Timico founder unhappy with fibre broadband performance  header image

Published: 5th Mar 2013

The co-founder of business internet service provider (ISP) Timico is unhappy with poor broadband performance caused by corrosion of BT's copper cabling.

Trefor Davies claims his home broadband service, which usually reaches speeds of around 53 Mbp/s, dropped to just six Mbp/s as a result of damage to BT's cables.

Modern fibre-to-the-cable lines, which are commonly used by many ISPs, rely on fibre optic cables to connect the nearest BT data exchange to a local street-level cabinet.

However, the connection between the cabinet and peoples' homes usually consists of copper cabling, which can be susceptible to interference. This means super-fast connections that are theoretically capable of providing speeds of up to 80 Mbp/s, can see their download speeds drastically reduced.

Speaking on the Timico website, Mr Davies commented: "My home broadband performance had dropped right off from the 53 megs (Mbp/s) down and 11 megs up to at times a pathetic six megs in either direction."

He said the problem was eventually solved by a BT Openreach engineer, who discovered the slow speeds were being caused by corrosion on a strand of copper cabling.

Mr Davies claims the only way to resolve this issue would be the widespread introduction of fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, which takes fibre optic cable all the way to a home, thus limiting the problems caused by copper corrosion.

However, this would be highly expensive to introduce. ISPreview has estimated a potential cost of somewhere between £15 billion and £20 billion and Mr Davies claims it "ain’t going to happen any time soon".

BT currently provides a FTTP service, which is mainly targeted at businesses. However, it generally costs somewhere in the region of £1,500 to install, as well as charging a monthly fee.

Such problems can be avoided through the use of satellite broadband. Unlike cable-based services, satellite broadband does not require any infrastructural development, which makes it ideal for rural and remote locations where coverage from major ISPs is limited.

Posted by Mark Wynn