I learned today that BT Wholesale is taking steps to phase out 20CN broadband products IP Stream and Datastream and is entering discussions with industry (ie me & others) re the future of SDSL. I don’t think there were many Datastream based ISPSs (Tiscali being one that springs to mind) but the withdrawal of IP Stream is good news for the many in the country whose broadband speeds are “up to 8Mbps” max.
The replacement will be based on 21CN technologies that include ADSL2+ ( “up to 24Mbps”) and FTTC (“up to 40Mbps) though if you live in an area that is only currently served with 8Megs I wouldn’t get your hopes up re the latter.
BT expects to have completed the withdrawals/migrations by the spring of 2014. It will go like a shot.
Whilst not part of the communication from BT I understand that the drivers for the change are partly equipment obsolescence and partly to stop spending cash on a 20CN network that still has growing demand. Vendor support for the ADSL DSLAM kit is stopping and it doesn’t make sense to invest in the older more expensive 20CN network when to do so for 21CN is better all round.
ISPs like Timico will have plenty of time to migrate customers from one technology to the other and I imagine that these customers will by and large be eager to make the change.
SDSL is likely to be replaced by FTTC/FTTP. There are far fewer exchanges supporting SDSL than ADSL and these will almost certainly be in more densely populated areas and near to businesses.
More news on this in due course and as necessary.
Looks like I read the briefing in haste – so here is a leisurely repentance. Datastream is going UK wide. IP Stream is only going within the WBC footprint. This means if you are an 8Mbps user in an area that already supports 24Mbps you will have to move over whether you like it or not.
Unfortunately for those on the digital periphery it means that you will probably continue to get your old service. Sorry to get anyone’s hopes up.