web site talks of "FTTC (or equivalent)" as much as possible now to allow for this.

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  8. Is this a new kind of fibre made of air?

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