March 24, 2009

BT take on Virgin Media - why??

Can anyone explain how BT's initial roll out plans for its fibre-based cable are to enable a "Digital Britain"? No fewer than 25 of the announced BT 29 exchanges to get the upgrade are already covered by Virgin Media's 50Mbps fibre-optic broadband. BT is investing £1.5bn in its fibre rollout, so why prioritise customers who can already get faster broadband, albeit from a competitor?
Meanwhile, Berkett announces his expectation that Virgin will offer 150Mb broadband by next year (see this BBC story). It seems there are two definitions of "coming soon" in the Berkett Lexicon: one for the 'mine's bigger than yours' broadband boasting, a completely different one for the promised HD service expansion...

8 comments:

anonymous said...

I spotted that when I read a piece in Yorkshire Evening Post. Some people were very excited about it as they can't get cable but what they didn't realise was as you point out, many of bits of those areas can get cable. Still, potentially great for the many people who live just outside cabled areas that will be scooped up. Potentially a waste of time from a different point of view.

Afront said...

I expect it's because those areas have the most concentrated population and so the most number of potential customers per square mile.

It's also probably a lot easier (and cheaper) to lay the cable in these concentrated cities, and it gives BT a chance to steal some Virgin customers back.

Anonymous said...

Precisely correct Afront.
In non cable areas, the internet has to be provided via DSL, which BT either provide themselves, or charge rent to the ISP on. So targeting the VM cable areas is the way to grab the only section of the populus that doesn't rely on BT infrastructure currently for their data connection. Shrewd, not very subtle, but shrewd!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe BT will actually deliver on the speeds they promise. Virgin, in my experience at least, struggle to ever deliver half of their promised speeds, and often vastly less.

Anonymous said...

"Virgin, in my experience at least, struggle to ever deliver half of their promised speeds, and often vastly less."

Maybe you're in a busy area or have faulty hardware or something? I get VM at very close to the full speed promised most of the time (with traffic management throttling exactly as promised too, but it's still genuinely unlimited), and so does Nialli if you look at the speedtest on the front page. I've never had such a consistent connection with the various range of ADSL providers I've tried over recent years.

Maestromarv said...

My 20mb was maxing at 8 for a long time until I updated the firmware on the Netgear router (originally suggested but not supported by Virgin before they started giving them away). Now it just depends on the website. I can get 2MB per second consistently downloading PT8 from Digidesign (3GB worth).

Nialli said...

I had speed problems around twelve months ago, but it's as near as damnit to the promised 20mb these days. I'm using an 802.11n wireless router (actually an Apple Time Capsule) and there are often three laptops connected - no complaints from this household.
My neighbour has Sky Broadband and gets half the promised speed, which is odd as a few years back when I had Orange ADSL I got around 6Mb (on their up to 8mb service). Maybe contention's got worse at the local exchange.
Pretty much every house down our street is on cable - just a handful of dishes. Not sure how many of those use broadband services but the street boxes at either end look pretty full to me.

BikeNutt said...

Slightly off topic but...

Speedtest.net has had a facelift and it runs much faster now too!