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Eaton Bray Phone Exchange

December 9, 2010 by Jon in forum Eaton Bray Parish Council

#702 Jon, 9 December 2010, 19:59

I have recently attempted to get a phone and broadband package but have been told the exchange has not been unbundled meaning B.T and its subsiduary Plus net are sole suppliers of broad band!
Unless of course you want to pay a £15 monthly "capacity charge"
The exchannge was due to be unbundled on Nov 15th but getting any info from B.T is near on impossible.
Can this be chased in anyway?

#703 Theo Gray, 9 December 2010, 20:19

The majority of broadband suppliers can offer you standard up-to-8MB ADSL, including BT and Plusnet, but at the moment our exchange only has BT equipment in and so you cannot get the cheaper rates offered by those companies (including Plusnet) who can take advantage of not having to pay BT Wholesale in Market 2 and 3 exchanges.

More information about the status of the Eaton Bray exchange can be found here:

#704 Theo Gray, 9 December 2010, 20:21

It's also worth voting on the BT Race To Inifity website if you haven't already!

#705 Jon, 10 December 2010, 00:13

As far as I am aware Plusnet are owned by B.T and all others I have contacted said they could supply but would charge £15 per month capacity charge as the exchange was not unbundled

#708 Theo Gray, 10 December 2010, 09:26

Plusnet are owned by BT, but they function as their own entity and have to pay "BT Wholesale" just as all other ISPs do, including the "BT" that you would buy home broadband from. There used to be something like a flat £9.99 a month charge that the ISP had to pay to "BT Wholesale" to supply ADSL to your home and they then obviously add their own cut on top of that.

I've not heard of a "capacity charge" and can't find any obvious reference to it on Google but would presume this is the charge that they are referring to.

As there are only 2,593* lines connected to the Eaton Bray exchange that means other ISPs such as Sky and TalkTalk have not currently wanted to pay to put their own equipment into the exchange for the small number of possible customers they would get from doing so.

* According to the BT RaceToInfinity site

#709 Jon, 10 December 2010, 09:41

Talk talk have informed me if the exchange was unbundled they would not charge this additional fee.
The sam knows website does not indicate an unbundling date and I have seen this somewhere. I think I will contact our M.P Mr Selous.

#714 Theo Gray, 10 December 2010, 09:48

Looking around at some of the larger names, you have at least the following options apart from BT:

  • Plusnet: "Value broadband" £12.99pm (with the first 3 months at just £6.49pm)
  • Sky: "Broadband Connect" £17pm
  • Orange: "Simply Broadband" £25pm

#718 Theo Gray, 10 December 2010, 10:57

Until a company like TalkTalk can guarantee 300-350 customers, it is not economically viable for them to install their own equipment in the exchange at the moment. On an exchange like ours with under 3,000 subscribers that would be a risk that they probably won't ever see the need to take.

In the meantime, they up their profits by charging extra for broadband running over BT Wholesale owned equipment. I may be wrong, but as far as I can tell, TalkTalk, Sky and Orange all have exactly the same BT Wholesale costs per customer as Plusnet and BT Broadband do, it is just the packages they decide to offer on top of those known charges that are different.

It's a few years old now, but Plusnet have a writeup about how they buy capacity that is quite a good read in terms of the associated costs.

#1352 Martin, 11 September 2012, 22:51

I know it's a pain, yet you can see why it is, and will likley remain.

Dunstable gets 30Mb+ optical whizz-bang doo-dads stuff. For the same reason we don't. It whizzes along.

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