Market Bosworth Telephone Exchange Upgraded To BT 21CN

December 2011 saw the Market Bosworth Telephone Exchange (which serves Market Bosworth and surrounding villages including Barlestone) upgraded to BT’s 21CN (21st Century Network) promising residents a more reliable broadband connection – but will it make our broadband faster?

Broadband for Market Bosworth and the villages which surround it has been historically slow when compared to larger towns and city broadband speeds due to the distance to the Exchange from rural villages and the Exchange itself not being a priority for BT to upgrade with technology due to it serving a reletively small amount of people.

In December 2011 however, BT rolled out its 21CN (21st Century Network) WBC (Wholesale Broadband Connect) service to Market Bosworth.

Will This Make My Broadband Faster?

In theory, it could do. The upgrade does provide more opportunities for faster broadband and also from other companies.

Before the upgrade, BT could only offer us their ‘IP Stream’ service, promising speeds of ‘up to 8mbps’. Any other companies offering broadband had to do so over this service, making them unable to offer competitive (cheaper) alternatives as-seen in larger towns and cities.

BT’s WBC upgrade offers an increase of to ‘up to 24mbps‘ in broadband speed (although this would decrease drastically over any distance from the exchange to your home).

Who Will Supply My Broadband?

By upgrading the exchange itself (the building in Market Bosworth where all of our phone lines plug into), BT can now allow third-party broadband providers to ‘have presence’ in the Exchange and install their own equipment, thus allowing them to offer more competitive broadband options to customers.

At the time of publishing, only TalkTalk has presence in Market Bosworth, meaning that the only option other than BT is TalkTalk. Hopefully we will soon see other providers such as Sky and O2 enter the market in the area, so cheaper and faster broadband alternatives are available.

Is This BT Infinity?

No. BT Infinity is BTs retail name for its new fibre-optic based broadband network. This network offers ‘Fibre To The Cabinet’ or ‘FTTC’ which involves the installation of a large dark-green cabinet at the end of your street, and broadband speeds of around 40mbps, which is achieved by swapping out the old copper-wire cables from the Exchange to your street with fibre-optic cables.

BTs WBC upgrade still uses existing copper wire to connect your home to the telephone exchange.

There are currently no plans for BT to offer BT Infinity (FTTC) to residents served by the Market Bosworth Telephone Exchange, let alone FTTH (fibre to the home) which will offer speeds of over 100mbps should it ever arrive.

Will This Affect My Broadband?

No – the upgrade is already complete and would have taken approximately 30 minutes to complete. We’ll have to wait and see to find out who will come to Market Bosworth to offer us cheaper broadband.

As for BT Infinity, it took BT 4 years to install WBC, so don’t get your hopes up just yet.