Cruising on the Information Superhighway

BT's Infinity "Fibre to the Cabinet" (FTTC) has arrived in Malvern.

For those who don't know, FTTC means that instead of a copper wire going all the way from your house to your telephone exchange, the copper wire runs only to your nearest "green cabinet", with the rest of the way being via optical fibre.

So what does this mean? Well, if you're fortunate enough to live near to a new FTTC cabinet, you can upgrade to superfast VDSL broadband. Unfortunately, just because the exchange is FTTC-enabled doesn't mean your cabinet will be upgraded. Cabinets a long way from the exchange, or serving a small number of customers, may not be replaced. Also, VSDL performance degrades faster than ADSL, so even if your cabinet is upgraded, if you're too far away you may not see much improvement.

36arn is approximately 200 metres or 3 poles from a shiny new cabinet. The quality of the copper is clearly pretty good, because the ADSL connection speeds were already excellent (18 mbps downstream and 1.2mbps upstream). With VDSL it's now over 70mbps downstream and 16mbps upstream. Also, latency has dropped from 27ms to 15ms.

In real terms, this means downloads of 8MB/s. I remember the good old days when I though that a 56Kbps modem was marvellous, at a rate of approximately 15MB/hour!

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