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Openreach extends FTTC install offers
Wednesday 06 October 2010 13:42:16 by Andrew Ferguson

It appears that in an attempt to drive take-up of its Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) solutions, Openreach has decided to extend its special offers until 30th June 2011. The offer means that the connection fee is £35 plus VAT, and the managed install is £12 plus VAT. Their standard prices are £75 and £24 respectively. The Home Wiring option, which provides for an up to 30m data extension so that the VDSL2 modem can be located in a more suitable location remains free until the same date. Full detail on the Openreach price list.

Given that this is an extension of a current offer it is unlikely that we will see activation charges dropping at the retail level. Some providers already offer free activation, but it may encourage those charging an activation fee to review their pricing.

The VDSL2 FTTC products now provide a range of upstream speeds between 2Mbps and 15Mbps, though the 15Mbps upstream speed tends only to be available on products aimed at the SME market.

Currently the FTTC products are only available with an engineer assisted installation, during which time they will update the master socket in the premises, to feature the FTTC style faceplate and run a data extension if requested. Due to VDSL2's sensitivity to distance, keeping the internal cabling in a property to a minimum is recommended, but if you have no mains power available close to the master socket there is little other option. An engineer install will also ensure that the Openreach branded modem can see the service.

The delay in the LLU operators, such as O2, TalkTalk, Sky and Orange from joining the game may be down to problems at present of not being able to provide their own brand combined VDSL2 modem and router. A similar situation occurred in 2000 with the original ADSL products. This combined with other concerns like control over line profiles and visibility of diagnostics data to support and how the connection is presented to the providers MSAN at the exchange go some way to explaining the delays. In the SME area this is less of a problem, as many of the small to medium providers targeting SME business are well versed in dealing with BT Wholesale, but at the consumer level it leaves the uncomfortable situation of the BT Infinity product being the sole big name provider offering the FTTC/P products.


Posted by MarkHampshire over 7 years ago
Installation and activation costs were always going to be an issue especially when trying to tempt VM customers to switch back to BT. Though any losses incurred by BT Retail in subsiding these costs can quite happily be returned to the BT Group in the profit made by Openreach. Pity other ISPs don't have the same fortunate quasi-monopoly to be able to dominate the market in the same way.
Posted by doowles over 7 years ago
Its a shame we need to upgrade our modems again. BE internet provide a really bad router so I upgraded mine to a Linksys and its been rock solid and faster ever since. I would hate to have to give that up for a poor quality VDSL one.
Posted by SimonWindsor over 7 years ago
If BT Openreach want to improve uptake of their FTTC product, they should take a radical step and prioritise areas with poor broadband and not try and compete directly with Virgin. People who want speed will already have taken Virgin. People who have no option of Virgin and are stuck with 2-3Mbs would go for this product.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
doowles, the Openreach VDSL modem isn't poor its just a bog standard unit, no bells or whistles, you can connect your own Cable/DSL router to it. A router with an RJ45 Ethernet WAN port.

Whether we see any decent combined VDSL Modem/Routers in the future is another matter.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
FTTC coverage is in some areas where VM are not active, so one presumes Openreach can assess the take-up level for themselves.

Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Simon, sound good but no doubt they'd be accused of cherry picking then
Posted by SimonWindsor over 7 years ago
Not by people in exchanges with 10000+ lines that are ignored by Virgin and BTs FTTC rollout.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
Wireless would be best for rural and 2/3 areas, 10Mbps is better than nothing as a start.

Not happy about VM using DPI and the throttling of upload on the 50Mb plan. FTTC seems all the better albeit more expensive (£80), at least it's definitely unlimited though.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
Current generation GSM/3G coverage does not give people in rural areas much hope, unless we will see 3G/4G/WiMax/LTE antenna's appearing chimneys alongside the new Digital TV aerial.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

Actually internet through the electricity poles could be a way of dealing with the rural problem (didn't VM do this a while back?)

GSM uses the lower end of the spectrum, which WiMax will/should be using, so that is a better way to gauge coverage of 4G, 3G is pretty bad as it is on 1800/2100.
Posted by mbailey over 7 years ago
@Simon Completely agree with you. If they convert my local cabinet to FTTC I know myself and all my neighbours will go for it, as we only get 1Meg standard ADSL and we have no VM or any other competition.
Posted by audioslim over 7 years ago
They should simply come up with a decent price for the service.

£25 plus for broadband for people who already get half decent sync at £10-12 quid a month wont pay twice as much.

Like said above, targetted at people who only get 1mb will increase take up rate, otherwise they need to drop their prices a little.

£20 quid for the top fibre package and I'ld jump at it. 25-30 not a chance. I'ld still only get about 14mb given distance from cab, so my 5mb isnt too bad in comparison.

Posted by RufusGreenbaum over 7 years ago
Why not wireless from the cabinet to the premises ?

Alvarion & others produce equipment that can extend over 5km

Posted by NetGuy over 7 years ago
@audioslim - I guess you were not using ADSL back in 2001/2002 when pricing was 29.99/month (Freeserve) or even 39.99/month (BT) for 500 kbps...

I was getting 160 kbps until recently when Openreach replaced the dropwire (wear and tear) and it has gone up to 1.75 Mbps now.

If it could be pushed to 8 (as I used to have close to centre of town) or better, then yes, I'd pay 25 quid (treble what I am currently paying) for that.

Felt sure Wrexham had been listed but don't remember when list showed it...
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