Demand for 'honesty and transparency' from broadband firms

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The FTTH Council Europe has demanded more transparency and honesty from broadband companies following a news release relating to the roll-out of a vectoring solution.

Eircom, based in Eire, has announced that it is going to use the 'cutting-edge' technology to deliver broadband speeds of up to 100Mb across large parts of the country. The company says it will be one of the first in Europe to use the noise-cancellation technology on a commercial basis – and that companies using the firm's 'Next Generation Access' (NGA) fibre network will be able to offer their customers top speeds of 100Mb per second.

Once the fibre network is completed in summer 2015, Eircom claims, some 700,000 homes and businesses across the country will receive consistent speeds of 70Mb or more, and 400,000 premises will have speeds of up to 100Mb per second.

But the FTTH Council Europe says Eircom, among other operators, are 'playing with different terminologies on purpose to give consumers the feeling that they are rolling out the ultimate fibre solution'.

Hartwig Tauber, director general of the organisation, told Fibre Systems: 'Vectoring is a simple upgrade of VDSL. The fibre network still only runs to a street cabinet somewhere outside the buildings. The problem is that, for the important last several hundred metres, the bottleneck of the copper network is used. The announced speeds in the press release are just “up-to” speeds that can be reached in a perfect laboratory environment. The real speeds in the field are normally way below.

'Another problem is that the speed is only available in one direction – from internet to end user (downstream). If the user wants to send big emails, wants to upload videos or simply wants to get his files in the “cloud”, the upload speed is usually 10 times slower.

'To get a real future-proof network, it would be necessary to have the fibre all the way to the customer – or at least to the basement of the building, because then you ensure that no further infrastructure work on the streets are necessary.'

FTTH Council Europe also told Fibre Systems that is published similar advice earlier this year in relation to claims made by A1 Telekom Austria, one of the first installers of vectoring, which is still 'taking about speeds of 30Mb per second'.

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