Superfast broadband now available

Superfast broadband is now available in Kingswells. The map below shows an indicative area of coverage.

Cabinets 11 and 13 are now live, and one other cabinet will be coming live in the next few months.

People can check what services are available at their line, address or postcode at https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/main.html . If you are supplied by cabinet 11 or 13 then you can contact your supplier to see if you can upgrade. Connection is not automatic. You need to upgrade, or transfer to a supplier who is providing this service.

There is some discussion on Facebook, or in the forum on this site.

 

Broadband map

 

Thanks to Faheem Razzaq Awan for image.

46 comments

  1. Hi – Looking for an update on cabinet 12 if possible? I see they dug up all the paths etc around it but still no word on when or if fibre will be available for the surrounding area? Cheers

    1. Andy last reports were the end of December, but they have not been good at predictions so far. I will chase for more information if things don’t progress.

      Ian

      1. Thanks – I noticed in the community newsletter over the weekend the councilor had said about cabinet 12 being the end of December but I haven’t seen anyone about working on it recently so I won’t get my hopes up 🙂

  2. Hello all,

    Received this email from Openreach regarding a fibre availability query I sent regarding Broadband to the remainder of Kingswells e.g. cabinet 19 Wellside area and so on… Depressing news below. I find it hard to believe that Cabinet 19 etc.. does not meet ‘the commercial criteria’ and cabinets 11-13 do? Can anyone clarify the situation on the remainder of Kingswells getting fibre as from this email its not happening at all! 🙁 My last download speed test returned an embarrassing 0.363mb!! Rubs salt into the wound.

    Thank you for your enquiry.

    I can confirm you are fed from Aberdeen Kingswells exchange, cabinet 19.

    Our deployment is based on the commercial criteria for each cabinet and your cabinet fails to meet the commercial criteria. This is because the cabinet has too few premises connected to it, rendering it too small to provide a return on the investment based on the costs for the construction and on-going running costs of providing a new FTTC cabinet. When calculating the commercial viability of cabinet areas we take many factors into account. These include ensuring that we locate the cabinets in accordance with all national and local planning laws, ensuring that the cabinet does not obstruct pedestrians or provide a danger to all road-users. We must ensure that the DSLAM is located within 100m of its associated telephony connection cabinet and that there is adequate access to power and existing telephony infrastructure. To further enable the location of the DSLAM, we must accurately survey for underground structure and obstacles etc.
    We do look at the demographic nature of the potential customers within a cabinets working area, however, we focus on the amount of connected lines at the time and not any potential expansion within a cabinet area as this is not guaranteed – this is the most efficient way to deploy fibre broadband whilst keeping within our finite budget. As such we look at the potential return for our investment over quite a number of years, with the prospective number of take up of the service being a large percentage of households. We’ve been clear in our communications that we can only upgrade those exchanges and cabinets which are commercially viable.

    You can register your expression of interest about fibre broadband on the Openreach website at:

    http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/expression-gen.aspx

    NGA Enquiries – Openreach

    1. Somebody at BTWholesale hasn’t got a clue what they’re talking about.

      While the Kingswells was indeed deemed non commercial as regards to fibre Government money is being used to upgrade some cabinets eg 11, 12 & 13

      The situation with cabinets 19, 20, 21 & 22 regarding FTTC is not known but at least if you’re connected to one of them you can get a decent service – unlike those poor souls who are connected directly to the exchange (EO lines).

      A bit of history here. Back around 2007 these 4 cabinets (along with 4 in England) were upgraded with test technology (presumably the fore runner of FTTC) which allows speeds of around 5 – 7 mbs. As only 8 cabinets exist on the network OpenReach systems tend not to know about them.

      Although the exchange is un-bundled these 4 cabinets are not. However, you can get an ADSL service – unless the cabinet is full !!!

      Speak to your ISP and ask – you must tell them you’re on a TOPN line and that they need to manually place the order with OpenReach. If they don’t know what you’re speaking about PlusNet seem to understand the situation. I know of two people connected this year and a third is waiting for their order to be processed (see earlier DerbethGranger posting )

      Brian

      1. Hello,

        PlusNet up and running since last Thursday, I have done speedtests at various times since then and seem to be getting a steady 6.8mb down / 0.4mb up all the time now.

        Thanks for all the advice Brian.

        Now I just have to wait patiently for the fibre to happen.

        1. Hi DerbethGranger and xyz,

          I am also struggling with 0.5Mb download speeds and am not going to be able to get the fibre solution. Yup, I’m in Derbeth Grange too.

          But I don’t understand the conversation between xyz and Derbethgranger:

          My understanding is that if DerbethGranger was on TPON, then there is no DSLAM between him and the exchange, hence he should get no broadband at all. TPON, being a fibre, only digitises the signal on a narrow band because it expects speech.

          My house is connected directly to the exchange, so the DSLAM is very far away in Westhill. Hence why I get 0.5Mb.

          When OpenReach put the first cabinets on the street in Kingswells (2006?), I spoke to the project manager and she told me that the cabinets were to allow TPON people to get a DSLAM in the cabinet and therefore go from no broadband to fast broadband (8Mb in those days). I asked if I could get my ISP to move my wires to the cabinet. I was told that while that was feasible, the ISP would (a) have to understand the request and (b) be paying wholesale for the use of the fibre. My ISP is TT so that would be (a) no and (b) no.

          So, how does DerbethGrange manage to go from similar speeds to me (which he/she shouldn’t get with TPON) to 6.8Mb with PlusNet???

          I would be very happy with 6.8Mb and will drop TT for PlusNet in a flash if I can understand how this has happened.

          1. I believe the answer is that some lines in your street are connected directly to the Exchange (EO lines) and some are connected to the local street cabinet. The latter are able to get an “up to 8mb” ADSL service.

            There was a meeting recently at the community centre about superfast broadband but I suspect nothing new was mentioned as there has been no information posted. Neither was Kingswells mentioned in the latest news from Digital Scotland.

            All is no lost however as OpenReach continue to trial new technology to push fast broadband. The following link is an article about this.
            http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/6932-g-fast-at-330-mbps-to-trial-in-three-parts-of-the-uk.html

            This one is specific to the trial
            http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2015/04/bt-confirms-third-500mbps-uk-g-fast-broadband-pilot-for-swansea.html

            Finally if you want to know what’s inside an FTTC cabinet
            http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/fttc-cabinets.htm

            Brian

    2. Has anyone heard anything on Cabinet 12 at all please? LAst I heard was BT thught Xmas for connection – getting close if orders are to be placed etc?

    3. Three months and 3 ISP providers failing to provide half decent broadband service through cabinet 19 in Wellside area.  BT are giving me 0.5Mbps currently and both Sky and PlusNet although promising starts both failed to deliver and cancelled orders.

      Openreach engineers don’t seem to understand the TPON issue. I fail to believe @BTcare that all the customers connected to the cabinet get only 0.5Mbps download speeds.

      Beyond writing to the CEO or ombudsman…anyone got any gems of ideas to help??

      Cheers

      1. I use PlusNet and they have always seemed to understand the problem in the past.

        Two things to note. Because of the TPON issue lines to cabinet 19 are not unbundled so you cannot get any “packages”

        Second, you must make the ISP aware that the line is TPON – their systems will not tell them. This is why people often have problems. The system says yes you can have a bundled package and the problems only become apparent when they try to set up the line.

        Brian

         

         

         

  3. It’s been almost 2 months since the last post on here. Does anyone have any new information on the status of any new cabinets going live? I don’t use Facebook, so don’t know if there’s any more news on that and would appreciate any update.

    I’m in Derbeth Grange and on cabinet 21 according to the BT Wholesale checker and it still shows the standard 2-8meg speed.

    1. No news to update. I understand the next cabinet to go live will be 12, which is located near Cromar Gardens.

      BT want folks to register and then they will be updated when they are upgraded

    2. According to the web-in-air and newsletter Cab 12 should have went live 7 to 10 days ago. According to BT Open Reach we are 2 months post availability.
      Registering for info is a waste of time – nothing sent to me in over a year!
      As for promises to contact me, made via Steve Delaney, BT haven’t bothered.
      Only facts I seem to see are:
      1. we still haven’t got super fast,
      2. we are treated like mushroom,
      3. we still pay the same every month to our ISPs
      4. we still get the poorest service.
      I would love to be proved wrong.

      1. I totally agree, its an absolute disgrace that we have to be held to ransom by BT. No other internet service available and no plans in place to improve what shoddy service we already have.
        All this and we still pay the same as everyone else!
        Shocking and they really shouldnt be allowed to get away with it!
        From what I can see (and previous evidence supports it) they are never going to improve the service in the area and I very much doubt we will even see superfast broadband (fibre) round as far as cabinet 19 where I live.

        1. Rycado,

          Hopefully everyone in Kingswells will be upgraded eventually. We need to be patient.

          Openreach is doing the installation, but when the cabinets go live you will have a choice of supplier.

          Ian

      2. Here is a response from BT.

        “Apologies for the delay in my response. I was away last week and have only just picked up your e-mail.

        As you already know, you are served from Cabinet 12 off the Kingswells exchange. As stated on the webinar, we originally hoped that this cabinet would be enabled within 4-6 weeks of the webinar. Unfortunately due to external factors outside of Openreach’s control, this original timescale has slipped. We now anticipate that fibre broadband should be available to those premises served by cabinet 12 before the end of December 2014.

        I understand that this must be disappointing news, however we are doing what we can to enable this cabinet for fibre as soon as possible.

        Regards”

        1. Nice to see you finally got a response from BT even though it’s bad news.

          This response only refers to cabinet 12. What about the rest of Kingswells, like Rycado on 19 and myself on 21, anything on them?

          1. No, unfortunately the rest of Kingswells will be later in the roll out. As usual BT will not give any dates. Really unacceptable, but getting details seems to be impossible.

            What kind of speed are you currently getting?

            Ian

          2. I’m with TalkTalk, have been since I was able to get BB through the old TPON network.
            At the moment at peak times I’m getting about 0.3mb down, but it speeds up to around about 6mb through the night, which is what I used to get all the time.

          3. Yep, that not too good.

            Some folks round your way have moved to PlusNet and are getting a steady 6.8mb. The service also seems to be better than with their previous provider.

            Are you in a contract that you can get out of? Maybe worth changing?

            Perhaps if you could get 6mb the wait would not seem so long.

            Ian

          4. Thanks for the advice, 6.8mb at peak times would be fine for now.
            I don’t think I’ve ever officially renewed a contract with TT since joining them so I should be able to swap over. I’ll look into it.

          5. If you are connected to cabinets 19, 20, 21 or 22 (as opposed to being directly connected to the exchange as some are in Derbeth) there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to receive a service of around 5 -7 mbs (unless the cabinet is full).

            You cannot get a “bundled” package from the likes of Sky or TalkTalk. Although the exchange is “unbundled” these lines are not.

            PlusNet appear to understand things are also appear to be willing to go the extra mile to get you connected. You must tell them you’re on a TOPN line and it may take longer than normal to get up and running. I believe you also have to take line rental from them.

            Although PlusNet supply a modem / router they are happy for you to use your own equipment.

            I know of two people who are happily with PlusNet after being told by other ISP’s (including BT – PlusNet’s owners !!!) that no service could be provided. I’ve been with them for several years.

            Brian

      3. Steuart,

        Regarding points 3 and 4 – are you aware that there is no plan to improve the existing service, and the superfast alternative will cost more than we currently pay.

        Ian

        1. Hi Ian
          Steve D did tell me this and I think I heard a mention on the webinair.

          BT have got away with this sort of thing for decades and the other ISPs enjoy the benefits. Imagine the uproar if we all paid a set amount for electricity and a chosen few got 24/7 supply and the rest all got a service somewhere in-between that and 1 day a month?

          OFCOM do nothing despite representations from the public.

          Steuart

    3. Thanks for the info Brian.

      I actually signed up to PlusNet this morning and they accepted the order, I have also just requested a MAC key from TalkTalk.

      I will speak to PlusNet and explain about the TPON when I get the code, which TT said could take up to 5 days.

      1. I would tell PlusNet now (just in case) thought their systems do seem to pick up problems.

        I’ve heard about many cases where an order has been accepted and then (at some point after the activation date) the ISP finds they can’t supply a service – not (I would point out) involving PlusNet.

        The last order I heard about involving them picked up a problem the same or following day and advised about a delay up front.

        Brian

  4. We have not had many official comments, but the following will perhaps explain some of the lack of information, and it also explains about the Exchange Only connections – contradicts some of XYZ’s comments.

    In response to the question ”why is it difficult to estimate when each cabinet will be enabled for superfast broadband” a spokesperson from Openreach said:

    “It is difficult to give a specific date because of the engineering complexities of deploying fibre cabinets. It involves not only provision of fibre, but availability of power connections, planning consent for the cabinet itself in some cases, road closures, traffic management permissions and space within our duct network to make the necessary connections. In a small number of cases we encounter problems which can significantly delay the cabinet, and take time to resolve. In the vast majority of cases these delays are caused by either power provision and local planning permission. We work closely with the power companies and local authorities to minimise such delays.”

    In response to the question ”what are the implications of being connected directly to the exchange, and not through a cabinet” a spokesperson from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Programme said:

    “Exchange Only (EO) lines are connected directly to the local telephone exchange rather than passing through a street cabinet that can be upgraded with a fibre broadband connection. There are cases where some EO lines can be fibre enabled, for example by building an additional cabinet close to the exchange. Where exchange only lines cannot be enabled for fibre, alternative technologies such as wireless or satellite may be needed to boost speeds. However this does mean that deployment is likely to be later in the rollout.”

    1. Ian

      I sorry, but I don’t see how I contradict the “official” comments, especially in relation to Exchange Only lines.

      The “official” comment confirms that FTTC cannot be supplied to EO lines. It states that alternative technology is needed which means that “deployment is likely to be later in the rollout” so if you’re on an EO line you’re not going anywhere fast. The bad news is that nowhere do they commit to implementing a solution for EO lines. They may be “looking at ” solutions but that’s not a commitment.

      Government money is being used to ensure 95% coverage – there is no commitment to 100% in any given area.

      The main solutions for EO lines (apart from wireless and satellite) appear to be building a new cabinet close to the exchange (along with a FTTC one) and transferring the lines to it (not applicable for Kingswells as the exchange is in Westhill) or deploying Fibre to the Premises (nowhere that I’ve seen is FTTP mentioned in relation to Kingswells).

      A potential solution (FTTRn) where you have cluster of EO lines is being trialled in Yorkshire. It’s mentioned in the following article
      http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/6574

      The Facebook page appears to be more active. Could you perhaps drop on note there to say more comments have been posted on this site.

      Brian

      1. Brian

        Sorry if I misinterpreted your message. I understood from your message that EO connections had no hope of faster speeds. This is not what BT say.

        We need to have as many information channels open as we can. Not everyone uses Facebook.

  5. I’m finding this lack of information from the ISPs somewhat frustrating. I only get 0.7Mbps with BT and need more for work – or move (which I don’t want to do!)

    The statement “Cabinets 11 and 13 are now live, and one other cabinet will be coming live in the next few months” is half factual and half smokescreen. One other cabinet? One of how many others? This is a distinct lack of proper information.

    Meanwhile we are paying the same per month as others in the city that get quite reasonable conventional broadband speeds.

    The earlier propaganda statements issued by the Govt’s Digital Scotland of Fibre BB in Kingswells by June is now proven to be just that – propaganda and efficiency of truth.

    How long do we have to be patronised by this carrot on a stick approach by the ISPs/BT Openreach/Government/Aberdeen City Council?

    Does anyone know what is REALLY happening?

    1. Yep, agreed.

      There is a distinct lack of information from BT. I have tried but failed to get any new information. The news of the two cabinets and the map came from other residents who had done some detective work.

      There will be a web meeting on 19th August at 7pm. I will post details of how to join the webinar when I get them. BT will present what is happening. We will be able to ask questions.

      We need to let them know that we need more information on expected connect times.

      The speed and cost of normal broadband will be unaffected by the new faster service which will be available to those that apply at an additional cost.

    2. The first thing to do is check your phone number against the BT Wholesale Checker and confirm you have a cabinet listed against your phone. It’ll read as follows
      Telephone Number 0122474xxxx on Exchange ABERDEEN KINGSWELLS is served by Cabinet 22

      If no cabinet number is listed then you are on an Exchange Only line and you’re going nowhere fast – FTTC cannot be provided to these lines.

      To get FTTC you need a green cabinet. I’ve counted seven of these in Kingswells – 3 new and 4 old pairs (one big, one small). Two new cabinets are on Kingswood Dr between the shopping centre and the Lang Stracht turn off. They have no markings but I would suspect they are cabinets 11 and 13 given their location.

      The third new cabinet is on Kingswells Ave near the school. This is clearly marked with a “12” so I would guess cabinet 12 and it’s only a matter of time for this cabinet to go live. It could be the “one other” mentioned in Ian’s original post.

      The 4 pairs of green cabinets on Kingswells Crescent were installed around 2007 as an experiment. We got 4 and somewhere in England got 4. ADSL is supplied over TOPN (I get a steady 5.6mpbs). As it was an experiment automatic on-line ordering was out. You had to place a manual order with your ISP and tell them it was over TOPN. From memory several ISP’s had no idea what you were speaking about.

      This service had a later side effect which continues to this do. Although the Kingswells exchange is “un-bundled” the lines served by these cabinets are not. However, the likes of Sky and Talk Talk will happily accept an order for a “package” on to discover (usually after the install date) they cannot supply a service.

      The cabinets beside Wellside Place and Derbeth Park have no markings so I don’t know their cabinet numbers. The other two beside Concraig Gardens have 20 and 22 on them so I guess cabinets 20 and 22.

      Will these old cabinets be up-graded to FTTC – I don’t know but there is hope (though only gossip). Earlier this year my neighbour was waiting for an OpenReach visit. While walking her dog she spoke to two OpenReach engineers near the Concraig cabinets to see if she was on their schedule. They weren’t doing customer visits – they were “working on Infinity” (the overall name for BT’s FTTC project and funnily enough the name of BT’s retail product !!!).

      1. Further research using the “Address Checker” suggests most of Kingswells is covered by 7 cabinets and as there are 7 green boxes …..

        The cabinets beside Wellside Place serve “19” and those beside Derbeth serve “22”

        The bad news is for those in Kingswood Avenue – the entire street appears to be Exchange Only but if you live there you should check your phone number (this is more accurate).

        I’m not on Facebook as can’t reply there but I’ve been reading the comments.

        “Stuart Law” posted “The current capacity of a single ‘large’ cabinet is 288 homes, once it reaches capacity another cabinet is added and so on.”

        Given the cost of installing cabinets I would be very surprised if additional ones were added. When a cabinet’s full it’s full.

        “Su Prentice” posted “Don’t even think we have 0.9 in Derbeth Grange….frustrated !! Come on – dial up wasn’t much slower than this!”

        As Derbeth is on Cabinet 22 I would speak to your ISP, tell them you have a TOPN line and get them to check you’re on the best service.

        “Nicola Marshall” posted ” Can anyone tell me who can supply broadband to wellside walk? Many thanks”

        Wellside Walk is on cabinet 19. Any ISP should be able to supply broadband but as it’s a TOPN line you may need to tell them this. Note you will not be able to order a “package”

  6. The forum isn’t working just now so a quick update here. I was speaking to a techie friend who said that the problem was most likely with the Home Hub 5. The default config of having the same SSID for both the 2.4GHz and 5Ghz networks is, apparently, a well-known problem and even when seperated the hub continually steps down the 5GHz network speed when BtWiFi/FON is switched on as the multiple SSIDs confuse it – it thinks it’s channel interference. So, nothing to do with the line, although copper would still make a significant difference to connection speeds.

    The quick solution is to switch off the 5GHz network and only use the 2.4GHz, accepting that it’ll run much, much slower as every wireless device will share it. The better, and more expensive, solution is to replace the Home Hub 5 with something that works as it’s supposed to – my friend brought over an AVM Fritz!Box earlier this week and it’s been rock solid ever since. The BT kit at the cabinet is slowly retraining my line after all the restarts brought the speed down. At the moment, I’ve got 39Mb/s down (about half of what I’m paying for), 6Mb/s up and it’s slowly but steadily getting better.

    HTH someone else.
    Bill.

  7. “Superfast” isn’t a word I’d use for this crap. I had BT Unlimited Infinity II (up to 76Mb/s download) installed from Cabinet 11 on Wednesday 2nd July, and was pleased on day 1 to see about 55Mb/s actual download speed and about 6Mb/s upload. Amazing, compared to the 1.7Mb/s connection speed I was getting before. The technician who installed it said it’d fluctuate a bit over the next week before it settled down to something stable.

    It didn’t fluctuate. It just got steadily slower and slower until, just now, I’m getting 0.5Mb/s down and 0.9Mb/s up. I’ve spent an extra £10 a month for “up to 76Mb/s” and I’m getting poorer service than the pretty pathetic offering I had before.

    I’m not particularly looking forward to an extended session with BT’s non-domestic call centre on Monday. Even with aluminium cabling in the ground (despite many broken promises by BT of a copper overlay) the initial speed on installation is what I was expecting and shows that it’s possible. More broadband pain.

    If anybody else is using Infinity II from Cabinet 11, I’d be interested to hear what kind of service they’re receiving. Might help a bit to convince BT that there’s something wrong, at least with my connection.

    Cheers,
    Bill

    1. Bill,

      Sorry to hear about your experience. I also have BT infinity 2 and connected to the cabinet 13. Installed about 3 weeks ago. I am able to receive around 64 mbps down and 19 mbps up. The speed hasn’t gone down really as in your case. Looks like there is a serious issue with the line between your property and the cabinet. I am about 0.4 miles away from the cabinet.

      Thanks,
      Faheem

      1. Hi Ian,

        BT is my “service” provider. I’ve had a week of listening to interminable wait misic while trying to get some help from them. I’ll post BT’s speedtest results in the forum but right now I’ve increased to 2.9Mb down, 1.1Mb up. They’re wanting, possibly, to charge me £120 for a site visit because they say there’s no problem to the HomeHub. When the technician installed the new faceplate he did so by linking the external phone connectors at the side of the house to a brand new backbox and brand new NTE using a bit of external cable about 90cm long through the hole in the wall that the Sky feed used to come through. There’s no internal wiring connected to the new box and I’ve long since stopped connecting a landline phone. I’ll have to risk the £120 charge and see what they say after the technician has a look. I miss the days when it was an engineer that did the work. Maybe the crappy aluminium has finally given up?

        “Up to 76Mb/s.” I suppose 2.9Mb/s is “up to”.

        I’ll move my continued posts to the forum.

        Cheers,
        Bill.

Leave a Reply