FTTC is currently an engineer install with a BT provided modem.
As a "service" from BT this works as an Ethernet service - BT providing
the ability to send/receive Ethernet packets from the port on the modem
through to the kit in the exchange (and then on to us via PPP and L2TP).
They are, however, trialling a number of options on this. Engineer
install is expensive, so how can it be done without an engineer visit to
There are several options, but the main two being
considered are "wires only" where we (or the customer) provide the VDSL
modem, or a non-engineer install where the customer is sent a BT modem
to plug in.
Some people have asked us what we are doing on
this, and at the moment the plan is to try the one where it is still a
BT modem. We don't know the pricing yet, but there is a reason for this.
With ADSL, which is wires only, there is a whole system of Special
Fault Investigation engineers that has been set up and changed over the
years - this is entirely as a result of the battle between ISPs and BT
over the "grey area" of the DSL circuit. If the DSL is not working
correctly it could always be the modem at the BT end, the wiring in the
BT network, the customer wiring, or the customer modem. There is no way
to tell. So this leads to BT automatically blaming customer wiring and
equipment and charging for an engineer visit, even if we have provided
replacement known-good kit, and so on. The whole nightmare of SFI
continues to this day with every ISP having staff or even a whole
department, to dispute BT bills for SFI changes that are not valid.
With FTTC at present, this does not happen. BT are responsible for
everything up to the Ethernet port. They can see if there is a problem,
test for packet loss, test all of the VDSL parameters, and they have to
fix if any of that is broken. There is no grey area and faults almost
never fall in the cracks between BT or customer responsibility. This is
good news for everyone, us, BT, and our customers.
So, we are
very keen to maintain a service where BT are responsible for the modem
as well and cannot ever blame customer equipment for a fault. Actually,
we'd love an ADSL service with PPPoE bridge/modem that is BTs
responsibility, ideally one that is built in to the master socket, but
we'd certainly like to retain this for FTTC.
now, customers could use their own VDSL modem, as long as they are
prepared to put the BT one back in when investigating a fault.
Does that make sense?