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Openreach preparing to launch 220 Mbps FTTP variant in 2013
Thursday 25 October 2012 09:54:55 by Andrew Ferguson

The communication providers who are the customers of BT Wholesale and Openreach have been briefed to expect a new 220 Mbps download speed FTTP product to launch in the first half of 2013. This looks likely to launch at around the same as the fibre on demand product and will give three main speed tiers 110, 220 and 330 Mbps.

The pace at which FTTC is moving is rapid and we are expecting the existing 40 Mbps download, 2 Mbps upload product to stop being sold. The product is not being withdrawn as yet, but stopping new connections is the first stage of this, reducing the FTTC range to two services the 40/10 and 80/20 products. Assuming that trials all run to plan, those consumers who find getting time off work to be at home for the FTTC install, stand to gain from the launch of a "wires only" which will avoid the need for an engineer visit to the home.

There are many who are concerned that Openreach is neglecting its FTTP promises. The project to deliver superfast broadband in Cornwall is ahead of the curve compared to the rest of the UK and the projection is that they will have either FTTC or P available to 180,000 to 200,000 premises in the County, with around 48,000 of these being a pure FTTP service by April 2013. The aim is to finish the project with around 80% to 90% of the 250,000 premises in Cornwall covered by the fibre services.


Posted by mobilebb over 4 years ago
The 220mb service was already announced for early 2013 in May 2012, when they detailed the 330mb product.

Did they fix the problem with the wires-only fttc losing speed?
Posted by Spectre_01 over 4 years ago
FTTC losing speed... thats the downside to a wires only connection - the idea of engineer assisted installs is to make sure the home wiring is up to standard and there isn't a whole load of extension wiring causing issues.

If a wires only provision is underperforming the customer *should* be offered an engineer visit in the form of a Broadband Boost (another product Openreach) to increase the speed/quality of the service, however if the issues are down to customer wiring or equipment it is likely the Communications Provider will pass some/all of the cost to that customer.
Posted by thebizarch over 4 years ago
What is the upstream component in the 220Mbps product offering? What's the monthly data allowance? What's the cost for a FTTP installation? How many people actually *have* FTTP installed and operational? Without some facts, it's difficult to understand whether to get excited, or not.
Posted by Apilar over 4 years ago
Let's hope BT Retail offer 330Mb/s package before fibre on demand is ready.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago

This is the wholesale announcement, so no retail pricing yet. is the BT Retail 160Meg service running on a more expensive 330 Mbps wholesale service. So around that price.

Install fees same as for FTTC. Only Fibre on demand will cost more.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
@Apilar it is in trial for on demand so technically it is possible. Whether ISP's have the core bandwidth to offer it is another matter
Posted by chrisjam over 4 years ago
Even though my line is showing as enabled for FTTP it is very difficult to order.

Of about 6 ISPs I have contacted, only BT Retail, Vivacity & AAISP. AAISP cap the upload at 2meg (!) Vivacity charge a premium over FTTC for the same speed product.

I'd love to buy a low cost 40/10 FTTP connection from a reputable independent ISP - but none of them seem to want to know.

Zen initially had trouble even understanding what I was talking about. "No, I don't want to buy an SFTP connection". They did redeem themselves but apparently are not currently taking orders.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 4 years ago
"I'd love to buy a low cost 40/10 FTTP connection from a reputable independent ISP - but none of them seem to want to know."

gee wonder why...
Posted by adslmax over 4 years ago
BT Openreach, why do we need 110/220/330 as we don't need it these day. They should stick with two product changes as following:


40/2/40/10 will become 40/20


80/20 become 80/40

Up to 80 meg downstream and up to 40 meg upstream is more than enough for any HD movies, downloading etc these days. We don't need more than that.
Posted by MrToast over 4 years ago
Nobody seems to be selling on the basis of latency figures. Thats another important performance factor.

Does anyone have experience of FTTC or FTTP?

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
FTTC depends on the depth of interleave. Similar to ADSL, so like a good Be service or better than existing depending on provider.

FTTP - not seen enough data yet.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago

Nothing stopping a provider offering 40/20 on FTTC/P now, just would need to order the 20 upload product from Openreach and throttle in their network.
Posted by irrelevant over 4 years ago
I'd like the opportunity to order an FTTP connection at a reasonable price. Maybe then I'd actually get the advertised bandwidth. (5Mbps on an "up to 24Mbps" ADSL. 25Mbps (sync speed) on 40Mbps FTTC. The cabinet is within spitting distance, but the cables around here are cr@p..
Posted by jumpmum over 4 years ago
Plusnet is only £30.50 a month for the cheapest service (incl Phone) cheaper if you pay up front. that is low cost! Only 40Gb download but if you want cheap you can't expect more. £34 if you want 250Gb. How cheap were you wanting!
Posted by eviemai2011 over 4 years ago
Are all the packages still "upto ?? Mb" i understand the reason behind the FTTC but they should be delivering minimum 100mb over the FTTP.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
The connection speed with FTTP is fixed, but there is still contention on the network, as you are not paying anywhere near the £2000 to 3000 per month to get uncontended bandwidth

This is why other countries around the world don't show up with actual speeds that at 100 or 1000 Mbps.
Posted by eviemai2011 over 4 years ago
Thanks Andrew but all they have to do is configure the port for an higher output. This is what another company does and offers 100mb with the installation.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago

I don't follow, you have to remember that a provide with 5,000 consumers on 100 Meg, will NOT have 500Gbps of Internet capacity.

The costs of that even if you lived in the data centre would be more than any consumer would want to pay.

Contention is a fact of life with consumer broadband worldwide
Posted by eviemai2011 over 4 years ago
Yes I agree contention is a part of life and we know the GPON limits of 20km using b+ optics for a 1:32 splitter but the company does offer 100mb. There is a few lower packages but they even offer 350mb from one of the exchanges.
Planned correctly they can offer 100mb (not upto) for FTTP. And wait till 10GPON starts rolling out. My preference is still with P2P but PON is ok for a start :)
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
evie, your expectations seem well off, you are talking about proper business grade Ethernet deliveries. You can have 100Mbps uncontended but you need to pay for it and I mean pay, not £30pm

up to is a safety net, I've said it plenty of times "up to" it will remain for residential broadband just for contention purposes. Virgin use "up to" on their cable network still, I expect it will always be used to cover contention
Posted by eviemai2011 over 4 years ago
Gmann VM and BT does say "upto" but they are not the only one. I have stated fact and its true residential FTTH/P not Ethernet either. It's widely advertised on the net so a simple google search will prove everything that's been stated!!
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
I'm just saying don't expect the term "up to" to disappear that's all. Even with FTTP, GPON or P2P
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
Advertising regulations are different throughout the world so advertisements vary.

For example Verizon FiOS has no 'up to' but in the small print...

1Download and upload time estimates based on maximum connection speeds. Actual speeds will vary.
Posted by eviemai2011 over 4 years ago
That's the problem people do get confused with the marketing materials and just look at VM for example who's had there hand slapped for misguiding the consumers and they had to change their wording on the adverts.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
I'm not sure how "up to" can be confusing. I can see how it would be disappointing on DSL products because of their limitations, but on FTTP up to means just that... "up to" those advertised speeds :)
Posted by chrysalis over 4 years ago
why they been so rigid with the upload speeds?
Posted by eviemai2011 over 4 years ago
There is still limitations on GPON but if using the right active equipment or limiting the the customers on the split ratio they can delivery exactly what they say. It's just they are not provisioning 100% build to everyone and seem to be cutting costs where they can.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Rigid? :)

The upload speeds are cracking, the vast majority of people still pull more than they push hence lower upload speeds, but seen as the upload is better than most people's download speeds at the moment I certainly wouldn't have any complaints
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
Less a limitation of PON more a case of BT upgrading to 10GBps hardware when they need to...
Better to expand network then upgrade, than spend the pennies on upgrading the network and have no customers paying off the debt.
Posted by eviemai2011 over 4 years ago
Totally agree, its does have its limitations especially when we all start biying the 5K tv's and sky is over laying their services. Off top of the head the 1:32 split will get high 70's download if everyone is maxing out the standard 2.5 gbps ports. Easier to replace the card for the 10GPON when needed. That's why I'm all for FTTP as its going to be a long time switching from the FTTC.
Posted by chrisjam over 4 years ago
@Spectre_01 - people seem to treat FTTP as a "premium" product over FTTC, but in fact when you look at how they are deployed it is clear that Openreach treat them as substitutes. FTTC is not available in my area; FTTP is. The GEA pricing is identical whether you take FTTC or FTTP at various different speeds, and not everyone wants the fastest connection @ 160meg just because it is available. Independent ISPs are missing a trick by not offering FTTP equivalents to their whole range of FTTC products; they are driving customers who would prefer to use an independent ISP to BT Retail.
Posted by chrisjam over 4 years ago
@jumpmum - This looked good thanks. Plusnet sales told me they "probably" could offer it to me but wouldn't confirm that unless I signed up for their ADSL package first and then filled out a form on their website. Not a good first impression.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
"That's why I'm all for FTTP as its going to be a long time switching from the FTTC. " not if you are in a FTTC area, you can switch next year if you want
Posted by eviemai2011 over 4 years ago
So your yelling me that if its a FTTC area then you can go FTTP next year?
This means you will go from VDSL to GPON. For that initial customer a splitter needs to be in location, easy enogjy to pick up a fibre from the E side. A port needs to be allocated for the splitter. Then there's the D side feed. This could be UG, OH or a mix of both. If there's no duct and its armoured, its civils or OH which means more poles. Is the cost going to be passed onto the customer. Realistically it's not going to happen for a long time :(
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
Yes the cost is going to be passed to the customer, assuming that Openreach consider it viable.

FTTP on demand.
Posted by eviemai2011 over 4 years ago
There is very strict criteria regarding this and it will be very location specific. It's being trialled with a few business' and hasn't been passed yet. The FTTC programme is taking priority, the cost of the initial setup for one customer to move over to GPON wouldn't get the costing approved. There has to be a few take ups for every fibre that is to be connected otherwise they would use a port per customer.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
evie, you can have FTTP on demand wherever FTTC exists, the only criteria is that you pay for the build from the node to your home. Its not location specific at all, that is just the trial. After the trial it will be available whereever FTTC exists. It has nothing to do with the FTTC programme its an added extra, once out of trial you will be able to order it
Posted by eviemai2011 over 4 years ago
It will be good to see the prices being quoted from the FDP to the property.
Plus the extra money for the exchange side of things.
Seems as though different parts of the organisation are getting conflicting types of messages. I'll get up to date on the next visit Martlesham.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Its an Openreach product, they are the only people you need to speak too :) you can read about the trial here
Posted by eviemai2011 over 4 years ago
I'm still intrigued to see how much this Is going to cost the customer. Especially where the network has no ducting running down the street and civils is required. I can see more on the aerial solution being deployed. The Pole mounted cabs I've still not taken to them 100%
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Oh yeah I would say it will be delivered by pole if possible. Costs will vary of course, it'll be pricey but for a small business its a bargain compared to a dedicated circuit
Posted by charlestown over 4 years ago
People keep saying that Cornwall is at the forefront of fibre optic advances in the UK but I live in the centre of St Austell, one of the main pilot areas for FTTP and I can't get a word out of BT regarding the possible availability of any fibre optic connection, though I've been checking now for over a year...

The reality is about 8mbps downloads with ADSL as long as it isn't raining and nobody else in the area is using the internet.
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