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Openreach reveals FTTP on Demand pilot areas
Wednesday 27 June 2012 10:38:40 by Andrew Ferguson

While Openreach is heavily criticised for its heavy focus on FTTC services, for those who must have full fibre (FTTP) there has been the promise of Fibre on Demand. The announcement today of two pilot phases provides evidence that Openreach is steadily moving towards the launch of its on demand product.

"FTTP on Demand has great potential and so we are proceeding with these pilots. Whilst we believe FTTC will be our mass market consumer product for some time yet, FTTP may be of interest to small and medium sized businesses and so we want to make it accessible throughout our fibre footprint. This development can potentially help SMEs to compete both at home and abroad as well as maintain and create jobs across the UK."

Mike Galvin, Openreach’s MD Network Investment

The pilot will run in two phases, phase one will start in July 2012 and cover parts of High Wycombe, Bristol South and St Agnes, Cornwall. In September the Edinburgh Waverley exchange will be added to the pilot. The first phase aims to test the various planning and construction processes.

The second phase expands to more areas and will run from March 2013 to May 2013 in parts of Watford, Cardiff, Basingstoke and Manchester Central. The automated order processes being the focus of this part of the pilot.

In both pilot phases the focus will be on the faster 330 Mbps downstream service, but a variety of 20 Mbps and 30 Mbps upstream variants will be used. Currently FTTP is only available from Openreach in parts of some 15 exchange areas, though the original £2.5bn investment plan suggested a target coverage of 10 to 15% of the UK, the extra civil work involved means Openreach may have opted to roll its FTTC services first to assess demand and meet political goals quicker.

While the FTTP on Demand is likely to cost around £1000 to £1500 for installation, broadband providers may decide to let customers spread the cost over a number of months. The price means the service is likely to only appeal to the SME and home worker market initially, but it could also be looked on as an investment in a property, giving a home a unique selling point that is a lot more useful than an ornamental fish pond.


Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
Should be an interesting test of demand and price sensitivity.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
If enough people got together then the install fees alone would pay for them to build their own network, and probably afford a gigabit symmetrical to put through it. They could also have very low data charges, unlike what the telcos are likely to charge. I doubt many would pay the high installation and excess charges that BT will levy even if it is spread over a long period.
Posted by awoodland over 5 years ago
There's no pleasing some people
Posted by ionic over 5 years ago
I would pay £1500 like a shot to get FTTP installed in my sites. However BT have either not enabled the exchange or missed the cabs supplying all of my business sites. Given that BT seem to ignore a cab supplying anything resembling a business park I can't see this helping many SMEs!
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Good to see this product closer to becoming a reality, at 300Mbps+ as well, great news

Yeah I'm sure the install costs will be pricey but, if we can get FTTP available to the masses its a great achievement, whether people buy it is another matter, I'm sure most FTTC customers will be happy with what they get on FTTC

Even if there was no install fee people would still moan about something :)
Posted by NGDragon over 5 years ago
I wonder which part of High Wycombe...the Virgin cable side or the non-virgin side, it will be interesting to see which.
Posted by pehaw over 5 years ago
re NGDragon
The Virgin cable side without a doubt.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
It will be where ever the FTTC cabinets are
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
No CD, you need a lot of people to get together for this and costs are very variable dependent on environmental issues.
Plus the need for code powers... it's a substantial undertaking... see the B4RN project for the amount of effort required...
Posted by NGDragon over 5 years ago
GMANN99 you may well be correct but I was assuming that as the press release states "parts of..." that the trial would not be on all FTTC cabs. It will probably be out of my price range (no way I can pusuade the misses on this one!!!) and my 40/10 (soon to be 80/20) is more than enough.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Sorry yeah it probably won't be them all. But the beauty of the trial is that you won't pay the install cost? That is an assumption of course but usually on trials you don't pay, but after the trial has finished you can usually keep the service (whatever it is) and pay the normal running costs
Posted by NGDragon over 5 years ago
Forgot to add, I'm in the non-virgin half of town and this is great news....3Mbps to 40Mbps to 80Mbps then potentially onwards to 330Mbps all in a 14 month time frame...unbelievable!
Might need a new router and an upgrade on my LAN ;)
Posted by fibrebunny over 5 years ago
I think the install costs are low enough to include technology enthusiasts. Comes in cheaper than the cost of a new laptop and they are often replaced annually by many. In terms of comparison to other technology pricing, the price seems reasonable enough.

Not sure it will have much in the way of impact upon house prices as such but should make for a nice little bonus feature.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
cd, I'm sure it will be against the T&C's to turn this service into your own DIY internet backhaul
Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
cost of a new laptop fibrebunny? Mine cost £400 and had a decent spec.
Posted by ionic over 5 years ago
GMAN99 - given that presumably it will be offered to ISPs via BT wholesale and that I can think of at least one ISP who allow you to do exactly that, I can't see why you couldn't!
Posted by otester over 5 years ago

Good luck enforcing that.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Not sure how you can, just making the point I'm sure it will be in T&C's somewhere just like some ISP's don't like you hosting your own servers
Posted by arcturus over 5 years ago
Just pick the right business orientated ISP and it will be fine. I have multiple bonded ADSL lines into my office and use them to resell a wireless ISP service into our rural community. The ISP is fully aware and even offered to do the customer billing for me, but I kept it in house.
Posted by pcoventry76 over 5 years ago
why cant they do this in places that need it more? Not places they have already got shit loads of service in!
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
How do you mean pcoventry76 ? This will be available where FTTC is available
Posted by Michael_Chare over 5 years ago
I might be willing to pay the £1500 for an FTTP connection as it is 5km to my local cabinet, but I only want to pay FTTC type monthly costs for FTTC type speeds.

I would like to see FTTP being sold and priced as a long distance rather than a very high speed product.
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