Home | Blog | Warning: BT acronym overload!

ShareWarning: BT acronym overload!

WBC, WBMC, WBCC, WVC (WVC being previously known as VLA) and of course not forgetting 21CN! A clear case of TMA if ever there was one. No wonder there is confusion throughout the industry and the trade press over BT’s terminology when they insist on using this many acronyms to describe their next generation platforms and services. Do you know your WBC from your WVC and, more importantly, how they are relevant to you and your customers?

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

If not, don’t panic! Read on for our survivors guide to BT’s 21CN terminology. If you think there’s anything we haven’t covered then let us know using the comments feature and we’ll do our best to update this guide.

21CN (21st Century Network)

21CN is the project name given to the roll out of BT’s next generation network. 21CN is a huge overhaul of the entire BT network infrastructure, updating it in order to support new services such as ADSL2+ which could potentially provide broadband speeds of up to 24Mbps, FTTP and FTTC (which are explained later in this article). 21CN will move all voice and data services to an IP based platform. It is a huge undertaking and is due to be completed by 2012, although ADSL2+ services are available in selected areas now.

How does this affect me?

The development of 21CN means that ADSL2+ services are no longer only available from LLU providers in selected urban areas. Upon completion of the project more stable and potentially faster broadband services will be available across the UK. If you are a reseller you could use these services to expand your portfolio, enabling you to earn additional revenue and retain customers.

WBC (Wholesale Broadband Connect)

WBC is the platform via which BT delivers its new data services to wholesale providers such as Entanet. Entanet, which is currently the only non-BT company to invest in WBC, has extended its national network to connect to BT’s 20 strategically located WBC ‘nodes’. From here Entanet takes the new services from the WBC platform and carries them across its own next generation network to the end user. By investing in WBC Entanet has developed its own range of ADSL2+ packages to suit varying customer requirements. Those were launched in July.

How does this affect me?

If you’re one of the lucky resellers partnering with Entanet, you can provide ADSL2+ services in selected areas to your customers today. In addition to a range of monthly allowance based packages ranging from 3GB to 250GB of bandwidth, additional top-up options are also available to ensure you don’t run out. If you want more information see the end of this article.

WBMC (Wholesale Broadband Managed Connect)

For providers more reluctant or unable to invest directly in WBC, BT developed a managed version, WBMC. By taking WBMC providers can supply their customers with BT’s next generation services without investing in the build out of their own networks. However, WBMC is more restrictive than WBC. As a managed service WBMC providers are only able to provide packages based on the options developed by BT and the service is still in trial stages.

How does this affect me?

As a managed solution WBMC has many benefits including reduced investment costs, however for many providers the restrictions could out-weigh the cost saving benefits. By choosing to invest in WBMC or partner with a provider who has opted for WBMC you will be restricted to reselling only packages devised by BT and could have to wait until March 2009 before the service is available. An alternative to WBMC is already available however, see EWCS broadband below.

IPStream Connect

IPStream Connect will enable service providers to continue to provide existing IPStream ADSL connections via 21CN, BT’s next generation network. By using IPStream Connect the service provider will no longer require expensive IPStream Centrals from BT. However, BT recently announced IPStream Connect will not be available until August/September 2009.

How does this affect me?

If you are looking to provide ADSL and ADSL2+ services over BT’s 21CN you will need IPStream Connect which will ultimately replace existing BT Centrals. However, the recently announced delay means that whilst you are waiting for this service to become available you will need to maintain two infrastructures, BT Centrals for ADSL and WBMC for ADSL2+. Entanet provides an alternative with its wholesale offering, EWCS broadband.

And here are a few more acronyms you should be aware of for the future:

FTTP (Fibre To The Premises)

FTTP involves connecting directly to an end user’s premises using fibre which can potentially provide speeds of up to 100Mbps. Entanet has been directly involved in the initial FTTP trials and the service is now being piloted in Ebbsfleet.

FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet)

FTTC is similar to FTTP but involves connecting directly to the cabinet instead of the end user’s premises. This means the end users’ service runs over far less copper resulting in an improvement in line quality and therefore service. FTTC can facilitate speeds of up to 40Mbps using VDSL2 technology which is a form of DSL that operates at a much higher frequency. FTTC is currently in early development stages, being discussed by key industry peers.

WVC (Wholesale Voice Connect)

The aim of WVC is to move all BT telephone lines to an IP based service enabling service providers to develop entirely new feature sets and services without restriction from BT. This project is currently in early technical trials and is likely to be at least a couple of years away from completion.

WBCC (Wholesale Broadband Connect Converged)

WBCC is also currently in early technology stages. Its aim is to enable the provision of converged voice and data services across the 21CN infrastructure using the WBC and WVC platforms. WBCC customers will not require a BT telephone line as both their voice and data services will be provided by a single supplier.

And one more for good measure…

EWCS (Entanet Wholesale Carrier Services) broadband is Entanet’s wholesale broadband service enabling bulk delivery of ADSL and ADSL2+ connectivity services across the WBC platform via L2TP technology. If you are considering WBMC and/or IPStream Connect talk to us first to see if EWCS would be more suitable for your business.

If you would like to learn more about 21CN, any of the technologies described above or want to investigate how EWCS can help your business call us on 0870 777 4224. Alternatively you can email by using our contact form.

Don’t forget you can use the comments feature to provide feedback.

Share this article:

Rate our article...

3 Responses to “Warning: BT acronym overload!”

  1. No acronym overload here asAn acronym is defined as “a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words”.Under no circumstances would 2 1 C N be a word – it is simply an abbreviation.

  2. 21CN stands for “21st Century Network”. That’s an acronym in my book, but then again I’m not as picky as some people 🙂

    Nice article Darren. It would be great if there were some “Would you like to know more?” links 😉

  3. Hi Steve01

    Good idea. We’ll be adding ‘further info’ links as standard to our articles in future wherever possible 🙂

    In the meantime you can review the BT Glossary which is fairly comprehensive here:


Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.