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Author Topic: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?  (Read 20619 times)

Puppy

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Hello, my name is John and I'm a first time poster.  (Apologies for the longish first post!) :-[

I just come across this forum yesterday, and I am finding it very informative (if a little over my head!) :o

I live just outside of Edinburgh, and my local area is in the process of being upgraded to FTTC. In early February, I noticed that things were starting to happen when  a load of traffic management signs and barriers (gear) had been dumped next to the cabinet to which I am connected, 3 yellow marks with "E" equally spaced had been painted on the path just behind the cabinet.  A couple of days later I had a drive around my town to see if any other work was being done, and yes, ground works had started at 2 locations, pipes were sticking up out of the ground, "great" I thought, my cabinet will be next....no chance, a couple of weeks later the gear disappears!

In the meantime more ground works have commenced in my own and other towns near by, and no sign of anything happening at my own cab, then in March the gear re-appeared and a yellow rectangle painted on the grass next to the 3 yellow "E"'s, a week or so later the gear vanishes again, still no ground works! 

In the meantime, just up the road from my house where the countryside begins, is the last cabinet in the town, lets call it CAB "C", it has had a FTTC installed near by, on the way back into the town the next cab (CAB "A") has also been upgraded, so my cab (CAB "B") which is situated in the middle of the 2, is still untouched.

Last week, there were 3 Openreach vans on the main road between CAB "B" and CAB "A", the were working in the manhole covers that go along that road.  I naturally stopped and asked them if the were blowing fibre, but was told that they are just laying the infrastructure for the fibre, but they weren't having much luck due to the poor condition of the ducts, however they said it would be quickly resolved as they have targets to meet blah blah!

Now to the question in hand, I asked one of the guys why he thought my cab "B", hadn't been upgraded, he said that it may have been linked to either of the other 2 FTTC (A or C) to save money, has any one heard of this before?

I look forward to hearing from some of you guys, as I know you are a knowledgeable bunch  ;)

Thanks in advance :)
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 08:26:44 PM by Puppy »
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ColinS

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2013, 08:51:10 PM »

Hi John, and welcome.  :)

BlackSheep will be along soon to answer your question definitively.  However, while you're waiting, here are a few observations:
1) BTOR planners will definately be motivated (by 'them above') to save money where they can. You can bet on that.
2) However the link cables between the PCP (old telephony cabinet) and its FTTC 'buddy' (which contain the DSLAM/MSANs i.e. the VDSL equipment) are normally very short reach.  Metres not kilometres.

So, how far are cabinets C & A from B?  :)
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asbokid

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 09:09:04 PM »

the interlinking (telco-64?) subscriber cables are relatively expensive, so that might encourage the use of shorter distances, too!

cheers, a
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Puppy

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 10:24:43 PM »

Hi John, and welcome.  :)

BlackSheep will be along soon to answer your question definitively.  However, while you're waiting, here are a few observations:
1) BTOR planners will definately be motivated (by 'them above') to save money where they can. You can bet on that.
2) However the link cables between the PCP (old telephony cabinet) and its FTTC 'buddy' (which contain the DSLAM/MSANs i.e. the VDSL equipment) are normally very short reach.  Metres not kilometres.

So, how far are cabinets C & A from B?  :)

Thanks for the reply ColinS, one is approx 300m and the other one 800m :'(, my own cab is about 250m from my house.
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ColinS

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2013, 12:25:50 AM »

Forgive me John if I didn't quite ask the question unambiguously, so I'm not quite sure of the relative distances of the other two from your own. :) But even if yours was only (300-250=)50m from the next nearest one, although I couldn't absolutely rule it out, for the cost (and probably even for more practical - do they make them that long?) reasons relating to the (specialised) tie cables I would think it was unlikely.  But, as I say, BlackSheep will hopefully tell you for sure, as he is a BTOR FTTC broadband engineer.

However, one of our esteemed Kitizens here is ~1Km from his cabinet, although DS sync rates are only ~30Mb/s at that distance.  So any of the three of them could supply VDSL to you at their respective distances from your home  :), which is of course different to the question you asked.  :( 

None of which explains why the nearest one to you is not (yet) being 'upgraded'.  You are sure, I assume, that a) that 'B' is your cabinet, and b) that all 3 cabinets are served by the same exchange?  Unlikely not to be I would guess, but then somebody has to be at an exchange area boundary somewhere. :(
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burakkucat

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2013, 01:23:28 AM »

Possibly just a spot of caterwauling by yours truly but in John's opening post he mentioned markings made near the PCP through which his line is connected. I wonder if those marking indicate the location of other underground services in that area -- only discovered upon site survey -- underground services that are making it difficult to find an acceptable location for a FTTC to accompany the existing PCP?  :-\
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waltergmw

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 07:57:25 AM »

Welcome John from sometimes sunny Surrey !

You may be in for an extended wait for planning regulations etc. etc., probably different in Scotland anyway, that can also have an effect. if you want a fortnight's read explore our site starting here:-

http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=1893

Then note the planning blunders that ensued. (You might be amused to search for the word "blunder" ! )  Also that our procurement specification clearly stated that we required capacities of 500 services from each cabinet AND a full fibre spine running through the entire village. BT have only installed ECI 128 cabinets with 100 pr cables but long delays have ensued whilst they add the second 64 way line card and then start digging up the tarmac to increase the tie cables. The BT fibre "spine" consists of two fibre tubes to two cabinets and a three to the first cabinet, thereby making it practically impossible to deploy Fibre on Demand. Three of the tubes now contain a four fibre bundle feeding each FTTC, leaving only 4 tubes still empty.

Here is a recent example in our exchange "village"** Cranleigh. (** Perhaps the largest village in England.)

http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=3523

You will also probably find charm offensives are underway to emphasise the positive. Surrey started their intervention to provide over 99 % of the whole county with a minimum of 24 Mbps download. This has now quietly become the minimum speed BT recognise for a fibre connection of 15 Mbps. In practice our village has about 1000 properties and I estimate that about 25% cannot achieve the the original 24 Mbps speeds, even after remedial works such as the one described here have been completed.

http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=2281&cpage=1#comment-722

Now back to a few specific points mentioned. There is no guarantee that your service is connected to the nearest or any particular cabinet and BT will definitely NOT rewire your village. Your line is connected to the cabinet which matches the history of your house and that of (probably) the cabinet available closest at the time your house was connected to the telephone system. EDIT You can establish precisely which cabinet you are connected to by entering your phone number here:-

http://www.dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/adslchecker.welcome

Because BT are having a "wee stuchie" with TalkTalk you have to use the address checker link if the number check won't work.


The 100 pr tie cables between the PCP and the FTTC are supposed to be under 50 m in total length and are the only bespoke part of the installation. Within the FTTC either two (for an ECI 128) or four (for an ECI 256) of dual telco 64 cables connect the tie cable termination blocks to the line cards. This leaves 28 or 56 channels unusable.

Kind regards,
Walter
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 08:43:08 AM by waltergmw »
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ColinS

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013, 09:40:27 AM »

Possibly just a spot of caterwauling by yours truly but in John's opening post he mentioned markings made near the PCP through which his line is connected. I wonder if those marking indicate the location of other underground services in that area -- only discovered upon site survey -- underground services that are making it difficult to find an acceptable location for a FTTC to accompany the existing PCP?  :-\
Seems more than likely B*Cat. Possibly the (proposed) Electrical power supplies to the (proposed) FTTC cabinet.  Re-reading it again more carefully, I see that although he said 'just outside Edinburgh' (which initially made me think his exchange would have been part of the Edinburgh director area (as it used to be known), his references to 'my town' should have given it away, as it will most likely be served by a single (non-director in the same terminology) exchange there.  Except of course if he is very near an exchange area boundary between the two, which is unlikely.

So this does, sadly, seem like a distinct possibility.  :(  And, as I thought, Walter confirms that <50m tie cables are the maximum.  Mind you, you might think that 50m would give them enough room to position it away from any other UG services getting in the way, but that might be where cost (and the degree of expressions of interest in Fibre from EUs on that cabinet) would come into it.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 05:23:34 PM by ColinS »
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Black Sheep

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2013, 05:36:52 PM »

Hi guys, and welcome to our new member, Puppy.

The 'E' markings are generally marked up as such, to identify where the electric cables are. In the case of FTTC, it may be indicative of where the new supply is to be run ?? I don't get involved with FTTC planning at any stage, so wouldn't have an answer.

The distance between PCP and VDSL Cabinet is 100mtrs maximum for the copper ties.

Are we sure that Puppy's Cab (Cab 'B') is a dedicated Cab and not an SCP ?? It seems highly unlikely, given the 'E' markings, but a possibility nonetheless.

If Cab 'B' is dedicated, and you are only 250mtrs away from it, the positive note to take away is that if and when your cabinet does go 'live', you will be the recipient of the full 40 Meg or 80 Meg DS product, depending on which option you go for ??

As our members have pointed out, duct 'Stoppages' and Council red-tape as to the new VDSL cab site, can and obviously do slow progress down. The only thing you could do is to go on one of those sites that inform you when you are likely to 'go live'. I don't have them unfortunately, but others on here do.

 

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Puppy

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 05:53:26 PM »

Guy's thank for all of you replies and comments thus far, they are much appreciated.  Most them are over my head, i must admit, but given time I will get to grips with some of the terminology used.

Just to give some more detail, I live in Bonnyrigg just outside Edinburgh, and all of the cabinets in my town are supplied from the Dalkeith Exchange which is about 2 miles away. as the crow flies.

I have been e-mailing NGA enquires at Open reach for some time now, and they have finally confirmed to me that my cabinet is in the current roll out plans, with an estimated "go live" date of mid August.  I should also mention that there are still cabinets in my town waiting to be upgraded, so there is still plenty of time, I'm just a bit concerned why they would miss my one out when the one's either side have been upgraded.  I'm thinking there may be technical difficulties to overcome, so they are just doing the "easy" ones first.

Here is a picture with the yellow markings for your scrutinisation ::)

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Puppy

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 06:02:47 PM »

Hi guys, and welcome to our new member, Puppy.

The 'E' markings are generally marked up as such, to identify where the electric cables are. In the case of FTTC, it may be indicative of where the new supply is to be run ?? I don't get involved with FTTC planning at any stage, so wouldn't have an answer.

The distance between PCP and VDSL Cabinet is 100mtrs maximum for the copper ties.

Are we sure that Puppy's Cab (Cab 'B') is a dedicated Cab and not an SCP ?? It seems highly unlikely, given the 'E' markings, but a possibility nonetheless.

If Cab 'B' is dedicated, and you are only 250mtrs away from it, the positive note to take away is that if and when your cabinet does go 'live', you will be the recipient of the full 40 Meg or 80 Meg DS product, depending on which option you go for ??

As our members have pointed out, duct 'Stoppages' and Council red-tape as to the new VDSL cab site, can and obviously do slow progress down. The only thing you could do is to go on one of those sites that inform you when you are likely to 'go live'. I don't have them unfortunately, but others on here do.

Thanks BS for your reply, I am gathering from your reply that the linking of cabinet is out due to the distance involved (over 100m)?

Using the broadband wholesale checker, my estimated speed if 56 up and 16 down, 80 would be even better :)
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Black Sheep

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2013, 06:35:06 PM »

Yeah, the linking of PCP's (Cabinets) absolutely out I'm afraid. Going from your picture, I would put good money on that being the site of the new VDSL Cabinet.

The 'E' mark-ups appear to stop alongside what looks to be a streetlight to the right ?? My guess is that the 'spine' of the electrical cable runs down the pavement (where the 'E' markings are), and tees out to feed each individual streetlight ??  I would again bet good money on that being the eventual feed for the new VDSL Cabinet. All you can do now is wait. :)
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ColinS

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2013, 06:42:43 PM »

The yellow box looks suspiciously like the proposed location for a FTTC cabinet. :) The other yellow E probably marks where the power to the street lamp is.  The Cab sure looks like a PCP (Primary Connection Point) and not a SCP (Secondary one) to me.  :) It also looks suspiciously like an UG joint box in the road there, which would be convenient to route the tie cables between the cabinet and the yellow painted grass box that may one day be a FTTC cabinet.  :)  You'd like to think that would reduce the likelihood of other services getting in the way, but of course often there are no guarantees in these things.
Thanks for the picture John, at least it does look more promising than expected.
BTW I am ~150m from my cab.  'Estimated' was 69Mb/s DS.  At installation the full 80Mb/s was available.  What happens after that depends on lots of things, but you have reason to feel optimistic about it, as BS suggests.  :)
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ColinS

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2013, 06:43:38 PM »

Beat me to it BS  ;) :)
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Puppy

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Re: Can more that one PCP cabinet be connected to a Fibre Cabinet?
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2013, 06:50:05 PM »

Yeah, the linking of PCP's (Cabinets) absolutely out I'm afraid. Going from your picture, I would put good money on that being the site of the new VDSL Cabinet.

The 'E' mark-ups appear to stop alongside what looks to be a streetlight to the right ?? My guess is that the 'spine' of the electrical cable runs down the pavement (where the 'E' markings are), and tees out to feed each individual streetlight ??  I would again bet good money on that being the eventual feed for the new VDSL Cabinet. All you can do now is wait. :)

Cheers BS, looks like the guy I spoke to was wrong regarding the the linking of 2 cabinets, I glad that you were able to confirm.  Yes there is a lamp post next to the cabinet. And yes I'll just have to be patient :no:
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