Super-fast next generation Fibre to the Cabinet / Curb (FTTC) broadband arrives in Basingstoke and now the notorious Chineham “notspot”

Jump to Basingstoke Super-fast broadband checker

Last Updated Tuesday April 13, 2010

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Hi Everyone

My name is Richard and I live in Chineham, Basingstoke, Hampshire.

I have now gone live on March 30, 2010 with BT Business Total Broadband Fibre plus as so far it is nothing short of perfection (well bar BT missing two promised installation dates).  I have now had a stable connection for the first 10 days which does deliver the full 40Mb/s down and 10Mb/s up as promised in the blurb!

I even used which pretty much has confirmed this and downloads from the web peaking at about 4MB/Sec under IE8.

Previously, for 8+ years I have had poor and very unreliable internet access, but this all looks set to change early in 2010.  This is very fortunate as my business is on-line marketing and I help run the European marketing operations for several international software companies based in Europe and Silicon Valley in the US, so my work depends on fast and reliable internet access.

I have hassled BT and my broadband suppliers endlessly (as have many others) and it finally looks like BT Openreach have decided to sort things out. 

To help you all understand what this means for us in Chineham and Basingstoke I have put together this microsite which links to everything you ever needed to know about broadband.

In Basingstoke, the Telephone Exchange is a long way away from most of the town's new developments (especially Chineham and Hatch Warren).  Unfortunately, ordinary broadband (ADSL, ADSL2 and ADSL2+) are all added to the phone line at the telephone exchange and because the signal has to travel so far it degrades and the speed drops off dramatically.  In Chineham, our lines must be at least 4Km (most will be nearer 5 or 6Km long), so much so that Chineham in particular has been branded a “notspot” as many people get zero or slow/intermittent broadband access.  There is a newish telephone exchange in Chineham Business Park but according to BT it is exclusively for the business park and BT will never overlap exchange areas, i.e. Provide a line from exchange B to an address covered by exchange A.

In June 2009, BT announced Super-fast broadband (see slide 6) based on VDSL technology, see the video.

The BIG different is that the broadband signal is now added to your phone line within a few hundred feet (in theory) of your premises.  This is done by feeding a fibre optic internet feed to a street cabinet containing a DSLAM (Digital subscriber line access multiplexer).  The Broadband signal is then added to your phone line in the street cabinet and so the broadband signal only has to travel the last few hundred feet to your premises. This is know as FTTC the abbreviation meaning Fibre to the Cabinet (although our American cousins call it Fiber to the Curb).

As you will see from the pictures below, one of these new BT VDSL DSLAM cabinets has now been installed in Chineham on Mattock Way at the junction of Martins Wood (the nearest postcode being RG24 8XZ) close to the existing PCP 77 (Primary Connection Point).

BT FTTC VDSL Cabinet Mattock Way at Martins Wood, Chineham (picture taken December 6, 2009)

BT DP 77 showing newly installed FTTC VDSL Cabinet Mattock Way at Martins Wood, Chineham (picture taken December 6, 2009)

The next bit of good news is the BT has announced that these new cabinets will be ready for service on 25th January 2010 and it looks like you should be able to place orders from 18th January 2010 assuming your ISP offers it (so be wary of signing up for a long contract in the next two months and locking yourself out of the roll-out).

So the big question is, how can you tell if you are covered and when can you order it?

Answer:  You can order it NOW.  Follow these instructions.

New BT Ordering Websites

BT Infinity - For home users
BT Business Total Broadband Fibre -
For business users

I have also started a poll on the Basingstoke Broadband Forum where you can see people's experiences with the new service.  Can they order?  Have they ordered?  What speed they are getting?  Is it reliable?

Unfortunately, many of you will not be covered by the initial Basingstoke roll-out as apparently only 45% of Basingstoke's street cabinets [77 of 171] are being upgraded.  If you are not, then don't despair and take some positive action now.  Make sure both you and as many of your neighbours you can persuade over a mince pie and a sherry register both on the eHampshire and BT Business sites below.  There is also a Google Map showing where the new cabinets have been spotted around town, help us get all 77 mapped!

Go to as this will tell you instantly from just your postcode if you are to be included, if you are not, please complete the short questionnaire to help eHampshire to lobby to get your area enabled in the future.

Many thanks to both the Business Support Officer at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Programme Manager eHampshire Economic Development Office at Hampshire County Council for supplying this link and their hard work in getting BT to include Basingstoke so early in their national roll-out.

"The discussion of NGA is constantly evolving. As new technologies and applications of technology emerge, fresh opinions emerge too. If you’d like to be kept up to date on NGA and Fibre Broadband please sign up below."
Get ready for next generation internet

Finally, you can try BT's checker (but this will be less accurate as it will not include areas they are yet to start work in.)

1 Get your postcode and first try by Postcode Checker below.  If that fails then try the Address Checker but only use the sector part of your postcode. e.g. If your postcode is RG24 8XZ just use RG24 8 (i.e. drop the last two letters but keep the space and the last number)

2 Go to the BT Broadband Checker and first select the Postcode Checker.  If that does not work you can try a second time using the Address Checker and the sector part (for some reason if you use your phone number and sometimes your full postcode it does not work yet, presumably it will on or after January 18, 2010).

Use Address Checker

3 Enter your address

4 If you are lucky, you will get the fibre technology section highlighted in green below.  If not check back in January 2010 or even after 18 or 25 January 2010 and watch out to see if an existing BT PCP near you has since been upgraded.

Finally, in May 2009 I posted a comment on the BBC News Forum on Wednesday, 27 May, 2009, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK "When we eventually receive a service the best that we can get is 512Kbps. I would eat my shorts for 2Mbps!" I have not yet eaten my shorts and have vowed not to plagiarize "The Simpsons" ever again.  Nonetheless, does anyone know a reputable supplier of edible clothing?

How much will it cost?

According to this article it will cost from £19.99/month.

The consumer version will be branded BT Infinity the service is being enabled across 30 exchanges on Monday January 25 2010 for service by the end of next month (February 2010).

The business version will be called BT Business Total Broadband Fibre although at the time of writing the site does not seem to mention Monday as a go-live date.

Useful Links

BT launches BT Infinity super>fast broadband at a competitive price

BT launches 40Mbps fibre-based broadband -

BT unveils fibre broadband packages, first exchanges IT PRO - UK - BT goes on broadband price offensive

Basingstoke Gazette - Faster broadband to bring Net gains

Basingstoke Gazette - Why have we been left out of upgrade?

Location of Basingstoke telephone exchange

BT Openreach - Super-fast Fibre Access Video

Graph showing ADSL, ADSL2, ADSL2+ Speed versus distance from the exchange

BT Openreach - Fibre to the Cabinet Phase 3 - 120 day Communication - updated: 16/12/2009

BT Openreach - briefing_nga053_09 - 15/12/09

BT Openreach - briefing_nga054_09 - 15/12/09

BT Super-fast broadband November 2009

BT Super-fast broadband October 2009

BT Super-fast broadband June 2009

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council - Better, faster broadband for Basingstoke

The Basingstoke Broadband Campaign – A town comes together to work for faster broadband

BT Openreach - Basingstoke Cabinet RFS date 25th January 2010 (from FTTC phase 2 - 60 day early market deployment update)

Basingstoke FTTC Trial() Jason's Site - FTTC - Basingstoke!

Flickr - fibre to the cabinet - progress on Basingstoke rollout

Google Maps - Basingstoke FTTC DSLAM Cabinets

Destination Basingstoke - News by Category - Basingstoke nets super-fast broadband in boost for local business

Chineham Chat Magazine

Chineham Parish Council

Broadband in Basing

Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia - Fibre to the x

SamKnows Broadband - Availability - Basingstoke (THBZ) Exchange

Broadband Genie - Trouble for Basingstoke broadband users


eHampshire - Not Spots

Basingstoke and Deane Broadband Map

BBC NEWS | Technology | UK broadband 'notspots' revealed

BBC NEWS - Have Your Say - Are you in a broadband notspot?

BT Openreach - Find out when Super-fast Fibre Access is likely to be coming in your area

BT Openreach - Super-fast Fibre Access - The future starts here - Transforming your broadband experience - Download brochure

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