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First official indications of Fibre on Demand pricing from Openreach
Wednesday 05 December 2012 09:05:15 by Andrew Ferguson

A briefing from Openreach that applies equally to all broadband providers has been issued bringing good news that the 330 Mbps downstream and 30 Mbps upstream product is to decrease in price from around £60 per month to £38 per month in June 2013. This is of course at the wholesale level and only covers the cost of the end-user link and data getting as far as the local handover (exchange), but if TalkTalk were to keep the same sort of markups as their FTTC products a retail 330 Mbps product might be £77 per month including voice line rental.

The bigger news for many is the some of the first official indications of the installation cost for Fibre on Demand, a property that is 500m away from a NGA Aggregation Node will incur a charge of £1000 plus another £500 for installation of the service into the property. The £1000 charge will be smaller if closer to the NGA Aggregation node and higher if further away, no indications of the range of variation is available. These figures replace previous estimates we made of £500 - £1500 which we were told were in the ball park almost a year ago.

The pricing is such that it only pays a fraction of the costs of any one property connecting, so for the first property connecting in a cluster of a dozen properties, Openreach will be spending well in excess of these sums of money, with subsequent demand eventually paying off the balance of this initial construction cost. The result of this, is that even if you are the second or third property on a fibre manifold, you will still be paying the same sort of price. We will enquire as to whether there are possible bulk discounts if a cluster of properties sign-up at the same time.

FTTP on Demand is available in some areas already but only as part of the pre-launch trials, from January 2013 areas of Basingstoke, Watford, Cardiff Central and Manchester Central exchange areas that have FTTC will be able to participate in the second phase of trials. During the trials fibre on demand is only available using the 330 Mbps speed variant but at launch the full range of FTTP speeds which include 40 Mbps, 80 Mbps, 110 Mbps, 220 Mbps and 330 Mbps should be available. This range of speeds means a provider like Sky should be able to offer an 80 Mbps FTTP product for the same monthly cost as their current FTTC products, and the same ISP hardware will work. Only if you want faster speeds over FTTP does the cost increase.

The price drop of the 330 Mbps product in June 2013 is welcome, but if you look at the price of the 330 Mbps / 20 Mbps product the price change looks less impressive, as for those where upstream speeds of 20 Mbps will be plenty, that variant is available for £24.61 per month.

While we are certain many people will be taking a deep breath when they find out the fibre on demand pricing, for those who struggle with an unstable ADSL/ADSL2+ service now the stability of fibre, its fixed speed connection and the potential for a home to be advertised for sale as fully fibre enabled makes it a more reasonable option for those who own their own home.

A measure of how important the fibre on demand product is to the future of a fully digital UK is shown by the fact the Financial Times was one of the first to cover this announcement. For each property that connects to fibre on demand, the UK will also qualify as being able to say another 8 to 12 properties are passed by fibre, and if fibre on demand proves popular we may in a couple of years see connection costs reducing.


Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
Are these charges ex-VAT?
Posted by uniquename over 4 years ago
The £38 will be.
Posted by mikecrawford80 over 4 years ago
:-(, 950m from PCP = very expensive so not going to be an option for me next year.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 4 years ago
I suppose that £1500 for 5km of fibre cable could be considered quite good value for money. All I need is for the exchange and cabinet to be upgraded to FTTC. I wonder if I would get any BDUK/County Council subsidy as my current connection is less that 2mbps.
Posted by leejhamilton over 4 years ago
Ouch, not cheap for the home user. My estate is marked as down for FTTP only, no FTTC. Hope they drop the costs for the retail market.
Posted by uniquename over 4 years ago
"FTTP only" areas are normal installation charges. This is for people who can get FTTC but want better.
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
Not bad at all. Not for home users unless seen as an investment though.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 4 years ago
Maybe I am being optimistic! What exactly are NGA Aggregation Nodes? Can you have one downstream of a cabinet?
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Certainly not as bad I thought to be honest
Posted by russianmonkey over 4 years ago
The NGA Aggregation Node - Are you sure that's the FTTC cabinet and not something somewhere further down the line?

If it's the FTTC cabinet, I'll probably be the £500 variant.
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
The aggregation nodes aggregate the fibre feeding FTTC cabinets, it's like a reverse tree trunk and branches, with the parts where branches join on their way to the trunk being aggregation nodes.

So no, there are no aggregation nodes downstream of the cabinet however that doesn't mean there isn't a node closer physically than the cabinet, but it wouldn't be good practice for BT to start using whatever is closest and break the architecture.
Posted by russianmonkey over 4 years ago
In that case, it'll probably be quite expensive for most people.
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
On average a thousand pounds for the network build and a further £500 for install, total £1,500.

The Openreach document explains that premises are on average 500m away from an aggregation node.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 4 years ago
If it is £1000 for 500m, then pro-rated, 5km would be £10,000. :-(
Posted by russianmonkey over 4 years ago
Are there any maps or lists of where the AN's are?
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
Not a chance. Openreach confidential.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 4 years ago
Any idea why the document refers to Aggregation Nodes if these are not normally used for connections to customer premises? (IIUC)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
Aggregation nodes are new, are installed around the time that the FTTC cabinets go in place.

Chasing for some clarification on location, so people can start to get an idea of distances, and add a few pennies to the very big jar in the corner of the room.
Posted by R0NSKI over 4 years ago
Hmmm, that very big bottle in the corner of the room is for our trip to Florida Disney Land, don't think the wife and kids will be happy if I blow it on FTTP on demand.

If you know where your local FTTC cabinets are, you should be able to make a fairly educated guess at where the fiber runs, and branches off.

Think I will be making do with my 40Mbps, there's better things for me to spend £1500 on.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
For me I'm not really put off by the install price I just can't see myself needing much more speed for a while , got Infinity installed this morning, only took 30mins

I was estimated at 35down 6up but get

Posted by milanochris over 4 years ago
Being in Watford and currently on FTTC, I presume that I can order FTTP in the new year without the installation charges. Am I correct?
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
^ No

Everyone will pay the installation charge for FTTP on demand
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
That might not be the case for Ultrafast Cities which have FTTC in place, that might provide discounted installation or Openreach simply be given X million now prep the lot. Volume discounting/ volume installs in the same area making financial sense.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
In BT's architecture diagrams for FTTP and FTTC, the aggregation node is the first labelled "joint box" for fibre in both. It is also the *last* point that is common to both architectures.

For comparison, BT have previously said that the "typical" distance from cabinet to DP is 420 metres, and from DP to house is 25 metres.

If "typical" means average, and average AN distance *is* 500m, then AN to cabinet can't be far at all.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
This is what BT said in April's "analyst's guide":

"To future proof our network we are installing high fibre count fibre cables to all our NGA cabinets. Along the routes of these cables we install several 'aggregation nodes'. 'FTTP on demand' intercepts the fibre cable at the 'aggregation node' and completes fibre delivery to customer premises."
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
In 2010, BT had a concept of a "light grid" for the fibre access network, where the fibre was routed in high fibre-count cable between 2 exchanges. Multiple routes existed, and with an exchange (or metro node) at each end, it gave high redundancy levels in case of failure.

There, a concept was a "remote flexibility point" that allowed connection to a cabinet, or a splitter, or a fibre spur.

These properties sounds very similar to what we're now seeing for an Aggregation Node.
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
These are wholesale prices to CP's not end users
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
@fastman, hence why I used some analysis done a while ago on FTTC prices to make an estimate of a possible retail price per month via TalkTalk.

Providers very rarely put any significant markup on install fees.
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
The 'remote flexibility point' is deployed as the aggregation node now. Those nodes serve cabinets and splitters already in areas which are part FTTP and part FTTC, and collect spurs on their way to the main fibre spine.
Posted by Miserygut over 4 years ago
Will this benefit properties which are near enabled exchanges but can't currently receive FTTC?

I know of a few locations close to exchanges (mostly in conservation areas, unfortunately) where any high speed internet access would be greatly desirable, even with this upfront cost.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
MiseryGut: It may help but for a lot of those areas it will depend on what the local authority projects do.

Hybrid FTTC is most likely solution for Exchange Only lines, and then the 1 in 10 who want to order FTTP on demand would then get the option.
Posted by doowles over 4 years ago
I wonder what will happen for new build apartments. Seems to be no strategy yet for those.
Posted by ian72 over 4 years ago
Do we know if 500m is crow flies or cable distance? I am about 170m from the cab as crow flies but around 620m following the road. Strange thing is I currently get twice the speed on ADSL2+ as someone who lives much closer to the cab as far as road is concerned. But, FTTC his estimate is twice mine! All very odd
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
@ian72 It is cable distance
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
@doowles for tower blocks Openreach has MDU trails underway. New tall buildings should be being built with service ducting for things like telephone/catv/fibre already

For the more classic two or three storey apartment block, then for FTTP, fibre terminated on wall like normal home and then the final run to inside each flat.
Posted by ccxo over 4 years ago
Andrew any further news from Openreach about pricing/Aggregation node locations?
Posted by abovingdon over 4 years ago
I'd be more than happy to pop down £1500 to secure fast, reliable internet to my house. But the cabinet in the village is 5km from the exchange and neither has fibre yet. I presume I will need to carry on waiting until the exchange and cabinet are both upgraded for fibre before Openreach will take my money and connect me?
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
I can't see BT releasing info on Aggregation nodes, why would they.

If you want a price you just ask for a quote when its available to buy don't you?
Posted by Housey1 over 4 years ago
If you get more than one house in the street to install FTTP at the same time would that make it cheaper?
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