November 2014: Fibre Internet availability
Many have raised the issue of broadband Internet speeds in the recent questionnaires and some of us have been keeping an eager eye on BT Openreach’s status checker tool. For Foxham, East Tytherton and Tytherton Lucas, the tool has, for a while, indicated the rather positive news that the Kellaways telephone exchange will be fibre-enabled before the end of 2014. The tool reports “December 2014” as the target date. Residents in West End and Foxham also spotted the new cabinet outside Teal Farm as a sign of progress.
BT Openreach are on target to enable the Kellaways exchange in December 2014.
- Those in the Parish who are not connecting to the Kellaways exchange (Bremhill in particular) are probably served by the Calne exchange. That exchange seems outside the scope of Wiltshire Council’s intervention area and the BDUK funding. The PCC will be looking into this matter.
- Not every house connects to a telephone exchange via a street cabinet; some premises are connected directly to the Exchange over “Exchange Only” (EO) lines. These lines are typically long cable runs and cannot carry high speed Internet connections. Wiltshire Council is working with BT Openreach and looking into technical options to provide high speed Internet to these premises.
Fibre Internet will not be a panacea, however. With Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC), the fibre optic cables terminate in the street cabinets. From the street cabinets, existing telephone wires are used to connect homes and business premises. The further these are from the street cabinet, the slower the connections will be – albeit starting from a much higher speed than the “old” ADSL broadband.
For those who are struggling with ADSL broadband at the moment, there are some simple things you could do:
- Your modem (BT Home Hub, router, etc.) should be connected to the Master Socket (i.e. the socket where the telephone wires enter your premises), preferably using a master ADSL filter. Extension wiring is typically made of poor quality cable that affects broadband performance.
- Do not turn your router on/off regularly (especially at night). The broadband network needs the connection to be on all the time in order to “train” itself. Once the equipment on BT Openreach’s end of the line establishes that a line is stable, it will gradually (over a period of several days and weeks) try to increase the speed of the line until it reaches the maximum speed the line can carry reliably.
- There is better equipment available than Internet Service Provider (ISP)-issued hubs/routers that will maintain broadband connections in poor or very poor conditions. This equipment is a little costly, however, and requires a degree of technical knowledge to operate correctly.