I've been asked
a few times if anything has to be done to get the new fibre-based broadband service
once it's available. The answer is 'yes'. After contacting your chosen
ISP (it doesn't have to be BT!) you would have to signup for their FTTC
package - normally more expensive than standard ADSL. At the moment most
new installs are carried out by an Openreach engineer with self-install
options just being introduced.
New equipment is also required - possibly a new
Master Socket faceplate, VDSL
modem and router. For people that don't upgrade to the new fibre-based
broadband their standard ADSL service will continue as normal.
Possible broadband speeds using
The table below is an
unofficial guide to possible expected FTTC speeds.
As with standard broadband (ADSL) the actual speeds you get with VDSL will
depend upon a number of factors: the length and quality of the phone
line between the cabinet and your home as well as your internal phone
wiring. Also the ISP package - some packages are 'up to' 80/20 or 40/10
The current broadband speeds around Badgers Mount are
no more than around 6Mbps (with many properties getting a lot less) so
FTTC should make quite an improvement.
Distance to the cabinet in metres
Approx. maximum speed (download)
Approx. maximum speed (upload)
The updates below show how things are progressing.
16th July 2014:
Fibre cable being installed - 'blown' by BT. A224 Badgers Mount
July 14th 2014:
Revised BT Openreach estimate for live service
BT's availability checker has been updated
to show September as our possible live FTTC date: Exchange Name: KNOCKHOLT Status: Coming
Soon Forecast date: September 2014 (forecast dates are estimates)
Shoreham Lane, Halstead, Kent - Road closure for BDUK fibre cabling
7th July 2014 - Fibre cable being installed by BT Openreach - A224
BT's 'Where and When' website (link below)
still shows a June estimate for our fibre broadband service but it looks
like this is a bit premature as Local Roadworks
shows that Shoreham Lane is due to be closed for fibre cabling from the
7th-11th July: "From Junction A224 London Road along Shoreham lane to junction of Station Road,
Halstead, Kent TN14 7BY Description : Road closure for bduk fibre cabling."
Exchange Name: KNOCKHOLT Status: Coming
Soon Forecast date: June 2014 (forecast dates are estimates)
Openreach have installed two fibre cabinets for Badgers Mount
Both cabinets are along the A224 Orpington Bypass close to Crest Close.
21st February 2014: Badgers Mount Fibre Cabinet Installed
This week our fibre cabinet (FTTC) has been
installed along the footpath running from Crest Close to the A224.
BT/KCC seem to be ahead of the original schedule which is good to see.
1st November 2013: KCC publish the BDUK Fibre Broadband Rollout plan
"The project will
be delivered in 8 phases - with the first services being available in
early 2014. It is anticipated that the network build will be complete by
December 2015." See the
KCC website for full details.
Knockholt BT Exchange (serving Badgers
Mount, Halstead & Knockholt) is scheduled to be upgraded in Phase 2 - with
work starting between April and September 2014.
see the KCC site regarding why this plan may change and for coverage estimates
July 2013: KCC are using
this Twitter Hashtag: #MakeKentQuicker I seem to be the only one still using this though!?!
KCC have published a broadband project update: "Making
Kent Quicker Update: July 2013" You can download KCC's
18th March 2013: Kent and Medway
sign superfast broadband deal "One of the
biggest infrastructure projects in Kent’s history will start this year as
better broadband is delivered across the county by Kent County Council and
Announced today, the partnership is backed by £10m of council
funding £9.87m from central government and £19.6m from BT. The contract,
which is being signed today, follows the enormously successful ‘Make Kent
Quicker’ campaign, which saw thousands of people sign up and say they
wanted more from their broadband..."
Infinity is BT's fibre based broadband but many other ISPs also have fibre
BUT they are all dependent on the local exchange being upgraded.
Our local BT exchange is Knockholt and isn't currently in BT's rollout
You can also 'register your interest' in Superfast/Fibre
broadband using the above link.
Since the BDUK announcement (Nov 2013 see above) Knockholt BT Exchange
status now shows as: "Future Exchange - Forecast date: Calendar Year
KNOCKHOLT EXCHANGE BROADBAND STATUS:
Enabled as of 17/12/2003 (Fixed rate broadband 512Kbps/1Mb/2Mb) ADSL Max status: Enabled as of 31/03/2006 (Adaptive broadband best
speeds 'up to' 8Mb) 21CN WBC status: Not available on this exchange (21st Century
Network - 'up to' 24Mb ADSL2+) FTTC status: Not available on this exchange (FTTC = Fibre To The
Cabinet) LLU status: 'TalkTalk' is the first provider (see notes
30/11/2011 The first LLU provider at Knockholt!
TalkTalk (CPW) currently has an RFS (Ready For Service) date of
30/11/2011 making it the first ISP to offer ADSL services using non-BT
Exchange equipment (Local Loop Unbundled) at the Knockholt exchange.
This RFS date has now passed and TalkTalk LLU should be available/live
LLU ISPs are often able to offer more competitive Broadband and Phone
packages which may suit some people. But it's worth noting you still often
get what you pay for!
UPDATE: TT LLU enabled 1/12/2011
*Archived BT FTTC 'Race to Infinity'
notes below* - kept for reference.
The 'BT Infinity FTTC Race' has now ended
Badgers Mount, Halstead, Knockholt and Well Hill
only managed 202 votes (1000 were needed to qualify!)
and finished in 153rd place.
If another opportunity comes along to improve the speeds of our broadband then
this page will be updated...
Faster Broadband for Knockholt Exchange! - and £5000
from BT for a local community project.
BT's Knockholt Exchange supplies phone
services to a total of 1737 lines/properties.
1,614 residential premises and 123 non-residential premises.
Many people in our area on Broadband/ADSL are a long way from
Knockholt Exchange which means that their broadband connections will run
quite slowly. The closer you are to the exchange the higher your
connection speed will be.
So those in Knockholt will get the best speeds
followed by Halstead and then Badgers Mount and Well Hill.
The Badgers Mount website was part of the
previous campaign back in 2003 to help get
Knockholt exchange upgraded for ADSL. Along with representatives from
Knockholt and Halstead leaflets were delivered to all properties in the
area encouraging people to 'register an interest' with BT. When the
trigger level set by BT of 300 people was reached the exchange was given a
date for it's upgrade.
FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) 40Mb download
connection speeds with 10Mb upload
BT Openreach have started to upgrade the infrastructure by replacing
the old copper wires connecting the green street cabinets to the exchange
with fibre optics. This new service is known as FTTC (Fibre To The
Cabinet). It's effectively bringing the exchange closer to peoples
homes. The connection from the green street cabinet to the house still
uses the normal copper phone line.
At the moment the fastest broadband you can get
while connected to the Knockholt exchange is an 'up to' 8Mb product. FTTC
offers 'up to' 40Mb download and 10Mb upload. The benefit of using fibre
is that there is minimal signal loss over long distances unlike the
current copper/aluminium phone lines.
With over 5500 exchanges in the country this work
will take years to complete. As with most things, the upgrades are being
rolled out where BT think it makes commercial sense. Sevenoaks Exchange is
scheduled for 2011 with no planned date for Knockholt.
BT Retail's fibre product is called BT Infinity -
other providers also offer FTTC Broadband.
But all the products are dependant on BT upgrading the copper to fibre
between the street cabinets and the exchange.
FTTC - The Race to Infinity(4th
Today (4/10/2010) BT have announced a competition where a handful of exchanges will be upgraded if enough interest
is shown. It looks to be mostly a marketing stunt as the odds on getting
Knockholt chosen are pretty slim - BUT perhaps if there is still a fair
bit of interest it will register with BT and move us up the list of
To be accepted the exchanges have to have over 1000 lines (Knockholt is
1737) and have a least 1000 'votes'. Back in 2003 we managed to get 300
which was then the requirement for normal broadband so achieving
over 1000 could be asking a bit much.
But perhaps as a close knit community Badgers Mount, Halstead, Knockholt
and Well Hill do stand a chance against some of the larger exchanges as it
might be easier to get the message out to residents and businesses and the
competition is based on a percentage of votes.
BT have created a website where people can vote or
register an interest in FTTC and have the chance of getting their local
BT is rolling out superfast fibre optic
broadband across the UK. Whether you’re big on social networking,
gaming or streaming video, with download speeds of up to 40Mb* your life
will be transformed.
The Race to Infinity is giving people the chance to vote online for their
area to become one of the first to enjoy fibre optic broadband. The
five areas which have the largest percentage of votes by December 31st
2010 will win the chance to bring fibre optic broadband to their area
and BT will give a donation of computer equipment worth £5,000 to a local
To vote for your area and help spread the word,
Winning exchanges will be enabled by early 2012 subject to availability,
survey, terms and conditions.
Exchanges need 1,000 premises to be eligible to be one of the winning
exchanges. One vote per address.
Race ends midnight 31st December 2010.
*Top speeds affected by various factors including distance from the
cabinet and internal wiring.
**£5000 of computer equipment will be given to a community project of BT’s
Once winning exchanges are announced submissions from the local community
will be called for and judged by BT.
NB. I happened to be the first person on Knockholt Exchange to vote!